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Post 30 May 2020, 02:53 • #1 
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6726
Location: Holly Springs, NC
We have had only a few threads about line in this part of the forum. So...

What lines do you like for ultralight or threadlining? I don't want to start a braid vs. mono debate. If you use one, or the other, or both, what do you use and why?

For instance, I always used Ande mono because I could easily buy it in bulk and it worked well. But I have never spooled a reel with 2# test.


Post 31 May 2020, 05:14 • #2 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I fish both copolymer and braid.
The best and thinnest copolymer is Kamikaze from Oz - the problem is, the shipping costs the same as a 150-m spool.
It's also the only salt-targeted UL copolymer.
Yo-Zuri is the old reliable original copolymer, though also the thickest. I last bought a bulk spool from Amazon.
I've broken off at least a couple massive fish on copolymer, including a lifetime snook - not complaining, it was great fishing. Broke off a dinner-size spec one day just because I hadn't fished 3-lb in awhile, and forgot to apply the light-line subtleties.

Copolymer brands I've tried and don't like include Kastking and Berkley.
Aside from knot strength, I evaluate copolymers on their stretch mode when you nip them or break them off. If it whiskers when you try to nip it, it's too soft (see Berkley) - if it feels rough, it's too hard (see Kastking). What I don't accept about the Berkley is how it bulk-stretched and slid under spool wraps one day when my daughter was catching big sheepshead (on 10-lb ML).

Seaguar is my only choice in fluoro, nylon mono, too - they simply have the very best knot strength (= toughness).
Both are getting harder to find in reel-fill spool sizes, but I buy bulk spools of my favorite compositions - always have Red and Abrazx in my inshore sizes - and Blue in tippet spools covering a wide range (4-30-lb).
Seaguar doesn't call their copolymers by this moniker, but their spendy Tatsu and closer-to-earth Senshi are thin and tough, and I have the latter in a bulk spool.

While it's always a good idea to use your bail manually and turn with your rod sideways to take up all slack before you begin retrieve, it's imperative with braid.

Braid - the very best-behaved braid ever is Florida Fishing Products, which doesn't come in smaller than 10-lb, but believe me, that's small enough.
I've broken both 4-strand Yo-Zuri and 8-strand Sufix, and it made me choose to always look for 8-strand.
Braid I didn't like - again, Kastking - not coated, not tough, and abrasive.
Suxfix 832 is offered in 6-lb, which is the same diameter as 1-lb fluoro tippet.
I don't think any US supplier offers smaller braid, but they do in Japan.

I never tie braid directly to terminal tackle, but always use an improved Allbright knot to fluoro or copolymer shock tippet - something needs to stretch before it breaks.
I also use the lightest-touch of Zap-CA+pink on my splicing braid knots, chased with an accelerator (Mitre Apel spray is convenient).

This process is carried out in a ritual with a loop in the shock tippet hanging through the first guide and under tension from the weight of my spring scale,
and finished by setting my drag to 1/4 of the weakest link - braid or shock-tippet test, or rod max line rating.
This isn't set through the bent rod, but a straight shot to the spool - the dynamics of leverage through the rod combined with jerk can get that 4x back and more, and is how rods get broken and line snapped, even when drag is properly set.
I tie my shock tippet surgeon's loop large enough to loop-on either a weightless cigar cork or titanium bite trace.

For toothy fish, absolutely cannot beat Mako titanium leaders from Russia, shown next to a "normal" size salt swivel snap hook (60-lb), to give you perspective on their diminutive hardware. They're light enough to use on a fly rod for toothy fish.
The advantage of titanium is that it stretches before it breaks (and single-strand titanium will also knot).

Post 01 Jun 2020, 07:01 • #3 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
jgestar wrote:
...I always used Ande mono because I could easily buy it in bulk and it worked well. But I have never spooled a reel with 2# test.


It's tough to find mono, fluoro and copolymer in less than 4-lb test, e.g. Ande offers 2-lb in their Premium Monofilament, 0.007" diameter. They offer 4-lb in their Backcountry, softest, low-memory mono, 0.008" dia. That ends up being the same diameter as coated 10-lb braid. Part of the reason 6-lb to 10-lb braid is such an advantage for distance casting.

