Braided fishing line quickly caught anglers’ attention when they were first introduced to the sport, and their popularity hasn’t waned since then. In fact, it’s easy to find fishermen who swear by braid, and its many favorable characteristics make it an ideal choice for a variety of situations and techniques.
No one type of line is superior in every case, and there’s no “best line” for fishing. That said, braid has a wide range of applications. If you’re wondering when and how to use these superlines, we’re here to help--keep reading!
Choosing the best braided fishing line can be a headache, too, as there are dozens of options ranging from the very high-end to budget offerings. Which ones are worth the money, and how do they perform in the real world?
To help you answer these questions, we’ll explain what we look for in a good braided superline, offering you reviews of some of our favorites.
Here is a quick glance of the best braided fishing line on the market today:
|Sufix 832||6, 8, 13, 18, 20, 26, 30, 39, 50, 63, 79, 86, 99||Camo, Coastal Camo, Ghost, Low-Vis Green, Neon Lime, High-Vis Yellow, and Multi-Color.||8||Dyneema plus a GORE fiber|
|Berkley FireLine||4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 20, 30||Flame Green, Smoke, Crystal, Tracer, and Metered||n/a||Dyneema|
|Daiwa J-Braid||6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 120||Dark Green, Chartreuse, White, and Multi-Color||8||Dyneema|
|Power Pro||3, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 200, 250||Vermillion Red, Moss Green, White, High-Vis Yellow||4 or 6||resin-infused Spectra|
|SpiderWire Stealth||6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 250||High-Vis Yellow, Moss Green, Blue Camo, Camo, Pink, and Translucent||multiple braided yarns||Dyneema treated with fluoropolymer|
Table of Contents (clickable)
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.
Material: Dyneema plus a GORE fiber
Sufix 832 is a popular choice among 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!) that’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 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!
Weights: 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 20, 30
Colors: Flame Green, Smoke, Crystal, Tracer, and Metered
Berkley’s FireLine was one of the first superlines, introduced in 1996. Since then, it has impressed a lot of anglers. If you don’t need true heavy-weight line, and you prefer a spinning reel, FireLine is an outstanding choice.
FireLine isn’t a true braid, but it begins life as one before being heat-treated to fuse the separate fibers together. This results in improved smoothness and abrasion resistance. That’s apparent in its casting performance, which is as good as any line we’ve ever used.
Color choices are fairly limited, though, but they include “metered’ which offers contrasting colors to tell you how much line you have out. That’s a slick option, but like all braids, fading is an issue.
What keeps this line from being our favorite is simple: it’s offered in a limited range of colors and weights and designed specifically for spinning reels. That said, it’s excellent line for these purposes.
Weights: 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 120
Colors: Dark Green, Chartreuse, White, and Multi-Color
Daiwa’s J-Braid x8 is a great choice in a superline, and perhaps the closest rival to Sufix’s 832 that we’ve tested.
Woven together from eights strands of Dyneema, J-Braid x8 is strong, and it’s available in a wide range of weights. Be careful when selecting your color, however, as not every option is offered in every weight. But given the huge variety of tests available, it fits a lot of situations well.
We find J-Braid x8 to be very smooth, and it casts exceptionally well.
Its color choices are reasonable, but nothing to brag about. Expect some fading, but that’s pretty much par for the course with braid. Some anglers complain that the coating on this line will flake and that in extreme heat, it can become sticky. Most, however, did not experience either of these issues.
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 one high-vis color, red, white, and green. 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.
Weights: 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 250
Colors: High-Vis Yellow, Moss Green, Blue Camo, Camo, Pink, and Translucent
Strands: multiple braided yarns
Material: Dyneema treated with fluoropolymer
SpiderWire Stealth is an excellent choice in braided line that’s available in an extensive range of weights and colors. Be aware, though, that some colors don’t span that entire test range.
The construction of SpiderWire is unusual. As their Ron Kiegl explains, “To make Dyneema fiber into fishing line you start with almost invisible strands of fiber with diameters measuring only microns – this is comparable to the width of a fine human hair. Then you take all these tiny filaments and bundle them together to make a multi-strand yarn. Next, a number of these multi-strand yarns, 4, 6, 8, or as many as 12 or 16 yarns, are braided together to make a strong, durable structure with the flexibility and strength required."
SpiderWire Stealth is then coated with fluoropolymer to improve its roundness, smoothness, waterproofing, and abrasion resistance.
The result is a very strong, very slick line that casts very well in our experience.
Its color choices are pretty good, and there are quite a few options for different conditions and needs. Unfortunately, SpiderWire Stealth tends to fade pretty quickly in the water.
We like this line’s performance overall, but it’s not our top choice because of that.
Braided superlines are composed of spun polyethylene fibers that are then woven together into a single strand. Two fiber types are available to manufacturers, Dyneema or Spectra, and the only real difference between them is in processing. But braided lines do vary in how many fibers they weave together, ranging from a low of three to as many as eight. Many high-end superlines are then coated to reduce water absorption, improve handling and casting, and provide greater resistance to abrasion. But because Dyneema and Spectra are very slick materials, they’re hard to color.
For instance, TackleTour’s tests revealed an average knot strength of just 49 percent. For 20-pound test, that means that average braid will start to experience knot failure at just 9.8 pounds!
Other experts agree. “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.”
Generally speaking, braided superlines are not a good choice where you’ll encounter abrasive surfaces.
After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of braid, it’s easy to see situations where it’s an awesome choice.
Skilled anglers know the limits of this awesome line and take a simple step to get the most from it. Braided fishing lines don’t give, and that can lead to broken line. Moreover, braids aren’t very abrasion-resistant, and they can be frayed by oyster shells, rocks, tree limbs, and pretty much anything else. They also have a bad habit of knotting in the wind during a cast.
What do we do to overcome these weaknesses?
All braided superlines are strong and cast well; that’s a given. None of them knot particularly well, though, and abrasion resistance isn’t a strong suit for any of them. But make no mistake, not all superlines are created equal, and there are some things we look for in our top choices.
Braided superlines have a lot of commendable qualities: great casting, super strength, and extreme sensitivity. What sets them apart are the details of color, colorfastness, and overall quality.
In these categories, Sufix 832 is a real standout. All braids cast well and provide superior strength for diameter; this line shines in its range of color choices and ability to withstand sun and water.
But if you need a wider range of tests than Sufix 832 offers, we recommend you take a close look at Power Pro. A huge selection is available, and this line won’t disappoint. Another excellent choice is Daiwa J-Braid x8, which is nearly as good as the Sufix.
All of these superlines are built tough and cast well, and if you understand the limits of braid, you’ll be happy with any of them.
Let us know what you think of our recommendations, and if we’ve overlooked your favorite, please leave a comment below.