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Choosing Fishing Line: Monofilament vs Braid vs Fluorocarbon | Bass Fishing

Choosing Fishing Line: Monofilament vs Braid vs Fluorocarbon | Bass Fishing

Hey folks, Glenn May here with Today, the wind kinda blew us off the main
lake so I wanted to talk to you about different lines and choosing the different line types
for various kinds of bass fishing. So, it really makes a big difference in your
success because line, it determines your feel on the baits you use, it determines their
presentation. And of course, it matters in whether or not
you actually catch the fish hooksets, get them in a boat, you can lose fish, you could
break line off. So, it’s really critical that you choose the
right kind of line for the technique that you’re using. So today, I wanna walk you through the various
types of lines and how to use them. Anglers used lines spun from dacron, cotton,
and other natural fibers until the late 1950s. That’s when DuPont introduced the first nylon
monofilament fishing line. Soon, other manufacturers introduced their
versions and monofilament became the clear choice for bass anglers for several decades. Now, while monofilament stretch and lack of
abrasion resistance, when compared to other types of materials of today, has caused its
popularity to wane, I still use it it one key situation. And that key situation is topwater fishing. Monofilament really does well for top waters
for several reasons. First of all, monofilament, it floats. So, when you’re using a topwater it’s not
gonna drag that bait down. But even better, this is what happens with
bass anglers and I’m guilty as well. When that bass blows up on that lure, you
wanna set the hook really hard and right away. Sometimes, you jerk that lure away too quick
and the bass doesn’t get hooked. Well, monofilament has that stretch to it
and so it gives that fish a little more time to grasp on to that lure before you jerk it
away from and you can set the hook better. The other piece of monofilament is that typically
with topwater baits like jerk baits, zara spooks, things like that, poppers. They have small treble hooks and this real
thin wire treble hooks. That monofilament, that stretch is what you
need in that. Once you hook that fish and you’re fighting
back to the boat, it’s gonna have that give, little springy feel to it to prevent that
fish from throwing that hook or straightening it out or worse yet, breaking the line off. So, that’s why I like monofilament for topwater. The next line I like is fluorocarbon and that’s
for a lot reasons. Bass anglers like fluorocarbon universally. It’s for good reason. Fluorocarbon is more abrasion resistant than
monofilament. It can handle up to tougher conditions for
that reason. It’s more sensitive than monofilament at it
has less stretch than monofilament. So, this is kind of a universal line that
you can use for a variety of situations. I like to use it for crank baiting especially. It’s got that sensitivity, it sinks, that’s
another characteristic of fluorocarbon. It’s not…don’t think of it as, like, a weighted
line like you would think in fly fishing but it doesn’t float like monofilament. It does sink because it’s denser. That helps when you’re crankbaiting because
it helps give that crankbait down to where that depth you want it to be. It has that sensitivity to it so you can feel
those subtle bites. It’s perfect for fishing. Say, finesse lures, that sort of thing. Thin line because that’s nice, thin, sensitive
line that it’s got. It’s a sensitive touch. You can keep that bait down on the bottom. You don’t have this big bow on the line as
a result from lines that are more buoyant. For me, fluorocarbon really shines when you’re
fishing Texas rigs and plastic worms and that sort of thing in cover. You can, you know, not heavy cover but lighter
cover. Sparse cover where the water is really clear
because fluorocarbon is…it has a refraction to it. It’s not invisible but it’s less visible in
water than other types of lines. So, that makes it perfect for finesse fishing
in clear water and fishing Texas rigs and sparse vegetation where visibility could be
an issue. Fluorocarbon really helps keep that visibility
down. You’re gonna get more bites as a result. The other kind of line is braid. This has really risen in popularity lately. My personal feeling is I think braid…people
use braid a little too much. Let me tell you how I use it. Now with braid, it’s great for fishing vegetation
and it’s great for fishing, flipping and pitching, to heavy cover because braid is, like, brute
strength. It’s very abrasion resistant. The suppleness of it nowadays is very similar
to what monofilament used to be. If, you know, than other lines because it
used to be really wiry back in the day. But now, it’s really good for a variety of
situations because of that. It’s also got that line sensitivity. It doesn’t have any stretch to it so you have
a lot of sensitivity to it. That no-stretch is a factor when you’re fishing
lures with really big hooks. Say, jigs, for example. With that big 4/0 or 5/0 hook in it. For that reason, I like to use, like, 50-pound
braid for flipping and pitching and in heavy cover, I’ll use 50 or even higher braid when
I’m punching into heavy vegetation trying to get that lure right down through that cover,
matted weeds, matted hydrilla, matted milfoil, that type of thing. That braid really shines in those situations. What braid doesn’t work well for, in my opinion,
is things like crankbait fishing. I know a lot of people like to use that because
they like the sensitivity but braid doesn’t have any give to it. If you’re fishing lures with thin wire hooks,
you might as well kiss that fish goodbye if you hook them because that line has no give
to it. You’ll just rip those hooks right out of his
face. So, that’s why I like to use, like I said
before, fluorocarbon for that situation. Braid is not a universal catch-all even if
you use leader. Hey, oh, gee, I’ll use that much leader on
my line then I can just crank baits. No, the rest of your line is braid. You don’t have that give. You need the give the whole length of that
line because that little bit isn’t gonna make a difference as far as that stretch. So, you need to use fluorocarbon for lures
that have that lighter line. The braid is better for that thicker, thicker
