River Fishing Tips & Techniques – Guide For Beginners

River fishing

River fishing can be very relaxing and comfortable but the main goal, of course, is a good catch. Whether you are a novice or experienced fisherman, it is important to know some fishing techniques that will help you succeed.

When fishing in the river, you should realize its nature. The rivers flow towards another river, lake, sea or ocean. So you need to take into consideration the area where the river flows, current, flow rates, banks, lodges, snags and many more factors. You should remember that the current is moving and you need to use specific equipment and methods to catch fish.

Depending on the river, you can find a variety of fish that inhabit there or just migrating in the specific season in order to reach the spot to spawn. River fishing also allows you to implement different techniques and you can fish from the bank, on the boat or by wading.

It is necessary to take into account that rivers in urban areas are a bit different in terms of clarity. That is because of water pollution that is more common in the city. Local fishing agencies usually release advisories for the specific rivers. You should also take into consideration that there are dams or water locks that help control the water flow. Such places are usually rich in large fish and increase your chances for a better catch.

With all these factors to consider, this guide for the river fishing tips and techniques will help you take your skills to the next level.

What should you know about the river?

River

River fishing requires some knowledge about the river where you are going to fish. So what should you take into account?

Current

River fishing has a more rapid current that lake or dam fishing but at the same time, it differs from the sea and ocean fishing since the movement of the river is unidirectional.

Shape

The rate of flow changes as the river progresses. It depends on the depth, width, and other geological factors. Narrow areas will bottleneck the water and increase the speed of the current. Wide spots are more likely to reduce the speed. The river that flows through the landscape has faster current than the river that has lots of turns and twists. Such obstacles slow down the flow. But at the same time, rocks, falls and rises in the landscape make the water more turbulent and the lack of these factors make the river rather calm.

These factors will give you an understanding of the behavior of the river and you will better realize how to fish the specific fish in this area.

How to find fish?

How to find fish

When you go fishing to the specific area, you can look for the information in forums and websites or talk to local people and owners of fishing shops in the area. These people can give you the best advice regarding the best locations along the river, its depth and current, time of day or moon cycle when it is better to fish, what weather conditions and baits are the best for the fish in the area, and other useful advice.

Places where the fish rest and hide

Fish live in the environment where they constantly move. This means that fish expend a lot of energy. So it is more likely to find fish in the calm and slow moving areas. So you can look for the fish closer to the banks, in the areas with weeds and plants, the bottom of the river and other formations that slow down the current such as islands, backwaters, and logs.

Places where fish feed

Another place where you can catch the fish is where they feed. It can be around submerged trees and rocks since the food collects there in foam patches. If it is a large river, a lot of food usually passes over spillways, so you can also find there a plenty of fish. You can also watch the birds. They like feeding on the river and hover over areas of bait fish.

It is also great if you know the habits and behavior of the fish you are going to catch. So consider how far they like to move to feed. This will help you choose the best technique and strategy.

Weather conditions

It is also important to consider weather conditions in the fishing area. When the weather is warm, fish are more sluggish and slower. So when you find them, you should take into account this factor and use the specific technique.

If it is rainy, the raindrops can catch insects and fall on the surface of the river. Fish like such opportunity and come closer to the surface to feed. Another advantage of the raindrops is that when they fall, they don’t allow the fish to see what is going on above the water.

When it is windy, you can cast your bait further. So you can increase your chances to have a good catch.

River fishing tips and techniques

River fishing tips and techniques

In order to succeed in river fishing, you should take into consideration the above-mentioned tips and combine them with the following techniques.

Upstream fishing

This technique is the best one when the fish stay in the area where the current is slow and wait for the flow to bring the food for them. So the fish move upstream and don’t see you. You just need to cast the bait upstream in line with the area you want to catch the fish. It can be any place such as the bank of the river, fallen trees or submerged rocks in the middle of the river.

