The braided fishing line has been around for quite some time. Dating back to before the 1900s, the braided line was made of, believe it or not, horsehair. In contrast, other materials included braids of natural materials such as silk or cotton. The first written mention of it comes from a British book in 1496. Albeit, the use of braided line has even been documented in Egyptian hieroglyphics that depict this creation. So, put simply, the braided fishing line has been around for a while.

It’s widely used by recreational and commercial anglers in nearly every corner of the world, with an almost cult-like following. Furthermore, some fishing equipment, such as cast fishing nets, has adapted to this wonderful product.

Yet, as remarkable as braided fishing line might be, it doesn’t come without a few problems. Here’s a breakdown of everything you should know about braided fishing line.

What is Braided Fishing Line?

The short and simple way to define braided line is to say that braided line is a fishing line that is made from multiple strands of material. More precisely, it consists of anywhere between four and 16 strands, unlike the monofilament line, which is composed of only one strand of material.

Of course, the braided line came before the monofilament line, with monofilament line only being manufactured in the 1950s. Recent innovations in braided line manufacturing have introduced the use of synthetic substances. These are polyethylene extruded as microfibers and can be found in items ranging from rope to body armor.

Thus, making the modern braided line much stronger than its organic predecessors. Modern braided line is stronger than monofilament line of a similar diameter; in the same way, the cable is stronger than the single-strand wire.

How Does Braided Fishing Line Work?

The braid or weave of the fishing line pulls against itself, which transfers the force of a hard hit by a fish to the other strands. This means that braided line can take a beating in ways that monofilament line can not.

The added assurance of the strands makes the braided fishing line more durable and is rated for a hefty target over fluorocarbon or monofilament fishing line. After all, bigger fish means bigger bites. Some of which might have a mouthful of jagged teeth. Those extra strands make cutting or biting through the braided line difficult, and ensure you will never miss the “big one” again.

It can be used in rigs or other equipment like downriggers and kites. Or, as mentioned in, braided cast nets.

What Are The Pros Of Braided Line?

You may notice that the test for braided line is quite different from the test for monofilament line. Nevertheless, you’ll wonder why the test rating on the box was so low. Gauging actual test for braided line can be tricky. Just know that you use a stronger line with a smaller diameter for the same rated test as monofilament. This means you can drag in fish with braided line that wouldn’t have been an option with a monofilament line of the same diameter.

Second, with multiple woven strands, you can bump the fishing line off all sorts of crud and debris with little worry of snapping or snagging. Using braided line, you may find yourself casting into places you would otherwise never consider dropping a lure into. Here’s a tip, when fishing in areas with lots of aquatic vegetation, consider using braided line. It will cut cleanly through the debris. Just don’t cut up the whole ecosystem, okay?

The final attribute to braided line is that you can generally fit more of it onto your reel without the snarling that can occur with monofilament line.

What Are The Cons of Braided Line?

Nothing’s perfect, and that goes for braided fishing line, too. After enough use, snarling in your reel and line breaks when you’re fishing can occur. Braided line has the longest shelf life of any fishing line; as such, the rule of thumb is to change it every couple of years. But, if you notice coiling, it’s time for some fresh fishing line.

The major complaint you’ll hear regarding the braided line is that many anglers have come to believe the fish can see it. This makes sense since monofilament line is translucent and braided line isn’t, and more than a few folks have anecdotal evidence to back the theory up. Some anglers will tell you that you should only use braided line for deep water fishing or fishing in murky water. On the other hand, some anglers use braided line for all purposes in all water conditions and have no complaints. As for whether fish do notice the braided line, it’s hard to say. You’ll have to make your own call on that one.

A Few Final Thoughts

As braided line continues to get better and better, anglers may choose it for the vast majority of their fishing. If a person is distressed about the fish seeing the braided line, there’s always the option of sticking a monofilament leader on the end of it. If you’ve never tried it before, picking up a roll of braided line is a fun experiment just to see how different it is from other fishing lines, like monofilament or fluorocarbon.

Do you use braided line? If so, what type of fish do you target? Please let us know in the comments!