hooks. Because you can set the hook, you get that
power behind it and you can get that in…get that fish in, you’re not gonna lose them. So, braid is really good for me for flipping
and pitching and punching, and that in heavy cover, in that sort of situations. Otherwise, I don’t use braid. Now, another type of line that’s out there
is called superline. Now, you may not have heard of this term before
unless you’re getting long in the tooth like me. Superline, that term came out in the mid-90s. I believe it’s FireLine that came out first
with it. What that is it’s not…it’s not a braid. It’s actually fused Micro Dyneema fiber. That makes an actual fiber line and that is…it
makes it really slick and really strong and durable. That makes it great for casting long distances. It glides right through your line, through
your line guides really well, really smooth. I can get that cast way out there and I can
still get that sensitivity that braid has because it’s similar to braid. It doesn’t…it’s got that sensitivity and
it does’t have a whole lot of stretch. I find it’s really good for using jerk baits
in cold water because of two reasons. Number one, yeah. Oh, actually more than two reasons. Number one, you got that long cast. That’s what you want when you’re out there
jerk bait fishing in cold water. Long, long casting, fan casting covering areas. FireLine floats on the water so it’s not gonna
impede the action of that jerk bait. Because of that it’s low-stretch, you get
that long cast out there. If a fish nails it right away then, you set
the hook, you’ve got that power. It’s not gonna stretch, you’re not gonna lose
any power on the hookset which is what you’re gonna need on those long casts. FireLine, because of the nature and the way
it is, it doesn’t impede the way the jerkbait action is with a lot of other lines may do. So, for example, flourocarbon, like I said,
it sinks. It’ll actually pull down. If you’re using a suspending jerk bait, flourocarbon
will actually help bring it down and won’t suspend very well. So, a monofilament floats and it’ll bring
it up. So, it affects the way, like I said before,
types of line can affect your presentation. You’ve gotta think about that. What you want that lure to do and then what
does that line do. That’s gonna help you get the best presentation
and catch the most fish and it’s gonna up your catch ratio. So, a couple of things I wanna talk about
is choosing…well, first of all line care and then also, what pound test do you use
for different situations. Line care is pretty straightforward and simple. Keep it in a cool, dark place. I like to keep it stored in the garage. Obviously, when we’re fishing we can’t do
that. But when you’re out there fishing, if you
got 10 rods on the deck, put some away because it’s the elements. It’s the rain, it’s the wind, especially the
sun is what causes that line to break down. If you’ve got all these rods on the deck,
you’re not using them all. You’re only using the one in your hand. Put those rods away because they’re being
exposed to that sun and that line sitting on your reel is gonna deteriorate. So, that’s one way to make your line last
longer but keeping it stored properly is the other. So, let’s talk a little bit about pound test
line and how to choose the different pound tests. Generally speaking, it’s the dirtier the water
gets, the thicker the hook or the heavier the lure is and also, the thicker the cover
that you’re fishing, your pound test will go up as that goes along. So, let’s say for example, your fishing in
really clear water, you’re fishing in 20-feet deep or 15-feet deep and it’s clear water,
you wanna use light line. Real thin line, 6-pound test, 8-pound test. If you’re going out, it gets dirtier and now
you only have, say, 6 feet of visibility, 4 feet of visibility, then you go up to maybe
15-pound test and so on. [inaudible 00:09:45] it’s really muddy, you
can get away with a lot higher test pound test. If you’re throwing into heavier cover, again,
this is why I talked about flipping and pitching with braid. I am looking at 40, 50, 65-pound braid is
what I like to use. 30-pound FireLine is great for flipping in
a cover that’s kinda medium. In my opinion, you know, it’s not super sparse,
it’s not super thick and heavy, like, if I’m throwing in timber and heavy cover but a lot
of bushes and brush that you come alongside…along the lake, 30-pound braid is really good for
that. It’s when you get to that heavy stuff when
you’re punching and you’re…it’s dirty water. It’s muddy and you’re throwing in to the heavy
weeds and lots of wood and stuff, then you can look in a 50-pound or higher braid. So, yeah, lots of line choices. Lots of different types of line, different
pound test, different brands. You know, what if I just don’t have that kind
of budget to get all that? I mean, that’s a lot to choose from and that’s
a…gets expensive. So, let me give you one last tip. If I were to choose sort of a universal, you
know, an adjustable wrench if you…well, the Swiss Army knife of lines that I can use
in a variety of situations, that’ll be 15-pound flourocarbon. You can use that for throwing light lures,
you can use it for crankbaiting, you can throw a spinnerbait with chatterbaits, you can throw
topwater with it. You know, none of it is gonna perform perfect. You know, if you were to use monofilament
for topwater, for example, versus flourocarbon. But if you’re on a budget, flourocarbon does
a good job. It’ll work. It’ll do okay. Same thing, you can use it to fish jigs and
worms and in cover. You know, just the 15-pound test. I wouldn’t throw it into heavy cover because
you might break off if you’re trying to get a heavy fish out of that but it’s universal. I’ve got probably 15-pound test on more reels
than I do the other types of line because the other kinds are more specialized. My finesse setups is only couple of spinning
reels that I have. I’ve only got two flipping and punching setups,
for example. I’ve got 12, 15 rods in the boat. The rest of it is flourocarbon in various
pounds, pound test, and 15 is probably the most common. So, hope all of those tips help. That’s a lot to take in but I’m hoping I was
saving you a little bit of money. I hope I can help you increase a lot more
fish that you catch this year. For more tips and tricks, visit

