The Best Mono Fishing Lines in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Stren High Impact Line
“A shock-resistant line that’s highly durable, abrasion-resistant, and extremely clear underwater, making it perfect for the needs of any angler — this line pretty much has it all.”

Runner-Up Option: Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting
“This line not only resists kinks and twists, but it’s also ultra-sensitive and incredibly strong, which is great for anglers who want smoother casts and quicker hooksets — you’ll love the new experience.”

Most Budget-Friendly: KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament
“With a line like this that has low memory, resists water absorption, and is easy to cast, it’s clearly the ideal choice for any anglers out there looking for a good, receptive line that won’t break the bank.”

When you have the fish of a lifetime on the hook, you must be completely confident in your fishing line’s ability to sustain the fight, and for this, a good monofilament line might just be the thing you need.

High-quality monofilaments have superior strength and shock-resistance, while still maintaining a high level of integrity even when knotted and submerged underwater. 

The following are ten of the fishing industry’s most highly regarded monofilament lines.

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The Best Mono Fishing Lines in 2021

Stren High Impact Line

Best Overall: Tough enough for coastal saltwater use and versatile for any kind of inland fishery

KEY FEATURES

  • Shock-resistant for superior fighting power
  • Extremely clear, which lessens visibility to wary game fish
  • Highly durable and abrasion-resistant

Stren High Impact is the perfect monofilament line for those who enjoy fishing for the toughest of game fish species. It retains enough natural stretch to minimize the risk of breakage, even when repeatedly shock loaded. From aggressive freshwater species like smallmouth bass and musky to sizable saltwater species such as sailfish, Stren High Impact is likely to meet the needs of any angler.

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Stren is a name that is synonymous with premium, as the company has been a mainstay in the fishing market since it was founded in 1958. Throughout the years, they’ve produced some of the most innovative monofilament fishing lines, such as their High Impact line. This line offers superb strength, abrasion resistance, and durability – all while remaining reasonable in price. While many monofilament lines are prone to failure when drug across submerged limbs, logs, and rock piles, High Impact is built to sustain such abuses. 

There are multiple sizes and color combinations of Stren High Impact available, making it easier for you to find the line best suited for your particular application. Available line sizes include 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, and 30 pound-test. They also come in different colors such as Clear, Hi-Vis Green, Low-Vis Green, and Smoke Blue. Underwater, each of these available colors appear almost completely transparent, which keeps wary fish from becoming wise to anglers’ efforts.

Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting

Runner-Up Option: Smooth casting line that resists aggravating kinks and twists

KEY FEATURES

  • Makes casting easier by resisting kinks and twists
  • Provides strength beyond that of many other monofilaments
  • Composed to provide above-average sensitivity

Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting is designed to keep from twisting too often, saving anglers lots of time and trouble. This allows for longer, smoother casts, and better casting accuracy. It’s also ultra-sensitive, giving anglers quicker reaction times.

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Much of this line’s popularity stems from how effortlessly it can be cast. This is because of the line’s anti-twist and kink design. When a line twists or kinks on a reel, it causes resistance that can rob a cast of much of its reach. But with the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line, an angler can cast to points far beyond what they could typically have.

This particular line’s enhanced sensitivity is also a significant advantage for anglers as it makes their hooksets more efficient and enables them to catch more fish. It can often be difficult to detect strikes from light biters like bluegill, crappie, and reluctant bass, but the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line makes this problem a thing of the past, as it offers the perfect ratio of stretch to make bite detection a breeze.

This line is also known for its strength, which is of immense value when in the midst of a hard-fought battle against a large flathead catfish or a cagey striped bass. Superior line strength also allows an angler to fish with confidence, especially in instances when a reel’s drag is not optimally set.

KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament

Most Budget-Friendly: A line that resists absorption and promotes a more enticing retrieve

KEY FEATURES

  • Resists absorption for less limpness and a quicker retrieve 
  • Comes in a range of colors 
  • Has low memory for easier casting

KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament Line is renowned for its ability to resist water absorption while also being extremely easy to cast. This line also comes in a wide variety of colors for versatility. According to KastKing, their line is highly abrasion-resistant, which should allow anglers to fish practically around any structure without worrying about line breakage.

