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Best Bass Fishing Line: Braid, Mono, and Fluorocarbon Compared

Largemouth are America’s #1 game fish for a reason, and the heart-pounding excitement of fighting your first 10-pounder will hook you for life!

But with increased fishing pressure, busier lives, and less time to spend on the water than we’d like, tackle choice is critical to make the most of every opportunity. And among the serious questions anglers need to answer, none is more critical than which fishing line to choose.

If you’re wondering what are the best fishing lines for bass, we’ve got answers!

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide to the pros and cons of each option, as well as reviews of some of our top picks:

Best Braided Fishing Line For Bass

Best Monofilament Fishing Line For Bass

Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Line For Bass

Best Bass Fishing Rods

Best Bass Fishing Reels

Best Fishing Line For Bass Reviewed

Braid

Sufix 832Our Pick for Braided Line

Weights: 6, 8, 13, 18, 20, 26, 30, 39, 50, 63, 79, 86, 99

Colors: Camo, Coastal Camo, Ghost, Low-Vis Green, Neon Lime, High-Vis Yellow, and 

Multi-Color.

Strands:

Material: Dyneema plus a GORE fiber

Sufix 832 is a popular choice among bass anglers, and it’s gained something of a cult following among braid enthusiasts. We like it a lot, too, and it’s our favorite braided superline due to its relative colorfastness, strength, and castability.

Sufix takes a unique approach to the design of this line, using a fiber developed by GORE (that’s right, the company behind Gore-Tex!). It’s then braided together with seven Dyneema fibers to create a unified whole. Sufix claims that this improves strength, casting, and abrasion resistance, and one feel will confirm that this is very smooth, very round braid.

Casting is generally excellent with this line, and unlike many braids with a heavy coating, Sufix 832 doesn’t shed tiny particles all over your gear, bleed onto your reel, or feel stiff in your hands.

Available in a wide range of weights and colors, there’s something for everyone and nearly every technique. As is to be expected with all braided line, you should anticipate some fading–though Sufix 832 is among the most colorfast braids we tried. And from the water-matching hue of Coastal Camo to the muted brown of Camo, Sufix offers a few choices of color to help you match your conditions.

If you fish and tie this line like you should, we think you’ll be hooked by its performance!

Pros:

  • Exceptional casting
  • Good colorfastness
  • Good color choices

Cons:

  • No super heavy-weight line choices

Power Pro

Weights: 3, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 200, 250

Colors: Vermillion Red, Moss Green, White, High-Vis Yellow, 

Strands: 4 or 6

Material: resin-infused Spectra

Power Pro’s incredibly wide range of weights makes it a popular choice in both fresh and saltwater, and its proprietary tech results in a very tough, very smooth superline. While not available in the range of colors of some of its competitors, this is very capable stuff. We wouldn’t hesitate to spool it on, especially if we need very heavy line.

Power Pro uses Spectra fibers, infusing them with resins to improve the shape and abrasion resistance of the final braid. This both reduces drag through the guides and slows water penetration, as the infusion is through the component strands. An incredible range of tests make this a very versatile brand, and there’s something here for every situation.

Power Pro casts well, though it can be a touch “noisy” through the guides. That’s no big deal in our book, especially when we watch our lures land where we want them to.

If we have a quibble about this line, it’s the poor range of color choices. Basically, you have red, white, green, and one high-vis color. That’s not a lot of options, though this range will get it done.

Overall, we’re pretty impressed with Power Pro, especially when we need heavy-weight line.

Pros:

  • Exceptional casting
  • Good colorfastness
  • Huge range of line weights

Cons:

  • Not many colors available

Monofilament

Stren OriginalOur Pick for Monofilament Line

Weights: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, 25, 30

Colors: Clear, Clear Blue Fluorescent, Hi-Vis Gold, Low-Vis Green

Stren Original has been around for a very long time, and many anglers tied their first knots with it. Since then, more than a few have shelved the Stren for fluorocarbon and braid, but this mono deserves a closer look.

Available in both low- and high-vis options, as well as fluorescent for night fishing, there’s a color for nearly any condition, and clear works wonders for hiding your line when the water looks like glass.

