Which Line Should You Choose?

Other than the hook, the line is the all important variable in your fishing success. You can buy the most technologically advanced fishing rod and reel humankind has ever produced, but without a fishing line, you might as well be fishing with a spear. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question of what makes the best fishing line. There are pros and cons to each, depending on the fishing conditions at hand. The three main classes a beginner will usually encounter are monofilament, fluorocarbon and braid.

Let’s start with mono. This is the most well-known material, the ubiquitous, generic, single strand plastic “fishing line,” recognized by the masses. It comes in beginners’ fishing combos, comes in multiple colors, and makes a good all around line. 

googan squad monofilament spool

PROS of monofilament:

  • It floats. This is a major advantage when fishing in any type of topwater scenario, be it  frogs, waking baits, buzz baits, and crankbaits.
  • It stretches. This one can be a pro or con, depending on your desired application. Line stretch protects against breaking off of big fish. 
  • It’s softer and more supple than fluorocarbon and ties good knots more easily. (It’s also easier to cut with your teeth.)
  • Most affordable: at 330 yards, it’s $0.03 per yard*
  • Makes a good leader.
  • It has good abrasion resistance.
  • Comes in a variety of colors.

 CONS of monofilament:

  • It floats. If you’re trying to fish deep water, this is an obvious disadvantage
  • Stretch impedes your hookset, especially at long distances. 
  • It may suffer from memory, in which the line holds on to the shape on which it was spooled.
  • It degrades in ultraviolet light.

Next comes fluorocarbon, a common choice for when you want a stealthy presentation with high abrasion resistance: 

Googan Squad fluorocarbon spool


  • Lower refractive index→less visibility than mono-->Better for finesse and technical fishing.
  • Higher abrasion resistance than mono.
  • Sinks- good for fishing deep.
  • Very good as a leader material.
  • Thinner than mono for a given pound test.
  • Less stretch than mono.
  • Good shock leader when fishing with braid. 
  • Resistant to UV


  • It sinks. Not good for topwater presentations.
  • Much more expensive than mono.
  • Less supple than mono or braid.

Now let’s talk about braided line. Braid is a low-stretch line made from many strands of woven synthetic material. In recent years it has become extremely popular.

Googan Squad Braid Spool


  • Braid has practically zero stretch.
  • Practicality zero memory.
  • Thinnest option. Can fit more line on the spool than with other options.
  • Good for long casts.
  • Comes in a variety of colors.
  • More expensive than others.


  • Braid is most visible to fish.
  • Braid can fray
  • Braid can “eat” into itself on the reel spool and produce bad backlashes, wasting line.
  • Costs more than others.



  1. Mono, 20lb, $9.99/330 yards, $0.03/yard
  2. Fluorocarbon, 20lb, $16.99/200 yards=$0.085/yard
  3. Googan braid, braid $15.99/125 yards=$0.128/yard


  1. Diameter of 20 pound mono: 0.0146 inches
  2. Diameter of 20 pound fluorocarbon: 0.0157 inches
  3. Diameter of 20 pound braid: .0095 inches

For consistency, figures are taken from Googan Squad’s own line of fishing line, 20 pound test.*

I hope this blog post has cleared up any confusion you may have on choosing a line for fishing. As you have probably seen, there is no perfect choice of line for every fishing situation. Making sure you know the nature of the fishing you’ll be doing will go a long way towards optimizing your fishing enjoyment out on the water. Now go get ‘em!

Photo by Samantha Deleo on Unsplash

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