Joined: May 2004
||Posted: Jan. 05 2005,07:34
Comparison/Contrast of Mono and Braid:
Mono is cheaper and less visible (particularly the flourocarbon varieties) in water. Braid is much more abrasion resistant, can be made to be slicker than mono (although this is not always done), is stronger for its diameter, and is far more sensitive.
Among the monofiliment lines that I have used extensively (Ande, Stren, DAM to name a few), Ande stands out as the best overall. It is readily available, consistent in quality, and comes in a variety of colors,weights and spool sizes. It is the best casting mono that I have tried, and has the best knot characteristics. Some mono lines, Stren particularly, become almost useless when overstretched, like when you catch a fish that weighs more than the line test. Ande does not have this problem.
Among the braids, (Powerpro, Spider Wire, Yozuri hybrid) I prefer Powerpro. It is the slickest, therefore the best casting, of those that I have tried. It has the best balance of softness/stiffness, and is the most sensitive (ie. transmits hits the best). Spider Wire is also very good, but in my opinion, is a bit too soft. It behaves like sewing thread when wet, making it difficult to thread through rod guides and terminal tackle. The biggest downside of all braids is that they cannot be cut with regular side cutter pliers. You must use a sharp edged instrument (scissors, razor, knife) to cut it cleanly. You can pack way more braid of a given weight test on a reel than you can mono of the same weight. For instance, 10# test Powerpro is about the same diameter as 2# test Ande mono, therefore, a spinning reel that is rated to hold 200 yards of 10# mono will hold something like 500 yards (probably more) of 10# test Powerpro. This is both a blessing and a curse, as the braid is much more expensive. 300 yards of Powerpro 10# test sells for around $20-25 whereas 2700 yards of 10# Ande sells for $12-25. Powerpro lasts way longer, as do all braids, so in the end, it all works out. I usually put enough backing on my reels so that 300 yards of PP fills them to the appropriate level for optimal casting. Because of the slickness of PP, you must be careful to anchor it well on the spool. I remember the first time I filled my 12# spinner with PP and went plugging for snook, only to find that the entire spool of line would rotate on the reel spool since I tied it on with a uni-knot loop and didn't get it cranked down properly. Talk about FREESPOOL, first fish almost emptied the reel with the drag cranked down all the way. Another downside of braid, caused by its small size combined with its slickness, is that it will cut you much more readily that mono or dacron. You can get a real deep line cut from PP without trying hard. Getting plugs unstuck from trees, or bottom rigs unsnagged takes on a whole new dimension with braids. I use fluorocarbon mone leader on all my rigs, both for add invisibilty at the business end of things as well as to have a way to break off snags without losing a lot of expensive braid. Just be real careful not to grab a handful of braid and try to snap of a snag. You could easily lose a finger.
The choice between mono and braid is mostly one of cost. The greatly enhanced sensitivity and strength of braid make it much more effective in Florida's saltwater environment. If you can AFFORD to use it, the choice is obvious.