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Braided fishing line is becoming more and more popular but a lot of people haven’t actually used it before. If that’s you, you might want to consider switching because you could see some benefit. In this post, I’m going to be talking about when you should and shouldn’t be using braided line on your reels.
Braided line doesn’t stretch and that makes it incredibly sensitive. It also lasts 3-4 times longer, and that’s why you want to use it on your reels 90% of the time. The one time not to use braided line is when you’re casting into the wind.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been using braid as my main fishing line on 90% of my reels. I really like the way it performs and the benefits I get out of it. It’s definitely not a perfect line and that’s why you’d want to use a leader, but I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t give it a try if you haven’t already.
When To Use Braided Line
If you’ve never used braid before, I’d highly recommend you give it a try. There are a number of benefits to it, but that being said, it’s not the best option all the time.
The best time to use braided line is when you’re trolling or jigging. It’s the most sensitive line and is stronger than monofilament and fluorocarbon. Using braid for casting is also a good idea, but the time it struggles is when it’s windy out.
Most of the time I’m fishing for kokanee, trout, and lake trout. Sometimes I’m trolling, sometimes I’m jigging, and sometimes I’m casting. Braid is my go-to most of the time.
We’ll get into the benefits of braid next, but it’s so much more convenient for me. Even with all the pros, braided line does have a few negatives.
When You Shouldn’t Use Braided Fishing Line
After everything that’s been said, there still are a few times when you wouldn’t really want to use braided line. You still could use it but you might run into a few problems along the way.
The first situation where you’d want to use monofilament or fluorocarbon is when you’re casting and there’s a lot of wind. You could still use braid but you’ll have to be really careful.
Since the line is pretty thin and light, the wind will blow it around and you’ll get a lot of wind knots. You won’t get that with a thicker and stiffer line.
The second situation where you’d want to use mono or fluoro is when you’re trolling a spot with a lot of currents. You pretty much run into the same problem where your light line will get pushed around and tangles can happen. Normally, monofilament will work better in this situation.
The Benefits Of Braided Fishing Line
As I said before, I use braid as my main fishing line on the majority of my reels. I wouldn’t say it’ll guarantee that you catch a bunch more fish but it does definitely have its advantages.
The first big benefit is that it lasts longer than monofilament and fluorocarbon.
I’m sure you don’t really enjoy re-spooling your reels (I don’t anyway) and even though braid is more expensive, it should last somewhere between 3 to 4 times longer. Part of the reason is that it won’t break as much but it also won’t wear down as fast.
The second benefit is that it’s stronger than mono and fluoro of the same thickness.
There won’t be much of a difference between 10 lb mono and 10 lb braid but that’s not how you should measure things. Braid is thinner than mono and fluoro and you can use a heavier line on your spool. Instead of using 4 lb mono for trout, I could use a 10 lb braid. Both are the same thickness.
The third advantage is that it’s more sensitive than the other lines.
Both mono and fluoro have some amount of stretch to them while braid as virtually none. That’ll make your rod more sensitive and you’ll be able to feel the bite right away. Ideally, that should help you land more fish.
Another thing I like about braid is that it casts better.
If you’re just trolling or jigging then this won’t matter too much, but for those of you who cast and retrieve, you’ll definitely see the advantage. We did a test comparing braid vs mono vs fluoro in terms of casting distance.
The final benefit is that you can put more line on your reel.
If you decide to put 6 lb monofilament on your reel then you might be able to get 110 or 120 yards on there. If you put a 10 lb braid then you might be able to get 180 or 190 yards on. I’m sure you can see how this could be a good thing.
Best Braided Line To Use
Over the past little bit, I’ve been able to test out a bunch of different types of braided line. The majority of them have been pretty solid but there are a few I’d probably avoid. Some wore out a lot quicker than others and some seemed to get tangled really easily.
The first thing I’d recommend you do is to make sure it has a lot of good reviews. If there are a lot of negative comments then don’t even bother.
The second thing I’d recommend is that you don’t get a cheap option. You’re going to be way better off if you spend a bit extra and avoid some of the cheaper options on the market.
If you want to know what my current favorite options are, you can click the link above. Those links are for kokanee and trout, but I’ll use the same brands for whatever I’m fishing for. Just be sure to get the right line weight for whatever type of fishing you’re doing.
Here’s a general guideline:
- 10 lb braid: kokanee, trout, panfish, and small lure bass fishing
- 20 lb braid: lake trout, and bigger lure bass fishing
- 30+ lb braid: salmon, pike, and rock fishing
There are a bunch of other solid lines out there that I have tried but I don’t really want to list them all out. Just make sure the reviews are solid and the price point isn’t near the bottom.
How To Properly Spool Braided Line
One of the downsides of using braid is that it’s a little bit more complicated. You have to spool it a certain way to get the most out of it. If you don’t then you could end up with a lot of tangles and knots. If you’ve never spooled it before then I’ll leave a couple of helpful videos below.
Here’s how to spool braid onto a spinning reel:
- Tie some monofilament to your spool and do a couple of wraps so your spool is covered. This will make sure your line doesn’t slip on the spool (you could also fill the first 1/4 of the spool with mono and then fill it up with braid to keep costs down).
- Tie your braided line directly to the monofilament using a Double Uni Knot. Keep tension on your line and fill up your spool. Leave a 1/16 inch gap between your line and the edge of the spool (don’t overfill).
- Attach your leader. You always want to use a leader when you’re fishing with braid. You could use monofilament or fluorocarbon. It’ll all depend on what you’re fishing for. So will the length of the leader. Same with whether or not you use a swivel or tie directly.
Here’s how to spool braid onto a casting reel:
- Tie some monofilament directly on your spool and put a couple of wraps so the spool is covered. This will prevent your line from slipping. You could also fill the first 1/4-1/2 of your spool to keep costs down.
- Tie your braided line directly to the monofilament (Double Uni Knot) and fill the spool up. Keep tension on your line and fill it up so there’s a 1/16 inch gap between the line and the edge of the spool. Don’t overfill!
- Attach your leader. You’ll probably want to attach your leader directly using a Uni or Surgeon’s Knot. I normally use a 4-5 foot leader but it could depend on what you’re fishing for. Most of the time I’ll use fluorocarbon.