Gear, Trout

Mono vs Braid

One question that comes up a lot is what is the best kind of mainline?  Is it mono or braid?

The reality is no one line is a perfect one size fits all solution.  In some situations mono is the best choice, while others it is braid.

Lets go over the properties of the different line types:


  • Has some stretch to it.  This stretch is more pronounced in lighter line than heavier line.
  • Has have line memory.  Meaning when it comes off the spool – especially if it was tightly wound and has been on the spool for a while – it will have curls in it.
  • Susceptible to line twist.  This is where the line gets spun on it’s axis – either due to lures or the way a spinning reel works.    This is manifested as a twist in the line that forms a little loop.
  • Line has some limpness
  • Translucent


  • No stretch
  • No line memory
  • No line twist
  • Limp.  Meaning it bends really easily.
  • Small diameter
  • Not transparent.
  • Not all knots work with it.
  • Tangles often can be resolved by “pulling it out”

I’ll admit up front – I’m a fan of braid, especially PowerPro brand.

Being a fan it is really easy for me to think of situations where braid is nice to use.  Perhaps the best example is when doing downrigger trolling for trout at lakes where the fish are extremely boat shy.  In this situation one lets out 150+ feet of line, and then clips it into the downrigger clip.  Between the set back and drop on the downrigger you might have almost 200 feet of line out.

If using mono -then that bit of stretch can absorb a lot of the movement of the fish when it strikes.  Which then can make it very hard to tell if a fish is on the line – especially if there is a little bit of chop.

In this situation the non-stretch capability of braid is very helpful.  And the fact that you can really pack a lot of line on that reel is also nice for this.

For situations where one is doing cast and retrieve fishing, I find that many of the advantages of braid don’t come into play that much.  For this type of fishing I mostly use mono, because it helps me limit the amount of knots in the system – and knots are always weak points.

In the end, however, you should fish with the line which you are confident in and are comfortable fishing with.

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1 thought on “Mono vs Braid

  1. Hello I’m new to the site and, being the only WA site that was listed, I’ve been reading everything I can so far and agree with almost everything in this article. I started using braid (Fireline) years ago while living in Minnesota, used it alone as mainline, and was very impressed with the performance whether I was catching Sunny’s/Crappie, bass, cats, to even Walleye and Northern. (with a leader of course) A long 5-6 years later I finally replaced it with Power Pro after moving here to Thurston county. Even with the drastic change in lake/fish types I’ve had EXCELLENT results catching both Bass and Trout while casting my fav. BlueFox Vibrax spinner, including a number of 5lb+ Bass and an impressive 6lb rainbow last season that I had to bear hug to release it was so chunky!!! I’ve been on this spool for going on 3-4 years now but haven’t had any troubles surprisingly, be it knotting up or anything else. Only time the lines broke or I’ve lost a lure was when the snapswivel would pull apart while snagged up, now I just tieto the lure and I can pull logs out before the line snaps (or the treble hook unbends lol, I use 20lb test) I’ve even cut off a length from the reel when it was all I had and used it as leader material for still fishing with Power Bait with no problems. Always hear many people say they won’t use it because of the visibility factor, but honestly, I haven’t found a single downside to it yet. Maybe I was just lucky and ended up getting the best quality since I noticed you listed both I’ve tried as your top choices, and, I bought SpiderWire as a kid cuz of the cool spider on the box and realized that was the best thing about that product lmao. Anyways keep up the great work, I’m getting ready to go test your winter rainbow tips I read last night and put em to the test!! If I get skunked I’m blaming it all on that article…. j/k

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