Downstream fishing

This technique is the least favorable for river fishing since fish can see you. You are also more likely to disturb fish when casting. You should also note that you will need a larger weight if the current is heavier. This is necessary to keep your bait closer to the bottom. However, the line is more likely to get snagged. When you use this technique, you have to cast slightly across the river; the end of your rod should stay low and retrieve only when your line is downstream.

It is also worth considering that with the increased turbulence of the river lots of sediment can stir up. As the result, lots of species of fish become more active and you can better see them.

Crosscurrent fishing

Crosscurrent fishing is the best fishing technique for the river since you can cover a big area while casting upstream when the current is slow and the bait goes downstream. This technique requires not just one cast but a few casts in order to adjust the bait for the distance and cover the area where you are fishing.

Conclusion

These are the main common tips and techniques for catching fish in the river. Of course, it is impossible to determine the best technique for all rivers since there are so many factors to consider and the conditions are different. But if you follow these tips and master the techniques, you will undoubtedly have success in fishing.

Best Way to Hook a Minnow

Best Way to Hook a Minnow

Fishing with minnows can be a very effective way to catch almost any species of fish. However, there can be questions as to how to hook them so that way you maximize the action, generally trying not to kill the minnow. Fish can be enticed through the minnow then struggling on the hook or the swimming action of the minnow being pulled behind a trolling rig.

There actually are a few ways to hook a minnow. Let’s go over the different occasions that might require a

Eagle Claw Minnow Trap (9 x 16-1/2-Inch)

A top minnow trap – click to view – catch more fish using native minnows

different best way to hook the minnow:

  • Ice fishing, or any type of still fishing where you are vertically jigging the minnow
  • Trolling, or any type of fishing where you are pulling the minnow around
  • Any time you want the minnow to swim freely

Each of these scenarios actually would call for a different way of hooking the minnow to really maximize the action you want to get from it. The real trick is to combine any way of hooking it with a different style of fishing to see if that would entice finicky fish to bite. These methods should work whether you’re fishing with shiners, fatheads, chubs, suckers, and any other type of bait minnow. If you really want to do well, trap minnows from the lake you’re fishing and use those.

In scenarios where there may be multiple options for hooking the minnow, you should try each different method and see what the fish seem to prefer – normally, they’ll hit a lot better on certain ways.

Best Way to Hook a Minnow for Ice Fishing/Vertical Jigging

Vertical jigging or ice fishing is probably one of the best times to use a live minnow, since it helps impart a lot more movement and action to your lure than you would normally get otherwise. You can also use any of the following methods for bobber fishing as well. People also use just a minnow head for ice fishing, tipping any jig or lure with it.

So, there are a couple different ways you can hook the minnow for this type of fishing.

  1. You can hook the minnow underneath the mouth and up through the middle of the nose, just underneath the eyes. This is a fairly solid way to hook the minnow since the jawbone helps to hold it on the hook so it can’t be easily ripped off by a starving fish. This way works best when you have a lure that isn’t too big or flashy, otherwise you’ll have the length of your lure plus the full length of the minnow, which can be too much for fussier fish. However, fish like northern pike can be caught like that. I prefer this way if I am fishing with a small jig, or a lure with with a drop chain. I have also heard of people clipping off the bottom corner of the tail fin so the minnow really has to struggle to stay upright, enticing fussy fish even more.
  2. You can also hook the minnow through the back, just behind the dorsal fin. This way works best to minimize the lure profile while still allowing the minnow to swim around a little bit. By hooking it through the back, it can live a little longer, as long as you don’t hit the spine. Again, you can also use clippers to cut off the bottom corner of the tail fin to impart the most action.

    Clam Speed Spoon

    Clam Speed Spoon – Click to view – Example of a top spoon with a drop chain

  3. The last way you could use only if you are fishing with a bare hook or a lure with a drop chain is to hook it on the bottom, just behind the belly. The minnow then tries to constantly right itself, giving a phenomenal appearance to any watching fish. As stated, this pretty much only would work with a bare hook (potentially with a sinker a couple feet up) or a jig with a drop chain an inch or two long. However, this way can be absolutely a deadly way to hook your minnow for maximum action that simulates a dying minnow, which is an easy target obviously. To make it even more realistic, clip off the bottom corner of the tail fin.

