The Best Monofilament Fishing Lines 2021 (Complete Guide & 7 Great Suggestions)


Losing fish and not sure why? There’s a good chance that it could be your choice of line.

Well, here’s the answer. Why not give monofilament a try. It’s stretchy, supple, and easy to work with.

Today I want to show you some of the best monofilament lines of 2021. I will talk you through why it is so great and even give you some tips to choose the right one.

Let’s get spooled up and cast out!

Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.

Why and When to Use Monofilament Line?

Mono line has loads of great qualities that make it ideal to use in certain situations. Here are some of the reasons when you might want to consider using it and why it is perfectly suited to these situations:

man fishing on the lake from inflatable boat

If You are a Beginner

Out of all the fishing lines out there, monofilament is by far the easiest to handle.

Why?

Well, for a start, it tends to be really flexible and supple. You’ll find lines such as fluorocarbon tend to be pretty stiff and ‘springy’. As a result, this can make it hard to manage.

And there’s more…

Mono is the easiest line to tie knots with. Braid needs special knots, fluoro tends to be brittle, mono is a joy to use.

You Fish Around Underwater Structure or Features

Monofilament is a polymer.

In English?

It’s plastic. This means that it is slippy.

Do you know what that’s good for?

It is super abrasion-resistant. Essentially, unlike braid, it slides off rocks, twigs, weeds, and other underwater features.

This holds two advantages for you as an angler.

  • It means it is durable.
  • It stops fish from breaking the line easily.

You Find You are Getting Snapped-Off Often or Missing Bites

You might have opted for a line such as fluoro in the past. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think fluoro is great, but it can be a little unforgiving.

The stretch in mono means that it can act as a ‘suspension’, softening your strikes and allowing you a little more forgiveness, especially when you are hooking into big fish.

You Enjoy Fishing on the Surface

Mono floats really well. If you are looking to fish baits up on the surface, it is a great choice as you don’t need to worry about the weight of the line pulling the bait under.

If you check my article about the best carp fishing lines, you’ll see that mono features pretty heavily for exactly this reason.

You Want Excellent Presentation

Ever heard of ‘memory’? Because it is so soft and flexible, you’ll find that mono tends to be relatively free of those kinks and coils that plague other types of lines.

And here’s what you get…

Flawless bait presentation, with a nice straight line from your rod tip to your bait.

If You Cast a Long Way

Mono is low in diameter and a little stretchy. As a result, you can go with a lower breaking strain.

The benefit?

You can fit loads onto a spool. If you are the kind of angler who wants to cast over the horizon, mono is an excellent choice.

If You Get Tangled Up in Knots

Depending on your reel, you should seriously consider switching to mono. If you ever end up with ‘birds nests’ as line overruns or shoots off the spool, you’ll be able to solve this problem by spending just a few dollars.

fishing from boat in lake with spinning reel

What are the Pros and Cons of Mono Fishing Line?

Listen.

Like everything in fishing, there’s a balance to be struck.

And let me say this…

Mono is great, but it isn’t perfect. Let me go through what is good about mono, but give you the real picture with things you need to look out for.

Monofilament Pros

  • It’s cheap.
  • Mono is really stretchy.
  • It’s great for tying knots easily.
  • Monofilament is good for beginners.
  • It comes in a variety of breaking strains.
  • It is abrasion-resistant.
  • It has low memory.

Monofilament Cons

  • It is bulkier than fluorocarbon.
  • It can be too soft for some anglers.
  • It isn’t good for getting down deep quickly.
  • It is visible in the water.
  • It can become damaged, either through prolonged exposure to sunlight or by water absorption.

TOP 7 Best Monofilament Fishing Lines on the Market

Now that you know a bit about mono, here are some great options to try.

Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line

Berkley is the market leader when it comes to producing great quality fishing line. If you are looking for the best, then you’ve landed in exactly the right place.

This stuff is awesome.

Why?

It is one of the strongest lines out there based on the diameter. I love that it is clear too. It’s almost like all of the best bits of fluoro combined with monofilament.

Berkley places massive emphasis on quality control. As an angler, what that means for you is smooth casts, no tangles, and most importantly, no lost fish!

I also love how much you get on a spool. At 330 yards, this represents exceptional value and is easily enough whether you are looking for the best monofilament fishing line for bass or any other species.

Pros

  • Amazing value.
  • Great performance.
  • Low memory.
  • Easy handling.