Stren Original really shines when abrasion is an issue, and more than a few fishermen have discovered that it makes excellent leader material. That says a lot right there, and this was confirmed by SaltStrong. In a

, Stren Original proved the toughest!

Stren’s line is pretty limp, leading to amazing casts, and it ties easily–as you’d expect.

Its sensitivity was something of another surprise to us. We find that Stren is pretty good at detecting light strikes even with a lot of line in the water. While it’s not going to offer slack-line sensitivity to rival fluorocarbon, we weren’t disappointed and don’t think you will be either!

Pros:

  • Very low memory
  • Excellent casting
  • Night fishing options available
  • High-visibility options available
  • Outstanding abrasion resistance
  • Easy to tie
  • Good sensitivity

Cons:

  • Heavy weight tests not available

Trilene Big Game

Weights: 8, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 130

Colors: Clear, Green, Solar Collector, Steel Blue

If you need heavy-weight mono, Trilene Big Game delivers.

Big Game’s color palette offers nearly invisible options, but don’t expect high-visibility or fluorescent choices. That said, these are proven colors that blend into the background in a wide variety of conditions, as many saltwater anglers know really well! Plenty of fishermen have used this instead of the much more expensive fluorocarbon options, and the fish don’t seem able to see Big Game.

Knot strength is excellent, and even in heavy weights, it’s easy to tie. Admirably limp and low on memory, it casts well, too.

Especially as you move up in weight, and thus in diameter, Trilene Big Game gets very, very abrasion-resistant. For large fish putting up a fight near rocks or pilings, you probably can’t find a better product.

Pros:

  • Very low memory
  • Excellent casting
  • Superb abrasion resistance
  • Easy to tie

Cons:

  • Average sensitivity
  • Light tests not available

Fluorocarbon

Seaguar InvizxOur Pick for Fluorocarbon

Weights: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25

Colors: Clear

Seaguar Invizx has won a lot of anglers to its side, and just a few casts and knots will explain why. This is excellent fluorocarbon main line, and it’s our top choice when we need to spool up clear, sensitive, easy-casting fluoro.

Where Invizx shines is handling and knot strength. On a casting reel, this fluoro feels more like mono: supple, tangle-free, and frictionless. It casts really, really well as a result.

Its knot strength is simply unbeatable. With a well-tied Palomar, the main line may give before the knot lets go, defying a pretty hard and fast law of fishing! Seaguar must be doing some real magic behind the scenes, because this is better than even the best nylon monofilaments!

It’s also very sensitive, reinforcing why we recommend this excellent line for anglers looking to fish fluoro.

It stays clear during use, and we have no issues with the coating being shed. 

Pros:

  • Fantastic casting
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Awesome knot strength
  • Remains clear

Cons:

  • Not available in heavy weights
  • Expensive!

Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon

Weights: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25

Colors: Clear and Green

Trilene’s 100% Fluorocarbon is made from a proprietary mix of PVDF, and according to Berkley, this imparts “optimal impact strength.” We like this line a lot. Its knot strength is excellent, and if you’re willing to trade a touch of sensitivity for landing more fish, this is a hard choice to beat.

When using a Palomar knot tied well, Trilene’s 100% Fluorocarbon exhibits incredible knot strength. In fact, it’s easily on par with the best nylon monofilaments, essentially negating a major criticism of fluoro. Whatever Trilene is doing to this fluorocarbon is working!

Abrasion resistance is pretty average for this kind of line, as is sensitivity, but it casts well and remains clear (and holds its green color) very well. But like most fluorocarbon lines, we recommend that you stick to casting reels. Its high memory and inclination to twist will create problems on spinning tackle.

Our sense is that when compared to other Berkley products like Vanish and Vanish Transition, this is the better choice, though it’s pretty much a similar jack-of-all-trades, except when it comes to knot strength.

Pros:

  • Comparatively inexpensive
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Nice casting
  • Good sensitivity
  • Awesome knot strength
  • Remains clear and holds its color

Tips For Selecting the best Line for Bass Fishing

Monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid all have a place in a bass angler’s tacklebox.

To understand why, let’s take a closer look at the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each.

Braid

Braided line is woven of varying numbers of Spectra or Dyneema polyethylene fibers, sometimes with the addition of others like GORE. It can also have coatings added by the manufacturer, improving water resistance, handling, and abrasion resistance.

