What Is Braided Fishing Line? And Why You Should Use It?

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Braided lines have been around in various forms for many years. Current technology and modern synthetic materials have significantly improved braided lines of the past. I believe that every angler needs to have at least one rod loaded with braid in their arsenal. The odds are good that this line will quickly become your favourite.

Braided line is composed of multiple strands of synthetic materials woven into a very thin and super strong fishing line. It is excellent as a backing or main fishing line. Braided line has a small diameter and no stretch, which translates to great line sensitivity. A bonus is that braid casts far.

Anglers who have never used braided lines are losing out on a great fishing experience. Join me in looking at what braided line is and why you should use it.

Braided Line Pros and Cons

The below table lists the pros and cons of braided lines:

Pros of Braided Fishing Line

  • Great for casting
  • Floats on water
  • Good Knot Strength
  • Suited to all reel types
  • Many different types of braid is available
  • Good for heavy leader material
  • Can last for years
  • Very strong
  • Very thin line diameter
  • Great line sensitivity
  • Waterproof
  • No line memory
  • Can cut through underwater vegetation.

Cons of Braided Fishing Line

  • Highly visible in water
  • Special Knots required to tie braided lines
  • Colours fade over time
  • Expensive to buy
  • Requires a leader line for better presentation
  • Can be tricky to cast with
  • Can easily cut through skin under tension
  • Low abrasion resistance
  • Wind knots can form when casting.

Braided Fishing Line – Here’s What It Is.

Braided line is a fishing line made from synthetic materials such as Poly-Ethylene fibres, Spectra, Dacron, Dura, and micro-Dyneema.

As the name implies, braided lines are made from individual strands woven into a single line. Braided lines are woven from 2 to 10 strands depending on the application the line is designed for.

Braided lines are about 25% thinner in diameter when compared to mono or fluoro lines. Visually braided lines look more like string or cord than traditional nylon-type lines.

Braided lines are available in many colours, ranging from solid colours to camouflage pattern lines. Virtually every fishing application has been catered to make the line less visible to fish.

Why Should You Use Braided Line?

Braided line is wonderfully versatile due to their high tensile strength and low diameter compared to other lines.

Whether using a braided line as the mainline or as backing, the thin diameter allows more line on the reel than what is possible with other lines.

Braided line is well known for its potential to cast much further than other lines. The braided line is heavier than most other lines of the same test rating is negated by the thin diameter of the line.

The braided line is sealed with various coatings that make the line smooth and impervious to water. Admittedly the layer does wear off over time.

Line conditioner sprayed onto the braided line does an excellent job of replacing the lost protective coating and slowing further line degradation.

Braided line is suitable for use for many years under normal fishing conditions.

Braid’s think line diameter is less affected by drag in moving water. Wind also affects braid less than conventional lines, effectively increasing felt sensitivity.

Conventional lines such as monofilament and fluorocarbon lines can stretch, dampening the sensation of feeling bites. Braided line has no stretch, so bites are directly transferred to the rod, improving the ability to feel the bites. Having no give means that caution needs to be applied when setting the hook, not pulling the hook. Correct drag setting is vital.

Braided Line Diameter Versus Fluorocarbon Line

The below table compares average line diameters between the two line types for the given line test ratings.

Lbs. Test Fluorocarbon Line (Inches) Braided line (Inches) 4 .007 .004 6 .009 .005 8 .010 .007 10 .011 .008 12 .012 N/A 14 .013 .009 17 .015 N/A 20 .016 .010 30 .020 .012 40 .022 .013 50 .029 .014

The above table shows that braided lines are significantly thinner than fluoro lines. In practical terms, this makes a difference in the amount of line that your reel can hold.

For this example, comparing the 30lb lines, the braided line capacity would be virtually double that of the fluoro line.

Braided Line For Beginner Anglers

Braided lines are great for new anglers if you are willing to pay a bit more and willing to learn a bit more complicated knots.

Good starting reels are either spinning reels or closed-faced reels. These reels are relatively easy to use and seldom knot the line. Braided line is excellent for use with these reel types.

Check out the top 100 selling brands of braided fishing lines on Amazon.

Braided lines vary according to brand and can range significantly in price.

Here is a list of a few of the popular brands in the lower, mid, and upper price ranges

Brand Braid Line Available Price Range
Piscifun 6lb – 150lb $5.99 – $31.99
Angryfish 5lb – 200lb $6.99 – $25.99
KastKing 10lb -150lb $14.99 – $64.99
Rikimaru Store 6lb – 170lb $13.98 – $49.98
Reaction Tackle 6lb – 300lb $7.99 – $99.99
PowerPro 5lb – 250lb $10.41 – $508.99

Potential Challenges Of Using Braided Line

Below is a list of potential challenges when using braided lines. All of which can easily be overcome and shouldn’t detract from braided line, which is an excellent product.

Braid Does Not Stretch

Since braided line doesn’t stretch, bites by fish are felt clearly by the angler.

By braid not stretching, the pressure exerted by the fish and the angler is directly transferred by the braided line, increasing the odds of something breaking.

