Will Nylon Fishing Line
Meet All Your Needs?

Many saltwater fishermen use nylon fishing line - also known as 'monofilament line, or just plain 'mono' line' - pretty much exclusively, but there are situations when one of the more modern materials would be better.

For example fluorocarbon line, a sort of hi-tech monofilament cousin of nylon fishing line is better when near-invisibility is important, and braid line is when non-stretch and minimum diameter is required.

Nylon line is made from liquid nylon, by drawing it out in a continuous strand until it has reached a desired diameter, and an associated breaking strains.

Not all nylon monofilament lines are equal though, some are thinner for the same strength than others, and there are varying degrees of hardness and stiffness to look out for.

Offshore Angler Tight Line - 1 2 lb. Spools

The best nylon fishing lines have a good, consistence strength/diameter ration, and are soft and supple.

Like most items of fishing tackle, you get what you pay for, and the very cheapest nylon fishing lines seldom represent the best value.

Modern high quality nylon lines are consistent in both strength and diameter when new, but even the best of them eventually wear out through use.

A major culprit is ultra-violet light, a component of sunlight, which causes a structural change in the line and a resultant decrease in its breaking strain. This together with the nicks and abrasions that always occurs in use means it should be changed regularly, or you risk losing that fish of a lifetime.

So nylon line makes a good general purpose reel line, and is fine for leaders and making up terminal tackle. But its properties don't make it the very best line material for all applications. Take a look at these following pros and cons:~

In Its Favour...

  • Its elasticity give it good shock absorbing qualities, making it less likely that a fish will tear itself free of the hook in its desperate fight for freedom.
  • Compared to other line materials, it’'s relatively inexpensive.
  • It’'s an easy line material in which to make connections, using knots or crimps.
  • It'’s transparent, and less visible in the water than most other line materials.
  • It's a low memory material, so will soon forget about the coils it was restrained in on the spool.
  • It's moderately resistant to abrasion

Not so good...

  • Its elasticity absorbs movement of your terminal tackle, reducing bite detection at the rod tip.
  • Its elasticity works against you when you're trying to make the longest possible cast, where it absorbs energy that is better transferred to the rod. Shock leaders for casting should always be made from low-stretch nylon fishing line specifically produced for this application, or the much more expensive fluorocarbon lines.
  • It suffers from ultra-violet degradation when exposed to direct sunlight.
  • It’s absorbent to a small degree, a property that causes it to loose strength over time

So nylon fishing line makes a good general purpose line - but it's not perfect for all applications. But then neither is anything else...


Bulk Spools

The very best value is to be had by buying monofilament fishing line in bulk.

Some suppliers offer this as a series of normal sized spools joined together, whilst others choose to load it all on to a single large spool and sell it by breaking strain and weight - for example a 2lb spool of 40lb breaking strain line - but fail to tell you what length of line you're getting.

In this latter case, the following table will give you the approximate answer:~

Bulk Spool Weight
1 lb 2 lb 3 lb 5 lb 9 lb

Line BS

yds m yds m yds m yds m yds m

10 lb

5,400 4,860 10,800 9,720 . . . . . .

12 lb

4,000 3,600 8,000 7,200 . . . . . .

15 lb

3,000 2,700 6,000 5,400 . . . . . .

20 lb

2,400 2,160 4,800 4,320 . . . . . .

25 lb

2,000 1,800 4,000 3,600 . . . . . .

30 lb

1,600 1,440 3,200 2,880 4,800 4,320 8,000 7,200 14,400 12,960

40 lb

1,400 1,260 2,800 2,520 4,200 3,780 7,000 6,300 12,600 11,340

50 lb

1,000 900 2,000 1,800 3,000 2,700 5,000 4,500 9,000 8,100

60 lb

800 720 1,600 1,440 2,400 2,160 3,500 3,150 7,200 6,480

80 lb

600 540 1,200 1,080 1,800 1,620 3,000 2,700 5,400 4,860

100 lb

500 450 1,000 900 1,500 1,350 2,400 2,160 4,500 4,050

125 lb

300 270 600 540 900 810 1,500 1,350 2,700 2,430

150 lb

250 225 500 450 750 675 1,425 1,282 2,250 2,025

200 lb

200 180 400 360 600 540 1,225 1,102 1,800 1,620

250 lb

150 135 300 270 450 405 850 675 1,350 1,215

300 lb

135 121 270 243 405 364 675 610 1,215 1,093

400 lb

125 112 250 224 375 337 625 560 1,125 1,012

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