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Braided fishing lines have become quite popular with both spinning and baitcaster reels – in fact, they’re referred to as ‘superlines’, offering a number of advantages over traditional fluoro and mono lines. However, before you can enjoy the benefits, you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their suitability pertaining to specialized fishing applications.
Having gone through a lot of painstaking research as a rookie fisherman making the switch from mono, I’ve decided to write up a guide for choosing the best braided fishing line for spinning reels, as an aid to fellow anglers who find themselves overwhelmed by technical terms and flashy advertisements.
Diameter / inches
Power Pro Spectra Fiber
0.005 – 0.035
Spiderwire Braided Stealth Superline
0.005 – 0.032
Sufix 832 Advanced Superline
0.006 – 0.018
Dyneema® + GORE®
KastKing Super Power
0.0028 – 0.0315
Fishingsir Braided Fishing
0.0035 – 0.0248
Before delving into the various benefits, limitations and considerations of braided fishing line, it is important that we understand a little about how it is made. The manufacturing process begins with the formation of long strands of polyethylene fibers, which are then interwoven to yield a braided line.
If the braid is made from three strands, a flat line is formed, whereas a four stranded braid will yield a square. Some braided lines are made out of eight strands – these take on a rounded shape and are the strongest with the least guide resistance.
Once the braid has been weaved, it is given a protective coating that also serves to lower the guide resistance even further. The coating can be either soft or rigid, and this has a unique effect on how the line behaves.
You can use braided line for nearly all fishing situations:
One of the major pros of braided line is its smaller diameter as compared to fluoro and mono lines, which lets you add a greater length of the braid. In simple terms, a typical braided line and a typical mono line with an equivalent diameter will have a 6:1 one breaking point ratio, in favor of the former!
Because braided line does not stretch the way monofilament lines do, it can respond to the tiniest of hooks: you’ll be able to tell exactly when a fish has caught on, and you’ll also find it easier to set the hook. This is the primary reason why it is easier to fish for bass in thick cover with braided line.
This type of line is manufactured using proprietary fibers that have been engineered to provide optimal smoothness and ease of handling. This, in conjunction with its smaller diameter, ensures that you can cast it over a greater distance with minimal effort.
The interwoven fibers of braided line enable it to power through hard cover like rocks, docks, mats, and wood. You could use it for the entire season without having to replace it, and its life could be extended even further if used in combination with a monofilament backer line. Since the polymer fiber is highly resistant to chemical reactions and the action of water and UV, it is inherently suited to saltwater applications.
While the majority of wind knot issues are a result of improper usage, they are a lot more noticeable in braided line due to its low memory, which causes slackness in the spool, so that the line slips off the spool in loops (a major factor behind knotting issues). For this reason, manufacturers coat the line to build its memory so it lays tight and casts straight without any looping.
While braided line by itself has no guide resistance, the coating it receives will cause it to develop friction against the guides while it is being cast, thereby reducing the casting distance. Softer coatings make for the best casting braided line for spinning reels, at the expense of a greater risk of tangles due to lower memory.
Certain kinds of ‘superline’ are lighter than the water they are cast in and will thus float on the surface. This is great when you’re using surface lures, but can be a hindrance when you’re planning to fish deep using live bait.
Braided fibers can be slippery due to their small diameters, which is why you’ll have to either use a spool that has specialized features to handle them, or a type of braided line that has better grip (i.e. an 8 strand one). Alternatively, you could put some backing on the spool to enhance the grip of the main line.
3 strand braids are weak but cheap; 4 strand braids are stronger and offer the best value for the average angler; and 8 strand braids are the strongest, smoothest and most expensive (as a consequence they are only used by professional fisherman looking for big catch).
As mentioned before, harder coating will have higher memory and will cast straighter with reduced risk of wind knots, whereas softer coating will have lower memory and will cast further but with a greater risk of wind knots.
The type of coating will also affect the guide friction and abrasion resistance.
While braided line doesn’t require you to be as particular as other types, you’ll still have to match its size with the weight of your intended tackle. For instance, a quarter ounce shaky head will cause casting difficulties on a heavier braid e.g. 50 lbs.
The best braided line for saltwater spinning reels will have a tough coating to be able to withstand the corrosive effect of the salt. This means that you’ll also have to put up with the limitations introduced by a harder coat.
Freshwater fishing won’t compel you to go for a stiff coat, but since it will be a lot clearer than saltwater, you may have to attach a piece of mono or fluoro line as a leader, since braided lines are generally more visible in the water.
Made in the USA using three strand Spectra® fibers (an advanced polyethylene fiber from Honeywell), this is one of the most sensitive fishing lines around, geared towards walleye, trout, bass and panfish anglers.
To ensure optimum smoothness and roundness, the Shimano fishing company has employed Enhanced Body Technology so guide friction, line breakage and knot failure is minimized. The line is also quite durable, with users reporting that the same spool has lasted them for as long as two years!
Whether you’re drop shot fishing for lightweight fish or punching mats for a bulky halibut, you won’t have any issues with the line giving way, if consumer appraisals are anything to go by. In fact, some have reported that even for exceptionally heavy hook-ins, the line performed admirably and it was the hook that broke first.
The fishing line is available in a number of colors such as Vermillion Red, Moss Green and Hi-Vis Yellow to match a variety of conditions – these colors will fade with use though, and depending on the conditions the line is used in, this could happen sooner or later.
