In the days of old, a hook with a bait was thrown on a linen thread or horsehair. They were later replaced with stronger and more elastic synthetic materials: nylon, para-aramid fiber, fluorocarbon and their blends. But was that the end of the evolution? Absolutely not.
In our day and age, fishing lines are made on high-precision equipment. Molten viscous polymers are pulled through an extruder opening while being subjected to chemical treatment. As a result, the final product meets all modern fishing standards.
Fishing lines come in three varieties: monofilament (mono), multifilament (braided cords) and fluorocarbon. Let’s look through the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.
Monofilament lines are made from high strength nylon. They are strong, tough and stretch under load, so they absorb jerks of caught fish easily and do not break under pressure. The price is also very low, as a rule. Even high-quality monolines from well-known manufacturers (Shimano, Daiwa, Kosadaka and others) are many times cheaper than the cheapest braided lines from no-name brands.
Unfortunately, monolines age very fast. They never last more than two or three seasons, and after that, they grow brittle and unusable. Monolines also have what is called the memory effect. Usually, the memory effect is something that people are after but not in this case. The line will “remember” its position on the reel and unfold in a spiral pattern when thrown. And it is very easy to imagine, that will have a negative impact on the lure’s flight range and the fishing process as a whole.
Braided lines are free from those shortcomings. They consist of several woven (welded) polyester or aramid fibers. Their main advantages over other fishing lines are high strength, sensitivity, lack of memory effect, and a long life cycle.
Aside from major advantages, multi-fiber lines come with a few significant drawbacks that scare rookie fishers. First of all, it is the lack of rigidity. In the line is miscast, it gets tangled and forms knots. Sometimes those knots are tightened to the point it is impossible to untangle them, and the way to lose them is to cut them. Additionally, braided lines have a high windage and they do not stretch, unlike monolines. They are great for when you need to feel the bite, but that same lack of stretch makes driving the fish out of water a lot harder.
Fluorocarbon fishing line can be rightly called “the invisible line”. Due to the way it refracts light, the fish will not see the line and gobble up the bait, not feeling even slightly endangered. Fluorocarbon lines are quite resistant to many environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity and ultraviolet radiation, and mechanical damage. Fluorocarbon lines sink well due to their overall composition. Fluorocarbon is an ideal line material.
But fluorocarbon is not without flaws. First, fluorocarbon is too rigid, and that makes stretching the nodes possible. Second, just line mono lines, fluorocarbon lines possess the memory effect. Third, Unlike the other two types of line, it has a very low strength. It is twice weaker than nylon, and not much can be done about that.
Consider all that when making your choice. Get your big fish!