Braided fishing line has been around for a while now. Almost every major fishing line manufacturer makes not just one kind but several different kinds of braided fishing line. There are several things that all of the braided lines on the market have in common. They all have a smaller diameter then mono line of the same strength. Unlike monofilament, braided lines do not stretch. Most braided lines are offered in a variety of colors ranging from high visibility colors such as yellow or red to something less visible such as black or green. A few brands have come out with multiple colors on the same spool even.
Braided fishing line can be used for many applications. The lack of stretch seems to aid in transmitting the feel of the bottom or bites when used in drifting applications. The lack of stretch also helps in hook sets when large amounts of line separate the rod from the lure of choice. The smaller diameter creates less drag, which could potentially be helpful in trolling or when running plugs off the end of your boat. Many people claim that braided line is much more resistant to abrasion then monofilament. I don’t believe this is exactly true. While I do agree that it has excellent abrasion resistance, my experience using it off coastal rocks and jetties shows that it will shred as easily as mono. I believe it has gotten the reputation as being more abrasion resistant then mono simply because often times your using braided line rated for 30lbs and mono line rated at 8lbs. So, of course it will take more to break the braided line then the mono. Generally speaking though, it is not something to be overly concerned about. Another popular feature of braided line is that most of it floats much better then mono making it popular with bobber fisherman. Perhaps the Achilles tendon of the braided line is freezing temperatures. When it gets below freezing braided line becomes inflexible. Casting it becomes next to impossible. Where as mono will remain flexible. Additionally, I don’t like to use braided line when the water is low and clear. I prefer to use something like Berkley’s Transoptic fishing line. Whether or not the fish can see the line, I don’t know. I know that I don’t have confidence in braided lines in low clear water. As we all know if you’re not confident in what you’re using your success rate goes way down.
Below is a list of a few of the braided lines I have used recently. Some of them did things better then others, so if it was good, bad or even ugly I noted it.
Berkley has a total of nine different braided lines available for you to use in multiple colors. I used the original and found it to be at the stiffer then its competitors, and better suited for a casting reel then a spinning reel. It didn’t seem to do any one style of fishing better then any other. It would be a good choice for someone who uses the same rod/reel for spinners, drift fishing, and bobber fishing. I have read reports that the fused style of lines are more prone to tip wrap. It did not seem to be as smooth to cast as the other lines mentioned in this review. I noticed a reduced casting difference when compared to mono or even other braids.
P-Line Hydro Float
This braided line was made for float fishing. It floats really well, and makes mending a snap. As it floats so well it would not be a good choice for anything other then a dedicated bobber set-up. In doing some research on-line, I came up with many bad reviews. Most of the reviews centered on the yellow coating peeling off when tying knots or adjusting your bobber stops. I could not find a person though who lost a fish due directly to the line breaking. It made me a little nervous to buy it. Being the independent person I am, I bought it anyway and gave it a try this season. I successfully fished it for two months, and caught a handful of fish. I never lost a fish on it, and it never broke. I did however have the yellow coating peel up to revel some fibers that looked a lot like cotton. This normally happened when I would forget to lube a knot or I would pinch a split shot on below my bobber and try to adjust the splitshot before loosening it. I never did loose any of the coating from adjusting my bobber stop. However, I did have some occasional tip wrap. Between that and the coating peeling up, I switched it out. It just made me nervous. With all the money and time we spend chasing salmonoids the last thing I want to do is lose one because of an equipment issue I could have prevented. If not for the coating issue, I would still be happily using it though.
Power Pro maybe one of the most well known braided lines on the market. It has a variety of colors and line strengths. It is also one of the toughest and limpest lines on the market. It floats reasonably well, and is equal to Berkley Fireline in that respect. The variety of colors also makes it a possible choice for drift fishing. I had two main problems with Power Pro however. I experienced the most tip wrap out of any line I have ever fished. The problem with tip wrap and braided line is that if a fish hits while your line is wrapped around the tip, the braided line can easily cut through the eye or even the rod blank itself. The other issue I had with Power Pro was that it tended to “dig in” to itself more then the other braids. Meaning when breaking off a snag or fighting a hot fish the line on the spool would go under itself. This causes bad casts in spinning reels. In casting reels, this can be a real headache and cause some pretty gruesome birds nests.
Tuf Line Duracast
I replaced my P Line Hydrofloat with Tuf Line Duracast. I found the Tuf Line to have a slightly thicker diameter then the other braided lines. Still though it was much smaller then the equivalent pound of mono fishing line. It also only comes in two colors. I don’t know where to start with the praise of this fishing line. I started off using it on my bobber rig. It casts as smooth as any line I have ever used, and it mends very easily. The thing I like best about this line is the lack of tip wraps! I didn’t have a single tip wrap the first day I used it. After bobber fishing with it on one trip I wanted to see how it would work for drift fishing. The next trip went flawlessly. It seemed to take a little bit more weight to sink, but it worked really well. A person could definitely use this for drift fishing and bobber fishing. I also did not have any problems with digging in or loops on the reel like some of the other limper braids, such as Power Pro, seem to experience. Tuf Line Duracast will be my line of choice whenever I want to use braided fishing line.
I don’t think any review of braided line would be complete without mentioning a few things. Braided line will cut your skin. Please do yourself a favor and if you get snagged, do not wrap the line around your hand or arm. I have the scars to prove that it doesn’t take much of a pull for it to slice you.