6 Pros and Cons of Braided Fishing Lines You Should Know

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Braided Fishing Lines

If you are a newcomer to angling and are developing a love of this pastime, you are probably getting to the stage where you are assembling your own tackle, that matches the type of fishing you want to do. 

The vast range of highly technical options for rods reel and fishing line may overwhelm you, especially if you are simply looking for basics.

Finding advice can be just as difficult with almost every experienced angler having their own choice or brand to recommend. 

In this article, we will help you out by explaining the key pros and cons of braided fishing line to help you decide if it is easy to work with as a beginner. 

All about braided fishing line

Braided fishing line is the original form of fishing line and remains popular because of its unique physical characteristics.

Understanding the features of braided line and when to use can help you decide if you are going to include it in your tackle.

What is braided fishing line?

Braided fishing line is a type of fishing line that is made by braiding fibres, rather than being single-stranded.

They made early types of fishing line from natural fibres like cotton, linen and silk, long since superseded by modern materials like dacron and spectra. 

This line can be made with between four and 16 braided strands, with higher strand braided line being thinner and line made with fewer strands having greater resistance.

The braiding produces a dense thin line that has some noted advantages and disadvantaged in a variety of forms of angling. 

The key characteristics of braided fishing line

All fishing line has six key qualities that you can evaluate to compare line types. Here is the profile of braided fishing line: 

  1. Memory: Fishing line memory is where the line curls or conforms to the shape of the spool. Line with high memory can kink or curl, affecting the presentation of your bait. Braided fishing line has no line memory
  1. Stretch: Stretch is the amount of recoil in the line. It can make detecting a bite and setting a hook difficult. Braided fishing line has no stretch
  1. Shock Strength: Shock strength relates to a lines ability to withstand forces such as sudden jerking or intense pressure. Braided fishing line has less shock strength than monofilament line
  1. Abrasion Resistance: This is the ability of a fishing line to withstand wearing forces along its length. Braided line is less abrasion resistant than monofilament or fluorocarbon line.
  1. Buoyancy: The buoyancy of a fishing line determines whether it will sink or float in the water. A line that sinks remains taut in the water, meaning that the bait can be handled more precisely. The traditional braided line made with natural fibres will sink in water but modern fibres like Spectra are highly buoyant.
  1. Visibility: A fishing line that is visible can be seen by fish, who may sense that something is up and avoid your bait. Braided fishing line is known for having increased underwater visibility compared to other line types. 

Here are 6 pros and cons of braided fishing lines you should know

To get the best line for the job here are some pros and cons of braided fishing line for you to remember: 

Pros of braided fishing line 

  1. Braided line offers great sensitivity. Because braided line does not stretch or recoil, it remains taut in the water so you can feel when a bite occurs. 
  1. Braided fishing line has a smaller diameter than mono or fluoro – a contemporary braided line made with synthetic material has a much smaller diameter than standard monofilament line. This means that you can get a greater length of braided line on a reel making braided line a great option for deep water and bottom fishing. 
  1. Braided line has more strength for line diameter. Despite having a smaller diameter than other kinds of fishing line, the braided line is very strong. This makes it easier to set hooks and battle a vigorous bite. 
  1. Braided line casts well over long distances. Veteran anglers appreciate the smoothness of casting with a braided line, It travels through the air and enters the water smoothly. 
  1. Braided line has a long reel life. This line does not stretch or become conformed to the reel. You can confidently keep it for years without significant deterioration. Fraying is the only major indicator that this line needs to be changed.
  1. Braided line does a great job of pulling fish from structure/vegetation. This strong, straight line can literally cut through certain types of vegetation or be used to get fish out of heavy cover

Cons of braided fishing line

  1. Tension on braided line can lead to it snapping. Because it does not stretch, sudden sharp force on a braided line from a large biting fish can frankly snap the line. 
  2. Braid has high visibility in water. Despite being thinner than other types of line, the braided line is visible to fish which may be put off. The colour of the fishing line will be more important with braided line, with low-vis green line being a popular choice for concealing braid.
  3. Braided line can fray when cut. A braided line needs to be cut carefully and precisely to avoid fraying that increases the risk of line breaking. 
  4. Braided fishing line can be vulnerable to abrasions. The multi-strand structure of braided line makes it vulnerable to wearing that first frays the line, then weaken it and cause it to snap.
  5. Braided line can be hard to knot properly. Braided line has a high knot failure rate. This line can be hard to knot properly but when the right knots (Double Palomar knot, Berkley Braid Knot, Alberto knot) are used they are very strong. 
  6. Braided line is often more expensive than other types of fishing line. According to British Seafishing, a braided line can be up to triple the price of a monofilament fishing line with a similar breaking strain.

A selection of braided fishing line on Amazon

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Alternatives to braided fishing line

Though braided line is a workhorse, it can be worthwhile having other types of line on hand to combine with braid or use an alternative if your braided line is not performing as expected. The main alternatives are: 

  • Monofilament line: this fishing line is made from a single strand of synthetic material. It is versatile and cost-effective. Monofilament has a larger diameter, stretches more and has greater memory than braided line. 
  • Fluorocarbon line: this line is made from a plastic known as fluoropolymer PVDF. It has a refractive index that is like water making it almost invisible when submerged. It does not stretch as much as monofilament and it is also low abrasion.

Many experienced anglers will use braid for their main line, but attach a rig that uses mono or fluoro, for better presentation of the bait and favorable underwater optics.

All knots made between braided line and other types of fishing line should be tested and tested again to prevent failure. 

Rounding up

Though it is more expensive, braided fishing line goes a long way and has dependable performance. If you are going to be:

  • bottom fishing 
  • casting lures
  • fishing in kelp
  • jigging 
  • or fishing structure

…braid has got your back!