When fishing with braid, it’s crucial to have the reel’s drag set at the correct tension.

Too tight, the line or rod may break, or the hook may pull free from the fish. Too loose, and a backlash may occur on the reel, or fish will pull line, emptying out your reel.

A leader line made from fluorocarbon is usually attached between the braided line and the hook or lure to counter the effects of not stretching in a braided line.

A leader line is often called a shock leader and assists in reducing the line’s visibility but most importantly takes the edge off the strike when setting the hook.

Is It Harder To Tie Good Knots With Braid

A braided line is more problematic to tie knots than fluoro or mono lines when it is new.

Knots have the potential of slipping and coming undone when not appropriately tied. Fortunately, other knowledgeable anglers have encountered this issue long before us and have solutions.

These are three popular knots for use with braid and Fluoro lines:

  1. Double Uni-knot; Braid to a leader line.
  2. Blood knot; Braid to a leader line.
  3. Palomar knot; Braid to a hook, lure swivel.

Braided Line Is Less Abrasion Resistant Than Other Lines

It’s a well-documented fact that braided line has lower abrasion resistance than other types of lines. Despite the lower abrasion resistance, this does by no means mean that braid will snap easily.

Braided line is excellent for use in waterways containing heavy underwater vegetation, where fish hide out in the cover. Braided lines work well for this application and often cut their way through soft vegetation during a fight.

Braided lines don’t do where sharp rocky outcrops and barnacles are found. Braid being a soft multistrand line, the individual strands making up the line can be easily severed, compromising the tensile strength on the line.

A fluorocarbon line is best to use in rocky shorelines. Consider making a long leader with fluorocarbon to minimize the chances of your braid making contact with any rocks.

Braided Line Is Visible To Fish

Braided lines contain no nylon materials thus cannot absorb light underwater as such braided lines are visible underwater.

Many line colours are available for braided lines, which can greatly assist in reducing the visibility of the line. Picking the right colour for your fishing depth will help make your line blend into the background.

When targeting timid fish species, the best option is to attach a fluorocarbon leader line to the end of the braid, which will effectively move the braid further away from the bait, leaving the invisible fluoro line to do its magic on the fish.

Braided Line Floats

Braided line floats in water. As such, braided lines are only suitable for use with topwater lures or where a sinking bait or sinker is needed.

Using a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader of the appropriate length can overcome this problem to a large degree.

Braided Line For Trolling

Braided lines are generally not the first choice for trolling rigs.

Most anglers don’t use braid as a trolling line due to its lack of stretch. This lack of stretch can put your rod at risk of breaking from the sudden strike from fast-moving fish. Mono and fluoro lines are far better options for trolling as these lines do stretch and act as a shock absorber.

Set Your Reel Drag Correctly When Using Braided Line

Setting your reel drag is one of the essential tasks when fishing with a braided line.

The reel’s drag controls the amount of force required to pull the pull.

Should your drag be set too loose when fighting a fish, the fish will be able to pull the line out of the reel too easily. If this happens, you will not be able to tire out the fish to reel it in.

The consensus seems to be that drag resistance should not exceed half of your lines test rating from my research. So if you use a 20lb braid, don’t go over 10lb resistance on your reels drag.

Setting your reel’s drag can only be done accurately using a scale. A scale used to weigh a fish is ideal for this purpose.

How To Set Your Reels Drag Accurately

Ask a buddy to assist in holding the scale.

  1. Attach the fishing line directly from the reel to the scale without passing through the rod guides.
  1. While holding the reel firmly, ask your buddy to apply pressure on the line by pulling on the scale and calling out the reading while adjusting the drags tension on the reel.
  1. For a 20lb breaking strain line, don’t exceed 10lb on the scale.

You can start with a loose drag and work your way up or vice versa.

The required result is to end up at the scale reading 10lbs before the drag releases the tension on the line. If the drag feels too tight, lighten it up a little. Every angler has their preference.

Safety Tips When Using Braided Lines

Braided lines are solid lines that are designed not to break easily. The thin diameter of braid will pose some risk for the angler if they get a finger, arm or leg, etc., stuck in a loop while pressure is applied to the line.

A braided line could potentially cut very severely if things go wrong. Avoid wrapping these lines around your hand or arm when trying to snap off the line when snagged.

If the loops wrapped around you start slipping under pressure, you will be going for stitches.

Also, never grab hold the line when a big fish starts stripping the line off your reel.

Your fingers are most at risk when it comes to handing braid. It is critical to use proper protection when handling braid if you’re not used to it.

Braided Line For Salt Water Use

Most braided lines can be used successfully for both bottom and topwater fishing.

The braided line has excellent sensitivity, which transfers bites clearly to the angler even are great depths.

Disposing of Used Braided Line Responsibly

Nylon-based fishing line can take up to 600 years to fully degrade once thrown away. The downside of the more complex materials used in Braided lines is that they take even longer to degrade naturally.

Remember, even the tiny line clippings will be in the environment for a very long time if not discarded responsibly.

Most fishing shops have disposal bins where the braided line can be disposed of safely.

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