For bass anglers, braid is hard to beat for most techniques.

Very, very strong for diameter, it allows you to spool on quite a bit of line or step up in strength considerably over standard mono or fluorocarbon. It’s also extremely limp–bearing almost no memory–and this enables truly excellent casting performance.

And because neither Dyneema nor Spectra like to stretch, braid is ideal for hard hooksets and finesse techniques that demand the ultimate in sensitivity. In contrast to mono, which can stretch as much as 25%, expect just 1% to 8% stretch from braid.

To me, that hard hookset and extra sensitivity are the real selling-point, and from drop shotting, to Texas rigging worms, to flipping and pitching, braid is nearly impossible to beat.

But braid has weaknesses, too, and they’re worth understanding.

Because braid doesn’t stretch, it offers poor shock strength. When subjected to sudden force, it just can’t absorb the impact, and instead, it can break-off well under it’s rated test strength. That lack of stretch also makes it a lot easier for bass to throw a lure, and if you’ve ever watched a big one breach the water, shake its head violently, and send your lure well clear of its mouth, you know how disheartening that can be!

Dyneema and Spectra are very slick materials, and because of that, they have a hard time binding on themselves. The result is that braid exhibits poor knot strength, often just about half of its rated test strength. For instance, TackleTour’s tests revealed an average knot strength of just 49%. 

For 20-pound test, that means that your line will start to experience knot failure at just 9.8 pounds!

Braid is also very weak when you consider abrasion.

We tested braid head-to-head with fluorocarbon and mono, using wet lines and including mono of equivalent diameter. Our results were clear: braid offered vastly lower abrasion resistance than either of its competitors, hands down.

Experts agree with us. “The fact that braided line is manufactured by wrapping multiple strands over the top of each other means that those strands can separate. When they do separate–and they will whenever something hard scratches the surface in just the right way–they allow water to enter what was a sealed surface. When they open up, the water that gets in wears them, and that wear can result in breaks. Trust us when we say that those stresses will result in big fish getting away.”

Finally, Dyneema and Spectra are very hard to color, and clear simply isn’t an option for braid. In clear water or with heavy-weight braid, you’re going to miss line-shy fish.

Pros:

  • Super strong for diameter
  • Very limp and casts well
  • Ultra-sensitive
  • Excellent hooksets

Cons:

  • Low shock strength
  • Poor knot strength
  • Very poor abrasion resistance
  • Highly visible in clear water

Braid: Our Assessment

The strengths of braid make it superb for any application that demands high sensitivity and hard hooksets, and if I’m running anything with a single hook, it’s pretty likely that you’ll find braid on my reel.

To overcome its weaknesses, I recommend heavy weights (50- to 65-pounds).

That’ll improve knot and shock strength, but it will also make your line more visible.

For clear water, I abandon braid altogether, switching to fluorocarbon or mono. Neither can provide the sensitivity braid delivers, or the sharp hookset, but if the fish won’t take my worm, it really doesn’t matter!

But nothing I’ve tried will bring braid’s abrasion resistance up to an acceptable point, so if I’m fishing around rocks or shells, lots of concrete or submerged debris, I reach for mono.

Monofilament

Nylon mono is what most of us older guys grew up with, and the pros still realize it has a place in bass angling.

Far tougher than you might realize, our tests revealed that mono is as abrasion-resistant as fluorocarbon, with the added benefit that as it stretches under load, it easily returns to its original length. Fluoro won’t, and that deformation weakens the line quite a bit.

Mono also stretches, sometimes to as much as 25% of its length. 

That’s both good and bad.

It’s good in that that stretch provides superior shock strength. It also makes it very hard for bass to throw a lure as the mono’s give essentially glues the hook to its lip.

But it’s bad when you need sensitivity or hard hooksets, and for single-hooked lures, you will notice a difference right away.

For treble hooked applications, though, mono is pretty much top dog. Especially when you consider that mono tends to float, it’s an ideal choice for topwater.

As Bobby Lane explains, mono is ideal “for fishing certain treble-hooked lures like diving and lipless crankbaits. There, the stretch offered by mono is an advantage. It makes it tougher for bass to ‘throw’ the lures during the fight. The stretch is also helpful when it’s cold or the bass are finicky and you need them to hold the bait just an instant longer so you can hook them.”

