Informational Guide

What Size Braid For Baitcasters?

Finding the right-sized braid can be confusing. Discover how to easily size-up braid for any baitcasting reel with our complete guide.

by Andrew

Informational Guide

What Size Braid For Baitcasters?

Finding the right-sized braid can be confusing. Discover how to easily size-up braid for any baitcasting reel with our complete guide.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Braided line works great on a baitcasting reel. It’s stronger by diameter than mono and casts better than an all-fluoro setup. 

You’ll need the best possible braided line to take full advantage of this strong, lightweight material. Find out how much and what size braid for baitcaster fishing in this full guide to baitcasting with braid. 

Braided Vs Other Types Of Fishing Line 

So many anglers use braided line on their baitcasters because it’s stronger than mono at lower diameters. That means you can wind more of it onto your reel. 

Mono might be better for beginners who aren’t familiar with baitcaster reels, but braided line is better overall. It’s stronger against fish than mono, floats and casts better than fluorocarbon, and doesn’t have any memory to make it want to tangle. 

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that braided line is difficult to use on baitcasters or that it will damage their fishing rod. This simply isn’t true - although it casts differently than mono, it functions much better in most situations.  

Braid is the best line for a baitcaster setup, particularly if you use a mono backing. This prevents slips and keeps the braided line's tendency to roll off the reel from getting you spooled by a big fish. Plus, using a mono backing lets you fill up part of your reel with a cheaper line while you still get the benefits of a braided line. 

black fishing rod

When To Use Braid For A Baitcaster 

Topwater Fishing 

Unlike fluorocarbon that sinks into the water, a braided line floats on top. Frogs, wakebaits, and poppers perform better with braided line on the spool because the lack of stretch helps give a more lifelike presentation. Plus, a braid is tough enough to avoid tangling on structures near the surface

Fishing With Light Tackle 

The whole idea of light tackle fishing is to use lightweight gear so the fish can put up a better fight. Braided line is the lightest of all types. Spool it onto a high-capacity reel with a fast-action rod, and you've got the best baitcaster combo for light tackle fishing. 

Fishing Big Targets 

Strong targets are more likely to run out your line. Without braid, you risk getting spooled or losing your catch because of a line break. But with braid, anglers have more line to let fish go on a run and tire themselves out.  

man holding fish

Fishing In Deep Water 

Although deep-sea fishing requires heavier gear, a braided line is still the best option because it has no stretch. It's more sensitive to fish bites, and the angler will be able to keep the lure in one place even when they have lots of line out.  

Fishing In Heavy Structure 

Stronger braided line is essential for avoiding tangles when you’re fishing among lots of structures. You can rip through weeds and pull your lure out of branches and rocks if the line is strong enough. Mono frequently tears, but braid can take more of a beating. For the most abrasion-resistant setup, try a fluorocarbon leader on a braided line. 

Common Braid Sizes & Their Cost 

Braid costs are a bit confusing at first glance because they don’t increase linearly. Manufacturers base their prices on the popularity of the line by weight. Braided line smaller than 30 lbs. is too small for a baitcasting reel, so you can get plenty of it for a very reasonable price. 

Here are some basic conditions for each range of braided fishing line: 

Line Test 

Fish/Fishing Style 

≤ 4 lbs 

Panfish, trout, smallmouth bass 

6 - 12 lbs 

Largemouth bass, walleye 

14 - 20 lbs 

Smaller salmon, redfish, catfish 

Larger walleye and freshwater bass 

20 - 30 lbs 

Freshwater: catfish, musky, carp, stripers 

Saltwater: Sea bass, flounder, trout 

≥ 30 lbs 

Big game saltwater fishing; shark, tuna, kingfish, marlin, etc. 

The average cost for different weights of fishing line is as follows: 

Braided Size (lbs) 

Length (Yards) 

Cost 

4 

150 

$40 - $45 

6 

150 

$40 - $45 

8 

150 

$35 - $40 

10 

150 

$20 - $30 

12 

150 

$18 - $25 

15 

150 

$18 - $25 

20 

150 

$15 - $20 

30 

150 

$15 - $20 

40 

150 

$20 - $25 

50 

150 

$10 - $15 

60 

150 

$10 - $15 

80 

150 

$12 - $20 

100 

150 

$25 - $30 

130 

150 

$25 - $35 

150 

150 

$10 - $20 

200 

300

$32 - $40 

250 

300

$40 

300 

300

$36 

500 

150 

$80 

people fishing

Pros & Cons Of Using Braid 

What We Like 
  • Spool more on your reel 
  • Cuts through wind better on a cast 
  • Floats on the water 
  • Better sensitivity for bites 
  • Cut through structures and weeds 
Things We Don’t 
  • Prone to micro-knots 
  • Harder hooksets in skittish fish  
  • Costs more (usually) 

People also Ask (FAQs)

Will braided line damage my reel? 

A braided fishing line will not damage your reel. At worst, you'll have to worry about it digging into the spool and catching on itself. You can correct this by spooling it under pressure and avoiding a micro-guide rod. 

Are 6-pound braid lines good for bass? 

Any braided test from 6 to 12 pounds is great for largemouth bass, but you might need something lighter for smallmouth. The weight of your fishing line should correspond with the species you're targeting, and the average bass weighs about 12 pounds. If they weigh more, you can still catch them with a 12-pound test. 

woman holding fish
Should you soak braid before spooling? 

There’s no need to soak your braided line in freshwater before you put it on the spool. Some say it helps it lay down smoothly, but a better way to accomplish this is to lay a mono backing and then spool the braided line under tension. This is also a nice way to save some money since mono line is typically less expensive. 

Can fish see braided lines? 

Fish can see braided lines better than they can see fluorocarbons. Anglers chasing jumpy fish can tie a fluoro leader to their braided line so that the line is invisible but still strong enough to haul in some fish. 


Conclusion

So, is mono or braid better for baitcasters?  

In the majority of cases, a braided line is better for baitcasting reels as long as you're comfortable casting and thumbing the line. It casts further and stands up better to brush and structure.  

Spend time learning to cast with mono and use it for backing as well. A fluoro leader will help your line stay invisible under the water while letting you reap the benefits of a strong yet lightweight braided line. 

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