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laker1

Braid vs Mono vs fluoro carbon-gets confusing to us amateurs

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Is braid the trend of the future or is mono holding its own? Whats best for a spinning reel? Your choice and why?

Is there difference in mono quality in brands?

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Is braid the trend of the future or is mono holding its own? Whats best for a spinning reel? Your choice and why?

Is there difference in mono quality in brands?

I use braid for dipseys on Lake Superior if for the only reason I need to trip the dipseys when reeling them in and mono has to much stretch for that. I prefer PP. I also tried braid for Bottom Bouncers for walleyes and actually prefer braid for that over mono.

Each have a place. I still use mono for most applications. For Mono I don't have a preference. As far as fluoro goes, I only use it for leaders

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I use Mono on my panfish rods. I feel you need that stretch on the crappies paper mouths. I run braid on everything else and will add a flouro leader on walleye jigging rods.

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Braid floats, but does not stretch. It is the most durable, and rarely needs to be retied.

Mono stretches and floats. It is less durable than braid, more durable than flouro.

Flouro sinks and does not stretch. It is the least durable, and needs to be retied frequently.

Think about the kind of fishing you do, and the kind of lures you like.

For instance, if you're "feel" fishing, and you want your lure in the strike zone as quickly as possible - flouro is your best bet. It sinks, so your lure isn't bouyed by the line, and because it doesn't stretch, the transfer of energy from the fish>line>rod>hand is as direct as possible.

So think about the characteristics of the line, and try to match it to your style of fishing.

All my jig and finesse rods are spooled with flouro, regardless of species. My Lindy rod is spooled with braid, as is my heavy-cover bass rod. My crankbait and spinner bait rods are spooled with heavy mono. My panfish rod is spooled with light mono.

Your mileage may vary.

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Is braid the trend of the future or is mono holding its own? Whats best for a spinning reel? Your choice and why?

Is there difference in mono quality in brands?

See Igor's post for the key basic info. I'm going to type some things that will likely be useless for you, but hopefully show why your line choice doesn't matter too much.

Mono definitely still holds its own. Braid is very strong for its smaller line diameter, but it cuts easily. Thick mono might have less breaking strength but more abrasion resistance. Fluoro is this weird middle ground where it is the "hardest" line, but once you do get it damaged you want to replace it - hence why some people use it to limit bite-offs when targeting esox but they don't want to use wire. Different mono brands will have different hardnesses, different breaking strength for line diameter, and some will degrade faster with time and sun exposure. The same goes for fluoro and braid. Different braids will use almost the same materials, but # of strands, type of weave, and any finishing techniques in production affect wear and tear, longevity, breaking strength, knot performance, cross section (rounded vs flat) etc. Mono and fluoro degrade with sun exposure, and should be replaced regularly with use. Braid doesn't and can last years.

You're probably only fishing the midwest, but line choice gets much more complicated when you branch out, and even then it comes down to personal preference and the reels you are using. To give an example of the choice you WON't likely need to make: If you were loading a 16/0 penn senator, some prefer to maximize yardage by putting on braided backing and doing a mono topshot of anywhere between 10 and 50% of the total spool, and some like the simplicity of just spooling up the whole darn thing with 200lb mono. One of the benefits of using braided backing over straight mono is that re-spooling a 200 yard top shot is ten times easier than respooling 2000 yards of an entire spool, leave your braid on for 5 years or more and just change out the top shot as needed. Most like the mono topshot for the abrasion resistance. If you're doing a braid backing, do you go with 200lb braid? 400lb? Do you maximize your yardage by decreasing diameter? If you tie in to a 1000lb fish, do you want 2000 yards of 200lb test, or 4000 yards of smaller test? Different folks, different strokes, but this is the type of situation where line selection may very well result in a lost fish or a caught fish, or a live release versus a dead fish you intended to release.

I've seen no reason to need braided line for fishing MN except for tossing musky lures or dealing with snags. Even with sturgeon and river cats, I'd make the argument I'd prefer a small avet lever drag reel with 80-130lb mono over an abu 7000 and 80lb-130lb braided line.

