Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today, I am going to see what we can put on our reels as I discuss my 3 best mono fishing line options for surf fishing this year. As usual, this is an area where there is a massive difference of opinion – I mean the three for four guys I regularly fish with cannot agree – so this post is based on a mixture of my own preferences and information I have found in my research.
Personally, I tend to edge towards the braid side of things on most of my reels however have used mono to great success in the surf as well – especially on my Alvey reel. And of course if you use braid, you will need a mono leader anyway. That said, there are some definite advantages for using mono in the surf as well so let’s check it all out below…
My 3 recommended mono fishing line options for surf fishing
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:
|Mono Fishing Line||Price||Get it|
|Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line||$||CURRENT PRICE|
|Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line||$||CURRENT PRICE|
|KastKing Kovert Fluorocarbon Fishing Line||$||CURRENT PRICE|
Ok, so first thing we probably need to do here is quickly outline each of the line types we are discussing. So here is what you are looking at when it comes to mono fishing line.
I have been calling it Mono so far but in the interests of keeping you up to date, Mono is short for ‘Monofilament’. This is the traditional fishing line that everybody used before braid was even a thing. It can be made of a number of materials but usually consists of varying types of nylon and is a single line rather than a number of strands linked together (hence the name monofilament). As technology has improved, the old nylon makeup has been blended with other polymers and carbon materials to allow for improved qualities such as stretch, abrasion resistance and strength.
Mono is traditionally a greenish colour which is designed to reduce visibility in the water however it can now also be purchased in a number of colours such as yellow, red, brown or even a clear, colorless option.
Fluorocarbon (flouro) fishing line has been around for a while and, if I am being honest, have usually just used it as a leader rather than spooling my reel with it. There is a massive scientific explanation for the makeup of Fluorocarbon however essentially it is still a single line albeit stronger and more abrasive resistant than its nylon cousin. ‘Flouro’ is also considered to be nearly invisible to fish making it best in environments where it is important that the fish cannot see the line.
Why use Mono in the surf?
Look, there are a lot of fishermen out there who swear by mono in the surf. Some will say it is due to the stretchiness of the line (braid has no give at all) meaning it will handle bigger fish well. Others say it is good for light tackle or lures that you want to keep on the surface. At the end of the day, as per the ‘pros’ below, if you are new to surf fishing, just get mono. It is easy to tie and will not tangle as much(and easier to untangle if you do) and will catch fish.
Alternatively, if you are using floating baits or lures, then I would give it a good try as well.
- Great for beginners
- Easy to use in terms of tying knots etc.
- Low visibility for fish (especially when using fluorocarbon)
- Line has good stretch providing extra safety when trolling for bigger fish
- Generally cheaper to purchase than braid
- Slow sinking making it good for surface lures etc.
- Stretchiness of line makes it easier to remove tackle from snags
- Not as sensitive as braid
- Will deteriorate in sun or after periods of non use
- Lower break strength (although fluorocarbon has rectified this somewhat)
- Lower abrasion resistance (again, fluorocarbon has helped here too)
- Generally not as long casting as braid
- Holds shape from being spooled on reel meaning it can twist in the water
Ok, so the above outlines the pros, cons and some of the recommended uses for mono line. As you mull over your purchase there is however one other influence to consider. When it comes to purchasing a new line – you must match your line size to the reel. This is because the size of the spool generally determines the size, length and strength of the line that you can load into it.
When it comes to spinning reels, there is a simple way to work this all out which via the first number in the side. You see a fishing reel may be rated for example as a ’20’ or a ‘2000’. If this is the case, the ‘2’ is the common denominator and what you match the line to (this is not an exact science but it works for me). So, then all you need to do is match the line kilogram/pound strength to the spool. To make this easier, I have whipped up a little table below:
|Reel Size||Suggested Mono||Suggested Braid||Suggested Rod Length*|
|10 or 1000||1- 2 kg/2 – 4 lb||4 – 8 lb||6-7 ft (line rating 1-4kg)|
|20 or 2000||2- 3 kg/4 – 6 lb||5 – 10 lb||6-7 ft (line rating 2-5kg)|
|25 or 2500||2.5- 4 kg/5 – 8 lb||5 – 12 lb||6-7 ft (line rating 2-5kg)|
|40 or 4000||4- 6 kg/8 – 12 lb||8 – 12 lb||8-10 ft (line rating 3-10kg)|
|60 or 6000||6- 8 kg/12 – 16 lb||12 – 30 lb||8-10 ft (line rating 4-10kg)|
If the line if too big, you will generally enter the painful world of birds nest city (when too much spools off at once and tangles) and too small and you will be lamenting a snapped line every time you try and cast with a bigger sinker – or worse – if you catch a bigger fish.
