It is Christmas month and due to in-stock product challenges due to COVID-19 and the shutdowns with which states have been struggling, the sooner you can decide on gifts for your avid anglers, the better.

This week, let’s take a close look at the lines I use and recommend.

I also have one “gadget” that is top notch in my book to go with my line choices. In years past, I listed up to a dozen stocking stuffers and other spur-of-the-moment gifts but this year, I wanted to focus on three specific lines, and a pair of scissors that any angler using braided line should have in his/her tackle box.

So let’s get started.

I use monofilament, co-polymer, braided, uni-filaments, and fluorocarbon lines. While each line type has its place, today, let’s look at monofilament, uni-filament, and fluorocarbon.


Monofilament line has improved over the years, and I have moved from P-line, Stren, and Berkley Big Game to Sunline and Vicious. The characteristics of monofilament lines are that they are buoyant (used for topwater presentations), tough, and are inexpensive to purchase.

I use this line anytime the line and my lures need to stay near the surface. Unlike fluorocarbon line, monofilament is buoyant enough to allow me to use it as leader in fly-and-bubble presentations as well as topwater lures like poppers, Zara Spooks, and buzzbaits. I caught my 26-pound striper on a Zara Spook with 14-pound-test Sunline monofilament.

However, monofilament has its limitations. It keeps lures shallower than other lines. And, there are times you want lures to go much deeper without adding weight to the line. Also, line diameter is much larger than other types of line.

Almost any sporting goods store stocks plenty of monofilament. But, if you want the best (Vicious), go to For or Sunline monofilament, go to


For a lot of years, fluorocarbon lines have been an important part of my line arsenal.

At first, I used them for all my tube jigs, drop shots, jerkbaits, and spinners. Now, they are leader material, spinnerbaits (with a baitcasting reels), jerkbaits (also baitcasting reels), and for ice fishing. Fluorocarbon lines sink, they are very tough, and pound-for-pound, have a much smaller diameter which helps hide the line from the fish.

I use anywhere from 12-pound to 20-pound-test fluorocarbon with my baitcasting reels (level wind) for jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Then, I use four to 10-pound-test for leaders in all sorts of situations. It is not cheap line ($20 to 30 dollars a spool).

Sunline makes several types of fluorocarbon line but FC Sniper is my favorite and can be purchased from .


Berkley makes a line called NanoFil, which I have written about extensively. This line is not a braid, monofilament, or fluorocarbon. It consists of hundred or Dyneema nanofilaments molecularly linked and shaped into a uni-filament line that is extremely strong with a tiny diameter. Ten-pound-test NanoFil has the diameter of three-pound-test monofilament.

NanoFil casts farther than any line I’ve used and has replaced fluorocarbon and monofilament in all of my spinning applications, drop shots, tube jigs, Ned Rigs, and grubs. The only caveat is that I tie a fluorocarbon leader (Sunline) on all of my NanoFil rigs. I use a double uni-knot to tie to fluorocarbon line. To learn how to tie a double uni-knot just go to YouTube and search for it. There are several nice videos on the knot. Though NanoFil is not inexpensive ($25 dollars per spool), it wears like iron.

Finally, Eagle Claw makes an inexpensive pair of scissors that cuts NanoFil, braids, and all the other types of line. The Eagle Claw Lazer Tools braided line scissors cost around three bucks but will cut any braid. I specifically use it for cutting NanoFil. Once again, it can be found at

Surprise your avid angler with a gift of fishing line or at least a gift card to an online vendor and you will have given him/her the best gift or the year.

Merry Christmas!

Don Allphin can be reached at

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