Overlooking mono is a mistake

by Tim Allard | April 14, 2021
Mono line spool

Monofilament line has several beneficial characteristics, making it a great option to use in certain situations. Here are just a few.

A quality mono will be subtle, lay on the spool nicely, and cast well. In other words, mono is easy to handle and pleasant to fish with, making it perfect for beginners. I learned to fish and tie knots with it and 6- and 8-pound mono is what my kids have been using since day one. Mono is forgiving, too, which is another perk for those learning the ropes, like proper drag settings and how much to load a rod when playing a fish. And, let’s not overlook the fact that monofilament is affordable.


The fact that mono floats is why many anglers use it for topwater tactics, but its buoyancy applies to more than topwaters. Using mono will slow a bait’s sink rate compared to heavier fluorocarbon or thinner diameter braid. A slow fall keeps a bait in the strike zone longer, which is useful when targeting shallow or suspending fish with light jigs and other finesse tactics.

Mono’s buoyancy and thicker diameter can also be used to fine-tune a crankbait’s running depth. For instance, if a crankbait has a six-foot running depth on 12-pound mono, upping to 18 or 20 pound may reduce its dive to only four or five feet.


Mono also stretches, unlike stiffer fluorocarbon and no-stretch superlines. Stretchy line helps fish get a good mouthful when vacuuming in a bait. Many walleye anglers swear by mono for live-bait rigging because of its stretch.

Similar to stretch, mono has excellent shock strength. It’s why many anglers use monofilament for aggressive presentations, like pitching jigs in weedbed pockets for big walleye or snapping football jigs and spoons on bottom for bass. These tactics evoke fast, aggressive strikes. And, mono’s cushioning can reduce angler errors, like over-the-top hook-sets or ones executed too fast, ensuring better hook-up ratios.

Tip: Invest in line conditioner and spray it on mono after fishing or the night before a trip for superior performance.

Headshot of contributor Tim Allard

Tim Allard is a full-time freelance journalist and photographer based in Ottawa. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book Ice-Fishing – The Ultimate Guide. Reach Tim at mail@oodmag.com

Originally published in the April 2020 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS.

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