Is Braid Fishing Line Always
Better Than Nylon Line?

Braid fishing line is a thread-like yarn made up of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) fibres like Spectra and Dyneema. These 'super-lines' shouldn't be confused with the older, and much thicker, Dacron fishing line which is an inferior braid made from polyester fibres.

Although Spectra and Dyneema share similar properties in terms of almost zero stretch, low diameter and high strength, they are not identical materials.

Some will tell you that Spectra has the better abrasion resistance whilst others insist that Dyneema is more consistent in quality.

Whatever your peronal preference, either of these braid line types are ideal for many boat and shore fishing applications.

They both provide a number of benefits when compared to monofilament fishing line, but nothing's perfect - there's a downside too... 

Braid Fishing Line ~ The Good, and Not So Good

Strong points...

  • Braid line has an amazing strength/diameter ratio which means you can get an awful lot of it on the reel;
  • Its small diameter enables it to fly through the air with ease, for prodigious distance casting;
  • Its small diameter enables it to cut through the water better than mono, which means you can get your lure down deeper when spinning and trolling, and it will sink faster when jigging;
  • It has near zero stretch, which means you get better bite indication at the rod tip;
  • Similarly, you'll be kept in direct contact with a fish hitting your lure when spinning, plugging and jigging;
  • Braid lines have no reel memory whatsoever.

Not so good...

  • This line is so thin, hard and sharp it can cut fingers to the bone. Be careful!
  • Braid line can be similarly hard on rod guides. Use it only on rods with roller guides or rings intended for use with braid lines;
  • Because of its zero stretch the line does not absorb shock at all, and hooks can be torn from a fish's mouth;
  • Braid line can be very visible in clear water conditions, particularly when seen from below and silhouetted against a bright sky;
  • One more knot to learn - the rather unimaginatively named Braid Knot for tying braid line to swivels. None of the usual fishing knots are recommended for braid, except the Albright Knot for tying it to mono lines of larger diameter - shock leaders for example;
  • And yes, you've guessed it, it's expensive in comparison to nylon monofilament line.

A Few Tips...

Shock leaders should always be used with Braid Line, not just for surfcasting but for trolling too. Otherwise, the lack of stretch will test your back and shoulders to the limit when playing a large fish, and when close to the boat the fish may otherwise shake itself free.

And never handline a fish with these braid super-lines (another reason for that long monofilament leader), not even with gloves on. Old-style Dacron is fine for handlining, but Spectra or Dyneema? Forget it!

Just one more thing...

Braid lines don't always cast well on a baitcast reel, as the coils can bed into one another on the spool when under tension on the retrieve.

Next cast? A short, inaccurate one if you're lucky, and a bird's nest if you're not. And the memory of a birds nest in braid fishing line will stay with you for a long time.

So for trouble-free casting with braid fishing line, a spinning reel beats a baitcaster reel every time.

Next:~ Specialised Boat Rods for Fishing With Braid Line

More about Fishing Line...

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