Braid fishing line has become more popular to use in most aspects of fishing than ever before. Carp anglers especially have used it for some time but now more and more sea anglers are coming to realise the benefits of using a line that has a far greater strength to diameter ratio than any monofilament line.
The advantages of using braid against monofilament line far out way the drawbacks.
Braids used to be very visible in the water but now with braids such as Dark Moss Green 'Tuff' Braid this has been eradicated almost entirely. The Dark Moss Green Braid is very popular with Carp anglers.
Braids are very abrasive resistant and of course having a far greater strength to diameter ratio they are less prone to snap under most pressures. Some braids are available with just a 0.28 mm diameter to 100lb breaking strain! Our braids are made from the same material that is used to make bullet proof vests! They are made from the highest quality 100% Dyneema braid fibre currently on sale today.
With less diameter than monofilament, braid has less water resistance and therefore is better in a tidal pull as found at different stages of the tide and in deep water. This is the reason why braid is often used in boat fishing by a lot of anglers. With less diameter it is less sensitive to wind, having a better resistance to cross winds etc than monofilament. You do not get as much drift or drag on the line.
Braid has very little or no water absorption so keeps you more in touch with a fish. When you use braid for the first time you will feel a very significant increase in 'feel' with a fish on the hook.
Braid fishing line has no stretch or memory so every little tug or pull by even the smallest of fish is felt on your rod tip.
The one thing you have to allow for is that having no stretch you have to be careful when setting a hook after a 'bite', a little restraint is necessary so you do not pull the hook out of the fish's mouth.
Using braid fishing line spinning for Bass or Mackerel in the summer can be great sport. It's great for casting plugs and spinners, I find braid fishing line outcasts monofilament because of less wind resistance and being lighter and is thinner pound for pound. It's also a fantastic sensation feeling every pull and tug of a sporting fish such as these once hooked.
A lot of anglers shy away from using braid on their multiplyer reels because of over-runs or wind knots. Having experimented with braid on all my muliplyers, I have four I use quite regularly, I am now quite confident in using it all the time. My favourite multiplyer is an Abu mag 6500 CT by playing around with different rigs and set-ups I have come to the following conclusions:
- Using a one hook clipped down rig, with the reel set at it's maximum distance for me, then I can hit it as hard as I like without any fear of an overrun.
- Using a 3 or 2 hook set-up then if the reel is not restrained a little using the mag then it does tend to want to overrun mid cast.
- If a gentle 'lob' is required now and again to try your luck closer in to the shore then the mag or the brakes definitely need adjusting to slow the reel down otherwise an over-run is on the cards!
The advantage for me is that I normally fish steep shingle beaches either in Suffolk or down in Kent. A lot of the areas are becoming tackle grave yards so using 0.28mm 100lb braid, I can normally get any snagged tackle back, plus a few bonus rigs besides my own. I also do not lose any distance in my casting. The best I have done so far is 8 other rigs along with my own.
It's not surprising a lot of rigs are building up as snags in the 50 to 100 yard band, a lot I retrieve are a loose piece of about 15lb main line with a 50 or 60lb shock leader attached, now if you get snagged using that sort of set-up then you are going to lose it every time it gets snagged! You can read on a lot of forums how anglers are now getting fed-up with losing gear all the time. The rigs mentioned are great on a clean beach but not in an area that is known for snags.
One guy who I sometimes fish with said that in reality I am making matters worse by using 100lb braid because if I break off then I am adding 100lb breaking strain line to the equation that nobody is going to break off from if they get snagged on it . I disagree.
In a snaggy area I can normally pull in 3, 4 or 5 other rigs when I get snagged. I have only lost 2 rigs myself in the last 2 years but I have cleared probably about 30 or 40, so in my reckoning, I am making the area a cleaner place for others to fish. Plus gaining a lot of FREE leads and end tackle into the bargain!
The one thing I really like and appreciate is that I now do not have any leader knots getting full of weed and jamming in my top ring when reeling in. You could use 60lb braid line straight through and it would only be the same diameter or less than standard 15lb monofilament!
Rock anglers in general seem to shy away from using braid because a lot of rock marks and gullies contain heavy deep kelp. Trying to bully a fish out of deep kelp using braid can cause the hook to pull out of the fish because it has no stretch so is not so forgiving as there is no buffer between you and the fish. You will lose less fish using monofilament, horses for courses as they say.
I use braid fishing line on a big sea fixed spool reel I fish with on a Shakespeare Blue Metal rod (16ft 4inches long). A lot of guys are now going over to using 'continental' rod and reel set-ups. I have fished for around 50 years on and off and only recently given any thought to fixed spool reels, always happy with multiplyers all my life apart from when I am spinning for Bass or Mackerel. I have to admit these longer, softer rods can certainly throw a lead a long way without too much of an effort. The one essential bit of equipment I would recommend with these reels is, get yourself a 'thumb-button'! I use one and it takes all the pain and cut fingers away when casting. Remember braid fishing line is a far thinner diameter than monofilament pound for pound!
Braid fishing line is not the answer to a maiden's prayer BUT it can in a lot of situations be a better alternative than monofilament.