Is Mono or Braid Better for Walleye Fishing? Decoding the Best Line Choice

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When it comes to walleye fishing, the debate between using mono or braid fishing lines is a hot topic. Both mono and braid have advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, the choice depends on various factors such as fishing conditions, techniques used, and angler preferences. This article explores the differences between mono and braid, their pros and cons, and factors that might influence your decision when choosing the best fishing line for walleye.

Mono, short for monofilament, is a single-strand fishing line known for its stretch and flexibility. A braid, on the other hand, is made of multiple strands woven together, offering greater strength and sensitivity. Their performance can vary significantly when used in different fishing scenarios, so it is essential to understand how they behave under various conditions.

Selecting the right fishing line for walleye goes beyond choosing between mono and braid. Anglers can also employ leaders and combine different types of lines to create the most effective setups. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of mono and braid lines in walleye fishing, you can make an informed decision that meets your fishing technique and location requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • Mono and braid lines have distinct properties, each with advantages and drawbacks when used for walleye fishing.
  • Choosing the right fishing line depends on fishing conditions, techniques, and personal preferences.
  • Combining different lines with leaders can optimize walleye fishing setup and success.

Mono Vs Braid: Understanding The Basics

Characteristics of Mono

Monofilament, or simply “mono,” is a single-strand fishing line made from various materials, primarily nylon. It has been the go-to choice for anglers for several decades, and good reason. Mono is affordable, easy to handle, and versatile in many fishing situations.

One of the major advantages of mono is its stretch factor. This stretchability can help cushion the impact of hard-fighting fish and can be a huge advantage when dealing with walleye. It also allows you to fine-tune your feel of the fish and prevent it from getting away.

On the downside, mono tends to have a larger diameter than braid, which can result in increased water resistance. This might make fishing in strong currents or deeper depths more challenging. Additionally, mono is less abrasion-resistant than braided lines, which can wear out faster, especially in rough environments.

Characteristics of Braid

A braided line, often referred to simply as “braid,” is a fishing line made from multiple strands of material like Dyneema or Spectra woven together. This manufacturing process results in a stronger, more sensitive line and thinner in diameter than mono.

Braid offers anglers several benefits over monofilament. Its increased sensitivity allows you to feel even the softest walleye bites, making detecting and reacting to fish easier. Additionally, the low stretch factor in the braid provides more solid hooksets and fewer lost fish.

Furthermore, braid is more resistant to abrasion and has a longer lifespan than mono, making it an excellent choice for fishing around structures or in rough conditions. On the downside, braid can be more difficult to work with because it tends to slip on the reel. It can also be more visible to fish, so using a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader might be necessary to avoid spooking your target walleye.

In summary, both monofilament and braided lines hold their advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to carefully consider which line best suits your walleye fishing needs and techniques. Understanding their unique characteristics will help you make an informed decision and improve your enjoyment and success on the water. Happy fishing!

Factors That Might Influence Your Choice

Fishing Environment and Conditions

When choosing between mono and braid for walleye fishing, consider the environment and conditions you’ll be fishing in. Braid offers high sensitivity and low stretch, great for feeling subtle bites in deeper water or situations with many lines out. On the other hand, mono provides more stretch, which can be beneficial when using live bait as it allows more time to set the hook.

Water clarity also plays a role, as the braid is more visible in clear water, which can potentially spook the walleye. Opting for a mono line with low visibility might be better in this case. Additionally, mono has better abrasion resistance than braid, so mono might be a more suitable choice if you’re fishing in an area with rocks, debris, or other obstacles.

Walleye Behaviour

Understanding walleye behavior can also help decide whether to use a mono or braid line. Walleyes are known for their sensitivity to environmental changes, which can affect their feeding habits and responsiveness to lures. As walleye are often found in deeper water, a braid line can help you detect their subtle bites due to its higher sensitivity.

However, if you’re using live bait to target walleye, a mono line with its additional stretch can work in your favor. The extra stretch provides some give in the line, allowing walleye to grab the bait and swim away before feeling the tension, making it more likely they’ll become hooked.

When considering line capacity and line twist, the braid has the edge. Braid is thinner than mono of the equivalent strength, allowing for more lines on your reel. Furthermore, it is less prone to line twist, making it easier to manage and maintain. That said, mono has its advantages in terms of its lower memory, making it more manageable over time and less prone to kinks and tangles.

In conclusion, both braid and mono have unique advantages depending on the fishing environment and the walleye behavior. By evaluating factors such as stretch, sensitivity, abrasion resistance, memory, line capacity, and line twist, you can decide which line type best suits your walleye fishing needs.

Mono and Braid in Different Fishing Strategies

As a walleye angler, selecting the right fishing line is essential, depending on your technique and the environment. Let’s explore how mono and braid can serve you better in different situations.