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Those who have had trouble finding receptive enough monofilament lines in the past will likely favor KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament Line. This line resists waterlogging, which causes most traditional lines to become limp and subdued in their reactiveness. It can be retrieved much more rapidly than other lines on the market.

It also has low memory, which means that it is not as likely to kink, bind, or twist very easily. Anglers will find this to be of immense benefit, as low memory lines are typically able to be cast much further and much more easily than those with a more pronounced level of memory.

This brand of monofilament line also offers significant clarity, meaning that it should be nearly invisible when submerged. This makes it easier to to get a larger catch ratio, as fish would be unable to see the line when an angler presents their bait or lure.

Berkley Trilene XT

The Toughest Mono: A line capable of fishing as hard as you do

KEY FEATURES

  • Extremely abrasion-resistant
  • Has 45% more flex than previous Trilene lines
  • Built for enhanced knot strength

Berkley Trilene XT (Extra-Tough) is notable for several reasons, with perhaps the most significant of which being its extreme level of durability. Berkeley specifies that Trilene XT possesses “optimal strength to fight fish in heavy cover”. While many extreme-duty monofilaments are rigid and difficult to work with, Berkley Trilene XT is built in a manner that allows it to be remarkably more flexible than most similar offerings on the market today.

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As its name would suggest, Berkley Trilene XT was designed with resilience in mind. This line has received a significant amount of fanfare for its abrasion resistance and ability to be fished along structures with little difficulty. Many bass fishermen, especially those who enjoy flipping and pitching into cover, will find significant value in this line. 

Another key characteristic of this line is its high level of flexibility. While many highly durable lines tend to be extremely stiff, difficult to tie, and limited in responsiveness, Trilene XT offers 45% greater flexibility than any other Trilene monofilament line to date. It also features enhanced knot strength, which is perfect for any angler who has been previously plagued by knot failure. To further aid this level of versatility, Trilene XT is offered in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, 25, and 30 pound tests.

Stren Original

Best All-Around: A classic line, still as effective today as it has been for decades

KEY FEATURES

  • Has a UV guard that extends line life
  • Engineered for toughness and abrasion resistance
  • Possesses low memory for more efficient casting

Stren Original has been around since 1958. In that time, an untold number of fishes have been caught with its use. This line is engineered to offer excellent performance all-around under a wide range of circumstances. Stren Original is resistant to UV absorption, resistance, and twisting, while simultaneously offering great strength to those who need a little extra durability during their day on the water.

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One of this line’s unique features is its use of UV Guard technology. While many line manufacturers design their lines to avoid water absorption, only a few attempt to minimize UV uptake. UV has the potential to degrade fishing lines, in much the same way as these rays cause damage to an angler’s skin over time. Stren’s UV guard keeps the sun’s harmful rays at bay, much like how sunscreen protects our skin.

Stren Original also has low memory, which prevents kinks and twists from forming. This is great for anglers who cast frequently such as bass fishermen, as the Stren Original is capable of being cast with ease and with little chance of hanging up. Casting distances will also be increased, as fewer kinks and twists result in less resistance as the line departs from the reel.

Another one of its top features is its superior knot strength. As opposed to many lower-grade monofilaments on the market, Stren Original retains the vast majority of its line strength even when knotted.

SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate

Most Sensitive: A thinner monofilament for livelier bait presentation

KEY FEATURES

  • 33% stronger than the average monofilament line
  • Minimal stretch that allows for easy hooksets
  • Thin diameter that enhances bait action and increases line capacity

SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate is a monofilament line by design, yet it presents many of the same advantages of a fluorocarbon or braided line. This line features a 15% lesser stretch than average monofilaments, which is known to promote better hooksets and unparalleled sensitivity

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Additionally, this line is 33% stronger than most of its kind on today’s market despite its unique micro-diameter sizing, which makes the line difficult for fish to detect, especially in waters that are heavily fished. It also allows for livelier bait presentation and enhanced sensitivity.

This same level of sensitivity is further aided by SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate’s reduced stretch. This allows even the lightest of strikes to be felt, which is ideal when fishing for bluegill, crappie, and bass during weather fronts when feeding slows. Its sensitivity also allows you to feel any structures that lie below, such as when you’re crawling a crankbait through matted vegetation.

