Why Use Monofilament?
With so many options on the market, choosing the best fishing line can seem a bit overwhelming. But it is actually a simple matter of finding a line with performance characteristics that fit your style of fishing.
What Is Mono?
As its name implies, monofilament fishing line—or “mono” for short—is a single strand of material, as opposed to multi-filament lines, which are strung from multiple strands that are fused, braided or bundled together.
Monofilament can be extruded from different materials, but nylon is by far the most common and popular medium. Often, different varieties of nylon are blended together to produce varying degrees of stretch, strength, abrasion resistance and other important attributes.
Benefits of Mono
Stretch - Mono stretches more than superlines and more easily than fluorocarbon, which gives it a forgiveness factor other lines cannot match. If your drag sticks or you set the hook too hard, mono compensates by stretching up to 25 percent or more. By stretching under pressure, mono also helps prevent your hook from tearing a hole in a fish’s mouth, which can make it easier for the fish to come unbuttoned. This is a factor both on the hookset and during the fight, especially when you are dealing with big fish in close quarters.
Sink Rate - Thanks to its near-neutral buoyancy, mono sinks slowly, making it a great choice for topwater lures and suspended subsurface presentations where you do not want to accelerate the bait’s downward movement.
Shock Strength - Nylon mono rules this category. Stretch should not be confused with shock strength, which is a fishing line’s ability to absorb energy—and an equally important consideration. Shock strength comes into play when your line has to withstand the sudden impact of a hard hookset or a big fish thrashing violently at boatside.
Color Palette - Mono is easier for manufacturers to tint than other types of line, so it is available in a wider range of colors. You can choose from stealthy, low-visibility options such as green, blue or clear—or spin the color wheel the opposite direction and spool with high-vis shades perfect for line-watching presentations. Some monos, like Berkley Trilene TransOptic, offer the best of both worlds by changing color from bright gold in sunlight to low-vis clear below the surface.
Ease of Use - If ease of use if your main concern, mono is the best fishing line thanks to a combination of manageability, stretch, easy knot tying and other fishing-friendly features. This makes it a great choice for everyone from first-time anglers looking to simplify their presentation or seasoned veterans utilizing the line’s characteristics for specific techniques.
Tying The Knot - Mono is knot-friendly. You can use a variety of strong, easy-to-tie knots without sacrificing the strength of the line. In fact, a Trilene Knot or Palomar Knot offers nearly 100 percent knot strength when tied with premium mono.
Affordability - Mono is the most affordable of all line choices. Considering the critical role that line plays in your quest to catch fish—it ranks among the sport’s best investments.
Sensitivity - Because mono stretches is not overly sensitive. If you need to detect ultra-light bites, discern subtle changes in bottom composition or feel what your lure is doing at all times—especially at long distances—a superline or fluorocarbon is a better choice.
Lower Tensile Strength - Which means it has a thicker diameter at a given break strength. This can be a benefit in slowing sink rate, but it also means lures will not run as deep on mono as superline or fluoro.
UV Light - Although it may take hundreds of hours to incur appreciable damage, prolonged exposure to UV Light can weaken mono. We recommend changing nylon monofilament lines at least once a year.
As with other types of line, monos are designed for specific performance characteristics. Here are a few top picks to consider when choosing the best fishing line for your particular needs:
- Berkley Trilene XL—More manageable and is a great all-around choice for general fishing away from line-abrading snags.
- Berkley Trilene XT—An abrasion-resistant workhorse ideal for fishing in and around rocks or cover.
- Berkley Big Game—Offers excellent shock strength and is built for battling trophy catfish, pike, muskies, bass and other big fish.
- Berkley Trilene Sensation—Extremely strong for its diameter, yet also sensitive and manageable, offering professional-grade performance in a monofilament package.