Best Way to Hook a Minnow for Trolling

Trolling also has a couple different ways in which you should hook the minnow for maximum effectiveness. Since you’re trolling, chances are you probably shouldn’t hook it from anywhere behind it’s head since you don’t want to be dragging it sideways or backwards unless you are basically very, very slowly drifting.

Berkley WRMKIT Walleye Rig Making Kit

Lindy Rig Kit for Trolling – Click to View – Ideal for minnow trolling

Here are the best ways to hook your minnow if you are trolling.

  1. The most common way to hook it for trolling is coming up underneath the mouth and up through the snout, or nose of the minnow. You want to make sure to be behind the jawbone so that can effectively hold the minnow on the hook.
  2. If you want your minnow to live the longest, you can also hook it just behind the eyes, coming sideways through both eye sockets but not actually through through the eyes.

Both of these methods will help impart natural action to your minnow, since you pull it through the water like a minnow normally would swim, albeit a slightly wounded minnow. That’s exactly what you want, though.

Best Way to Hook Your Minnow to Allow it to Swim Freely

There are times when you want your minnow to swim freely. For instance, this could be if you have a slip weight holding the minnow to the bottom and you want it to swim up a few inches. You could also be fishing underneath a bobber with a weight a couple feet above the hook. Either way, these methods will actually give the minnow the best action to help entice any finicky fish to bite.

  1. For the best possible action, hook it on the bottom behind the belly, somewhat close to the tail. This forces the minnow to really work to stay up, and finicky fish absolutely love it. If the fish are really fussy, try clipping the bottom corner of the tail fin off to make it work even harder.
  2. Another way you can hook it to allow it to swim freely is through the back, just behind the dorsal fin. This works best if the minnow is not too small, since the hook in the back makes the fish roll over and it has to work to stay upright. If the minnow is too small, it just rolls over and doesn’t appear too natural, but you can sure give it a shot. The first rule of fishing is there are no rules. Whatever catches fish that day is the rule.
  3. Lastly, you can hook it underneath the mouth up through the nose to have some control over where the minnow goes. This way is also pretty effective.

If you are letting your minnow swim freely, then make sure to check once in awhile to see if your minnow is still living. Dead minnows don’t swim far, and instead just sink to the bottom.

Tips

Here are a couple tips for fishing with live bait, specifically minnows.

  • Check your bait once in awhile to make sure the minnow is still living.
  • Clip the bottom corner of the tail fin off to add more action.
  • Match the weight of the lure you’re using to the size of the minnow, making sure it’s not too big that it overpowers the minnow or too small that the minnow easily pulls it around.
  • Use caution when casting. If you cast too hard, the minnow can easily fly off.
  • Don’t hook too deeply into the back or the skull, otherwise you’ll kill the minnow immediately.

There really is no best way to hook your minnow all the time! Rather, there is a best way for each specific instance, which can only be figured out through trial and error. Don’t be afraid to mix and match these ways to find exactly what the fish are attracted to that day!

 

Best Fish Scale (Digital, Spring, Gripper)

Best Fish Scale (Digital, Spring, Gripper)

Best Fish Scales
Boga Grip 130 30lb Scale Gripper Fish Scale Boga Grip Fish Scale Rapala Touch Screen Tourney Scale 15lb Rapala Touch Screen Tourney Fish ScaleMustad 50-Pound Digital Scale Fish Mustad 50 lb Digital Fish Scale
Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 4.5 out of 5Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Weights Available: 15, 30, and 60 lbWeights Available: 15 and 50 lbWeights Available: 50 lb
Type: Spring/GripperType: DigitalType: Digital
Cost: $$$Cost: $$Cost: $

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Boga Grip 130 30lb Scale Gripper Fish ScaleEditors Pick – Boga Grip 30lb Gripper Scale

If you are like me, you’ve probably gone through many different types and brands of fishing scales, all that either were inaccurate, not durable, or just simply not up to par in one way or another. Fish scales are actually important to have for fisherman because they allow you to get accurate measurements to compare with your buddies, and just to have bragging rights over the biggest fish on the day. They also are extremely important if you are a tournament angler, since you only want to be keeping the biggest fish of the day and culling the rest. In any case, you need the best fish scale for your money!

