Braid is an awesome invention for us anglers, because its reduced diameter per pound-test makes it possible to increase spool capacities by 40 to 50 percent, while its no-stretch characteristics make it possible to fish deep yet maintain incredible sensitivity and hook-setting power. But there are dozens of brands out there… so how are we supposed to know which is best?
NEWS FLASH: all of those different brands are made from one of two materials, Spectra (made by Honeywell) or Dyneema (made by a company in the Netherlands called DSM), and these materials are so incredibly similar that they’re known in the industry as “sister” lines. Both are made from gel-spun polyethylene. Both offer the same characteristics, and both cost about the same. So, what’s the difference? There really isn’t any. Some lines claim to be rounder then others but that aside, it’s all more or less the same stuff. (Note – don’t confuse braid with “fused” lines, which are heated to fuse some of the fibers together. These lines are more abrasion-resistant then braids, but are also stiff, tough to cast, and tougher to knot.)
In other words, don’t knock yourself out stressing over whether to buy brand X over brand Y because you won’t be able to tell a heck of a lot of difference between them. Choose according to diameter, pound test, and color as you like, of course, but branding is far less important. You don’t believe it? Fine. Spool up two identical rigs with identical sizes and different brands, then fish them for a couple of seasons – which I’ve already done. Real-world experience backs up the research; the best braid is simply the one that’s filling your fishing reel’s spool.