We want to help you choose the best braid to spool your reels with and give you some tips here on how to use it.
See below for the five brands of braid that we have reviewed here.
But for those who like to cut to the chase, we like to use Daiwa J-Braid x8 and rate it as the best braided fishing line on the market. It is also very reasonably priced and the rainbow version allows you to monitor your depth when fishing deep waters.
Our runner up, and for many people the best braided fishing line available was Power Pro. It’s a big name in US made braided lines and this four strand braid is thinner than competing eight-strand lines but retains reasonable smoothness. It’s a little more expensive than J-Braid, but also a great choice.
The best braided fishing line brands
Best braided fishing line specifications
|# of strands||Colors available||Material||Diameter at 10lb test||Notes||Cost per yard|
|Daiwa J-Braid 8x||8||Dark green, chartreuse, white & multi-colour||Dyneema||0.006”||Multicolor allows for depth calculation as color changes every 10m||6.9c|
|Spiderwire Stealth Superline||8||Moss green, hi-vis yellow||Dyneema||0.008”||Color Lock technology to prevent fading||6.2c|
|KastKing Superpower||4||Grey, green, yellow, blue and rainbow||High molecular weigh polyethylene||0.004”||Durable polyethylene – same fiber that bullet proof vests are made from||5c|
|Power Pro||4||Moss green, white, yellow and red||Spectra||0.004”||Enhanced body technology||8.8c|
|Berkley FireLine Ultra 8||8||Crystal, flame green, smoke||Dyneema||0.007”||Smooth abrasion resistant coating||13.3c|
Braided line vs mono
So why choose braided line at all? There are lots of reasons to use braid (and a few reasons not to) and we’ve summarised them in this table.
Pros and cons of braided line
|Thinner diameter than mono/fluoro||Tangles more easily, particularly ultra light braid. And the tangles are harder to rectify|
|Allows you to cast further and easier||Visibile in the water (although this can be overcome by using a long enough mono or flouro leader)|
|No stretch – makes for better sensitivity to detect bites and also that lures are working correctly and aren’t fouled by weed etc||No stretch can make for too strong a hookset for fish with fragile mouths and a tough and unforgiving fight when taking on really strong fish|
|Thin diameter means you can fit more on the spool of ultralight spinning reels and baitcasting reels||Thin diameter means you need to pack more on a reel’s spool unless you pack the reel with mono first so that you chosen length of braid (150 yards is plenty for most light tackle fishing) pads out to within a quarter inch of the rim of the spool for better casting|
|Visible in water (yes, this also a con, but in some circumstances when using bright braid you can detect a take by the line movement – a trick from fly fishing)||It’s more expensive than monofilament line|
|Doesn’t break down in UV light||Can be difficult to tie knots with and to cut|
How to tie braided line to your reel
To tie braided line to your reel you first need to pad the spool with some monofilament line so it doesn’t cut into the spool. We’d pack a light spinning reel with 10lb of the best mono available to provide a cushion and also to ensure that when we put the 150 yard spool of braid on – particularly with fine braid – that it fills out to within quarter of an inch of the rim of the spool. This is not a consideration for baitcasting reels, but we still recommend a small section of mono first when spooling a baitcaster to prevent slippage. Some people prefer to use tape on the baitcaster spool to get the required grip, but we think this carries the risk of corrosion because the tape can trap moisture.
Use the arbor knot to connect the mono to the spool for both baitcasting reels and spinning reels. You can then use either the double uni knot (simplest) or the FG knot (strongest) to connect the starter mono to the braid (and then again when attaching your leader). Barrel swivels are also an option for these connections.
How much braided line to put on a spinning reel?
For most light tackle and pretty much all freshwater angling 150 or 200 yards is plenty. By all means put more if you wish, it’s really a cost thing. Being as thin as it is, with braid even ultralight spinning reels and baitcasting reels with hold hundreds of metres of it.
What’s the best braided line for salt water?
All the brands reviewed here are suitable for salt water use and the colour and strength should not be impacted by salt water.
We’d suggest the Daiwa J-Braid x8 or the Kast King Superpower purely because the rainbow color range can enable to count the depth at which you are fishing as each coloured section is a particular length.
Four strand braid vs eight strand braid
Four strand braid has been likened to the off-road tyre equivalent in fishing lines – able to cut through weeds and kelp with its thin profile and more abrasive qualities. Eight strand braid is more of the on-road tyre equivalent – smoother to the touch and less abrasive through your hands and the guides on your rod.
Which one you choose will depend on your fishing situation – are you fishing lily pads or kelpy rocks? Or in windy areas where line diameter is crucial. Perhaps a four strand braid. Where finisse is required, maybe an eight-strand braid is better.
Note: four strand braid is also called four-carrier braid on account of the carrier wheels used to hold the fibre during the weaving process. Ditto with eight strand/eight carrier.
Best situations for fishing with braid
Light tackle sport fishing
Wherever casting long distances accurately and having to detect even the lightest bite is where braid really comes into its own.