Cons

  • Seriously? Not many.

Takeaway

Regardless of species or type of fishing, this is well worth a look. I can’t really fault it. With products such as this, Berkley has shown why they are one of the best out there when choosing a monofilament fishing line.

SpiderWire Ultracast Monofilament Fishing Line

If you’ve ever fished with braid, you’ll already know about spider wire. It’s where they made their name.

Well, here’s the good news.

You’ll get the same quality and performance in their monofilament line.

This clear line has plenty of stretch and has exceptional abrasion resistance. How much? Well, you could stretch it by 15% without it breaking. That’s phenomenal! It will allow hard pulls that would normally cause a ‘crack off’ from a feisty fish.

Here’s what I love…

When it comes to knot strength, there is nothing better. I’ve never had this fail at the knots.

Again, the clear color is superb, especially if you are fishing in clear water.

Pros

  • A leading brand name.
  • Great knot strength.
  • Phenomenal stretch.

Cons

  • It is more expensive than Berkley, yet you get less on a spool. Boo!
  • It does have a little bit of memory.

Takeaway

This is a solid all-round performer. There are one or two that are better, but not many. Spiderwire has made its name with good quality fishing lines, and I’d be happy to add it to my lineup.

Calamus Bastion Monofilament Fishing Line

I know what you are thinking…

Who is Calamus? Read on. You’re about to be amazed.

Listen, I’ll be upfront. This isn’t a ‘big name’. The fish don’t care. The reason I’ve included it is that it has pretty much everything I look for in a monofilament fishing line, plus it is superb value.

Why?

You’ll get 600 yards on a single spool! That’s enough to fill at least two reels!

And there’s more…

Calamus has gone to great pains to prevent their line from absorbing water, changing the characteristics. As a result, you are getting real longevity as you won’t need to change your line as often!

Other things to love are that it is available in a huge range of breaking strains, making it the ideal go-to choice for the frugal angler, regardless of fishing discipline.

Pros

  • Amazing value with a 600-yard spool!
  • It is really supple and light.
  • I like the green color.

Cons

  • The color might not be for everyone. In clear water, it could be visible.

Takeaway

You get what you pay for, but this represents a really affordable option that will let you get out fishing for those just starting out.

Stren Original Monofilament Fishing Line

Have a read through any article in my blog, and you’ll notice one trend.

I love buying USA-made products. This is one of the best monofilament lines out there. Period.

For the money, it is every bit as good as those from the big-name players like Berkley and Spiderwire.

Here’s why.

First, the color. Clear lines always get a big thumbs up from me. Second, it is stretchy, but not uncontrollably so. This line is the perfect blend offering sensitivity but a decent degree of forgiveness,

Oh, and one more thing…

It offers great value. 330 yards per spool is just the right amount for most reels.

Pros

  • Really high quality.
  • Excellent stretch.
  • I like the color.

Cons

  • None to speak of… It is every bit as good as Berkely.

Takeaway

I feel a bit sorry for Berkley. I used to be their #1 customer, yet having discovered this, I can’t see the difference between them… Oh, except for the price.

Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line

Speaking of Berkley, you need to check this out.

This is one of the best monofilament fishing lines for saltwater.

Here’s why…

You’ll notice a few things that might look slightly different. For a start, it is much thicker than the other lines on my list. For a good reason, 20lbs is the optimum for pulling in hard fighting big sea species.

Oh, and then there’s the color.

Pink might not seem like a natural choice, but underwater this color is deadened by the filtering effect of the sea. In short, it becomes practically invisible when submerged.

This offers a great deal in knot strength, stretch, and shock resistance, as with all of the best mono lines.

Oh, and before I forget…

At 650 yards per spool, you’ll only need one!

Pros

  • Great value.
  • Invisible underwater.
  • Ideal for sea fishing.

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavy duty for freshwater species.
  • The color won’t be for everyone.

Takeaway

If you need some heavy-duty mono, then you won’t go far wrong here. It has all the built-in quality you’d expect from Berkley but is beefed up to handle those bigger fish.

Looking for a good catfishing line? You could give this a go or head over to my dedicated catfishing article right here.

Hi-Seas Quattro Monofilament Line

While we are on the subject of big spools, I need you to look at this.

It’s a bit different.

Hi-seas have made a line with several notable features, above and beyond what you’d expect from a standard mono line.