That said: I have very few rigs, and almost all are 95% 50lb+ braided line, a few layers of mono backing to prevent slippage, and a leader of 25lb+ fluorocarbon tied directly on with back to back uni knots. This setup is versatile and can be easily taken to the river and fish for catfish and bust snags, but on a medium sized reel can be just as effective chucking crankbaits and spinnerbaits for predators in a lake. My favorite part is not changing out my line every season, and I can keep my two rods and two reels in my car with a limited tackle box and fish at any given opportunity.

tl;dr: they all work great. There are some differences, but if you're walleye/bass/pike fishing it won't make a huge difference

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While I agree with mainbutter in general, I'm going to differ with his last point. He's right - it doesn't make much difference - particularly from a casual perspective. You have a hook on one end and a fishing rod on the other, and when you set the hook, you're gonna get some fish.

But specifically, for jig/finesse style, you'll feel fish you never knew were there when you switch from mono to flouro - especially when you're using a quality rod.

When your goal is to use the rod's flexibility and line-stretch to "pull" your hookset through the fish's lip, rather than risking "yanking" it out of his mouth in an all-or-nothing hookset, mono is superior.

And when you're dragging bottom, braid is gonna give you discernment between rocks/gravel/sand/mud/weeds/wood/fish that you can't get with mono.

All three are quality options; all three can be used in any situation; all three have their advantages and disadvantages; all three will catch fish in any application.

But if you want to really fine-tune your approach, I would suggest experimenting with all three in different applications.

I know for a fact that my hookup percrentages increased once I looked at mono as one tool in the arsenal rather than a universal line for all applications.

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Here's my choices:

Mono: slip bobbering, walleye snells both spinner blades and plain, snagging rods

Fluorocarbon: ice fishing for low vis qualities and doesn't cut on the ice, panfish jigging because of the low vis

Braids: I use Power Pro. I use it for casting jigs and cranks, bottom bouncing, catfish rods. The small diameter allows you to let less line out, it gives you better sensitivity and casts further.

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I use braids with mono or flourocarbon leaders. Contrary to popular belief flourocarbon has more stretch than mono. This according to manufacturer data. Flourocarbon is hard so seems more sensitive with less stretch. It does not have mono's elasticity so it stretch ' s and becomes weak. This explains Un expected break offs with flourocarbon. That is why we do not perceive the stretch as it does not spring back.

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They are all here to stay.. Each has a job to fill. I have rods rigged with each line type depending on presentation. Your question about which is best for spinning rods is impossible to answer without knowing what you plan to do with the rod. I will say this however, florocarbon much above 8 lb test on spinning equipment does not behave well.

You also asked if monos differ much.. The answer is yes.. Not to confuse you more, but most lines people call mono are actually a copolymer, meaning multiple substances. So depending on the extrusion process mono lines can be very different. Some more stiff, some better abrasion, some cast better, some hold knots better..ect..

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Deitz, I have no management problems with 12lb flouro on a spinning reel, so long as the spool is a bit larger in diameter. I use 12lb flouro on my bass finesse setups, and absolutely love it.

In general you're right though. Be wary of how you use flouro. It definitely behaves differently that mono, and can get unwieldy in a spinning reel if you let your spool get away from you.

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Deitz, I have no management problems with 12lb flouro on a spinning reel, so long as the spool is a bit larger in diameter. I use 12lb flouro on my bass finesse setups, and absolutely love it.

In general you're right though. Be wary of how you use flouro. It definitely behaves differently that mono, and can get unwieldy in a spinning reel if you let your spool get away from you.

You are also a fairly avid angler that has used floro for quite some time, and know that it has to be on a larger spool, and slightly under filled. For the most part I stick with my initial comments.

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I switched to braid (Fireline) about five years ago. At first I couldn't really tell the difference until I put a spool of mono back on. Felt like I was fishing with a rubber band. Last year I decided to try Nanofil line. I like it much better than Fireline. It's thinner and less abrasive.

Here are a couple things I learned about both.

With mono I almost always use the improved clinch knot to tie my jigs. I found that this knot doesn't hold well with Fireline or Nanofil. Both will slip out. When I tie my jigs direct to these lines I found the Palomar knot holds very well.

When I was researching Nanofil before buying, one of the most common complaints I found was knot strength. What I learned is that it is critical for this line to be lubricated when tying. If I tie the knot dry it will break very easily but if I get it wet when I pull it tight, it is as strong as anything I have used.

