In their search for the best fishing line, many anglers have discovered the benefits of amazingly thin, super-strong superlines.
Berkley-branded lines are made from the highest grade Dyneema™ in the industry, a gel-spun polyethylene that is 15 times stronger than steel by weight. As a result, Berkley superlines offer zero stretch at typical fishing loads, plus low memory and, thanks to incredibly high tensile strength, remarkably thin line diameters.
Rod selection is important with any fishing line, and superline is no exception. Unless you need to horse big fish out of nasty cover, fast, choosing a softer action rod when fishing superline will help avoid tearing the hooks out of the fish’s mouth, or breaking fluoro or monofilament leaders.
Manufacturers use a variety of techniques to join Dyneema fibers to form polyethylene fishing line. For example, Berkley FireLine is thermally bonded into a tough, smooth-casting line; Berkley Trilene Braid is woven into an extremely strong braid through a proprietary method giving it the very best radial construction; and Berkley NanoFil is molecularly linked to form a unifilament that’s thinner and stronger than any other superline.
Sensitivity—Thanks to its zero stretch, superline transmits information from your lure better than any other type of fishing line. You can feel light bites, when your lure ticks bottom, and tell if weeds or other debris has fouled your presentation.
Thin Diameter—This is undeniably the best fishing line in terms of tensile strength, which refers to breakload per diameter. Since a 30-pound superline may have the same diameter as 12-pound premium nylon monofilament, you can downsize diameter without sacrificing strength. Alternately, you may also choose to put the odds in your favor by using a heavier pound line without sacrificing your ability to cast long distances.
Thinner line diameter offers multiple benefits. Because there’s less drag in the water, it allows lures like crankbaits to run deeper on the same breakstrength superline as mono, with less letback. This also allows medium-diving lures to become deep runners, without the hard-to-reel resistance of an oversize lip—a key consideration during marathon casting sessions. This same principle of less drag also lends itself well to current applications as there is minimal resistance against the line allowing for more natural presentations. Second, super-thin fishing line allows a stealthier presentation when fish are finicky or inactive. Finally, thin lines fuel longer casts—and a thin, round superline like Berkley NanoFil casts a country mile, even with light lures. Longer casts also work in the shore anglers favor allowing virtually unreachable areas to be fished.
Fighting Abilities—Superline slices through vegetation like a knife, which is a big benefit when you’re hauling big bass and other trophy fish from heavy cover. Its zero stretch and amazing strength also help horse fish from harm’s way in a hurry.
Abrasion Resistance—Due to their exceptionally thin diameter, not all superlines stand up as well to abrasion. But some are exceptionally tough, such as Berkley FireLine and Trilene Braid.
Flotation—Unlike slow-sinking mono and fast-falling fluoro, superline floats. This makes it a great choice for topwater lures such as artificial frogs.
Shock Strength—Nylon monofilament offers superb shock strength, while fluorocarbon ranks in the middle and superlines have the poorest ability to absorb sudden impacts such as a hard hookset or violent headshake. The good news is, you can compensate by loosening your drag setting, using a softer rod, or adding a mono shock leader to the end of the mainline.
High Visibility—With the exception of translucent Berkley FireLine Fused Crystal, superlines lack the hard-to-see qualities of low-vis nylon monofilament and fluorocarbon. However, adding a mono or nearly invisible fluoro leader to superline mainline can provide the best of both worlds.
Knot Issues—Not every knot holds superline like they do monofilament. Trusted knots like the Palomar Knot work well, but it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. For connecting superline to leader material, a three-turn Surgeon’s Knot or uni to uni knot are great options.
Ease Of Use—Superline has very little to no spool memory and does not untwist like mono, which makes lines like NanoFil and FireLine fantastic for spinning reels. However, it’s not forgiving in terms of stretch or haphazard knot-tying, and when you get a backlash, it’s really a backlash. But by making adjustments such as loosening your drag, tempering your hooksets and tying carefully, superline is a great tool for presentations where strength and sensitivity are paramount.
Fading Out—Colored superlines suffered fading issues in the past, but improved manufacturing has helped many lines keep their color longer. Berkley is leading this charge utilizing research and testing to provide better color retention properties than ever before.
Berkley FireLine Fused Crystal—The best fishing line when you need the stealth of a translucent mainline (like mono) plus the benefits of superline.
Berkley FireLine Fused Original—Recent improvements have made this thermally fused powerhouse stronger, more abrasion resistant, smoother handling and longer casting. Ideal for spinning tackle.
Berkley NanoFil—The thinnest, strongest, longest-casting superline on the block. Perfect for a variety of presentations on spinning gear, especially when long-range casts are key.
Berkley Trilene Braid Professional Grade—Strong yet easy to handle, this tournament-grade, radial braid was built for mid- to heavy-duty baitcasting gear.