The product is available in 0.005’’ to 0.035’’ diameter, suitable for 10lb to 150lb weight. Some users have experienced trouble with line breakages at surprisingly low stress values: this could be because they have been shipped an incorrectly specified product (which several consumers have complained about separately).
Made out of smooth and strong Dyneema PE Microfiber, and given a fluoropolymer coating, this braided fishing line is geared towards anglers who prioritize subtlety, castability and handling. The coating eliminates guide resistance, and ensures that the line gets cast noiselessly for stealth fishing. Consumers have praised its robust performance in situations where the catch will put a lot of strain on the line.
The Dyneema microfiber design also ensures that memory and stretching isn’t a noticeable issue, so you can instantly sense even the slightest of pulls on the hook. However, since the manufacturer uses unfused Dyneema you may still want to give it a test run to completely eliminate all traces of stretch.
The Spiderwire Superline is available in break strengths ranging from 8 to 100 pounds (0.005 – 0.032 inches diameter). For the best durability, I’ll recommend you go for the 20lb strength at the very minimum, as some users have experienced breakages in rocky waters at lower strengths.
You can get this braided line in colors of Camo, Moss Green, Glow-Vis Green, Hi-Vis Green to match the type of waters you’ll be fishing in – just bear in mind that this fishing line loses color relatively quicker as compared to its competitors. While most consumers have found the product to live up to its advertised feature-set, there have been some complaints of significantly poor performance in terms of guide friction, line breakages and knotting that point towards quality control issues on part of the manufacturer.
This 8 strand fishing line is designed for professional anglers looking for uncompromising performance: 7 of the 8 fibers are Dyneema, lending it great strength and sensitivity, whereas 1 is GORE, meant to enhance its abrasion resistance and castability. The 8 strands are woven into a formidable 32 weaves per inch, ensuring excellent hydrophobicity, roundness and smoothness. The water-resistant nature of the weave makes Sufix 832 a top braid for saltwater spinning reels.
Obviously this also makes it a bit more expensive, but that’s the price you pay for an utterly smooth and effortless casting experience, bereft of knotting and slipping of the line. Consumers have commended the braid for its strength, sensitivity and lack of memory, but there have been a few complaints about its high visibility in clear waters (regardless of the color you pick).
You can get the Sufix 832 in colors such as Ghost, Low-Vis Green and Neon Lime: for stealthier casting, I’ll advise you to stick with the Low-Vis Green, since Ghost isn’t as stealthy as the name implies. Still, worthy of praise is the fact that the line retains its color for a longer period of time compared to its counterparts, thanks to its TGP™ technology.
This superline is available in 6lb to 80lb (0.006 to 0.018 inch diameter) breaking strengths to match your needs.
If you’re a professional angler on a budget in need of a reliable braided fishing solution that doesn’t cost a premium, the KastKing SuperPower braided line may be worthy of a look. Having rapidly gained popularity since its launch in 2013, this product series is a direct challenge to other fishing line manufacturers, in that it provides comparable performance at a reduced cost.
Crafted entirely from Ultra-High Molecular Polyethylene Fiber (the stuff used in bulletproof vests), the SuperPower fishing line offers an incredibly smooth, sensitive and break-free fishing experience. The line is given a special treatment to minimize guide friction so you get better casting distance.
The line comes in both 4 and 8 strand varieties, with the former being employed in 6lb to 50lb strengths and the latter used in 65lb to 150lb strengths. The 8 strand line is wound extra-tight to enhance its castability and knot strength, while also maintaining a low profile.
There have been some complaints about breakages at lower-than-tested weights, and knotting, which are in contrast to the overall positive consumer feedback – this strongly implies quality control problems (something to be expected from a lower cost product).
The product is available for test values ranging from 6 – 150 lbs. (0.07mm to 0.8mm diameter), and in a wide variety of colors going from staple Low-Vis Grey and Moss Green to unorthodox ones such as Pink and Ocean Blue. Problem is, the color appears to come off rapidly – even on your hands when you’re only just spooling the line!
Here’s another good quality superline geared towards budget conscious professional anglers: the Fishingsir Stealth Superline is made from Dyneema fiber in both 4 strand (12 to 120 lbs.) and 8 strand (65 to 120 lbs.) designs, and yields the same kind of durability, sensitivity, knot strength and abrasion resistance that you’d expect from a higher priced brand.
While the 4 strand versions perform remarkably well in the lower tensile strength ranges, I’ll advise you to go for the 8 strand versions wherever possible – the price difference is marginal in most cases and you gain a great deal more in terms of strength, smoothness and castability.
Going by consumer ratings, this is a rare example of a budget friendly high-performance superline that lives up to its quoted break strength without fault and is able to survive prolonged friction against rocks and metal.
The product is available in a wide range of conventional and non-conventional fishing line colors including moss green, yellow, black, blue and multi-colored.
Now that you’ve gone through my guide, you will have realized that almost all braided fishing line brands today promise a similar level of basic performance in terms of the ease and distance of casting, tensile strength, sensitivity and smoothness. What sets them apart is the reliability with which they can live up to their claims, and the price at which they achieve this feat.
With that in mind, I find the Fishingsir Braided Fishing Line Stealth Superline to be the best braided fishing line for spinning reels: both its 4 and 8 strand versions yield optimal casting, smoothness, abrasion resistance and sensitivity at an unbeatable price, and without the occasional complaint about the line snapping below its quoted capacity!
With this kind of reliable performance being provided at such a low cost, there isn’t really a need (beyond bragging rights) to spend extra bucks on a higher priced brand simply because it is more famous.
Loves everything to do with fishing and gear.
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