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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