Monofilament fishing line changed fishing forever when it was introduced as a nylon alternative in 1939 by Dupont. Up until that time, anglers were set on using Dacron braided fishing lines. And really it wasn’t until Dupont perfected its nylon formula some years later and made a more supple and limper line that could cast really well and introduced it as Stren in 1959 that monofilament became the line to fish with.
From then until the 1990s Stren brough about an explosion of monofilament fishing lines where it reigned king as the fishing line of choice. Co-polymers were later introduced that could add some toughness and better quality to unifilament lines. But these were still fused into one strand lines known as monofilament.
But when braided fishing line and Seaguar’s original fluorocarbon line came on the scene and began developing more advanced lines geared for specific techniques in various fishing circles, monofilament went by the wayside.
But today’s monofilaments are generally very good, affordable lines for what they are and what they are meant to do. We still catch a ton of fish on monofilament only setups from bluegill, crappie, bass, walleye, big swimbait fish and more.
We still use a lot of monofilament in our fishing every season and wanted to run down some of the best monofilaments for you for various fishing scenarios and situations. Let’s rundown the following list of monofilament lines:
- Maxima Ultragreen – Buy from Basspro
- Trilene XL – Buy from Basspro
- Berkley Big Game – Buy from Basspro
- Sunline Super Natural – Buy from Tacklewarehouse
- Sufix Advance – Buy from Basspro
- Stren Original – Buy from BassPro
- Vicious Panfish – Buy from BassPro
This is still one of the best monofilaments ever made in my opinion. The diameter is small. The line is tough, but most importantly it is some of the most supple and castable copolymer monofilament ever made. The biggest part of fishing is getting the fish to bite. The line not giving away the deception is a big part of that.
For how small the diameter is on this line and how supple it remains and how well it casts, this is one of my long-time favorites for monofilament. I will admit that I had used a lot of other lines the last few years, as a part of this job I suppose, but after pulling the lines together to test and review, I was again reminded how good this line is and had to order a couple of big bulk spools.
Now it’s on the high side when it comes to monofilament. But buying bulk spools helps offset the cost and if you are a guy who likes to use a lot of monofilament you can get some huge spools of this line for a very low cost per reel fill up.
I use this a lot of finesse setups where I don’t want to use braid. It’s a favorite among trout anglers who fish ultra clear waters and it’s good stuff in high pound test for swimbaits.
Trilene XL finds itself onto a lot of fishing rods a year. It’s one of the best selling lines still and has been for decades thanks in part to its supple nature and shock absorption.
Trilene XL was a staple for me growing up fishing when I used a ton of 8 to 12 pound line. It has a low memory compared to other lines and fishes very well. It’s only draw backs is it can dry out over time and it does have quite a bit of stretch. But I know this going in and don’t mind. Part of how I choose my lines is how that line’s attributes marry up to the rod and reel setup to which I will spool it. So if I know my line stretches I will use a faster action and a little more backbone. If my rod is moderate action and less backbone, I will lean towards a braid.
I fish XL on a lot of crappie setups and Medium Light rods with fast tips. It casts well, is fairly sensitive and I can set a good hook with the right rod.
Berkley Big Game
Berkley Big Game has been a workhorse line for a lot of anglers for a long time. You get a pretty good spool of it for like $10 and the line just holds up to a lot of abuse. Prior to my flipping days with fluorocarbon and braid, this was all I used. I liked 17 and 20 pound test in green for most of my pitching and winding jigs on the Arkansas River.
Nowadays, I always have a bunch of this line with me when I travel, I keep a couple spools in my boat. If I blow up a reel on the water, I cut it off, wind on Big Game and just roll on. And it never lets me down. Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t just spool it on a few rigs and go. You don’t have to replace it often and its just a strong monofilament that doesn’t want to break.
Sunline Super Natural
Another one of those really good supple monofilaments is Sunline Super Natural. This comes in handy when you are wanting a setup that can send light lures a long ways on light line. While fluorocarbon has the advantages of more invisibility, I’ve found that distance and castability with fishing line often is more important than how invisible the line is. I think we give fish too much credit for “seeing the line” and not enough credit for “seeing us.”
So I like supple monofilaments when getting lures out to distance is the most important thing to me. And this applies to all sorts of fish besides just bass fishing. Anytime I fishing for fish in shallow clear water, I like at least one setup with a light monofilament and Super Natural is one I use a lot for that.
Aaron Martens turned me on to it years ago and I have enjoyed a lot success with small topwaters and little crankbaits with this line. I like the smaller pound tests from 4 to 10 pound. But I’ve also done really well with the 16-pound line flipping light baits in clear water around sparse cover like docks.
Sufix engineered Advance monofilament to be more clear in the water and to have half the stretch of regular monofilament. This super tough fishing line has more abrasion resistance and smoother coating thanks to its combination of HMPE and hyper co-polymer materials. That makes it a very strong monofilament that resists UV absorption which is what makes fishing line become brittle and not as strong.
I’ve not used this line as much as the others but it’s a very powerful line for hitting fish hard in close quarters and for driving a good hook on long casts and in deep water.
The original monofilament still holds a place for anglers as it remains a good line at a great price for most anglers on a budget. I personally use this line a lot in the fluorescent blue color for night fishing so it shows up against our black lights. I really like it on my nighttime spinnerbait and jig rods when fishing at night in the summer.
It has a decent amount of stretch and it does seem to get brittle if unused for a longer period. So keep it out of the sun if you can when not using it for long periods and change it periodically to maintain a faultless monofilament fishing line.
Vicious Fishing makes a great, affordable panfish line. The yellow line has become synonymous with crappie fishing due to the fact that most crappie bites aren’t really felt. They are seen. You will see your line jump or go limp. If you’re someone who struggles to see their line against the water, then you owe it to yourself to try this yellow panfish line. I stick with 4 and 6-pound tests and it has never let me down.
As Wally Marshall once told me about his own great yellow Mr. Crappie line, when asked about whether crappie care about line color: “I got a whole freezer full of crappie that didn’t care about the line being yellow.”
Vicious Panfish has a good bit of stretch but its super low maintenance line. It casts well, has enough sensitivity and strength to land all the crappie and bluegill you want and you can leave it on your reel all year. And it’s very affordable (I saw a 2,960 yard spool at Rural King for $6.50).
Wrapping up the best monofilament fishing lines
There are some great monofilament lines on the market. Others we have tried and liked but just haven’t used as much are Izorline, Yozuri Hybrid, Spiderwire EZ Mono and Trik Fish. And you might have a favorite on your list that we haven’t listed here. We just try to report on the lines that we have a lot of positive personal experience with on the water.
While a lot of other best reviews are just simply looking at what’s selling on Amazon and coming up with a half-hearted list, we actually take time to test and fish with products especially when it comes to fishing line because we don’t want to recommend something to you that is going to cause you problems on the water and make you lose out on precious free time away from it all.
So trust us when we say we use these lines a lot and they are the good ones.