Baitcaster reels however work in a slightly different manner. As they can generally handle heavier line than spinners, and can cast further, the more line you can fit onto the spool the better. Baitcaster reel spool size is usually categorised as the length of line that can be loaded by line size.
For example, the reel may be specified as capable of loading “150 yards at 15lbs mono capacity – or 15/150”. Some manufacturers will also stipulate maximum and minimum line weight limits as well.
The exception to the rule in regards to reel capacity as above is when mono is used as a leader. In short, a leader is the piece of fishing line that is used between the hook and the swivel. There are a number of reasons for it including:
- Stronger line can be used that the rest of the spooled line
- Higher invisibility can be achieved with a different leader
- Greater strength, stretch or abrasion resistance
These results are usually achieved via the use of a stronger line than is spooled on the reel. For example, you might have a 3000 sized spinner reel with 4lb line spooled. As you rig the line however, you might choose to use a 15lb flouro leader at the hook end.
Oh, and you cannot rig up a braid spooled reel without a mono leader so if you do use braid, then you will need to get yourself some mono for this purpose as well.
What do I use?
As I mentioned above, when I look to add a new line to a reel, I generally go for braid. I just like the feel of it when fishing and enjoy the extra strength that it has. Of course I still need mono for the leader so I do buy a bit of it…
I have also of course used a lot of full mono setups in my time – when I first started fishing I am not even sure braid existed hahaha. I have tried all brands and types and I tend to choose Berkley if I can, however if not, I try and stick to the following rules:
- When it comes to fishing line – you definitely get what you pay for. I always recommend sticking to the tried and true brands and avoid the bargain box.
- Always match the size to the capacity of your reel – boy have I had some issues when loading mono line that is too big.
And finally, I haven’t loaded a reel with fluorocarbon as yet however one of my fishing buddies has recently and says it is the best thing he has ever done. He even prefers it to braid.
My three recommendations broken down
As with anything, there are a lot of option available online when it comes to fishing line. So I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you options taking into consideration my rules above in terms of quality whilst looking at the best priced line I can find with the best feedback/reviews. Based on this, I recommend the following options:
1. Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line
This first one is a great option for those looking to get themselves some good fishing line a decent price. Berkley is a great brand when it comes to mono line and one that I personally look for myself. Specifications for this line option are as follows:
- Line type: Monofiliament Copolymer
- Strength: 2 – 30 lb
- Colours: Clear, fluorescent blue and green
- Length: 300 – 330 yards dependent upon strength
- Ideal for a wide array of baits and techniques
- Smooth casting
- Great line for a great price
Why have I chosen it?
I like this one purely for its versatility for the price. It will fit most reels for general surf fishing and great for beginners and experienced fishers alike. I think a good option for the budget minded.
2. Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line
Our next option is for those looking for a stronger line to tackle larger species or for use in rocky or corally areas. I admit I have also chosen it as I like the brand however it will certainly meet any needs for fishing at all levels. Its specifications include:
- Line type: Monofiliament
- Strength: 8 – 200 lb
- Colours: clear
- Length: 55 – 10000 yards dependent upon your budget
- Shock resistant – controlled stretch adds fighting power
- Extra tough and abrasion resistant
Why have I chosen it?
Put simply, this is the best option I could find that can be used as both a spooled line or as a super strong leader (which is what I use it for). It is durable, easy to use and in my own experience, the perfect line for use in any environment.
3. KastKing Kovert Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
The third line I have chosen is for those looking to set themselves up with some fluorocarbon. This is a great option that, as with line 2 above, can either be used spooled onto the reel or as an ultra strong and invisible leader. It is also good for those who want braid-like performance with a mono line. Specifications as follows:
- Line type: Fluorocarbon
- Strength: 4 – 50 lb
- Colours: clear
- Length: 50 – 200 yards dependent whether line or leader
- Invisible underwater
- Extra tough and abrasion resistant
- Fast sinking
Why have I chosen it?
Look, I did think about choosing a Berkley option here again, however this is a great one for those looking for a good quality fluorocarbon to suit most conditions. Its specifications make it a very versatile option for most needs in all fishing environments either as a spooled line or a leader.
And there it is – my 3 best mono fishing line options for surf fishing this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them. I would love to hear why you love one over the other below!
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time