How to Tie Braided Fishing Line
What are the key properties that come to your mind when you think about the ideal fishing line? For the most part, you will probably use words such as strong to describe its features, which means it doesn’t break easily even when dragged across rocks and other underwater debris. It also gives little stretch, which allows you to keep the tension as you fight your fish, and is capable of feeling even the softest of bites and so on.
All these features technically describe a braided fishing line. Let’s take a quick look at how to tie braided fishing line and some of the reasons why this type of line has quickly become very popular with both professional and hobby anglers alike over the past decade or so.
What is a Braided Fishing Line?
As the name would suggest, braided fishing lines are made of more than just one stand or line, as is the case with its exact opposite number, the monofilament fishing line. To understand what braided fishing lines are, you need to look a little into their history, dating back to Europe in the early 1900s.
In those days, fishing lines were either plaited, braided, or twisted. This tremendously increased their strength, quickly making these kinds of fishing lines more popular than the monofilament lines, which only used one strand. It is believed that braided fishing lines were initially made out of a wide variety of materials, including horsehair, Dacron, or nylon.
Today, they are made out of a wide variety of synthetic materials that make it extremely strong.
Here is a video giving you a quick idea of how braided fishing lines are made at the factory level:
Why Are Braided Lines So Popular?
Braided fishing lines have become so popular of late because they offer some amazing benefits that most other fishing lines don’t. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to consider buying yourself a braided fishing line.
Braided Fishing Lines Are Extremely Thin
Today, braided fishing lines are a fraction of the diameter of fluorocarbon or monofilament lines, which essentially allows you to pack an incredible amount of line into smaller reels. This, in turn, allows you to enjoy big game fishing without necessarily tiring yourself out as you can land bigger and bigger fish while operating with lighter tackle, smaller reels, and stronger lines.
This Line Reaches Greater Depths Easily
The fact that braided fishing lines are so thin means that they can easily cut through the water and reach greater depths. There was a time when deep dropping depending on a traditionally heavier reel filled with Monel steel, but with braided lines, you can easily deep drop with much smaller setups.
Braided Lines Offer Very Little Stretch
One of the greatest traits of an expert angler is the ability to feel even the slightest of bites on their line. While a great deal of this comes with experience, the kind of line you use helps a lot. Braided lines have very little stretch, making them extremely sensitive to the smallest of nibbles while in the water.
Finally, braided lines, thanks to their construction, last a very long time, which is perfect for people who don’t want to buy lines every time they want to go out fishing.
What Are Some Disadvantages of Braided Lines?
With all the positives that come with braided fishing lines, you would be forgiven for thinking that these lines are the best an angler can buy. While you might not be entirely wrong on that front, you need to realize that, much like everything else in this world, braided lines have some disadvantages as well:
- Because braided lines are so tough, they can be nearly impossible to break when they snag
- Braided lines tend to put more stress on your reel parts, line guides, and rods, which can cause them to prematurely wear and break
- Braided lines are often colored, which makes them the wrong choice when fishing clear waters
- They can be very difficult to untangle when backlashed
Finally, braided fishing lines tend to be a bit more expensive than your typical monofilament lines. On the bright side, however, they tend to last much longer than your typical fishing lines. Another big issue is that they are rather difficult to tie or knot. This is particularly true if you are a novice angler.
How to Tie Braided Line
Whether you are an experienced angler or a novice, you know that the kind of knots you use on your line affect your level of success while out on the water. While there are hundreds of different knots, there are just a few that qualify as the best fishing knots and, as such, warrant mastering.
The thing about using braided fishing lines is that they don’t make your life that much easier when it comes to tying knots. Because braided lines are so flexible, don’t offer any stretch, and have a rather slippery surface, they are notoriously hard to knot properly. There are, however, some popular knots that work very well with braided lines. These include:
- Double Palomar knot
- Berkley Braid knot
- San Diego Jam knot
- Alberto knot
- Trilene knot
The Palomar knot is probably the one you want to get started with simply because it’s easier to tie, and it’s rather strong. Here is a video giving you a quick tutorial on how to tie braided line with a Palomar knot:
Here is another video giving you more knot option to use on your braided fishing line (it also touches on which knots NOT to use with braided lines):
The Best Braided Line Knots for Terminal Connections
Learning how to tie braided lines takes time and quite a bit of finesse. As you have already seen in the previous video, some knots, such as the regular clinch knot, shouldn’t be used on braided knots.
This is because they easily slip out thanks to the line’s texture, which is the same problem most other knots experience with this kind of line. That being said, let’s take a quick look at some of the best braided line knots for terminal connections:
- Palomar Knot: This is considered the best knot to use with braided lines for the simple fact that the line is doubled over when you pass it through the eye of your fishing hook. The first video gives highlighted above gives you a quick tutorial on how to tie a simple Palomar knot.
- Double Palomar Knot: Very much like the Palomar Knot, the Double Palomar Knot gives you the added assurance of two overhand knots instead of just one, as is the case with the simple Palomar Knot. This means that the Double Palomar Knot is not only much stronger but offers fewer chances of slipping. Here is a video showing you how to tie the Double Palomar Knot for braided lines:
- San Diego Jam Knot: Called the “San Diego Jam Knot” because tuna anglers in San Diego popularized it; this knot is designed for heavy jigs. Relatively easy to tie, this knot is suitable for fishing lines across the board, including monofilament, braided, and fluorocarbon. This makes it one of the most versatile knots on this list. Here is a video giving you a quick tutorial on how to tie a San Diego Jam Knot:
Tips on How to Use Braided Fishing Lines
You will immediately notice that braided fishing lines are quite colorful, which makes them visible in clear waters. That can be problematic when angling for skittish fish. Even though manufacturers are now producing less detectable braided lines, braided lines still tend to be more visible than their monofilament counterparts.
As such, you will need to employ a few tricks when using these lines to increase your chances of catching fish:
Incorporate a short leader: You can use a surgeon’s knot to incorporate a short leader of about 3 feet monofilament directly to your hook or lure. These give you the relative invisibility that you will need when fishing.
- Don’t use clippers to cut braided lines: While clippers work wonders with nylon lines, they will create a fine feathery mess when used on braided lines. For this kind of line, you will need scissors that are specifically designed for braided lines.
- Learn how to reduce snarls: While braided lines can last you a very long time, one of the biggest issues you will face with this kind of line is needing to cut out snarls, which will slowly shorten the line beyond its ideal length. One of the best ways to reduce the number of snarls you need to cut out is to try and catch them before they occur.
Whenever a snarl occurs, it will begin as a small loop. You can hear this passing through your guides on the cast. By catching them quickly, you can pick them out before they tighten into a snarl, which will require scissors.
The right braided fishing line will improve your angling experience and increase your success on the water. Learning how to tie braided fishing lines might take some research on your part, but the knots mentioned in this article will give you a head start. They could very well be the only knots you need to learn as novice anglers using braided fishing lines for the first time.