Fishing line is a critical component in fishing. For all its importance, fishing line is seldom thought about by most anglers. It is understandable to be overwhelmed by different materials, colors, test strengths, and manufacturers. But, in reality, we can break down the wall of fishing line you see at a tackle shop into digestible sections to make shopping easier. For this article, we will be exploring braided fishing lines.
A braided fishing line, or "braid" for short, is comprised of multiple strands of dacron or similar lines braided together to create a high tensile strength line. Braided fishing line is one of the oldest styles of fishing line. However, the original braided line was cotton, silk, or hemp, none of which had the flexibility of today's modern fibers. Modern braided line is commonly bundled in 4,6 or 8 strands. The higher the strand count, the narrower the line. This doesn't mean a four-strand will always be thicker than an eight-strand. A 4-strand 25lb line will be thicker than an eight-strand 25lb line.
Braided fishing line has many benefits for the average angler. The first and most influential of all the other benefits is that it is thin. The thickness of braid is, on average, between 1/3 and ¼ the thickness of the same strength monofilament line. Having thinner line means anglers can spool their reel with more line for longer casts and runs in the case of a big fish. Braided line is comparatively slick, making it a breeze to cast. Braid is a top choice for anglers looking to maximize their casting distance. Outside of line capacity with braid, many consider the breaking strength of braid to be a significant advantage. With a reduced thickness, anglers can opt for a heavy test line and have the same capacity making braid ideal for weedy areas where baits could become snagged.
Braided line has virtually no stretch making it sensitive to strikes. The lack of line stretch means that anglers can fish lures with more exact movements making braid a popular choice for topwater fishing baits like poppers and frogs. The lack of stretch also means that anglers can set the hook with tremendous force when using braid. Braided line's lack of stretch makes it a top choice for anglers who are trolling baits or fishing deep water where hooksets need to be forceful. One additional benefit for anglers who are fishing lures that float or swim is that braid floats. The line isn’t buoyant enough to keep a heavy bass jig off the bottom, but it does work to slow a light lure's decent.
Braided line is a valuable tool and has many great uses. However, it is not without its disadvantages. Some of braid's benefits are also what makes it less than ideal in certain situations. Because of braid floating properties, it isn't a great choice for lightweight jigs and lures. Pan fishermen, for instance, are best off using mono or fluorocarbon to keep their tiny lures in the strike zone and functioning as they were designed.
Braided line can ice up; for fishing in very cold weather or ice fishing, braid accumulates more ice than other line types. Iced lines won't cast or retrieve well.
An additional area where braided fishing line has a strength that is also a weakness is in its slickness. While casting is easier with a slick braided line, it is difficult to tie knots in for the same reason. Anglers must take extra care to ensure that their knots are tied correctly. Otherwise, they may come undone under the pressure of a big fish. A double Uni Knot or Palomar knot are the most common knots tied in braid.
Braid is also more visible to fish than other line materials. The high visibility of braid isn't a disadvantage when it is used in fishing techniques like jigging or fast retrieves, where fish won’t have time to observe the line. While it’s possible to use braid subtly, the line is still best used when power and not subtlety are needed.
KastKing’s Line Up
For all the advantages and disadvantages listed above, KastKing has risen to the challenge of creating the perfect braided line. Instead of highlighting just one product, we've included several of our lines to showcase some of the unique benefits they each have. All of KastKing’s braided lines come in a variety of colors and weights.
To address the concern of knot strength, the Silky8 line is a round braid designed to give maximum knot strength.
The Mega8's waterproof coating keeps the line from becoming waterlogged and adds another layer of abrasion resistance. Great for fishing in rocky areas or in freezing weather.
The KastPro 13X is an ultra-thin braided line. With a thickness 75% thinner than the same weight monofilament KastPro allows anglers to use line that is virtually invisible while still being stronger than steel.
Braided fishing line is not the end all be all of fishing line. However, with the obvious benefits and variety of lines available, it is hard to ignore its value to a fisherman. For those looking to explore more options of braided fishing line or fill their reel with a new brand, check out KastKing’s complete lineup of braided line here on their website.