Braid has no memory, and you can spool it onto a spinning reel with your source spool spinning on an axle. While if you're loading mono/fluoro/copolymer onto a spinning reel, you need to do the "label-up" keeping your source spool flat on the ground and not spinning. The advantage of fishing mono, etc. is the convenience of simple knots for terminal rigging, and of course with fluorcarbon, it's completely transparent in water.

2-lb mono is packed by most of the familiar makers, Stren, Berkley, in specialty lines, "Crappie", "Ice", etc. Maxima still has a fan club, and should. I'm fishing some salt-fly Maxima leader butts that were made up 25 years ago.
Friends fishing XUL on their venerable Daiwas, e.g., fill most of the spool with higher-test mono, and use good lower-test tippet material for their working line. Good tippet is going to be low memory and (should be) highest knot strength. I have some coast friends who swear by P-Line copolymer both for their UL rigs, and for shock tippet on their ML inshore rods.

I held off from braid for the longest time, mostly because of seeing my friends with massive wind knots - in 30+-lb braid inshore, and you'd expect it to be even worse in finer braid (see quote just below). Still don't use it on my baitcasters because good fluoro is so much easier dealing with the occasional backlash. Getting those long casts in Arroyo dock fishing finally sent me to braid on my spinning reels, and I haven't turned back.
bulldog1935 wrote:
While it's always a good idea to use your bail manually and turn with your rod sideways to take up all slack before you begin retrieve, it's imperative with braid.

Post 01 Jun 2020, 13:58 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1202
Location: US-CO
lots of braids I don't like, so far best for me for UL has been Spiderwire Stealth though it does start out a bit sticky from the coating. After fishing for a bit it gets better. I use the 10lb which is 0.008 diameter, close to Maxima 4lb.
Maxima braid for me was unfishable, far too limp so tangles easily, knots up tight on the tangles and cuts itself. Similar experience with Powerpro.

So this is ongoing, still looking for a braid I really like - will try the Florida Fishing recommendation, thanks bulldog.
My brother fishes heavy salt and likes Gliss and the Daiwa 8-strand, but neither is readily available here.

I like the braid for distance casting, and for the extra strength in amongst the rocks and weeds fishing for bass and walleye.

Maxima has always been my standard for mono, but lately prefer Stroft. It's not sold in the US anymore unfortunately, so have to shop Europe for it.
It's thinner than Maxima, great knot strength, handles well and good abrasion resistance.
I've never had much luck with Berkley or Stren lines.

Also trying some new Japan monos specifically for trout games,

This is nearly invisible which turns out to be a problem when stream fishing, ended up with a bit of Loon putty as an indicator on the spinning line, to see where the lure was..
So now have a Sunline Troutist Area line which alternates bright fluorescent red with grey sections, have not had an opportunity to try it yet..

Post 02 Jun 2020, 06:34 • #5 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
One of my MM inshore reels is spooled with Ghost Gray 15-lb Florida Distance braid - you must really concentrate to see this line in front of your face, even in bright sun.
It developed a stealth reputation very quickly, and they sold out of it first of the four colors they offered - I expect they'll re-stock.
Second is my MH reel with 20-lb in their Ice Blue, and next the Libra SL with 10-lb Ice Blue. You can see the blue braids to work with them, even in low light, and you can see it for a short way across the water - I'm mostly buying blue braids now.

Last is the Suffix 832 Coastal Camo color in 6-lb (0.006" dia). Made from Gore fibers - tough to argue with that for quality.

Fish looking up always see bright light, blue sky, as well as low angle reflections under the water surface.
Certainly haven't found blue braid to affect fish takes, but the color makes it a lot easier for me to keep up with.
I think most of the "line shy" we associate with trout fishing has to with how too thick tippet affects the water surface tension and shape.
And again, you can put an invisible gap between the fine blue braid and your lure with fluorocarbon shock tippet.

I know someone who claims mackerel have the most acute eyesight of any, and absolutely will not fish metal wire leaders - only heavy fluoro.
And when you see them fly 12' into the air after shooting up from 30' down to hit a surface plug, hard to argue against that, and his skills hauling in kings.
But I've caught them on a slow-stripped fly when they were sipping tiny pilcher, with braided wire leader and crimp sleeve holding the size 2 fly.
I just don't think line color is a big factor in fish sight, except maybe when you get down to where there isn't much size difference between your fly and the line.

