Mono vs. Braided Line – Which is Best for Surf Fishing?

People have always debated which type of line is better for surf fishing – mono or braided. Each type of line has its advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will explore the differences between braided and mono line, and share our advice on which is better for surf fishing.

What is braided line?

Braided line, also known as superline, is a type of fishing line made up of several strands of fiber material braided together. The material used to make braided line is typically stronger and more durable than mono line.

Braided line

Braided line is also thinner in diameter than mono line of the same strength, allowing for more line to be spooled on the reel.

What is mono line?

Mono, short for monofilament, is a single strand of nylon or other synthetic material.

Mono line

It is more flexible than braided line, making it easier to cast, and has a greater stretch capacity, which can be beneficial when fighting large fish.

Strength comparison

Braided line is much stronger than mono line, when comparing lines with similar diameters. Due to its construction, braided line has a higher tensile strength than mono line of the same diameter.

Braided (test lbs)DiameterMono test lbs equivalent
Braided line has smaller diameter then mono

Since braided line has a smaller diameter (it’s thinner), it takes up less space than mono line, allowing more line to be spooled onto the reel. This is important when you need to cast long distances or battle larger fish that require more line.

Strength testing mono, braided and flouro


In my experience, braided is easier to cast than braided line. However, I don’t think there’s a significant difference in casting distance or accuracy.

Using the best rod for long distance casting has a bigger impact than the line type.

Line memory

One issue I’ve faced with mono line is that it develops ‘line memory’. Line memory, which is when the line retains the shape of the spool it was wound on. This can cause the line to ‘jump off’ the reel during casting, which can affect distance and sometimes catch your finger.

To prevent line memory, you should avoid overfilling the spool and should store the line properly, such as in a cool, dry place.

In contrast, braided fishing line has less line memory than monofilament fishing line, which means it is less likely to develop curls, twists, or loops.

Which is less visible to fish?

Mono line is less visible to fish than braided fishing line. This matters because fish can be wary of fishing lines and may be less likely to bite if they can see the line. Using a less visible line can increase the chances of a successful catch by reducing the chances of spooking the fish.

Mono line (top) and braided line (bottom)

Both types of line are available in colors, like blue or green, that are designed to blend in and be less visible to fish.

Bite sensitivity

Braided fishing line is more sensitive to bites than monofilament fishing line. This is because braided fishing line has little to no stretch, which allows anglers to feel even the slightest movements or vibrations on the line.

In contrast, monofilament fishing line has more stretch, which can make it harder to feel bites, especially in deeper water or when using lighter lures.

Setting the hook and reeling in

Both monofilament and braided fishing lines have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to setting the hook and reeling in a fish. If we had to pick a winner, it would be braided line. Here’s why…

Braided fishing line has less stretch, which can make it easier to set the hook quickly and firmly.

Regarding reeling in a fish, both monofilament and braided fishing lines can be effective. Monofilament fishing line’s stretch can help absorb the shock of a fish’s sudden movements, reducing the risk of the line breaking.


Monofilament line is more abrasion-resistant than braided line, making it a better choice for fishing near rocks. The smooth, single-strand construction of monofilament makes it less likely to fray or break when rubbed against rough surfaces like rocks.

Price difference

Braided fishing line is generally more expensive than monofilament fishing line. This is because braided fishing line is made from more expensive synthetic fibers, such as Spectra or Dyneema, which are stronger and more durable than the nylon or other synthetic materials used to make monofilament fishing line.

As a result, braided fishing line can cost 2 to 3 times more than monofilament fishing line of similar strength and length.

Braided line with a mono leader

Anglers often use braided fishing line with a mono leader for several reasons:

  1. Sensitivity: As mentioned earlier, braided fishing line is highly sensitive, making it easier to feel even the slightest movements or bites.
  2. Strength: Braided fishing line is stronger and more durable than monofilament fishing line of the same diameter, pound test, and length.
  3. Low visibility: While braided fishing line is highly visible underwater, using a mono leader can help reduce its visibility and make it less likely to spook fish.

The length of the mono leader should be at least twice the length of the fish being targeted, and in some cases, it can be even longer.

Our favorite braided line for surf fishing

J-Braid x4 in Island Blue is my favorite line for surf fishing. It’s got great durability, strength, and casting ability.

With a 4-strand construction and a 65lb test rating, this braided line is strong enough to handle most fish species that are commonly caught in the surf.

The Island Blue color seems to blend in with the water, making it less visible to fish (but that could be my imagination).

A great mono line for the surf

If I’m using mono line for surf fishing, it’s going to be Berkley Trilene XT Monofilament. The line has a good amount of stretch, which can help absorb shock and prevent breakage when a fish pulls hard or makes sudden movements.

The 25 lb test rating is strong enough for most fish species that are commonly caught in the surf. I’ve been using the low-vis green color with a lot of success.

Wrapping up

Both braided and monofilament (mono) fishing line have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between the two will depend on a variety of factors including personal preference.

We prefer braided line due to its strength and sensitivity. However, mono fishing line can be less visible to fish, more abrasion resistant, and more forgiving for beginners.

You should definitely consider using a combination of the two, with a braided main line and a mono leader, to take advantage of the benefits of both types of fishing line.

Whichever you go with, good luck and happy fishing!

Braided Line FAQ

How do I cut braided line?

Because of it’s strength, braided line can be hard to cut without the right tools. Braid cutters work best but there are several ways to cut braided line, including with a bait knife or fishing pliers.

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