Some very good lure anglers (with a lot of quality bass under their belts) like to fish braid straight-through. Some very successful anglers like to fish mono straight-through. There seems to be a very large proportion of Bass anglers using a combination of braid & a fluro (or mono) leader material though. New recruits to the sport might wonder what the differences are, and the relative benefits of each method.

Mono / flurocarbon straight-through: This is a nice cheap simple solution. Spools of mono are inexpensive to buy, and are relatively trouble-free. A simple knot to the lure (or to a lure clip) is all that’s required, & arguably the mono provides good cushioning for a strong fighting fish. The possible downside is that the ‘give’ of mono means that you have less ‘feel’ when using it in comparison to braid.

Lure attached to a clip

Braid straight-through: Braided lines have been one of the big development areas in angling over the past few years. The lack of stretch in the braid means that the angler has a very ‘direct’ contact with the lure, & can feel the more subtle movements of the lure through the water. In addition, the lower diameter of braid compared to the same breaking strength of mono, means that it cuts through wind & tide better. By fishing straight-through, it can provide a very strong link to the fish. The downside can be the loss of a certain amount of stealth, as the braid is likely to be fairly visible to the Bass. But maybe that doesn’t matter ? Also, some anglers feel that there’s a risk of losing a Bass when being ‘reefed’ by a fish (meaning that during the fight, the braid rubs against the reef, & will part more easily than a fluro or mono line).

Braid with a leader: There are different schools of thought on this. Firstly, there is a need to make the join between the braid and the leader material strong. There are some knots that are suited to this, & a dab of glue on the knot can increase strength even further. Also, there’s the option to use a small metal ‘o’ ring for the join, which can provide a simple solution, but you just have to be careful not to retrieve that metal ring through your rod tip, as it could damage the tip eye on your rod.

Next question is ‘what length of leader’. Many people use it as a ‘rubbing leader’, meaning that it’s just there to provide some abrasion resistance when playing a fish over a reef. 2’ to 3’ would probably be a typical length for this. Others however believe that a long Braid to leader knotleader can increase catch-rates when the water is clear, or in areas where the fish are wary. 10’ or 12’ leaders can be used. The watch-out with such a long leader is that it means taking the leader knot through the eyes of the rod, which can weaken the knot during the session.

The potential benefits of fishing braided main-line with a mono/fluro leader are that you get the best of both worlds. You get increased casting distance, less wind resistance, & a more direct feel, with some element of stealth at the business end, & some abrasion resistance. The potential downsides are that you are introducing a weak-link (the knot) in your set-up, and that you are adding cost & complexity to your set-up. Tying a new leader-knot in a howling wind can be challenging, as the knots are relatively intricate.

This is a subject where there is no ‘right or wrong’, it’s just down to angler preference, conditions & which compromise the angler wishes to make.

Soft plastic tied direct to fluro leader

We’d be interested to hear the thoughts of our Blog readers on this topic, & any experience that people would like to share …..

  1. I have always used mono on fixed reel when spinning and find it perfect for the job never lost a Bass on mono and you get a good fight as well cant comment on braid but have heard bthat it is good so may give it a go


  2. I am always surprised when reading the more than “numerous ” articles these days on Mono V braid that it does not take in to account the rods/reels/lures being used that are now more of a finesse nature than lets say 5-7 yrs ago,braid certainly got its WOW factor when plugging was at its most popular and surely its the brand favoured by most boat anglers for its very thin diameter and therefore tidal resistance especially in deep water…I fish rough ground with lures for bass and have never lost a fish through “rubbing” as you call it, and yes I would definitely describe some of the ground I fish as “inshore reefs”, and its much easier with mono to break off on a hooked pollack or wrasse who may have got his head down and is in no way going to give an inch ….I would have far more confidence using mono when lure fishing very light (3-7grms), and therefore fishing at close range making any wind irrelevant,, …I stopped using braid when I finally realised my catch rate had declined whilst my fishing partner using mono remained steady,I also tried the leader set up you describe and found that it just added something more complicated than was required,, with the high quality mono , superb class of lightweight rods and reels to match I think I will always remain a fan of mono simply because Braid does not offer anything other than thinner diameter which is irrelevant in my bassing circumstances.. thumbs up for their eye catching brand names tho!!

  3. I always used to fish with mono but since using braid I am now a recent convert. It is expensive but I use a mono backing and only wind on 100 yards of 20lb Braid and tie on a 4′ length of 20lb fluorocarbon using a uni to uni knot. The braids I use are Varivas and Powerpro and the fluorocarbon is P-line. To date I have never had a wind knot with this set up and not been broken on rocks either. it also casts very well and very good distances can be achieved. I use this for both Hard plastic lures and SP’s.

  4. I have wanted to try braid straight through but have had loads of success using 10lb mono straight through and so far not lost any Bass biggest caught on mono to date is 61cm so not bad will try braid though as want to see how it performs

  5. Yesterday (23rd March) I went to the London Fly Fishing Fair and signed on for UK Saltwater fly fishing festival at St Mawes in Cornwall. (27th-30th September). This is hugely ambitious because I know diddly squat about fly fishing for Bass, Rainbows, Brownies etc but not salt water fly fishing. Any advice would be most welcome from weight of line, my thoughts are 20lb fluero straight through, to the type of rod and fly, any practice marks in the south.
    Kind regards Barry.

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