I also found that using a mono or fluorocarbon leader (4' - 6') seems to produce more bites than tying the Fireline or Nanofil directly to my jigs. I'm not sure if it's the feel of the line, the color/transparency, the way the line floats/sinks in the water, or if the line changes the action of the jigs but it seems to make a difference so I almost never use these lines without a leader. To tie the leader on I found the uni-uni knot to be best and use leader material with lower breaking test rating so it breaks instead of the main line otherwise every time you break off you have tie on a new leader.

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In general you're right though. Be wary of how you use flouro. It definitely behaves differently that mono, and can get unwieldy in a spinning reel if you let your spool get away from you.

100% agree. I don't like fluoro at all except as leader material because of the weird ways it behaves sometimes. I love light tests as tippet material for fly fishing, I love 20-200lb tests as medium protection against esox bite-offs, and I love it when fishing in clear water for skittish fish and seeing a leader seems to spook fish I'm sight fishing for. Back to back unis are easy to tie, I start with an 18'' length and retie and trim down to 6-8 inches before putting on a new section of leader.

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Here is a reply I posted on another HSOforum that is related and might be helpful.

In researching fluorocarbon (FC) material one can find a lot of research articles on the matter. Pretty much all of them scientifically bust some of the myths fisherman have bought into regarding fluorocarbon.  

A link to one of the better articles is found below, though there are many others. For those without the time, I'll try to summarize some of the more salient points:

-FC stretches as much or more than monofilament, with stretch factors over 35% cited in the literature.  
-Unlike mono which is elastic and returns to it's original length like a rubber band, flouro behaves like plastic under load and elongates permanently.
-Elongation weakens FC and deforms the round shape.
-Mono absorbs water, reducing strength, while FC does not.
-As a material, FC is more dense than mono providing better telegraphing properties and sensitivity or 'feel'.
-FC is impervious to UV rays, whereas mono is weakened over time by UV. 
-Due to the material composition, FC is weakened by bending far more than mono, providing at the greatest no more than 77% knot strength vs. 97% knot strength for mono.
-The invisibility of FC is not much greater than mono and test are inconclusive as to whether there is an appreciable benefit.
-The formulation of each FC manufacturer is different, affecting all of the various aspects.

Personally, I've been using braid for my main line and the longest mono leader I can get away with, without reeling the knot into the reel. I've moved away from flouro as a leader material on many bass/walleye applications due to breakage on hard hook sets.

Brian


http://www.bigindianabass.com/big_indiana_bass/the-truth-about-fluorocarbon.html

Edited by BrianF

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The part about stress permanently weakening fluorocarbon line is very interesting.  I wonder what the elastic limit is? 

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I do a lot of jig fishing for crappies and I like to use a 4# fluorocarbon line. It sinks with the jig so I can see and feel any light pickup, almost invisible in the water too. It also doesn't curl like the monos do. I hate it when light line curls around the rod tip or reel and ties itself into a knot. I have not had any problems with pulling the bait out of the fishes mouth but that probably has a lot to do with the type of rod that is used. The occasional norther pike does raise hell with it though.

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I use all three for different presentations.  I cast a lot of crank baits and the lighter braids really give me a much better feel for what the lure is doing and if it is fouled.  I have a spinning rod set up with braid for casting smaller crank baits as well.  That being said, I have seen times when mono completely outfishes the braid setups when fished side by side using the same lures.  Could be that the fish are line shy and more willing to hit a more natural looking bait.  I run both power pro and mono dypsie rigs when salmon fishing and have seen times when the mono outfished the braid and vice versa, possibly due to a different action imparted to the flasher and fly or spoon coming from the dypsie diver.  I troll on the river a lot and I like the abraision resistance and the ability to retrieve stuck lures with braid where mono would likely break off.  Then there is the aspect of trolling where the thinner diameter braids at a higher test will allow your lures to reach deeper depths.  I use flouro leader material for my salmon fishing and in clear water situations fishing for walleyes and bass.  All three lines have a time and a place.  For all around castability and general use it is tough to beat mono as it is easier to tie, supple enough to cast with, jig, rig and bobber fish with.  I don't feel that there is any one particular line that is better in all uses then another and it really depends on the applications you want to use it for and the fishing situations that you find yourself in.  I probably use the fluorocarbon the least of the three in all the different types of fishing that I do.

Tunrevir~

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To also note that since the fluorocarbon lines are heavier, they would generally get you less casting distance on lighter lures of 1/4 oz and under.

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