This line is also known for its resistance to water absorption. Though all monofilaments absorb some degree of water, this process is minimized by SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate’s specialty composition, which features a higher degree of shock strength. Knot integrity will also benefit for this same reason, as it should remain rigid enough for a knot to hold, even after hours of being submerged in water.

South Bend Monofilament

Best Durability: Budget line with premium performance

KEY FEATURES

  • Above-average abrasion resistance
  • Extremely transparent for easy concealment underwater
  • Comes in a wide variety of lengths and weights

For anglers who are searching for a highly durable monofilament fishing line at a highly economical price, the best choice would be South Bend’s Monofilament Line. It features above-average abrasion resistance, high knot strength, and extreme transparency when submerged in the water. The best part is that this line can be purchased for less than what most would normally spend for an average lunch.

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South Bend Monofilament is best known for its sustained durability. This is a quality which many anglers will find of value as less time will be spent replacing their line, leaving more time for fishing. Line durability is also important because it allows an angler to fish with utmost confidence, as they can be assured that their line will not fail when they’re reeling in the catch of their dreams. This is a great option for those who commonly fish around dense vegetations.

Another notable trait of this line is its high level of transparency. The more transparent a particular brand of fishing line is, the easier it is to be undetected underwater. This is perfect for those who fish in areas that see extensive pressure, as the fish within those types of waters are typically slow to bite and wary of anything that seems amiss.

It’s quite easy to find the type of South Bend Monofilament that is best suited to your particular needs, as it comes in several lengths and weights. 4, 6, 8, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60 pounds tests are all available.

Reaction Tackle Monofilament

Widest Color Range: A line that comes in every color of the rainbow…and then some

KEY FEATURES

  • Comes in eight available colors
  • Soft and supple for easy tying
  • Approved for use in freshwater and saltwater

The Reaction Tackle Monofilament is a versatile line that is offered in a wider degree of colors than any other product on our list. This makes it easier for one to perfectly match their line to the water conditions at hand. It’s also well known for its soft and supple design, which has the potential to eliminate much of the difficulty associated with knot tying. The Reaction Tackle Monofilament can be used in both freshwater and saltwater, further exemplifying its diversity.

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As stated, Reaction Tackle Monofilament comes in just about any color that you would need. These include Blue, Blue-Camo, Clear, Hi-Vis Green, Ice Blue, Light Blue Camo, Moss Green, Red, and Yellow. Because of this broad range of colors, anglers have the opportunity to choose a line that will most accurately blend into their environment and will be most easily concealed when in use.

This line is notably easier to tie than that offered by its competitors. This is an attribute that a great number of anglers would be pleased to find, as many bulkier monofilament strands can be difficult to tie efficiently. This may come as a relief for younger or lesser-experienced anglers who have yet to fully master the ability to tie knots.

Another benefit of Reaction Tackle’s Monofilament Line’s supple composition is that it is naturally low in memory. This will improve its casting range, as twisting and knotting will be made minimal.

Hi-Seas Grand Slam

Most Versatile: A line that offers second-to-none versatility

KEY FEATURES

  • Great for saltwater or freshwater fishing
  • Above-average sensitivity for easy bite detection
  • Low memory to prevent twisting and to aid in casting

The Hi-Seas Grand Slam fishing line is a versatile monofilament fishing line that can be used when fishing in both saltwater and freshwater. It is renowned for its high level of sensitivity, which makes it easier for anglers to detect even the lightest of bites. Because of this, most anglers will find ease when determining when to set the hook, even in less than ideal circumstances such as choppy water.

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The bulk of anglers who use Hi-Seas Grand Slam do so because of the wide variety of lengths and weights that it is available in. It can be purchased in anywhere between 6 lb. test to 400 pound tests. This is terrific for most anglers, because lines for numerous reels and applications can be purchased from a single manufacturer, thereby streamlining the process of re-stringing reels on any given year.

This line also possesses a low level of memory, which prevents twisting and kinking. As a result, most anglers will find it easier to cast when using the Hi-Seas Grand Slam, since less resistance occurs when the line is free of twists, kinks, and unwanted knots.

Another characteristic of the Hi-Seas Grand Slam that is worth mentioning is its high level of abrasion resistance. This line can take a beating and still serve its intended purpose with little issue. Anglers who regularly fish in heavy cover should find this level of durability as a great point of appeal.

