Best Fishing Line: Braid, Mono, or fluorocarbon?

When should you use mono? What about braided line or Fluorocarbon? Matt explains what each line is for, how to use it, and when to avoid it. We also discuss leader materials and how to tie connection knots. 

This video goes in depth about all 3 fishing lines. We ignored copolymer for the sake of time as its really just an "in between" between fluorocarbon and monofilament. All of these different styles of line are important. Each one has a place and will increase your success while fishing. But use the wrong line for the wrong purpose and it will drive you insane! A perfect example that we forgot to cover in the video is that fluorocarbon sinks. Use it for topwater and it will drive you insane! But use it in ultra deep water and it will make it easier to keep bottom contact. 

Below is a break down of the different lines that we use on a regular basis. 

Braided Line...
Power Pro:
Power Pro MaxCuatro:
Sufix 832:

Maxima Ultragreen:
P-Line CXX:

Sunline Assassin:
Sunline Sniper:
Seaguar AbrazX:
Seguar Red Label:

Connection Knots...

 Blood Knot- This is my core knot for all connections between braid and mono or braid and fluoro. If connecting to fluorocarbon its CRITICAL that the knot is wet when cinching up or the fluoro will be burned. 

Blood Knot Video:

Nail Knot- This is an extremely strong knot but requires an extra tool or straw to tie it effectively on the water. 

My applications...
Finesse in crystal clear water: 10 lb braid (use 15 lb if on a low end reel) to 5-8 lb fluoro
Finesse in clean water: 10 lb braid to 6-10 lb mono
Texas Rigs: 40 lb braid to 12-17 lb mono
Finesse Jigs: 30 lb braid to 10-15 lb mono or 12-15 lb fluoro
Jig Fishing: 50 lb braid to 15-20 lb mono
Crankbait option 1: 12 lb fluorocarbon (Assassin)
Crankbait option 2: 20 lb Braid (Sufix 832) to 12 lb mono
Swimbait: 80 lb braid to 30 lb mono
punching: 65 lb braid (no leader)
Frogging: 50-65 lb braid (No leader)
Jerkbait option 1: 20 lb braid to 10 lb mono leader
Jerkbait option 2: 12 lb fluorocarbon
Shaky Head: 30 lb braid to 10 lb mono

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Braided Line and Leader Length

Many anglers have made the switch to braided line for their bass fishing but many still struggle with the specifics. The main struggles are when to tie a leader, how long should a leader be, what knots to use for braided line, When to use a leader and when to tie direct to braided line. 

In this video Matt focuses on when to tie a leader and how long that leader needs to be for different techniques like flipping, pitching, crankbaits, jigs, finesse fishing, topwater, etc. Leader length for flipping is vastly different than leader length for reaction or finesse techniques. The only aspect of the leaders that remains the same is the knot. 

Matt's connection knot of choice to connect braid to mono or fluoro leader material is a blood knot. Here is the video on how to tie the blood knot if you're not familiar with it:

Matt's preferred Lines...

Sufix 832 Braided Line
Power Pro Maxcuatro Braided Line
Seaguar AbrazX Fluorocarbon
Maxima Ultragreen Monofilament

**We do not advocate Maxima Ultragreen as a main line because it is stiff and has excessive stretch. However, as a leader material it is phenomenal! It has strength, shock absorption, and abrasion resistence. 



King Sling: A Loop Knot Every Angler Should Know

This week we break down how to tie the "King Sling", a simple knot that every angler should know. Its quick, its easy, and it can save you from the headaches of split rings and snaps on your hardbaits.

Personally, I use it in place of a snap on all of my big swimbaits so that I know I've got a positive connection that allows the bait to move freely without the risk of opening and failing. Topwater is another prime time to use a loop knot.

When tying to a "walk the dog" style bait with a traditional knot like a palomar you create a very rigid connection that limits the bait's ability to move freely. Tying a loop allows you to create a strong connection without limiting the bait's ability to move.

There are many loop knots out there but the King Sling is our personal favorite. Its quick and easy to tie and has been a work horse for us for many years. We hope it helps you this summer, good luck out there!

Part 2: Knots and Hooks for Braided Line

There are still a lot of misconceptions about braided line. The biggest fear is that of knot strength. The second is the fear of bending out hooks. This week's video is dedicated to debunking these misconceptions and teaching you how to avoid all of the potential pitfalls.

Learning to tie proper knots for braid to leader connections, braid to hook connections, as well as leader to hook connections, is critical. If you can practice 3 simple knots with 3 variations for different line sizes and types, you'll be able to adapt to any conditions and situations the fish can throw your way. The knots are the Blood knot, San Diego Jam Knot, and Palomar Knot. The video will also break down the variations of all 3 knots I use to adapt to different lines and keep these knots strong.

6 lb fluorocarbon tied to 15 lb braided line with a modified blood knot (7 wraps on the fluorocarbon, 11 wraps on the braid) Shown with a worm hook eyelet for size comparison. Truly a "micro" knot.

The blood knot, for whatever reason, has not gained popularity with bass fishermen. It is by far the best knot I've found for connecting braid to both monofilament and fluorocarbon leader materials. When tied properly I can break the leaders over and over again without breaking the connection knot itself.

Another fear about connection knots is that they will be traveling in and out of the guides and "banging". The theory is that this stresses and weakens the line. While this could be true, I've not experienced it. I reel my connections knots in and out of the guides (and even on/off of the reel) hundreds of times each day and have no issues whatsoever. The smaller line diameters in particular (see the pictures for size reference to a worm hook eyelet) create such small knots that they have no problem passing in and out of the reel without making any noise. There is no reason to fear a connection knot if you tie it the way I show in the video.

Dealing with braided line, its lack of stretch, and how this applies to the hooks you choose to use is actually very simple. There is no mystery, no question of whether or knot your hooks can withstand the forces of braided line and big fish, you simply need to adapt. If you're currently using mono or fluoro and want to make the switch, step up your hooks. If you currently use light wire worm hooks, switch to medium. If you use heavy worm hooks, switch to the 3x Owner, ZO-Wire Owner, or Gamakatsu Superline Hooks. If you're using trebles, step up to owner 3x trebles (ST-56) or even gamakatsu 4x hooks.

Give these tips a try and report back with your experiences. Have you found another knot that simply does not break when under stress? We'd love to hear about it!