Braided fishing line can be a huge help for anglers for several different reasons. While most of us grew up fishing with standard monofilament-type lines, the emergence of braided fishing line has opened up a lot of new fishing possibilities around the world. Whether you enjoy finesse fishing or close-combat, shallow-water power fishing, there is definitely a place for this type of line in your arsenal.
As I’ve said throughout my career, price is a big deal for me whenever I’m choosing fishing gear. But if I’m being totally honest, fishing line prices have gone through the roof lately and it can be tough to afford a bunch fo different spools at times. While price is a huge factor when I’m choosing braided line, I also consider the following factors:
- Color fastness
As I outline the best options for 2023, I’ll cover these factors throughout my descriptions. I’ve been able to test just about every braided line on the market and I’m confident this guide will help you make the best purchase decision possible. While buying braided line, or any fishing line, for that matter, can seem daunting at times, it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. With so many great options on the market these days, it’s pretty tough to make a bad decision when you’re buying a few spools. But hang with me and we’ll try to build your confidence the next time you head to the checkout line.
Before we get into the particular lines, there are a few quick things we should go over, especially if you’re new to fishing braided line.
OUR TOP PICKS
- Best Casting Braided Line: Berkley X9 Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Most Durable Braided Line: Sufix 832 Superline Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Best Color Fastness For Braided Line: Vicious No-Fade Braid – Buy from Bass Pro
- The Braided Line Workhorse Award: Spiderwire Durabraid Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Best Hi-Viz Finesse Braid: Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Yo-Zuri Superbraid Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Daiwa J-Braid Grand 8x Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Strike King Contra Braided Line – Buy from Tackle Warehouse
- Sunline Xplasma Asegai Braided Line – Buy from Tackle Warehouse
- Power Pro Spectra Braided Line – Buy from Bass Pro
- Braided Line Comparison Chart
Braided line size recommendations
Braided line is much smaller in diameter when compared to similar pound-test monofilaments and fluorocarbons, so don’t get too set in your old-school ways when you’re considering which pound-test braided line to purchase. As a general guideline, here are some recommendations based on your preferred fishing techniques:
8- to 20-pound test: Best on spinning reels for finesse fishing such as drop shots, shaky heads, Ned rigs, Neko rigs and similar lightweight techniques. Common practice is to attach a 4- to 6-foot fluorocarbon leader to your braided main line (my favorite knot for this is a Two-Join Uni Knot) in order to reduce your line’s visibility when fishing in clear-water situations.
30- to 40-pound test: Best on casting reels for open-water topwater lures such as walking topwaters and the popular Plopper-style topwaters. In this situation, the braid can be tied directly to the lure and the small diameter of the line allows for incredible casting distance while the no-stretch qualities allow for a solid hookup ratio on long-distance hooksets.
50- to 65-pound test: This might sound overkill to some, but again, don’t think of this in terms of your standard fluorocarbon or monofilament line diameter. If you like to throw topwater frogs, buzzbaits or pitch and flip heavy cover with heavy Texas rigs or skirted jigs, this is a perfect pound-test to use. 50-pound test will allow for a bit wider walking action on your frogs and other topwaters and 65-pound test lets you punch your bait into thick vegetation and execute aggressive hooksets without any worry of breaking your line.
Tips for spooling braided line
Spooling braided line isn’t hard and we don’t need to beat it to death and get too far into the weeds. It’s pretty much just like spooling any other fishing line but with a few small exceptions.
When you’re spooling braid on a casting reel, you’ll want to use some type of cheap backing line. Essentially, you’ll tie some cheap 10- or 12-pound monofilament or flourocarbon directly to your spool and wind it onto the reel until the spool of the reel barely gets covered enough to go out of site. This practice does two very important things: It prevents slipping and digging on hooksets and it also saves a little money by taking up extra room on the reel spool. The brand and type of backing you choose to use doesn’t matter, in my opinion, because it doesn’t see the light of day; you can pretty much think of it as filler line. Again, I like to use a Two-Join Uni Knot for this knot and it doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t get too wound up about tying the perfect knot.
When you’re spooling braid onto a spinning reel, you can also use backing line as described above. Personally speaking, I actually prefer to tie my braided line straight onto my spinning reel spool and secure the knot with a small piece of painter’s tape or masking tape. I don’t know if it’s laziness or just personal preference, but it has always worked great for me. You won’t deal with any slipping or digging whatsoever and the line will last on the spool for years before you have to change it.
BEST CASTING BRAIDED LINE: BERKLEY X9 BRAIDED LINE
It may not be the most expensive braided line out there, but if you’re looking for long casts and easy line management, I’d suggest taking a long look at this line. I’m all about some affordable fishing gear and when it performs as well as more expensive brands, count me in.