What makes the best fish scale? We are simply judging scales off of the following criteria (skip below to the reviews if you’d rather):

  • Accuracy – What good is a scale that underweighs your fish? Sure, we wouldn’t mind adding a couple extra pounds to our fish if it overweighs them, but even that doesn’t do much good for anybody since you know that your fish wasn’t as big as your friends, even though your scale said so. So, accuracy is the first and foremost consideration that we looked at when making this list.
  • Ease of Use – Scales must be easy to use, meaning you don’t have to cycle through different screens to read how much your fish weighs. The easiest scales to use are probably spring scales, with digital scales and gripper type scales coming behind that.
  • Durability – Fisherman can be fishing in some extreme conditions. In fact, some of the best fishing is done is rainy or cold conditions, and your scale better be able to function well during one of these long days. It should also last a few years at least, without stretching out or losing accuracy.
  • Weight Range – Weight range is another factor to look at when buying a fishing scale. The wider the range, the better, so that way you can use it for as many different species as possible. You must get a scale that weighs within the normal range of fish you target.
  • Design – Is the design friendly and ergonomic? Does the hook of the scale function well, or are the grippers designed well to hold the fish? These are questions you must ask yourself when looking at buying a fish scale.

With all that being said, let’s take a look at the best fishing scales for your money. If you are willing to spend a little bit of cash, you can get a scale that’ll last you the rest of your life.

Boga Grip 30lb Gripper Fish Scale

Boga Grip 130 30lb Scale Gripper Fish Scale

The Boga Grip Fish Scales are the best fishing scales on the market, digital or not. They are grippers that are combined with a spring scale to accurately measure your fish. The particular version that is linked above is the 30 pound version, but they also have a 15 pound and a 60 pound version if need be. (Click here for the 15 lb version and here for the 60 lb version.Keep in mind that the grippers are rated to handle double the weight of the scale, so if you buy the 15 pound version, it’ll handle fish up to 30 pounds but won’t weigh them.

What’s so special about this scale that it’s worth spending so much on? It’s got a few perks. First, it’s very durable. It’s made in the USA and is probably the last scale you’ll ever need to buy. Second, it’s downright accurate. So accurate that they calibrate each scale beforehand, then you can actually send it into the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) to have it physically certified to weigh record fish – that’s how accurate it is. This means if you’re a trophy fisher, you can actually weigh catch and release fish. Third, the grippers will keep your fingers safe from teethy pike or barracuda. The grippers will never let go of a fish unless it’s more than double the capacity of them.

So, if you are the type who supports products that are made in the USA, and you want to have to only buy one scale and be done for the rest of your life, this is the scale you need. It’s accurate, strong, has a gripper, and can be certified to actually weigh trophy fish.

Rapala Touch Screen Tourney Scale – 15 lb

Rapala Touch Screen Tourney Scale 15lb

 

Coming from a name brand, Rapala, we have the best digital fish scale on the market. Clicking the above link will bring you to the 15 pound version, but if you need bigger, click here to view the 50 pound version. This scale is easy to grip, accurate, and also maintains a good grip on the lips of the fish. You can also switch the gripper out for a stainless steel hook if you prefer that.

It has backup memory so it can remember the sizes of the fish that you caught. It has an 8 piece culling system with it as well. It’s waterproof, and durable from the weather. You can tare the scale if you need to just keep adding on fish weights for a total fish weight at the end of the day. It also calibrates every time you turn it on.

The user interface on the touch screen is easy to use and fairly large. If you are looking for a top digital fishing scale, this is your best bet for quality. Rapala is well known to make great fishing products.

Mustad 50-Pound Digital Scale

Mustad 50-Pound Digital Scale Fish

 

Coming from another great fishing product manufacturer, Mustad, is more of a standard 50 pound digital fish scale, one of the best available. It also has memory in it that can store up to 8 fish, so you can keep track of your eight biggest fish throughout the day.