Such as?

I mean, look at the color! The line is multi-toned. The aim is to create a real disruptive camouflage effect. I must say, it works well in most situations. In fact, aside from fluoro, this stuff is practically invisible when bottom fishing.

Take a look at the size of the spool too! With 1200 yards, you’ll have plenty spare.

Ok, so it isn’t the thinnest monofilament fishing line. Still, it would be ideal for huge species, either in fresh or saltwater.

Pros

  • I love the DPM camo effect.
  • Huge spools available.
  • Great knot strength.

Cons

  • It isn’t much good for surface fishing. The DPM pattern is visible on the top.
  • There are cheaper alternatives out there that offer just as much.

Takeaway

I found this one of the best monofilament lines for carp fishing. However, you aren’t going to be able to use it as a leader on anything that floats. If you are fishing with leads and need plenty to cast, this one will have you covered.

Berkley Trilene Big Cat Monofilament Fishing Line

Berkely is making another appearance?

Hey, stop complaining, you wanted the best, and here it is!

This line is thick, strong, and ideally suited for catching cats. You might be put off by the color.

Here’s what I say…

Don’t be. It is ideal for fishing in low light conditions, and the bright green is filtered out when in deep water. For trophy catfish, you aren’t going to get any better. This is strong, stretchy, and super supple.

One standout feature is that this line sinks exceptionally well. Great for getting down into the depths when paired up with a great catfishing bait.

Pros

  • One of the strongest lines on my list.
  • Great for night and low light fishing.
  • Easy to tie knots.

Cons

  • The only major downside for some will be the color. This isn’t the one for you if you fish in the midday sun. It positively glows!

Takeaway

Ok, so this might be a bit specialized, but if you love to go after huge catfish, especially at night, you will need to pull out the big guns. This line will have your back!

Mono Fishing Lines – Complete Buying Guide

As I am sure you are aware, there are plenty of lines out there.

But let me tell you…

They are not all created equal. Some are better than others. It’s knowing which that can be the tricky thing.

To help you, here are the things I look for when I’m choosing:

man fishing in lake with spinning rod

Color

This is the most obvious thing that will stand out when you look at any spool of line. There are a few schools of thought when it comes to line color.

You’ll get the old die-hards who won’t fish with anything other than clear monofilament fishing lines, and you’ll get the guys out trying new things.

Here’s what I think…

Fish with what you are comfortable with. Colored lines are every bit as good as clear lines.

Here’s why.

As you go deeper into the water column, there is less light. Certain wavelengths are filtered out by the water.

Want to see proof?

Check this out and tell me which is the least visible…

And don’t forget, the color looks much brighter on a spool as there are thousands of overlapping strands of line together.

Breaking Strain

For me, this is one that needs really careful consideration.

If you go too heavy, your bait won’t behave as it should and in extremis could make your line visible to wary fish. Go too thin, and you are going to be breaking the line constantly.

Want to know a super handy way to work out what size fish you can pull in with a given line?

It’s easy.

You ideally want to go no lower than around 75% of the maximum weight of the fish you seek to catch.

Check out this handy table below. It doesn’t matter the species either. This works all the time

Fish size Recommended Monofilament Breaking Strain
0-5lbs 4lbs
5-10lbs 6lbs
10-15lbs 12lbs
15-20lbs 15lbs
20-25lbs 18lbs
25-30lbs 24lbs

Spool Size

How big a spool of mono do you need?

Well, that depends on a few things.

  • How big is your reel? You won’t need 1000 yards of line for a 3000 sized reel. Anything around 270 yards will be good enough. If you have a huge multiplier, you need to consider a bigger spool.
  • How far will you cast? It’s no use casting 250 yards (show off) with a 270-yard spool. That only leaves you 20 yards to play with.
  • How big are the fish you hope to catch? If you are hooking big fish that make long runs, you will want plenty of line spare on the spool. In this case, consider going for a larger amount of line.

Stretch

If you’ve ever fished for more than one species, you’ll already know that fish fight in different ways. Bass tend to make aggressive runs and pulls, whereas fish like carp and catfish are more sedate and steady.

Why is this important?

Well, the species you are looking for will dictate how much stretch you need in a line. For hard-fighting fish, you will need something that offers stretch.