Braid for Trolling

Braid is an excellent choice when trolling for walleye. Its low-stretch property allows for better hook sets, making reeling in your catch easier. This line also has a thin diameter, which is advantageous for trolling as it minimizes drag, offering minimal resistance in the water. When fishing in clear water, add a fluoro leader to make your line virtually invisible to walleyes. Always set your drag and reel correctly for the braid line type.

Trolling often requires casting distance; a braided line can improve this aspect due to its low diameter. Moreover, braids tend to have little memory, ensuring your line remains straight and smooth, providing a better overall trolling experience.

Mono for Jigging

Mono is the go-to choice when jigging for walleyes. Its stretchiness increases sensitivity, helping you detect subtle bites and bottom structure more easily. Vertical jigging is a classic technique to catch walleyes, and mono excels in this style. The buoyancy keeps your bait suspended above the bottom, creating a more enticing presentation for walleyes.

When jigging, it’s crucial to match your line type to the lure or technique you’re using. Mono’s stretchability offers better shock absorption, ensuring the fish stays on your hook when setting it. The natural elasticity of monofilament also creates a gentle, cushioned feel when reeling in the catch. Remember this, and adjust your drag and reel accordingly to ensure the best results possible.

Remember these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to making the most of both mono and braid lines while fishing for walleye. Good luck out there!

The Role of Leaders in Walleye Fishing

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When targeting walleye, choosing the right leader can make all the difference in your success. In this section, we’ll discuss when to use fluorocarbon leaders and when to use wire leaders, as well as the importance of barrel swivels.

When to Use Fluorocarbon Leaders

Fluorocarbon leaders are a popular choice for walleye fishermen because they’re nearly invisible underwater and provide just the right amount of stretch. This is perfect for situations when you need a subtle presentation, such as in clear water or when dealing with finicky fish. Fluorocarbon leaders also offer excellent abrasion resistance, especially when fishing around rocks, wood, or other structures.

One of the key benefits of using a fluorocarbon leader is its faster sink rate. This becomes increasingly important as you fish deeper waters. Plus, fluorocarbon’s low stretch and high sensitivity allow you to feel those subtle walleye bites more easily.

Don’t forget about incorporating a barrel swivel when using a fluorocarbon leader. This handy little piece of gear will help prevent line twists, which is especially important when using baits with a lot of action.

When to Use Wire Leaders

Wire leaders are handy when targeting walleye near toothy fish, like pike or muskies. These aggressive predators can easily cut through a fluorocarbon or mono leader with sharp teeth.

When using a wire leader, it’s crucial to match the strength and thickness of the wire to the size of the fish you’re targeting. You don’t want a heavy, thick wire leader to scare away wary walleyes, but you do want enough strength to handle potential toothy encounters.

A barrel swivel is essential when using a wire leader, as it helps to eliminate line twists and allows for a smoother presentation. Pairing your wire leader with a barrel swivel creates a versatile, durable connection that can withstand the challenges of walleye fishing.

To sum it up, choosing the right leader material – fluorocarbon or wire – plays a crucial role in walleye fishing. Consider the conditions you’re fishing in and the potential for toothy encounters, and don’t forget to add a barrel swivel to your setup for the best results. Happy fishing!

Pros and Cons of Mono and Braid for Walleye Fishing

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Advantages of Mono

When it comes to walleye fishing, mono has some advantages that can make it a better choice for certain situations. One benefit is its ability to stretch, providing a little extra cushion when setting the hook or fighting a fish. This stretch can help prevent tearing the hook out of the fish’s mouth, especially if you have a stiff rod or tight drag settings.

Another advantage of mono is its knot strength and ease of handling. Mono tends to hold knots better than braid, making it more reliable in those critical moments when a big walleye is on the line. Additionally, mono is generally less visible underwater than braid, which can be important when targeting walleye in clear water or when they are particularly line-shy.

Advantages of Braid

Braided fishing lines offer several benefits over mono when targeting walleye. First and foremost is their sensitivity. Due to the lack of stretch in a braid, you can feel even subtle bites and bottom structure with much greater clarity, helping you detect and react to walleye more effectively.

Another advantage of a braid is its strength-to-diameter ratio. Braid lines are generally thinner than mono counterparts of the same pound test. This allows you to fit more lines on your reel, increasing your capacity for longer casts or deep water applications. Additionally, with the braid’s excellent abrasion resistance, you can confidently fish around rocks, wood, or other snag-prone structures.

Furthermore, braid offers superior hook-setting power and control over mono. With its low stretch, you can drive the hook home more decisively and effectively manage the fight with a walleye in tight spaces. This is particularly important when fishing with jigs, as the faster hookset can mean the difference between a successful catch and a missed opportunity.

In summary, mono and braid have unique advantages and potential snags for walleye fishing. By understanding the characteristics of each type of line, you can tailor your approach to the specific conditions and techniques you’re fishing. Ultimately, the choice between mono and braid comes down to your preferences and your fishing environment’s specific challenges.

