Monofilament vs. copolymer fishing line

Written by skip miller
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  • Introduction

    Monofilament vs. copolymer fishing line

    Monofilament has ruled the fishing line roost for a half century. It now is getting competition from copolymer lines. For the serious fisherman, however, each line has a place and purpose.

    Quality line is a must. (Fishing on the seaside image by Elzbieta Sekowska from

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    Line Histories

    Monofilament is a single strand of nylon or polythene. It is the most popular and readily available fishing line in the world. Copolymerisation combines two or more nylon or plastic strands into a single line called copolymer.

    Monofilament is readily available. (fishing reel image by Gina Smith from

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    Important Differences

    Monafilament stretches when setting the hook or fighting a fish. Although it floats, it can become waterlogged after extended use. Copolymer sinks because it is denser. It will stretch, but not as much as monofilament.

    Setting the hook. (female fishing image by from

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    The Stretch Test

    The original copolymer was stiff and hard to handle. Adding resin made it softer. The resin, however, gave the line stretch.

    Stretching the truth. (fishing image by Mohsen Beirami from

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    The Memory Factor

    Monofilament has a high degree of memory. Strip it from a reel and it will revert to the coil shape of the spool. The results are a loss of casting distance and line snarls. Copolymer has low memory. It will come off the spool smoother, and cast farther.

    A smoother cast. (Cretan Fishing image by wilkoa from

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    Fish With Both

    Monofilament is a good choice for use with topwater lures. Its stretch gives the angler time to react and set the hook. Copolymer sworks best for diving crankbaits. Its low stretch is good when quick hook sets are needed to pull fish from heavy cover.

    A matter of choice. (girl fishing image by Topcat from

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