Braided fishing lines have been around a long time, and for good reason. They’re durable, they hardly stretch at all, and they provide lots of power without being bulky. These qualities have been amplified over the years by the implementation of modern materials. Polyethylene-based braided lines maximize the ratio of high power to low diameter. But like many things, there are different designs to tackle different jobs. So how do you choose between the options available on the market?
We compiled a quick guide to braided fishing lines: what they are, how they differ, when to use which, and where the best value is. If you want to step your fishing game up, check out our list!
What Is A Braided Fishing Line?
The concept behind a braided fishing line is pretty simple. You weave several very thin strands or “bundles” of fibrous plastic together to form one strong line. Braided fishing lines usually utilize four, six, eight, or nine strands to achieve different qualities for different uses.
Number of Braids
As the number of braids in your line increases, the weight of the line decreases. So if you’re fishing in an area with thick brush, rocks, or manmade structures that your line might get caught in, a burly four strand line will be the way to go.
If you’re after something smooth that will cast further, more quietly, go with a higher strand braid. An eight strand braid will do exceptionally well for cast-and-retrieve use, like tossing artificial lures. Nine strand braids usually have eight lightweight strands situated around a core. This makes the line even rounder and smoother.
Braided fishing lines fall somewhere on this scale between tough as nails and light as a feather. Depending on if you need durability or sensitivity, either line may be preferable.
The PowerPro Spectra Fiber strives to be the best in all avenues, and for the most part, succeeds. It’s fairly affordable when compared with similar lines, but doesn’t sacrifice quality in the process. It touts a high durability, which is a must, but also features PowerPro’s Enhanced Body technology. This gives the line a more rounded profile and increases its sensitivity and smoothness.
The Spectra Fiber has performed well in a number of uses, from freshwater to saltwater. It’s generally been found to last a long time without breaking. And it offers a great selection of colors, including green, yellow, red, white, and clear. This gives you a good spread of options when picking a line for different settings. Overall the Spectra fiber is the winner.
- Good options for color and weight
- Not the cheapest
Berkley is a highly trusted brand name in the fishing line industry, and after using one of their braided lines it’s easy to see why. The X9 Lo-Vis strives to perform in casting, without neglecting strength.
This line will be right at home with the angler who needs more distance from their casts, especially if you commonly fish in areas with lots of places to get snagged or stuck while casting.
The added bonus of the X9 Lo-Vis is, of course, its low visibility. This attribute shines in situations when it’s preferable to be as sneaky as possible. It comes in multiple strengths, lengths, and colors to make sure you get the line you need.
- Great casting performance
- Low visibility
- Not as high performance for high vis use
If you’re looking to switch over to braided fishing line on a budget, the KastKing SuperPower is a good way to go. It provides many of the things you would expect from a braided line without breaking the bank.
Good durability, low memory for increased casting performance, and knot strength are a few of the SuperPower’s strong points. There are also a good amount of options for color and weight available, ranging from 6 lb to 150 lb, and including green, yellow, blue, and gray.
The flip side of this is that your line may not last as long or perform quite as well as other brands. But if you’re trying to get set up with value in mind, this should be your go-to.
- Low memory
- Doesn’t perform quite as well as bigger brand options
If you need to prioritize stealth over all else, SpiderWire has got you covered. The Ultracast Invisi-Braid is an eight strand line that is sure to land lightly and quietly, without upsetting the calm of the water. It’s also so low-visibility that you won’t have to use a leader like with colored lines. This in and of itself provides a huge boost to sensitivity and casting performance.
SpiderWire has gone a step further as well, improving the line’s strength with their proprietary cold-fusion process. This means you’ll still have a good amount of durability, despite being a smooth, round eight braid line. The only downside is it won’t work as well in scenarios where you need to keep an eye on it.
- Low visibility
- Smooth, round profile
- Cold-fusion treatment for extra strength
- Won’t perform in scenarios demanding high visibility
- Not as durable as a four strand braided line
The top of the line in high visibility performance, the PowerPro Spectra Hi-Vis is the gold standard for everything you could ask for in a high visibility line. Equipped with PowerPro’s EBT (Enhanced Body Technology), the Spectra Hi-Vis is smooth and round for great sensitivity and casting performance.
Adding to this touch sensitivity is the color, which will give you a superior indication of what’s going on under the water. It’s available in weights from five to 200 pounds, allowing for everything from trout fishing on your local river to big game trophy fishing. However, you’d be wise to use this line with a leader, which can reduce the strength of the line and casting performance slightly.
- Incredibly sensitive
- High visibility
- Huge range of weights
- Won’t perform as well in low visibility conditions
Pros And Cons Of Braided Fishing Line
In order to figure out when braided fishing line is preferable, let’s think about what it doesn’t do. And the answer to that is: stretch. In some cases, some stretch in your line is preferable, particularly if you’re trolling for big game fish. Once you start getting above 5 or 600 pounds, especially if the bite comes suddenly and you’re not lined up just right, buckle up. Some extra stretch in your line will prevent knots and other things outright breaking.
So if you’re after big catches, like really big catches, stretchier mono line is preferable. It’s also cheaper, which is never a loss. But for bottom fishing, jigging, and using lures, on the other hand, braided fishing line is a clear winner. In these cases, the added strength and casting distance will make all the difference.
Does The Color Of Braided Fishing Line Matter?
Whether or not fish are deterred by colored lines is somewhat up for debate. Some swear by it, others are confident that fish are unaffected. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a right and a wrong way to go about it. You should try to match your line with your environment, and use a clear leader to reduce your chances of fish seeing the line. Another thing you should consider is your own ability to see the line.
For murky water, like in lakes and ponds, a dark green line may help your chances of going unnoticed by fish. And if you’re fishing in moving water, when you need to keep a constant eye on the line, something high-vis like yellow will win out. In either case it’s a good idea to add a clear leader, just in case.
Top Tips When Using Braided Fishing Line
#1 – Think about durability versus casting distance: Consider your destination. If you’re worried about getting tangled in rocks, moss, reefs, go for a tougher four strand braided line. If you need a higher sensitivity, greater casting distance, and more stealth, a six or eight strand line will do you better.
#2 – Match your environment: When picking a color, think about how you intend to use it. Having options that will blend in with murky water and stand out in fast moving currents will give you better options for different scenarios. The best scenario is where you can keep the fish from seeing it, without losing track of it yourself.
#3 – Use a leader: The best way to hide the line from fish is to attach a clear leader to it. For most cases, this is the way to go as it will give you a good buffer between your colored line and the fish.
A Marriage of Old and New Technology
Utilizing time-honored concepts from ancient fishing lines with state of the art materials produces unparalleled performance. With braided fishing line, you can tailor your tackle to suit most situations, excelling in almost all conditions. It’s a great step up for those who have only ever used mono lines and will definitely be worth the investment.