But there is something else to consider…

Bite detection. Not all fish are obvious when they take the bait. Go too stretchy, and you may find that you miss bites. As with most things in fishing, the key is finding a nice balance.

angler wearing chest waders and fishing in sea

UV Resistance

You might think that this is a trivial matter.

You’d be wrong to do so.

Being a polymer, mono fishing line is badly degraded by sunlight. When you think how long you are outdoors with that rod in your hand, the result can be quick and startling. You’ll find that it will start to break easily unless you take real care of your line and keep an eye on it.

Knot Strength

Knots failing accounts for well over half my lost fish.

Needless to say…

I consider knot strength vitally important. It is the ‘weak link’ in most setups, so choose a good monofilament line that will hold a knot well.

Price

To be honest, this is what will influence most anglers when choosing a line.

But, let me ask you a question…

How much would you pay not to lose any fish, ever? When you are choosing your line, this is exactly the question you should be asking.

Pick a good one, and you’ll find your land much more. If you go for something based only on cost, there’s a good chance that you will end up disappointed.

You can get a good and cheap monofilament line. Still, for quality and reliability, it is well worth choosing something a little more premium.

inflatable boat on the lake at dawn and fisherman fishing

FAQ

Got questions about monofilament line? Don’t worry; it can be a little bit of a minefield. Here are the things I am always asked when discussing the best fishing line…

What is monofilament fishing line best for?

Monofilament line is great in several situations. It’s exceptionally good for beginners due to all of the qualities we mentioned above.

It is also really useful when fishing over underwater features. When a fish is hooked, the first place it dives for is a rock or reef. You will need the abrasion resistance and stretch offered by monofilament for sure.

What is the best brand of monofilament fishing line?

For me, you won’t get better than Berkley. It is used worldwide as the go-to choice when it comes to monofilament.

Due to its versatile nature, it is a good choice for nearly every style of fishing. It is particularly useful when fishing for larger species like carp and catfish. Because its stretch is also a superb selection if you are fishing for hard-fighting species like bass.

What line is better mono or fluorocarbon?

Ah, the endless debate. The true answer is it depends on how you are fishing, where you are fishing, and what you are fishing for.

For beginners, you should almost certainly opt for mono. For those fishing in clear water, then fluoro might be a better option.

Here’s what I’m going to do…

Head over and meet me at my detailed article covering the question of mono vs. fluoro, and I’ll show you what’s what.

What fishing line is better, mono or braid?

This is an interesting question as they are almost polar opposites in terms of qualities. Want to see what I mean?

Check the table below:

Monofilament Braid
Stretchy Very ‘hard’ feeling
Practically invisible Very visible
Easy to tie knots Requires knowledge of specialist knots
Abrasion-resistant Frays very easily
Cheap Expensive
Easy to cut and handle Special braid scissors required

You tell me which you’d rather fish with? Mono is far easier to use in almost every way.

What monofilament fishing line has the least memory?

I forget…

Nah, just kidding, guys.

I’ve found that Berkely is really good when it comes to a low memory line. Another great option is the Stren Monofilament.

A good rule of thumb is that the cheaper the line, the more memory it will have because it is constructed using cheaper materials and methods.

How often should you change mono fishing line?

I tend to change out my lines once a year if we are talking terms of time. Provided you look after the line and keep it clean, it may last a little longer. But, obviously, it is always going to be subject to the stresses above.

There are occasions when you need to change mono line sooner. Such as:

  • If it has become discolored, indicating UV damage.
  • Your line has become kinked, crimped, or twisted.
  • There is a ‘pig tail’ in the line indicating friction damage.
  • The line feels ‘gritty’ or ‘sandy’ indicating surface damage.

What color is best for a monofilament fishing line?

Ah, another debate! There are several theories on the best color fishing line.

Me, personally?

I’m really not picky. I’ve tried several colors and noticed no real change in my catch rate. Other guys, I speak to will only ever fish with clear.

Here’s the thing…

Fishing is about confidence. If you are doubtful, just go for a clear line. The line’s color won’t help you catch more fish, but it might put them off, so if in doubt, just pick something neutral.

Summary

Well, there you have it. You’ve learned all about monofilament fishing lines and have also been shown what’s great about it.

Fishing works a lot on trial and error. There’s a good chance you won’t be disappointed, provided you follow my advice above.

While you are here, why not check out my article on fluorocarbon lines, and see which might be best for you.

Mono vs. fluoro, where do you sit on the debate? Let me know in the comments.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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