Ever since braid fishing line became popular, there’s been an argument raging between anglers as to which is the right choice: monofilament, or braid. There are plenty of variables that come into play, but we can boil them down into one general rule of thumb. Wondering which is the best choice? Click, and find out.


As we said, there are exceptions. Aside from topwater plugs and the abrasion issue, some anglers also shy away from braid because it can cut into your skin. Merely swinging a fish over the side of the boat can, at times, be enough to slice into a finger or palm. Plus, using braid requires a different skill-set when it comes to knots. That old fisherman’s knot simply won’t hold; instead, you need to tie a Palomar. And if you’re fishing in an area where snags and break-offs are common, using a high pound-test braid is problematic because sometimes you get snagged and simply can’t break it off.

On the flip side, there are times when using monofilament isn’t even a realistic option. Due to that stretch, the sensitivity lost over great distances is huge. So if you’re deep-dropping for a species like golden tilefish, which commonly lives 600’ to 800’ deep, you’ll never know if you have a bite with monofilament line. With braid, however, you can feel a one-pound baby nibbling at your bait from all the way down there.

Wait a sec—most of us fish with both bait, and lures. We might cast topwater one day, and switch to jigs the next. And we might fish shallow this weekend, and deep the next. From trip to trip, the better line choice often changes. So which should we put on our reel? The answer is simple: you need two sets of gear. One gets spooled with monofilament, and the other one gets spooled with braid. Congratulations—you now have a perfectly valid reason to go out and buy some new rods and reels.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.