This fish scale is designed to be water resistant and durable from the weather. You can see in the picture above it comes with a carrier that you can carry on your belt to save space.

This digital fish scale is one of the more standard ones on the market, though definitely a high end standard scale. If you want a reliable, standard hook scale this is the right one for you.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for the best fish scale, you need to get the Boga Grip scale. It’s by far the most durable, accurate, and high quality out of any fish scale on the market, and it also grips the fish by the lip so you can remove the hook easily. However, if you are on a budget and want to spend a little less money, then either one of these other scales will do the trick for you. The key is to find the one that fits exactly your needs and budget, and go from there! Good luck fishing!

Best Fluorocarbon Line

Best Fluorocarbon Line for Fishing – Spinning and Baitcasting

Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines Table
Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 200 Yard Fishing Line Seagaur InvizX 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing LineSunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing LineKastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line - 100% Pure Fluorocarbon Coated - 300Yds/274M Premium Spool - Upgrade from Mono and Perfect Substitute for Solid Fluorocarbon Line KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line
Rating: 4.5 out of 5Rating: 4.4 out of 5Rating: 4.4 out of 5
100% Fluorocarbon100% FluorocarbonCopolymer coated with 100% fluorocarbon
Cost: $$Cost: $$Cost: $

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Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 200 Yard Fishing LineEditor’s Pick – Seagaur InvizX 100% Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon fishing line is some of the best line on the market, preferred by pros and serious fisherman for it’s versatility, strength, low-stretch, clearness, and low memory. It has many advantages, but I can tell you from personal experience that if you get the wrong brand or type, you’ll regret it many times over as you untangle a backlash or lose a lure. That’s why you have to get the best fluorocarbon line.

Characteristics of the Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines

So, what makes one fluorocarbon line better than another? Let’s go into some details here on why fluorocarbon is such a good line, and why some are so much better. If you already know the benefits of fishing with fluorocarbon, skip down to see our reviews.

  1. Low visibility. Fluorocarbon lines are some of the least visible fishing lines on the market because it doesn’t catch the sunlight when in the water, like some other lines do. The sunlight instead goes right through it, just like it is part of the water. This makes it a phenomenal line for targeting very skittish fish or when fishing in ultra clear water.
  2. Sensitivity. Fluorocarbon is far more sensitive than monofilament, because it doesn’t stretch as easily and because it simply transfers energy, like a bite, better and more efficiently. If you are fishing for a light biting fish, fluorocarbon is the ticket for you.
  3. Strength. Fluorocarbon fishing line is more abrasion resistant than mono, and it lasts a lot longer than mono as well. It’s not affected by the sunlight, doesn’t absorb water, and is tougher. You shouldn’t have to worry about it dry rotting unless it sits for a very long time.
  4. Sinks faster. Fluorocarbon is one of the denser lines on the market, meaning it sinks faster in water. Depending on your needs, this can really help you with sensitivity and to get down to the bottom. It helps sensitivity by allowing you to tighten your line faster – imagine you have two lines, one mono and one fluorocarbon. The mono sinks much slower than your lure, creating a big arc from your rod to your lure and leaving room for a fish to take your lure as it sinks and you would never know. The fluorocarbon sinks faster and creates a straight line from your rod tip to your lure, giving you a feel for your lure almost as soon as it hits the bottom. This is really ideal for jig fishing, worm fishing, and any other type of fishing where the fish normally hit your lure on the downfall.

All these combine to make fluorocarbon the very type of fishing line for finicky fish that are light biters. What type of fish would this be? Walleye, crappie, some bass, and many other species of fish are considered to be somewhat fussy, especially in very clear water. If you fish for any of these and haven’t tried fluorocarbon, you’re really missing out. For this reason, I always like to just have fluorocarbon on my reel 100% of the time, since I switch from species to species.

Let’s get into the very best fluorocarbon line that is available for your money.

Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 200 Yard Fishing Line

 

Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 200 Yard Fishing Line

 

Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line is by far and without a doubt the top fluorocarbon line I have ever fished with, and I’ve heard the same things from many other fishermen. The biggest thing about it is it’s complete lack of memory after a use or two, provided you get the proper diameter. Many other types of fluorocarbon can really be somewhat stiff, but this is Seaguar’s proprietary line that they say is 40% softer, which is accurate in my experience.

This line is also ultra sensitive. It felt like I had a whole new rod when I switched from mono to this! I could hardly believe it. I was able to feel bass picking my Senko off the bottom with ease, walleye sucking a leech in, and anything else much easier.

This line is basically invisible in the water, and I can’t say I’ve ever had it break unexplainably on me. All in all, Seaguar InvizX is outstanding fluorocarbon line, and I can’t say enough good about it. Whatever you’re fishing for, this will help your connection rate, sensitivity, and reduce your lines memory. 

It is slightly more expensive than some other lines, but I promise that once you try it, you’ll never go to anything else. Go with line that is the pound test your reel recommends so that it performs as expected – never go much heavier, otherwise you’ll get backlashes and windknots.

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

 

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon fishing line is also some of the top fluorocarbon line you’ll find for your money. It’s triple coated with resin to ensure that it is soft and supple, and casts well. It offers all the same advantages as traditional fluorocarbon in that it is sensitive, invisible, and very abrasion resistant. This is a step above standard fluorocarbon, and you’ll definitely notice it when casting and feeling your lure.

 

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line – 100% Pure Fluorocarbon Coated – 300Yds/274M Premium Spool – Upgrade from Mono and Perfect Substitute for Solid Fluorocarbon Line

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line - 100% Pure Fluorocarbon Coated - 300Yds/274M Premium Spool - Upgrade from Mono and Perfect Substitute for Solid Fluorocarbon Line

 

If you are looking for a happy medium between fluorocarbon and mono, this is a safe bet for good line as well. It’s technically not a true fluorocarbon, but it basically is a copolymer fishing line coated with 100% fluorocarbon to try to get the best of both worlds.

Since it’s coated with fluorocarbon, it actually offers similar invisibility and abrasion resistance as true fluorocarbon lines, while keeping lower memory than true fluorocarbon since the core is copolymer. It also is almost as sensitive as other types of fluorocarbon. It is also a very cheap option to get started with, and definitely a huge upgrade over any mono fishing line.

If you’re looking to save money and get a good line that’ll be reliable and strong without spending more than you’d like, go with this line at the very minimum. This line, since it’s not 100% fluorocarbon, is actually a little thinner than classic line, so look at the diameter when purchasing. Chances are you can get a few more pound test than normal and fit it all on your reel.

Buy any one of these top three fluorocarbon lines and you certainly won’t regret switching from braid or mono. They are sensitive, strong, abrasion resistant, invisible, and just all around great to work with. Our top recommendation is the Seagaur InvizX, since it has the lowest memory and it is by far the easiest out of any of these to work with.

There are a few things to know about fluorocarbon fishing line when you are working with it:

  • Since fluorocarbon is a little heavier, it isn’t always ideal for lighter topwater or floating lures since it can pull the lure down a little bit. Depending on what you’re doing, this can be a good or a bad thing.
  • You may have to learn a new knot or two, and you always, always should wet the line with water or spit where you are tying your knot to reduce friction when tightening it. Knot recommendations for fluorocarbon lines are the improved clinch knot, Palomar knot, or Trilene knot. If you are using it as a leader, use the Triple Surgeon’s Knot to tie the lines together.

All in all, if you are looking to up your sensitivity and feel, switching to the best fluorocarbon line for the money is the way to go.

Braid vs Mono – The Pros and Cons of Each

Braid vs Mono – The Pros and Cons of Each

Braided line and monofilament line are two of the most common fishing lines found on the water today. Many people prefer one over the other and will argue for hours as to why everyone should use their preference. By examining these closely today, you should have a better understanding about which line is truly better for your fishing style.

