Braid vs Mono Fishing Line: Differences Explained

Updated on December 8, 2022 by
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The main difference between braid and mono fishing line is that braid has more strength for the same line diameter but has poorer abrasion resistance, less stretch, and is more expensive.

Most anglers might think that the choice between using braid vs monofilament fishing line is really one that comes down to personal preference in most cases. This is actually not entirely true as each type of line has specific advantages that anglers can use depending on what type of fishing method they are using.

Both braided and mono lines have their own specific uses as it relates to fishing in saltwater and freshwater environments. Knowing the best times and places to use each type of fishing line will go a long way in your overall success level in any case.

If you’re somewhat new to fishing and you aren’t quite sure what the main differences are in each type of fishing line, you’re not alone. Most anglers don’t truly grasp the distinct advantages and disadvantages of each type of material until they actually use it themselves and get a hands-on feel for what the line is capable of in each type of situation.

In this article, we will outline the specific differences between braid and mono fishing line and cover the different ways in which each one is typically recommended to be used in both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Mono or Braid fishing line

What is Monofilament Fishing Line?

Monofilament is known simply as “mono” in the fishing industry. It’s one of the most popular types of fishing line and has been for decades as anglers have found that it has a large number of uses that can greatly increase their chances of having a successful day on the water.

As the name implies, mono fishing line is made of one single strand of material. Other types of lines like braid or fluorocarbon are designed with multiple strands of material that are either bonded together or interwoven to give the line more strength and capability to withstand the pull of any type of fish that happens to bite your hook.

Monofilament line is made of various types of material, but one of the most popular is nylon. Most of the popular brands of fishing lines in today’s market are made with mostly nylon or will also feature some blend of copolymer or multipolymer material which is specially designed to give the line certain advantages compared to other material.

Some of the most apparent qualities of monofilament line are its ability to stretch when it is pulled, as well as the abrasion resistance and overall strength compared to other lines.

My personal favorite mono fishing line is the Berkley Trilene which is both affordable and versatile in a wide range of lengths and strengths.

Berkley Trilene Big Game Mono Fishing Line

Overall Score – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line
  • Available in Up to 10,800 Yard Spools
  • From 8 to 200 Pound Strength
  • Extremely Powerful
  • Shock Resistant

Advantages of Using Mono

Mono has a number of unique advantages that other lines simply can’t match. For one, it’s capable of stretching when pressure is applied, which allows anglers to get a much different look when using certain types of lures that require the user to reel and jerk the bait in a specific pattern.

Mono also has what is known as shock strength, which is the line’s ability to absorb a large amount of energy that is applied at one time, which might normally snap other types of fishing line. Shock strength is especially useful for times when you expect to have to apply very hard hook sets, as well as other occasions when larger fish might take a particularly hard run and will thrash back and forth in a way that could break lines that aren’t capable of withstanding such activity.

Another area of advantage that mono has over other types of fishing line is the buoyancy it offers compared to both fluoro and braid. Since it is composed of one single strand of material, mono line has more ability to float than other lines are capable of delivering, which makes it sink much more slowly compared to other lines. This is a major advantage when using certain lures that you want to stay suspended at certain levels in the water.

  • Improved Stretch
  • More Abrasion Resistance
  • Cheaper
  • More Bouyant
Braid vs mono stretch comparison
Source: George Poveromo

What is Braided Fishing Line?

Braid is one of the most popular types of fishing line in the angling industry as it is often relied upon for its incredible strength and ability to withstand extreme amounts of pressure. Braided line is made of polyethylene material that is literally braided together in such a way that creates an exceptionally strong fishing line. Some braided lines will have more strands than others and anglers can choose a line with more or less strands based on their need for a more unbreakable line that will pull a lure through just about anything.

You can find braided lines with strand counts of anywhere between four and 16 strands depending on your own personal preference. Braided line is exceptionally small in diameter compared to other types of line, which is another reason why most anglers will opt for it over mono.

My personal favorite bread line is the KastKing Superpower which I’ve found to perform very well and doesn’t lose a lot of abrasion resistance when compared to the mono alternatives.

KastKing Superpower Braid Fishing Line

Overall Score – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

KastKing Superpower Braided Fishing Line
  • Strong Knot Strength
  • Low Memory
  • High Abrasion Resistance
  • Ultra-high Sensitivity

Advantages of Braided Line

Braided line is great for occasions when you need the strongest line possible. In many cases, if you become hung up on underwater structure, braided line will not break and you might actually straighten out the hook before you are able to break the line itself.

You’ll also find that braided line is much more sensitive than other types of fishing line, which makes it ideal for using with certain types of finesse baits that fish might not strike at in the same way other lures entice them to. Braided line is an excellent choice if you’re fishing in or around heavy weeds or grass and find yourself needing to pull a fish out of heavy cover without breaking the line.

Braid line is up to 5 times as strong compared to mono when comparing the same diameter line.

  • Thinner diameter for the same strength
  • More sensitive due to less stretch
  • Can fit more line on your reel
Braid fishing line schematic
Source: BC Fishing Journal

Braid vs Mono

There is great debate between experienced anglers as to which is better, braid or mono. We’ve already outlined the most important aspects of both braid and mono and the only true way to develop an understanding for which one is actually better is to use them on the water and decide for yourself.

Diameter (mm)Braid Breaking Strength (lb)Mono Breaking Strength (lb)
This table shows the difference in breaking strength for the same diameter monofilament and braid fishing line

Final Verdict

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding which type of line is better – braid vs mono. It is true that braided lines are stronger, but it’s also true that mono will provide a good amount of strength with more stretching ability. Most professional anglers experiment with each type of line until they have a fair grasp of just what each line’s capabilities and limits are.

We recommend using the same method to determine which type of line is better for your own needs. You’ll find that they both have certain strengths and weaknesses on different occasions and the best way to understand more about each kind of fishing line is to get out there and use it yourself. In doing so, you’ll find out more about each type of line that you would in reading and studying any article or watching videos online.

Photo of author

Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler and writer whose work has been featured in magazines for nearly a decade. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States, as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. He enjoys keeping up with the latest news and gear items in the fishing industry and is always looking forward to his next outdoor adventure. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, Paddling Space, Man Can Outdoors, Alabama Outdoor News, and Bassmaster.