This braided line utlizes 9-carrier technology and it’s very round which helps it avoid digging on itself and also helps it glide through your fishing rod’s line guides smoother and quieter. I’ve tested all kinds of braids over the past decade-plus and there are a bunch that are way too loud in your guides throughout the retrieve. With this line, however, I was super impressed by how quiet it was while I worked my lures and baits.
It’s also a great choice when you’re working a frog, skirted jig or punching rig through heavy vegetation. Other, more abrasive braids will make a bunch of noise when you’re dragging it across grass and pad stems but the sheer smoothness of this braid increases your stealth and helps you get a few more bites. I’m a big fan of this stuff.
MOST DURABLE BRAIDED LINE: SUFIX 832 SUPERLINE BRAIDED LINE
I have used this stuff for over a decade and I honestly can’t remember a single failure in that time period. I’ve never had a knot break and I’ve never had the line break no matter what I’ve put it through. It’s a bit coarser than some of the other braids on this list but that doesn’t mean a thing to me when I consider its durability.
This line cuts through vegetation with ease which makes it a great choice for fishing moving baits through grass such as lipless crankbaits, topwaters and the like. If you feel your bait start to bog down throughout your retrieve, a quick, upwards snap of your rod tip is normally all it takes to free your bait from any vegetation-based obstruction.
This is also a very round line, which helps it avoid digging and you’ll notice impressive diameter numbers with this line as well. 50-pound Sufix 832 Superline is equivalent to just 12-pound test monofilament.
Read our full review here: Sufix 832 Braid Review.
BEST COLOR FASTNESS FOR BRAIDED LINE: VICIOUS NO-FADE BRAID
Braided line has a tendency to fade and lose its color over time. Whether it’s due to constant sun exposure or just lots of use, you’re going to experience it at some point. While many anglers will combat this issue by coloring the first 3 or 4 feet above their lure with a black permanent marker, that’s not always necessary with the right line.
Vicious No-Fade Braid is some very impressive braided line that, as the name clearly implies, will not fade. I have had the same line on one of my reels for over two years and I haven’t noticed any color loss whatsoever. Throughout the manufacturing process, Vicious utilizes a pre-dyeing process that makes color an actual part of the line. I thought it might be some type of fancy marketing when I first heard of it but I can personally attest to its effectiveness. I’ve had a spool of this in my boat for years and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Read our full review here: Vicious No-Fade Braided Line Review.
THE BRAIDED LINE WORKHORSE AWARD: SPIDERWIRE DURABRAID BRAIDED LINE
I’ve been incredibly impressed by this particular braided line for a multitude of reasons. Not only is it quiet coming through both the line guides and vegetation, but it’s also made of nails and can handle just about anything you throw at it. If you’re a river rat who likes to get down and dirty with shallow-water cover, pay close attention to this line. It will stand up to abuse and it’s not going to kill your bank account, either.
You can also expect above-average knot strength and shock absorbency that allows for some big-time hooksets without any worry of line failure. It’s a pretty stiff when you first put it on your reel, but after two or three fishing trips, it will start to soften up and become a bit more manageable. I’ve also noticed that it holds its color quite well which, of course, helps it last longer and saves you money.
BEST HI-VIZ FINESSE BRAID: SEAGUAR SMACKDOWN BRAIDED LINE
This is an outstanding braided line, especially when it comes to finesse fishing. So if you’re someone who likes to fish with drop shots, shaky heads and other lightweight bass fishing techniques, I definitely think you should give this line an honest chance. I’ve been using this line on my spinning reels in 15- and 20-pound test in the Flash Green color and can’t say enough about its castability and line management properties.
I first fished this line with my buddy Mark Daniels, Jr. who happens to be a very accomplished professional bass fisherman. We were on Lake Hartwell and came across some schooling hybrids and stripers, so with our content work being done for the day, we smiled at each other and pulled into the small cove and rigged up some ultra-lightweight swimbaits on 15-pound test Smackdown.
The first cast blew me away and I don’t say that lightly. He just giggled and tossed me the empty box of Smackdown and told me I needed to get my hands on a few spools. I was bombing that tiny little swimbait and we caught the tar out of ‘em that afternoon. Those linesides can be tough on braided line because of all their sharp fins and gill plates but we didn’t have the first problem with this line. This should definitely be high on your shopping list, especially if you fancy a spinning reel.
Other great options for the money:
YO-ZURI SUPERBRAID BRAIDED LINE
Although this line does have a tendency to lose some color over time, I’m not really worried about it because permanent markers cost about a dollar; so that’s not a huge deal to me. But I consider this line to be somewhat of a “working man’s braid” because it’s inexpensive and it does the job just fine. It won’t let you down and you’ll be able to confidently set the hook each and every time.