Braid

ProsCons
Small Diameter per Pound of StrengthEasily visible
Little MemoryCan cut through things easily
Longer CastsNo shock absorption
Ultra Sensitive
No Stretch

Power Pro Fishing Line
.

Braided line is basically exactly what it sounds like – line that is braided using thread-like fibers, often which are synthetic nowadays. These synthetic materials combine to form a fishing line that is extraordinarily strong. This line is so strong that manufacturers can actually use less of this to make the same pound test line as monofilament, so it has a much smaller diameter than monofilament. For example, 15 lb test braided line would have roughly the same diameter as only 4 pound test monofilament.

How does this affect fishing? Well, for starters you can cast further as it slices through the wind easily, and is often coated with a very slick coating that really makes it glide through your guides on the rod. It means you can fish with higher pound test on a reel rated for a certain poundage of mono. Most reel ratings are for monofilament. As an example, let’s say a reel is rated for 180 yards of 8 lb test mono. If you wanted to use braid on this, you would want to spool it with 30 pound braid, which enables you to do a whole different style of fishing then. Could you merely put 8 pound braid on there and put close to 300 yards? You could, but line manufacturers like PowerPro don’t recommend it. It may cause your reel to handle differently, and if you fish with a baitcasting reel, the line is so small it digs into itself, causing backlashes.

Another benefit of braided line is it’s virtual lack of memory. These lines, especially after the first couple outings, are pretty much limp and retain no memory at all regardless of what you did with them last. This makes them easy to work with.

Braided lines also have no stretch, which creates a whole new fishing experience. When setting the hook, you must be careful not to set it too hard or you’ll about pull the fish out of the water, snap the line, or pull your lure out of the fishes mouth. Many people learn to set their drag a little lower so they can’t overset the hook. This lack of stretch also gives one more great factor, my favorite – these lines are so sensitive you can practically map the bottom out with them. This makes them outstanding for feeling bites and more.

As far as cons go, braid definitely has a couple. Many people will not use them deep sea fishing, as if you get a finger tangled in the line when a fish is on you’ll lose the finger before the line breaks. The shock of having no stretch can also be hard on your gear, all depending on how you have your drag set. Most importantly, these lines are not invisible. Fish see them and many people report catching less fish when they are finicky if they are using braid. Always use a mono leader if you are fishing these finicky fish, such as walleyes.

Mono

ProsCons
Absorbs shocksHas memory
StretchyNot as strong with the same diameter as braid
CheaperLess durable
Invisible

PLine Fishing Line
.

Monofilament broken down would mean a “single filament of line.” This is exactly what it is – not put together in pieces, but rather formed into one single long line, normally made of nylon or other plastics. They also come in specialty packages like the one shown above where two materials are combined to form a monofilament line.

The biggest benefit to mono and the reason so many people use it is it’s invisibility. It’s hard to see and definitely increases your chances of catching finicky fish. You can use it as leader material as well. Some people may also wonder why I listed stretchy as a pro – this is because it is a good thing in many situations where you need to let the fish take it, take it easy on the hookset, and it’s easier on your equipment. Most importantly, it absorbs shocks well due to its stretchiness, so if you are fishing for hard hitting fish, they are less likely to break your line. One more benefit of mono is it is normally quite a bit cheaper than braid or fluorocarbon.

Mono does come with it’s share of issues, with memory being the biggest. This line always gathers memory from sitting on your reel, so it is harder to cast and control. It’s also not as strong diameter-wise as braid, so it can get super thick if you need 80 pound test, often becoming difficult to handle. Lastly, it is less durable. It breaks down from many little nicks, constantly drying out and getting wet, and stretching all the time.

Conclusion

So, which one wins the battle? The answer is both. Each line has its benefits as well as shortcomings. Braid is strong and sensitive, but not invisible, while mono is stretchy, invisible, and cheap, but also thick, has memory, and not very strong. Try both of them out and see for yourself which one you prefer. Click here to read about the best spinning reels and here to read about the best baitcasters to pair your line with. Good luck!