Braid or Mono? We chase Striped Bass all up and down the East Coast. WE go wherever THEY go. We fish deep, shallow, in salt and freshwater. We use many techniques while targeting these remarkable fish.
One of the most common questions we hear is “what type of line is best?” Well there is no one perfect line for everything. Our Accurate reels were designed with braid in mind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use mono with them. The fact that they are built to handle braid means they can handle any other lines as well.
There are pros and cons with both lines. Mono has a magnificent resistance to abrasion, has incredible knot strength, and is lower in visibility than braid. Braid has near zero stretch and is extremely thin which translates to more line capacity on smaller reels, more casting distance and the ability to fish deeper than mono.
There is a great “rule of thumb” that I fish by. It is a very simple rule to a complex issue. Now this rule does have exceptions, but it’s a great place to start.
If the fish strikes while you are holding the rod, braid is probably best. If the fish strikes while the rod is in a rod holder, mono is probably best.
Braid is great for casting and retrieving artificials, it’s thinner diameter lets you cast further, the near zero stretch aids in setting the hook and it’s incredible sensitivity lets you feel the lightest strike.
Mono is great for live and cut bait fishing when the rod is left in a rod holder until strike. It is great for fishing around rocks and other structure due to its superior abrasion resistance. The mono’s stretch keeps the fish from feeling the rod. The fish can pick up the bait, turn it and swallow it while slowly loading the rod before it knows it has been hooked, by the time the fish feels the hook it has already taken up the slack and bent the rod to it’s backbone.
I avoid using braid when bait fishing. Braid is great for feeling the bite, but it’s a two way street. If YOU can feel the fish, the fish can feel YOU. (In this case the fish can feel the rod holder) if you use braid when leaving the rod in the rod holder, the fish feels the rod tip while trying to turn the bait and usually drops it.
Now the exceptions; I do like braid in a rod holder when trolling deep and fast. The thin line cuts through the water with less resistance than mono which translates to deeper trolling capability. I also like mono over braid for kids in all types of fishing. Braid tends to knot up if you don’t really pay attention, and back lashes can be fierce for the less experienced, more fish tend to come unhooked as well. The zero stretch is very unforgiving and just a slight drop of the rod tip can release a fish too soon.
As you can see there is no one perfect answer. The most serious anglers own and carry many different rod, reel and line combos.
I hope this helps to untangle a simple yet sometimes confusing issue.
Stay safe on the water and leave a few for me.
Captain, Team Old School.