Deep sea fishing
On the heavier gear when fishing deep reefs or structure the lack of stretch of braid is vital. If you have 150 yards of line out, you can move your rod tip a couple of yards and the lure or bait will barely shift from the bottom. Same applies when setting the hook. Braid is a must in this environment.
Fishing top water lures
Braid’s great for fishing with poppers and other types of surface lure. It floats so is less prone to tangling on subsurface structure and the lack of stretch makes for a better blooping motion with these lures.
Chasing powerful fish
The ability to put more line on a given spool size with braid – on account of its lower diameter – means it is a good choice for chasing strong pelagic fish like most species of tuna. It allows you to let them run for longer without getting spooled.
Fishing in gnarly structure
Braid, particularly in the higher weight ratings, is more abrasion-resistant to most types of structure than mono. And you can use a thicker – and therefore stronger – class of braid for a given line diameter/castability, so that’s a string to braid’s bow in these scenarios.
Full reviews of the best braided fishing lines
This is a great Japanese made smooth 8-strand braid that we love. We have several reels spooled with J-Braid and find its great for casting distance and accuracy, boasts good abrasion resistance and retains its color. We find it is also great for retaining knot strength.
- High-quality Dyeema fibre
- Available in rainbow for depth count
- Smooth feel and extra 10% on each spool (327 yards)
Spiderwire is a well respected line brand that is particularly highly regarded for its braid. This 8 strand braid is known for its smoothness. Spiderwire’s Color Lock technology gives it good resistance against fading and we’ve never had any issues with it losing colour when we use it.
- Fluoropolymer treated microfibers make these lines even smoother
- Color lock technology prevents fading in salt water and UV light
- Retains round shape
KastKing SuperPower braided fishing line is an affordable four strand braid. It is strong, doesn’t stretch, and is abrasion resistant and won’t break the bank. A good choice for those on a budget, it comes in four color options.
- Rainbow color option for depth counting
- Well priced
Many anglers’ first choice braid, Power Pro is a smooth, round four-strand braid. Like other four-strand braids, it is very thin for its strength rating, but the way it is made ensures it is smoother than most and arguably fishes more like an 8 strand braid.
- Enhanced Body Technology
- Provides a rounder, smoother, slicker and structurally superior braid
This is an award-winning braided line that’s renowned for being a bit stiffer than most, which arguably makes it less prone to tangles and overruns and makes it a bit easier to handle. As an eight strand briad it is a little thicker in diameter than four strand lines, but it’s smoother and casts just as well. This US-made line is a favourite of many anglers.
- Smooth abrasion resistant coating
- Thermally fused
Best braided line for baitcasters
Braided lines and baitcasting reels is a match made in heaven. Spooled with a good quality braid, a baitcasting combo will casting accurately at long distances. The non-stretch braid also allows you to feel not only bites from fish, but also the bottom structure too if you are using a good baitcasting rod.
But the big thing to be conscious of is the potential for tangles. A bad backlash or bird’s nest with a baitcaster spooled with braid can mean cutting the whole line out and starting again.
That’s why it is important to go with the higher quality braided lines listed here in this article. All of these lines – the J-Braid, Spiderwire, Power Pro, the KastKing and the Berkley Fireline – are all fine for baitcasting applications.
These lines are all low-memory, supple braided fishing lines that are manufactured to precise tolerances. No line is going to be completely tangle proof with a baitcaster if you don’t thumb that spool to prevent overrun, but these are the least likely to tangle.
For more on choosing a line for baitcasting reels check our full article on this topic. If using braid with your baitcaster, don’t forget to tie on (using an Arbor Knot) some nylon line first to the baitcaster spool to provide a bit of cushioning for the braided and to prevent slipping around the spool.
Best braided line for spinning reels
For spinning reels, tangles are not as big an issue as you don’t have to worry about backlashes. That’s not to say you have to be careful to avoid tangles when using a spinning reel spooled with braid – it is still an issue, especially in the wind, but it is less problematic than when you are using a baitcasting reel.
While a spinning outfit spooled with braid won’t be as accurate as a baitcasting outfit (thanks to the ability to slow or stop the cast by thumbing the spool) it can still be a great sportfishing outfit. And thanks to the design of the spinning reel, it is actually better for casting lightweight lures. This kind of ultralight fishing, with 1/32 oz jig heads or other small lures, can be brilliant fun and braid is by far and away the best choice. My Shimano Stradic Ci4+ spooled with braid is by far and away my first choice of reel for ultralight fishing and it is awesome to use.
When choosing a braid for spinning reels, the usual factors are important – like with baitcasting reels, low memory and suppleness are an advantage. The braid you choose should hold its color too. There’s nothing worse than braided lines that fade rapidly.
All the of the braided lines listed here – the J-Braid, Spiderwire, Power Pro, the KastKing and the Berkley Fireline – are great for spinning reels.
If you are yet to discover the versatility and castability of fishing with braided line, we’d say “What are you waiting for?” You need at least one combo spooled with braided in most fishing situations. Put some J-Braid on your reel and you are long way to improving your fishing enjoyment and catch rate.