Recommended Fishing Lines for Walleye

Choosing the right fishing line for walleye can make a huge difference in your success. Some great options are on the market whether you prefer monofilament or braided lines. This section will discuss the best mono and braided lines for walleye fishing. Don’t worry; we’ll keep it brief and to the point!

Best Mono Lines

Monofilament lines are popular for walleye fishing due to their stretch and affordability. Here are our top picks:

  • Sufix Elite: This premium monofilament line is known for its excellent casting ability and low memory. It’s perfect for those who want a smooth, hassle-free fishing experience. Check it out here.
  • Trilene: Another great option for monofilament is Trilene’s Professional Grade line. It’s strong, versatile, and known for its low memory. You can read more about it here.
  • Berkley Trilene XL: This budget-friendly option offers low memory and user-friendly characteristics. Even with heavy sun exposure and regular use, it still lasts a long time. Learn more here.

Best Braided Lines

Braided lines are known for their incredible strength and sensitivity, making them an excellent choice for walleye fishing. Let’s dive into our recommendations:

  • Power Pro: This high-quality braided line offers excellent strength and a smooth casting experience. Plus, it’s available in a wide range of poundage options. Check it out here.
  • Fireline: This superline is a fusion of modern technology and traditional braided lines. It’s well-suited for spinning or jigging for walleye and provides great sensitivity. Learn more here.
  • Nanofil: This ultra-thin, ultra-strong line is perfect for finesse presentations when fishing walleye. Its unique construction offers minimal stretch, making it highly sensitive. Find more details here.
  • Spiderwire Stealth: This high-performance braided line is strong, smooth, and stealthy. It casts effortlessly and is perfect for both spinning and baitcasting reels. Read more about it here.

Remember, the key to walleye fishing success is choosing the right type of line for your specific technique. The perfect line is out there, whether you’re trolling, jigging, or using slip bobber rigs. Happy fishing!

Advanced Tips and Guidance

Choosing The Right Tackle

Selecting the appropriate tackle for your fishing situation is crucial when targeting walleye. A reliable fishing guide suggests using a spinning reel paired with a trolling rod for most situations. Depending on your technique, mono or braid lines offer various advantages. For jigging walleyes in shallow water (15 feet or less), 6- or 8-pound-test mono may be your best bet, like the Sufix Elite. When fishing in deeper waters or using techniques like pitching jigs, braid lines can provide better sensitivity and strength.

Additionally, use the appropriate rod for the type of line you choose. A mono rod is suitable for mono lines while trolling rods work well for braid lines. The optimal setup can significantly increase your chances of success.

Proper Knot Tying Techniques

Knots play a crucial role in the strength and reliability of your fishing rig. The uni knot is an excellent choice for its versatility and strength when using mono or braid lines. Practice tying this knot with both line types, as proper technique ensures a secure connection between your line and tackle.

To tie a uni knot:

  1. Thread the line through the eye of the hook, leaving a generous tag end.
  2. Form a loop by bringing the tag end over the main line.
  3. Wrap the tag end around the main line and inside the loop five to six times.
  4. Moisten the knot with saliva and carefully pull the tag end to snug the wraps.
  5. Slide the knot down towards the hook eye, ensuring it’s tight and secure.
  6. Trim the tag end close to the knot, taking care not to nick the main line.

Remember, knowing when to use mono or braid lines and having the right tackle, rods, and knot-tying skills will enhance your walleye fishing experience. So, head out onto the water, confident in your newly acquired knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What fishing line works best for walleye jigging?

Both mono and braid can work well when it comes to walleye jigging. However, you might consider using a mono line in a 6- or 8-pound test for jigging in shallower water. Mono offers some stretch, which helps feel subtle bites, while braid has minimal stretch and provides greater sensitivity.

Which line is ideal for trolling walleye: mono or braid?

While mono and braid can be used for trolling walleye, braid has some advantages in this application. With its low stretch and high strength, braid can offer better hooksets than mono lines. However, it’s still important to consider personal preference and comfort level.

What pound test is recommended for walleye using braided line?

When using a braided line for walleye, going lighter is generally preferred. However, it shouldn’t be too light. Most anglers use a braided line with 10-20 pound test for walleye fishing, depending on the water clarity, cover, and desired casting distance.

Which fluorocarbon leader should be used for walleye?

Thanks to their low visibility underwater, Fluorocarbon leaders can effectively target skittish walleye. A fluorocarbon leader in the 8-12 pound test range is commonly used, providing a good balance of strength and invisibility.

What type of line should be used for ice fishing walleye?

Ice fishing for walleye often calls for a combination of different line types. The braided line is popular for its low stretch and increased sensitivity in cold conditions. However, it is often paired with a fluorocarbon or mono leader for added invisibility and abrasion resistance.

What leader material is preferred for walleye fishing?

A commonly preferred leader material for walleye fishing is fluorocarbon. This material is nearly invisible underwater and offers good abrasion resistance, making it an excellent choice when targeting walleye in clear water or amongst cover.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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