I’m sure most of you understand the difference between braided and mono/fluorocarbon. But if you’re on the fence about what to use, understand that I went through a challenging period of comparing braid and mono/fluorocarbon. All three provide advantages and each has a time and place to shine. But in recent years, I’ve found myself stacked on the side of braid for the following reasons:
Braid: Power And Control
If you’re looking for a feeling of power and control, braid is a winner. I use a 10lb braided mainline ( Sufix), usually, when fishing larger trout species in Northern California. But even having that 30-40 lb braid on a medium heavy rod when fishing heavy cover, for example, allows you to feel in control of a larger fish due to the braid’s ability to remain static.
Better Hook Sets
Having this lack of stretch gives you the advantage of delivering a better hook set. Having used braid now for most applications, including fishing the rocky, ocean coast of NorCal, I notice a stark difference in my hook sets when going back temporarily to Mono or Fluorocarbon. My main application, and where I find the strongest advantage, is its ability to cut through kelp in salt water and /or tear through someone else’s snagged line. The same goes for flipping into heavy cover.
Braid: No line Memory
Braid has very little to no line memory. This allows an easier transfer of line from real to real and less chance of rats nesting, allowing for smoother casting.
Further Casting Distance
Braid provides a smaller diameter, thus allowing you to cast further. I enjoy using it in the dead of winter when I need to cast into open water where I’ll need distance and extra sensitivity to pick up on fainter bites.
In summary, Braid is my go-to. My current setup for coastal rockfish, delta bass, and bay striper, is a 65 lb braided main line to a barrel swivel followed by a 40 lb fluorocarbon leader. For trout, I just scale it down to 10 lb. braid to 10 lb leader, and flipping soft plastics for bass – 25-30 lb. straight braid.