It’s about the last thing most of think about when it comes to our fishing gear – am I using the best mono fishing line?
But to let you in on a little secret, for the pros, this is one of the things they pay the most attention to in their fishing.
Using the best monofilament line means you’ll get more hook ups and lose less fish and therefore have a more enjoyable fishing experience.
Cutting to the chase, Berkley Trilene XL is a superb line and is our top pick.
We’ve given an honorable mention to Maxima Ultragreen for those who like a stiffer/harder line from a quality manufacturer.
And our choice for the bargain conscious is the Stren High Impact which is tremendous value in 650 yard spools.
For this review we looked at four of the best mono fishing lines available:
- Berkley Trilene XL – America’s favourite mono line and our choice too
- Maxima Ultragreen – tough, hard German quality
- Stren High Impact – great value for money
- Spiderwire EZ – gets the job done
|Berkley Trilene XL||Maxima Ultragreen||Stren High Impact||Spiderwire EZ|
|Country of manufacture||United States||Germany||United States||United States|
|Diameter at 20lb||.018||0.17||0.018||0.018|
|Selling points||Smooth casting|
|Superior knot strength|
|Value (based on price per yard)||***||**||*****||****|
Features of the best monofilament lines
The key features of the best mono fishing lines include strength, abrasion resistance, stretch, visibility, lack of memory and UV resistance.
It’s beyond obvious to say this is the most important factor. All of the monofilament lines here can be relied upon to having a breaking strain that’s at least what’s promised.
Monofilament lines don’t have the same abrasion resistance as fluorocarbon lines. If this is an important factor for you – for example if you are fishing around sharp rocks or other structure – then hard monofilament like Maxima may be the best mono fishing line for you.
Nylon has more in-built stretch than either braid (which has virtually none) and fluorocarbon. In some situations, this is good as the stretch can act as a shock absorber. But in applications where hookset is an issue – for example fish with hard, boney mouths – particularly when fishing with long casts, stretch is a real problem.
Obviously the less visible your line is under the water, the more likely you are to attract a bite. Fluorocarbon is invisible under the water. Monofilament, less so, but modern brands have good concealment properties. Obviously in turbid water this is not an issue.
Lack of memory
Memory refers to a line remain somewhat coiled even after you remove it from the spool. This tends to impede casting length and accuracy and increase the likelihood of tangles so is best avoided.
Unlike fluorocarbon, monofilament is prone to losing strength when exposed to UV rays for long periods of time. This means it pays to keep reels stored out of the sunlight to make sure you are fishing with the best mono fishing line available.
The best mono fishing line of 2020
America’s favourite monofilament line for a reason, Berkley Trilene XL boasts good suppleness and knot strength with abrasion resistance. Although slightly thicker than the Maxima for the same strength, this is a good quality line at a reasonable price that we are perfectly content to fish with. Our winner here as the best monofilament line.
We love Maxima for its feel, it’s stiffness and durability and its consistent performance. We use Maxima for constructing fly fishing leaders where that stiffness helps create leaders that turn over properly in heavy wind. With that stiffness comes good abrasion resistance and minimal stretch to assist feeling every bite or movement of the lure. It is also slightly slimmer in diameter than its rivals for the title of best mono fishing line here.
The Stren brand is now in the same Pure Fishing stable as Berkley and Spiderwire. It is a trusted brand, particularly in the US market and makes a good product at a brilliant price. It’s tough and abrasion resistant and US manufactured and comes in four colours – clear, hi-vis green, low-vis green and smoke blue. It is our clear choice for the best value out there.
While better known in many markets for its braid lines, Spiderwire makes both mono and fluorocarbon lines. I think the jury is out a bit on Spiderwire’s mono range. It’s not that it’s a bad line, but there are less anglers who are prepared to endorse it wholeheartedly over competing brands.
All these lines offer industry leading levels of quality in each of the above criteria. The final choice for you will depend on your budget, but you can’t go wrong with the Berkley Trilene XL or the Maxima Ultragreen … and if you are on a tight budget, the Stren High Impact. But it’s worth noting that compared to the best fluorocarbon lines, monofilament is not expensive – so buy the best you can afford. When you are hooked up to a big steelhead or a tarpon in the salt, you certainly won’t regret spending a few extra bucks on having the best line available. Grab one of these three lines to spool up your favourite spinning reel or baitcasting reel and go and catch yourself a fish.