100 comments on “Choosing Fishing Line: Monofilament vs Braid vs Fluorocarbon | Bass Fishing

  1. Mono for top water OK will restring that reel today as I use both fluor and even braid with fluor leader.. Use 17-20 lb Fluorocarbon a lot. Really use braid a lot on frogs and heavy cover. up to 65 lb..and Carolina rig with fluor leader. Super line?? Will get some for winter and early spring jerk bait time. Be throwing a top water frog in the last [email protected]:30 Thx for the info as always great stuff.

  2. Wow! That is a great video. Lots of great information about line type and choices. My husband normally keeps up with the line and maintenance of our rods and reels, but I am learning about bass fishing. Thanks so much for all of the great info about the different lines, and line choices!

  3. i love the flurocoated co polymer best of both worlds. good information about superline though. Love the information I learn something new everyday and bass resource is a big reason why!

  4. Wow thanks for all the info I am new to fishing so I did not know why you would use these different types of line, and the types of poundage. Also I never knew that fire line was even a thing. Again thanks for all the awesome info in this video

  5. Glen enjoyed the video, I dont use fire line, but I'll have to try it when jerk bait fishing. Appreciate also bringing up the budget aspect of fishing line. I guess for the average fisherman on a budget would probably be better for them to use line that can be used for most conditions. It can be easy to get lost in all the info that applies to fishing line used in certain conditions.

  6. What about copolymer line? You've recommended it other videos. What techniques are best suited for copolymer line? How well does it hold up in the elements?

  7. Great information. I've recently been testing out braid main line to fluorocarbon or monofilament leader (depending on application). And then if i'm going heavy cover or switching to a frog, I can just snip off the leader and go straight braid. Thanks again BR!

  8. Thanks for the video I watch them all.
    I would like to let you know that recently people have done test on things like,what's more abrasion resistant,and the results do not match what the companies claim.
    Or what you (like most of us) believe,I suggest you YouTube (abrasion resistant test,mono,vs braid.)
    maybe even try yourself,I was a little disturbed by there results,and my own.
    I only recommend this because I don't believe you would have made the same statement's with this knowledge.
    Keep up the great videos and again thanks.

  9. Strange how most people tend to omit copolymer, but it's been my go-to for nearly 22 years. Braid would be my #2, but will definitely have to try out a superline product this autumn. Appreciate the overview Glenn!

  10. I use braided line almost exclusively. I have the least amount of problems with it. I may have to just get me some mono for fishing topwater though. Don't care much for it, but if it helps with hook ups, then I'll deal with the issues I have with it. I do use flouro for Texas rigs, spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Not sure why it wasn't mentioned, but I also use copoly line as a leader on my spinning setup. It's kinda the best of both flouro and mono. It's less visible than mono, it has the lesser stretch factor like flouro, it's also a little less buoyant than mono and it's more abrasion resistant than mono. I do want to check out the new Fire Line 8 carrier superline to see if it's any better than Sufix 832 superline that I currently use. Thanks for the informative video Glen, keep up the good work and we'll see you on the forums!