Kalex Monofilament Line

Easiest to Use: A no-nonsense line that gets the job done

KEY FEATURES

  • Hassle-free and resistant to tangling
  • Offers next-level control
  • Comes in a variety of colors

The Kalex Monofilament Line is made to be used in a hassle-free manner and guarantees should offer superb performance, free from any unnecessary headaches. It offers above-average castability and remarkable control, which makes it easier for anglers to reach secluded spots where excellent fishing action can be found. This line is offered in a variety of colors and lengths, giving you more options to choose from.

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As mentioned, the Kalex Monofilament Line is designed for those who just want to get down to business and put fish in the boat. In order to facilitate such ease of use, this line has been engineered to resist tangling, which should prevent trouble when casting towards hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, most anglers will also find that this level of control allows them to present their lures in a more efficient manner, potentially producing additional strikes.

By all accounts, Kalex Monofilament Line should be ideal for anyone who has limited time for fishing and has no time to spare for repeated attempts to untangle troublesome lines. The line’s low rate of memory has the ability to provide trouble-free performance in most situations, giving the angler the best possible use out of their time.

Most anglers will also find great appeal in the Kalex Monofilament Line’s many colors. This makes it easier to select the perfect line for use on a given body of water, depending on its clarity. It’s available in Clear, Low-Vis Green, and Clearly Blue Fluorescent.

Criteria Used For Evaluation

When searching for the best monofilament line, there are a number of factors that I gave ample consideration. These would be the following:

Criteria #1: Durability

For any fishing line to be effective, it must first be durable to prevent untimely breakage.

When attempting to reel a fish to the boat or bank, your fishing line is the single tether that provides you any hope of success. Poor quality lines are prone to breakage, especially when subjected to abrasion by rocks and other forms of submerged structures. On the other hand, high-quality monofilaments have the potential to provide years of trouble-free use, even when put in less than ideal circumstances.

Using durable fishing lines also saves an angler a lot of time and money in the long run. Although a line of lesser quality might be cheaper, it will likely require replacement on a more frequent basis, which will ultimately end up costing more. 

Criteria #2: Strength

Since you never know when the fish of a lifetime will strike your bait, your line must always be up to the task of wrangling a hard-fighting fish from the water.

For a monofilament fishing line to be of value, it must be strong enough to contend with whatever is thrown in its way. A line that is weak will only cause frustration, especially when a tough fight ends in a broken line. Many poor-quality monofilaments are barely capable of meeting their rated weight designations. On the other hand, a significant number of higher-quality lines actually exceed far beyond their capacity ratings. This can often be the difference between successfully putting a fish in the boat and hanging your head in disappointment.

Questions & Answers

Is Monofilament Better Than Braid?

While braided lines are growing more popular from one year to the next, monofilaments still offer a significant advantage over its braided counterparts. Because of its nylon composition, all monofilament lines possess a certain degree of stretch. This is useful when fishing for a hard-fighting species, like smallmouth bass or musky, as these fish possess the ability to shock load the line to which they are hooked on. Monofilaments are known to possess more superior resistance to shock loading than braided lines, thereby resisting breakage.

Monofilament lines are also cited by numerous experienced fishermen to be easier to tie more effectively than braided line. This is because monofilaments consist of a single fiber strand, while braided lines are woven from numerous fibers. Mono lines are also significantly more economical in pricing than braided lines, which can often cost 2-3 times more.

Which Pound Test of Mono Should I Purchase?

The pound test of mono that you should purchase is highly dependent on the species of fish that you will be pursuing. While heavy, hard-fighting fishes such as catfish, carp, and musky often require the use of 20 pounds or higher tests, this is not the case for smaller panfish, such as bluegill, redear sunfish, or crappie. When fishing for these smaller species, 4-6 pound test will suffice.

However, there is also another factor in this equation. This would be the drag, which is the setting that allows a fish to pull line from the reel at a preset weight. The proper use of a reel’s drag can aid in one’s ability to get fish to the boat, even if a particular fish weighs more than the rated test of line that is in use. In most cases, a properly set drag will allow a fish to strip the line from the reel before it reaches its breaking point.