Braided lines are considered to be the best type of line to be used on a spinning reel. Braid has a lot of benefits on its own such as casting distance and strength, yet it’s almost always used with a mono or fluorocarbon line leader.
But, can you fish with just a braided line? Yes, you can fish with just your braided line in the case where you’re fishing in extremely dirty water or if there’s a lot of vegetation. However, it’s more recommended to use a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader with the braided line.
Keep reading to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using a braided line and why it’s recommended to use a leader.
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Why Choose a Braided Line?
Braided lines are made up of several strands of fiber woven together to make a single line. The material used is a synthetic fiber that feels very much like fabric.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of braided line:
- Its strength to diameter ratio – It has a small diameter compared to breaking strength, which means that it can carry a lot more weight without sacrificing reel capacity and casting accuracy.
- It has zero stretch – Braided fishing line does not stretch, which makes it a good choice for casting long distances and casting with accuracy.
- It has more durability – The physical properties of braided lines make it extremely durable. It is the longest-lasting line compared to all the other types of fishing line, as you only need to change 1-2 a year.
- It’s the least prone to line twists – Braid has no memory due to the fact it has no stretching capabilities, which makes it far easier to manage when it comes to line twists.
- It has more knot strength
Now that you’re aware of the advantages, it’s important to understand the disadvantages of braided lines as well:
- It’s more expensive – Braid is a lot more expensive than monofilament, but the extra cost comes with the advantages mentioned above.
- It’s difficult to cut – You need a good pair of fishing scissors to cut a braided line no matter what its pound test is.
- It’s more susceptible to abrasion damage – Without proper storage and maintenance, it’s more likely to get damaged.
- It’s the most visible in water – It isn’t translucent and the color choices are limited. That’s also one of the main reasons it needs a leader.
- It’s more specialized – Braid line is not ideal for all types of fishing and species.
I personally do very much like braided lines, and you can check my recommendations for the best braided lines money can buy here. These are the ones I’ve been the most successful with, and I think they could also prove to be of very good use to you as well.
How to Correctly Set Up a Braided Fishing Line?
Before we get to the process of spooling your braided line, there are some key points you need to know:
- Reel – Any spinning reel or baitcasting reel can be used with a braid. Since the braid doesn’t stretch, you will need to loosen your drag in order to successfully catch a fish.
- Rod – It’s recommended to use a rod with a soft tip with a braid. This will help in your hook sets and keep the fish from throwing your bait.
- Leader – Typically, braided fishing lines are more effective when used with a 3- to 4-foot leader of fluorocarbon or monofilament.
How to Spool a Spinning Reel with Braided Line?
Understanding fully how to spool your reel can help you avoid a lot of problems.
The process is very similar to spooling with a monofilament or fluorocarbon line, but there are a couple of extra steps you will need to take.
You are going to need both a monofilament line and a braided line, as you’ll fill about half of your spool with the monofilament line which is the leader, and then you’ll fill the rest with the braided line.
The first part of the process is loading the reel:
- Determine if the reel turns clockwise or counterclockwise by holding it the same way you would if you were fishing and turning 2-3 times
- The way the wheel turns is the way the line will be spooled onto the reel, while the opposite direction will be the way the line will peel off the spool when you cast.
- Open the bail arm by flipping the small handle up.
- Pass your monofilament line straight through the guides and secure it by using an arbor knot.
- Cut any extra line with line cutters or scissors.
- Ensure that you leave at least a 1⁄4 in of additional line from where you tied the knot.
Now you’re ready to start spooling the reel:
- Close the bail and lay the spool on the floor with the label facing up to make sure that the line enters the reel properly.
- Pinch the line lightly, about 8-12 inches above the reel, then pull the line tight.
- Crank the reel slowly, and then allow the line to slip through your pinched fingers.
- Apply light pressure while you’re loading the line, otherwise, the line will go loose and end up becoming tangled later.
- Continue loading the line slowly while stopping every 20-30 cranks to check your line for twists until you reach about half of your spool.
- At this point, cut the monofilament line at the spool, not at the reel, then attach your braid line to the monofilament leader using a simple Surgeon’s Knot.
- Continue to fill the spool with the braided line until it is 1⁄8 inch away from the edge.
- Cut the line close to the supply spool, while leaving a small amount of excess line then secure the line on the spool.
Do you need a little bit more help? Check out this very helpful video below:
Can You Use a Braided Line Without a Leader?
Yes, you can use a braided line without a leader. There are some benefits to not having a leader with your braided line, but the benefits of using a leader line strongly outweigh not using it.
Benefits of Using a Leader
- It’s better for clear water, as it’s harder for the fish to see.
- It’s better for avoiding snags and breaks in the line when you’re fishing near rocks, docks, or bridges.
- It’s able to absorb the shock of an aggressive bite or a hooked fish rapidly kicking or changing direction.
Benefits of Not Using a Leader
- It has less diameter while maintaining strength.
- It’s better for casting long distances and casting with accuracy.
- It’s better for muddy or dirty water, as it’s easier for the fish to see.
Why Do You Need to Use a Leader?
To put it simply, the braided line just doesn’t grip onto the spool, so if you tie the braid straight onto it, the line might free spin and you could lose your catch.
However, the monofilament line does grip onto the spool, so the best way to overcome this issue is to use the monofilament line as a base on the spool.
How Often Should You Re-spool Your reel?
If you’re using a braided line, it’s recommended to re-spool every 1 to 2 years on average. If you’re using monofilament or fluorocarbon, it’s recommended to re-spool every 3 to 6 weeks.
How to Tie an Arbor Knot?
To tie an arbor knot, wrap the line around the arbor and tie an overhead knot in the standing line. Tie a second overhead knot in the tag end, just about 1 inch from the first overhead knot. Pull the standing line to slide the first knot down to the spool and slide the second knot down to the first.
Do You Need To Soak The Fishing Line Before Spooling?
Yes, soaking your fishing line in a bucket of warm water will help when you come to wind the line on your spool. This will reduce tangles and ensure better casting performance.
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