  11. Great video Glenn But what about Copolymer? I use Silver Thread AN40 on a couple of finesse baitcasters and several spinning set ups. On the spinning reels I rarely get line twist with it and it’s thin yet strong.

  12. Awesome video lots of helpful information really like the on a budget part I am always on a budget and I never gave any consideration to pairing the line size to water clarity.

  13. Good advice, I used to use braided line for everything but the more research I put int different types of line the more I realize that that there is no one universal line for everything. My everything rod now has flouorocarbon on it and I have other setups with monofilament or braided line for different situations.

  14. Thanks for the tips Glenn. To compensate for braids lack of stretch what about lowering the power of the rod? So instead of using a heavy power rod using a med-heavy rod? I fish spinning rods & reels and have not found a fluorocarbon that casts well in the 12 – 15 pound range.

  15. On my 2 reels (spinning) I have 10lb mono due to my budget. Excellent video, when my budget gets better I'm gonna get some flurocarbon and a baitcaster bc I want to get a baitcaster again but once again the budget is reason for getting spinning gear

  16. due to lack of room on the boat, and lack of benjamins in the wallet I only have 4 rods….2 spinning and 2 baitcasting. I run 20 lb braid with a 10 foot 10 pound fluorocarbon leader. on the bait casters I use 40lb braid and 12lb mono10 ft leader. it works ok for me.

  17. I agree that those who claim they are using mono leaders on braid for the added stretch are only fooling themselves. It will not make a difference over such a short length. However there are valid reasons to use braid with leaders.

  18. You did a good job, I think, in explaining the lines. However, one question I have is "What lake or area are most of your teaching videos filmed around"??

  19. Thanks Gene for your perspective on this line. Always enjoy your Commentary and videos . You have a lot to share . Thant being said I keep it simple, some following what you have mentioned here.
    I utilize braid on all my reels with top shots of 9 to 12 feet of either Mono or Fluorocarbon. Depending on what i'm throwing. Anything that sinks is going to have flouro and anything that floats is going to have mono. I feel that with that much leader of either is enough to utilize its stretching capabilities. This also saves me on having to change out a whole reel filled with either mono or flouro. Of course on clearer lakes I try to use as much flouro. as possible for it's invisibility but if i must use mono , then i'll down line size as much as possible as well as change my rod to accommodate the fight with for instance , heavy to medium and etc. All that primarily because I do have braid under it all. Yes even my drop shot or any finesse spinning set up. About the only thing I don't use braid is on my crank bait reels, where I use all flouro. This of course is just how I do it all . One thing that I have learned through hearing peoples advice is always listen to what one as to say and if what that person has offered works for you , great and if not, there always seems to be something in what that person offered that you can use in your technique that will make you better in something you do. So is why I do see and appreciate your videos and commentary's. Lord knows I don't know it all and every little lesson learned is being educated. I will have to look into that super line mentioned. Sounds interesting. Note; This has to be the most I've ever responded to an article and not trying to win anything , but just felt i was given a chance to share.
    Take care , God Bless and many tight lines, always. Thank you . PS, Copolymer I use as well. I treat it as mono.

  20. Great job, Glen, of explaining the different types of lines and when to fish them! It gets complicated as well as expensive trying to figure out what’s needed for which application. I appreciate the tip on fluorocarbon as a good all around choice for those of us who are on a budget. Thanks again!

  21. I tend to use a braid mainline to 6ft leaders Mono, florocarbon, and copolermer. I feel like a longer leader can almost adjust my hook set a little. I have horrible hookset discipline.

  22. Nice information. I have had issues with florocarbon as well as braid breaking off at the lure as well as loosing lures due to abrasions. Tried all of the tips, all of the different knots, been fishing mono many years and that is where I am staying personally. Thanks for the info.

  23. I heard copolymer was a good affordable universal line, can you make a video on copolymer line. Thanks for making line choice less confusing.

  24. Wholly agree on the mono for topwater approach. I also use it as a leader for braid just so I get a little stretch over the 5' of leader cause I have a tendency to try to set the hook too quickly, but still while in heavy stuff


  26. Thanks for the line analysis, appreciate it. Yo-Zuri clear hybrid line has become my personal all purpose line for everything except topwater. For that I use Sufix clear mono, which I have found to have very little, if any, memory. That gives mono such a bad rap & deservedly so. Both of these are super strong and don't require the constant attention to knot perfection, knicks & abrasions that flouro does. P-line tho is my personnel preference. Each angler has to figure it out based on the lakes and structures fished.

