There is just so much line on the market! What is the difference between nylon, dacron, spectra and dyneema fishing line?
Nylon, the oldest and most common of the synthetic fibers for fishing line, is made from linear polyamides and offers a good compromise between strength, stretch and abrasion resistance. Dacron, developed by DuPont in the late 1950s, is based on a long-chain polyester and represents a step up from Nylon in strength, flexibility and low stretch. Spectra and Dyneema are two modern brand names for ultra-strong polyethylene fiber that is used in high-tech fishing line. It is many times stronger than steel, more durable than polyester and so light, it floats. We recommend Spectra/Dyneema for higher tensile strength at smaller diameters, which reduces the weight of the tackle and increases the amount of line that fits onto the spool (e.g. 130-pound Spectra test has the same diameter as conventional 30-pound test Nylon line). Spectra/Dyneema also offers better abrasion resistance, which prevents loss of bait or lure when fishing near obstacles or near the bottom where line snags or chafes against sharp objects.
Dyneema and Spectra braided fishing lines are basically the same thing. They are both made from gel-spun polyethylene. Braided line is awesome because it allows you to increase your spool length up to 50% with braided line. There are dozens of brands of line out there. Spectra is made by Honeywell, Dyneema is made by DSM thats the main difference in the two. They both cast about the same.
Dacron has great casting performance and often used for trolling or bottom fishing for larger fish. Dacron is great to spool your reels with as backing. Because Dacron is a sleeve, you can insert mono inside to create a knotless setup for trolling.
Braid is great for deep dropping because there is no stretch. It does slip more easily so you need to be really sure on your knots.
Dacron is great for trolling because you can avoid knots all together using monofilament. Dacron for trolling is great because it is also almost half the price of quality braided fishing line!
Nylon or "Monofilament" is still the most popular and affordable line around the world but braided lines are becoming more popular every day. Nylon is affordable, it is made of a continuous filament. It's smooth and a little stretchy. It floats as well which can be an advantage when targeting certain species. It does take up more room on your spool. Mono is also susceptible to line memory resulting in shorter casts.
All lines have their place and some work better than others for certain situations. One of the most versatile setups would be braided line with a bumper or leader of your choice depending on the targeted species.
Spectra and Dyneema are roughly the same but they have different abrasion resistance. They both have the same strength but the main difference is going to be in abrasion resistance from different manufacturers. The larger the individual fibers are that make up the bundle, the better abrasion resistance you'll get. Meaning the tight bundle of fibers that make up the "braid" are different diameters. One may get a little fuzzy faster than the other. If your braided line gets fuzzy fast, the individual fibers are typically thinner. All brands offer different sizes or "performances" but the raw materials are basically the same. A quality braid, appropriately sized will outperform the same material from a different company with lower tolerances.
Two main factors should determine what kind of line you choose. Budget and targeted species. Some braided lines will snap as soon as a tarpon runs because they cant handle the "snap". A line with some stretch is going to minimize that snap and keep the fish on the hook. A mono leader will help but now you have to worry about your knots and make sure that they are secure. Again, depends on the fish you are after and the budget you have. thinner line is going to fall faster and stay in the column you are fishing. I run a few setups but braided Spectra is my primary go-to.
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