All About Monofilament Fishing Line

By Berta Simon

Monofilament fishing line is made from synthetic string, which is the modern solution to what previous people were forced to use natural fibers for. The mono- prefix indicates that it is not made by braiding multiple strands, or by twisting fibers and is true for virtually every natural material, from cotton to wool to hemp fiber.

Monofilament is made from plastic, although premium spools might use a special formula, or be made from materials such as nylon or Kevlar.

Unbroken plastic threads have many uses, and are employed in fiber optic technology and telecommunications. The average person is most accustomed to its use in angling, and of course it is superior to natural fiber in almost every way. Before plastic and the machinery to create a uniform thread, the only option was metal wire or string.

In the centuries and millennia before hand, fishing line was made by twisting fibers into thread, whatever was available to people locally. While some plant fibers are very strong, the resulting thread is thick and often very difficult to cast long distances or even tie to small lures.

Plastic is sleek, thin, and incredibly lightweight. These properties tend to make it the perfect fishing line. When the plastic is coiled, the smooth surface does not grind against itself, and so does not wear or slow down release. Since it is thin, it can accommodate incredibly small lures. This is perfect for fly casting, and yet strong enough to withstand the fighting of large fish. A 4-pound test can handle a 20-pound fish if properly handled.

One special property of plastic not present in natural fiber is its elasticity. Plastic thread can stretch, and this is what allows a tiny strand to endure the brutal tugging of a fighting bass. A monofilament can handle stress in excess of its rating. While stretching can cause permanently warping, it is a better option than losing a fish. It can be cut away and replaced, since it is inexpensive.

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