  27. I have had good luck with braid for most things but mono does have its place. I use mono on my spinning reel and as a leader for carolina rigs. I asked you a question about copolymer line a couple of months ago, which brand you liked. You answered me but I didn't write it down. Big mistake. So what brand of copolymer do you use?

  28. I agree with you Top water defiantly need Mono! I have heard others mention braid to leader but if you have a rod for topwater , keep it simple, use straight mono for full stretch and feel.

  29. I started using braid backing on all my reels, all my spinning reels are braid to leader, my jerk bait and topwater are 30lb braid to 12-17lb mono and my hook up ratio is excellent. Just have to be sure of the rod setup you choose

  30. Since im in middle school and on a udget i use straight mono and use it for everything and it works fine 6# for crappie 10# on my 6'6 medium and 12# on my 6"6 medium heavy

  31. Great Video and points .Thanks. An important factor for me with all lines is setting the drag on the reel, I tend to use braid for all my lure fishing but always set the drag accordingly. When I am not fishing for things with sharp teeth I use fluorocarbon between the braid and lure.

  32. Ok, so I'm a dinosaur, but I find myself going back to what I know, what I grew up with, which is monofilament. Fluorocarbon is way overpriced, and braid is problematic for the reasons Glenn states, and a few others in my opinion. Having said all that, I prefer braid with mono/fluoro leader for T-rigged soft plastics. But most of the time I prefer good old mono for value and versatility.

  33. I've personally seen the success of switching from braid to heavy mono and flouro in clear water flipping. I went from 2 fish to a 12 fish on the same stretch.

  34. Fluorocarbon is overpriced junk. Save your money. Mono has been catching bass for years. Braid for frogging and punching. Other than that. Mono all the way. Cheaper and cast better.

  35. I use spiderwire been using for years ever since i was a kid my dad always had spiderwire its harder to break my question is should i use the braided spiderwire or mono. For chatterbaits .. I also use my dad's old ugly stick rod im tryin to keep it as a heirloom to passdown through generations

  36. All opinion based on hiw a person throws, retrieves, sets hook, and location. In my experience gear makes no difference. None. If you fish the right location and in the right conditions with a good presentation you're going to catch fish. Making fishing in to a rocket science in my opinion is asenine. It's fishing. We've been catching fish for thousands of years. And we can still catch them with a hemp or reed string tied to a stick with a worm on a twig for a hook.

  37. I think I will just use fire line. I am trying to get a pole that does it all. So most versatile line, gear ratio, pole action, etc.

  38. Nice insightful video but I will stick with zebco omniflex 10lb test that stuff is Paramount to all these expensive lines mentioned.

  39. i fish off a bridge and it's in salt water but i want a good line so i was told to get braided but you said don't use braid unless i'm using big hooks

  40. I use a fluoro leader on braid for pretty much everything except topwater lures, which I tie directly onto the braid.

  41. Funny that David Frits who revolutionized crank baiting in the 80’s and 90’s now cranks with braided line 100% of the time. Research that and give me your theory as to how he is wrong. Tim and Matt of Tactical Bassin also use braid crainking 100% as well as far as I know. (Matt definitely does 100%, not positive if Tim changes in some situations.)Just food for thought as I struggle with going to braid and leader 100% of the time for all applications and presentations.

  42. I lose less fish with mono… basically the stretch helps dampen the rod, which keeps a more solid/ consistent pull on the hook… I do like braid for the knots I can tie to leader

  43. Mono definitely has its uses- I like to throw jerkbaits but, I can't afford one of these specially tuned jerkbait rods so- I use mono to help soften the rod I have a bit and get it to load up at least some- without ripping the hooks out. I still lose more fish than I should but- it helps. I plan on getting a jerkbait rod next month- in time for fall. It gets ridiculous- you need a rod for Texas and Carolina rigging maybe jiggin in lighter cover- a setup for pitching and flipping heavy cover, a setup for frogs, a setup for crankbaits, and a setup for jerkbaits- five separate setups all running at least 200-300 apiece- and then you can start spending the real money on the baits you plan to throw with them and a boat to throw them from.

  44. I like mono on all treble hooks exception is jer baits I like copolly it's has some stretch but not as much
    Floro or Co poll on single hook moving baits or when fish line shy
    And finesse situation
    Braid for bottom contact if water is under 2 ft visibility and in frogging

  45. I use braid for everything ! And also fluorocarbon I’ve never like mono personally but all my friends use it

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