Post 02 Jun 2020, 21:06 • #6 
Joined: 06/10/05
Posts: 579
Location: US-MI
Hi Ron,
Have you ever fished braid on any size Penn spinfisher models like the ones I have?
Any recommendations for that?

Post 03 Jun 2020, 08:16 • #7 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Have never fished braid on Penn spinfishers, 712, 716, 4400SS, 4200SS - always mono or fluoro.
Right up front, should have a ball-bearing line roller for braid - a bushing is just not efficient, and the braid and roller can destroy each other.

Braid is so small and limp, it lays better on newer design reels with shallow spools and tighter line management.
Deep spools like Penns, I would stick to mono/fluoro, or if you do go to braid, go big dia/test (3x the mono/fluoro test to get the same line diameter and capacity).
If you want to increase capacity, can use matching braid backing (cost-effective like Yo-Zuri) with working fluoro that matches your rod line rating.

This spool is kind of extreme, but Shimano makes two spools with this same stroke and lower capacity - one of those with only half this capacity.
This is the C2000S spool, which is identical to FL1000

My Tica SX1500 loads and fishes 10-lb braid great, and holds about 200 yds of it
(or about 100-yds 6-lb copolymer, and I have a spool of each).

On SX3000, haven't fished anything but 10-lb copolymer and 12-lb fluoro. It would fish 30-40-lb braid, but would take a lot to fill the spool - it holds around 200 yds of the copolymers.
Looked it up - the SX3000 capacity is over 200 yds 30-lb braid, and pushing 200 yds 40-lb (matches a Shimano 5000 spool).
That 3:1 ratio is generally the right ballpark - the 10-lb fluoro capacity basically matches the 30-lb braid capacity, same diameter, etc.

For my inshore kayak fishing, 12-lb fluoro will out-cast what I need to do.

A lot of my friends fish 30-40-lb braid here - casting-wise, 10-12-lb fluoro and 30-40-lb braid behave pretty much the same, because they're about the same diameter.
People who prefer the braid note its no-stretch, better abrasion resistance in oyster shell, and they'll add 20-30-lb fluoro shock tippet.
In most cases, they're over-lining their MH rods.
I pretty much reserve braid for where I want the smaller diameters.

a good ps here - if you've never loaded braid before, first thing to do is begin with an improved Allbright knot to matching-test in mono/fluoro. Braid won't bite on a spool to start winding, so you need a foot or so of mono to tie your arbor knot and begin winding your braid. Some people also do the arbor knot with braid and tape it to the spool.

Post 24 Jun 2020, 11:52 • #8 
Joined: 07/15/12
Posts: 60
Location: US-PA
I have been using braid or fireline on my rods for years. Being I fish my spinning gear less often (but more lately) I decided to go over to braid as by the time I fished the rod the second time the mono was a mess. Using Quantum Pulse and now Quantum Throttle 2 reels I have learned the following with braid: close the bail and every so many casts wind the line tight back on the spool. I either use tippet for a leader on lighter rods or fluoro / Mono 12# and 17# on my heavier rods. I always have the lighter leader versus the braid so if I do break off im only losing 4-6 of leader.


Post 24 Jun 2020, 12:17 • #9 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Two things spoil you about braid - totally limp - no line memory - and the thread gauge casts it out of sight.
It's so small, you have to plan around filling your spools.
But if you don't take care of your spool with good manual bail management, you'll be cutting out some horrific wind knots - my first experience with braid was watching my buddy do this every inshore trip.
Once you get your good habits in line, though, you won't be tempted to go back to mono - see the two spoilers above.

Many of my inshore acquaintances use braid on their baitcasters, too - I'm not that brave, and still very happy with good 12-lb fluoro

I'll also put in another plug for coated braids, Sufix 832.
I was splicing a Kastking 10-lb braid backing to 832 6-lb, and noticed the 10-lb was just a bit finer than the 6-lb.
But the lack of coating makes it more prone to twist, wind-knot and be abrasive.

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