Mono also knots extremely well, easily surpassing both braid and fluorocarbon on this metric. For instance, when TackleTour tested the knot strength of average mono like Trilene XL, they found that it was exceptional: line verified to be 10-pound test held 9.7 pounds at the knot!

Mono can have trouble with memory, and it’s a far cry from braid. But it’s nothing like fluorocarbon, either, and mono casts really well.

And since mono comes in pretty much any color you want, including varieties of clear, it’s an excellent choice for fishing in a situation where line visibility can make or break your day.

Pros:

  • Excellent shock strength
  • Superior knot strength
  • Casts well
  • Low visibility

Cons:

  • Poor hooksets with single hooks
  • Low sensitivity

Mono: Our Assessment

If I’m fishing around rough stuff, I’m throwing mono. It’s as simple as that.

And if I’m working top water or most crankbaits and jerkbaits, you’ll find mono on my reel, too.

But I don’t like it for worm fishing or any other finesse technique as the sensitivity just isn’t there, and most of the time, you’ll find me running braid for these applications.

That said, mono is easy to tie, easy to cast, and nearly invisible to fish. It’s strong, especially in a hard fight, and makes a great choice where abrasion is going to be an issue.

Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon has earned a place in my tackle box, and I think it deserves a place in yours, too. The way I like to think about fluorocarbon is as a braid replacement for crystal clear water.

Fluoro is composed of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a thermoplastic that’s both harder and denser than nylon. That creates some interesting properties, offering advantages that are often overlooked by anglers.

The chief selling-point of fluorocarbon is that it’s touted as being less visible than mono, though it’s worth noting that scientists insist that fluoro is NOT nearly invisible in water.

I’m just not sure, and tests like this seem to give the edge to fluorocarbon:

In practice, I’d say that it’s at least as invisible as mono, and perhaps even better. Your mileage may vary, however. But it’s undeniably less visible than braid, and when you can see the bottom like the back of your hand, fluoro starts to make real sense.

Fluorocarbon sinks, but not like lead-core lines!

Note that fluoro sinks at about twice to three times the rate of mono.

That makes it great for deep, clear water but bad for topwater applications where you don’t want your line dragging your lure under. It can also be great for deep-diving crankbaits when the water is very clear.

But here’s the thing–fluorocarbon’s density makes it much more sensitive than mono, and while not the equal of braid by any means, where line visibility is a problem, I’d reach for fluoro for finesse techniques like Texas or Carolina rigs as well as drop shots.

It’s also pretty darn tough, and my tests place it on par with mono in terms of abrasion resistance.

The downsides to fluorocarbon shouldn’t be ignored, however. 

First, it’s slick and doesn’t knot well, though it’s generally better than braid on this front.

In TackleTour’s testing, the high-end fluorocarbons they reviewed experienced knot failure at an average of 63.5 percent of their tested tensile strength. That means that for the average 20-pound fluorocarbon, knot failure will begin at just 12.7 pounds of force!

Second, that additional density creates a potential problem. Fluorocarbon tends to stretch more than comparable mono, but it takes more force to initiate that deformation. When it does elongate under load, however, it doesn’t want to return to its original length, and some of the stretch is permanent (about 5%)–yielding weaker line!

Finally, that density makes fluorocarbon less pliable, giving it more memory than its competitors and typically limiting casting performance.

Pros:

  • Very low visibility
  • Sinks faster than mono
  • More sensitive than mono

Cons:

  • Poor knot strength
  • Poor casting
  • Deformation under force

Fluorocarbon: Our Assessment

When the water is as clear as a swimming pool, braid won’t get the job done. And for finesse techniques, mono’s just not sensitive enough.

That’s when I reach for fluorocarbon!

It’s important to tie strong, easy-holding knots like the Palomar, and to recognize that a hard fight might compromise the line in ways you can’t see.

But if you keep these issues in mind, fluorocarbon can be a great choice for line-shy fish like largemouth.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has helped you narrow your choices, selecting the right lines for your conditions and needs.

If it has, we’d love to hear from you.

Please leave a comment below!

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