I’ve had some of this line on a reel for almost two years now and I can’t recall a line failure. I also like Yo-Zuri’s marketing with this line… which is pretty simple. You’re not going to see a bunch of crazy claims and flashy graphics on their packaging. It is what it is, which is dang good braided fishing line. It’s easy handling and really good for a wide range of applications. I prefer, however, to use it with heavy duty applications on casting reels such as close-quarters pitching and flipping.
DAIWA J-BRAID GRAND 8X BRAIDED LINE
This is an awesome braided line for fishing in open-water situations. If you see fish start to suddenly break the surface and you need to chuck a topwater in their direction, you need to have this braid spooled onto one of your favorite reels. You’ll notice hardly any memory with this braid and you’ll also enjoy an incredibly thin diameter, which makes it cast even small topwater lures like a rocket.
It will hold its own in thick cover, but due to the smaller diameter (50-pound test diameter is just .014 inches), I prefer to use this for finesse techniques and the aforementioned open-water scenarios. For finesse techniques, I recommend 15- or 20-pound test and for the open-water stuff, I’d suggest grabbing a spool of 30- or 40-pound test. Either way, you’ll be able to cast it a country mile.
STRIKE KING CONTRA BRAIDED LINE
Sensitivity is the name of the game with this braided line. Made from high-quality Japanese fibers, this is one of the most sensitive braids I’ve tested in recent memory. I’ve tested it on both spinning and casting gear and it behaves quite nicely on each setup. It doesn’t loop around line guides and it rarely digs into itself which is a huge plus in my book.
It also comes with a Sidewinder spooling tool which might sound really fancy, but in all reality, it’s just a great common-sense tool. They have attached a suction cup to the back of the spool which allows you to easily and quickly re-spool just about anywhere. I’ve put it on the side of my truck bed, the side of my fiberglass boat console and on the side of my boat and been able to efficiently re-spool within just a minute or two. It’s one of those things I wish I had thought of years ago because man, it sure makes things easier.
SUNLINE XPLASMA ASEGAI BRAIDED LINE
I was a little skeptical of this line when I first spooled it onto my reel because it kinked a lot. It has a very waxy-type coating which is meant to increase slickness, abrasion resistance and water repellency but until I tried this stuff, I had never really felt a braid like this before. Once you get above the 50-pound test mark, you’ll be fairly taken aback by its rigidity. But with all of that being said, it softens up after a few fishing trips and has turned into a really nice braided line that seems to work excellently for a myriad of bass fishing techniques.
Due to its stiffness, I think it’s a great choice for open-water topwater fishing, especially when it comes to walking topwater lures. These lures require you to incorporate slack into your retrieve when you quickly pause the bait. A braided line that’s too limp will almost surely hook itself on the front treble hook of your lure which will foul the bait and essentially ruin your entire cast and most likely spook any fish that may be following your lure.
This more rigid line, however, stays in front of the line when you pause your topwater which keeps it clear of the front treble hook. So if you want to bomb some casts across a point or towards some schoolers, this braided line is a solid choice that’s tailor made for the situation.
POWER PRO SPECTRA BRAIDED LINE
If you’ve ever sold your trusty ol’ pickup truck for one of those fancy ones and regretted it a few months later… you can probably relate to the millions of Power Pro Spectra users across the world when they try other braided lines. This line and brand has a rabid following of anglers and it’s just one of those “old faithful” lines that won’t really let you down.
It’s smooth, it’s quiet and in my personal opinion, it excels on spinning gear. It behaves well on the spool and allows for great casting distance and sensitivity. I also really like how it doesn’t cost a bunch of money, either. If you’re in a store before a fishing trip or fishing tournament and can’t quite make your mind up, this is somewhat of a fail-safe option that isn’t going to let you down.
BRAIDED LINE COMPARISON CHART
|8 – 100
|Flipping / Frogging
|8 – 80
|Lipless / Topwater
|10 – 60
|Flipping / Frogging
|8 – 65
|Flipping / Frogging
|10 – 65
|Finesse / Flipping
|4 – 8
|10 – 80
|Swimming / Flippin
|6 – 65
|Strike King Contra
|8 – 65
|Finesse / Flipping
|Sunline Xplasma Asegai
|8 – 60
|Finesse / Frogging
|Power Pro Spectra
|8 – 80
|Flipping / Swim Jig
When it comes to braided fishing line or heck, anything fishing-related for that matter, a lot of someone’s personal preference comes down to brand loyalty and past experience. Because of that, I made a concerted effort to take a very impartial angle with this guide to make sure I gave you the most complete and unbiased information possible.
You can sit there and stare at that wall of fishing line for an hour and get all stressed out if you want to; I used to do the exact same thing years ago. I’d encourage you, however, to save this article on your phone and pull it up the next time you’re standing in front of a giant wall of braided fishing line. These are the best lines available in 2022 and you can’t go wrong with any of them.