By Steve Goupil, Pro Fisherman and Club APRIL Marine Ambassador
Have you ever found yourself at a tackle shop in front of a display of over a hundred different fishing lines and not knowing which one to choose for your needs? In this article, I’ll describe the different type of lines, their characteristics and their specific uses.
Line is a very important part of your fishing gear, which can make the difference between catching or losing a coveted specimen.
There are mainly 4 types of fishing lines: monofilament, braided line, super line and fluorocarbon.
The monofilament has a large diameter, with great flexibility and therefore less sensitive than other types of fishing lines. In other words, it has the ability to stretch. This can be useful in specific fishing situations, for example, when casting or trolling reaction lures. The light-colored monofilament is relatively transparent below the surface of the water, making it very difficult for the fish to distinguish. With its floating properties, this line is to be preferred when fishing with surface lures. It is also used for Carolina rig and bottom walker harness.
This type of line can also be employed in an ice fishing tip-up set up for pike and walleye. It increases the success rate in hand-to-hand combat, thanks to its elongation.
Unfortunately, I still see too many novice anglers using this line very loosely. Please bear in mind that its elongation is a disadvantage in most fishing situations such as finesse fishing and jigging.
The braided line has no elongation. This characteristic makes this type of line very sensitive to distinguish delicate bites and increases the hook setting force. This sinking braided line has a smaller diameter than monofilament and fluorocarbon. On the other hand, it is not very resistant to abrasion.
Several companies offer this type of fishing line; however, the quality varies amongst them. My suggestion is to select a smooth braid that helps in making longer casts in your spinning reel and less backlash in your baitcasting reel. Braided line and super braid can be use in most fishing scenarios and is offered in a wide variety of colors.
I consider fused braids and one braided lines part of this category, which are both sinking lines. Fused braid is a braided line that has undergone a thermally fusing process, that makes it silky smooth and of a smaller diameter. Like braided line, fused braid is very sensitive to detect bites and allows to have a better feel of the waterbed.
As for the one braid line, its small diameter improves considerably the throwing distance and offers fewer resistance in current. On the other hand, it is very fragile and is less resistant to abrasion.
Fluorocarbon is the most abrasion resistant fishing line. It is also a sinking line that offers slight elongation and a smaller diameter than monofilament. This line has the characteristic of being invisible under water since it has the same refractive index of light as water. This property is a considerable advantage when fishing in clear water. More often than not, in this kind of environment, fish can be very suspicious when the line is noticeable. For all these reasons, I always tie a fluorocarbon leader to my main braid or super line.