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Monofilament Fishing Line Diameter with Charts

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A monofilament fishing line is what most people think of when they think of a fishing line. It is a clear line that is made of nylon. Monofilament line and nylon line are terms that are typically used interchangeably. Mono means one or single so technically it means any single filament line which would also include fluorocarbon. A Fluorocarbon line is different from monofilament in that it is only made with fluorine and carbon atoms and is less dense than water.

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Monofilament lines have some advantages over fluorocarbon in that the line is cheaper to make and has more stretch to absorb shocks. The diameter of different types of monofilament lines does vary depending on the brand and model of the line. This is because they are made with different types of resins and manufacturing processes. Typically I compare line diameter by looking at the 20-pound and 80-pound diameters across different line types. However, if you are going to get a line with a certain pound test looking that the diameter is one important factor when selecting a line. A thinner line will allow the reel to hold more line and be less visible to the fish.

Berkley Trilene XL Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
2 8 .13 .005
4 16 .2 .008
6 20 .23 .009
8 25 .25 .010
10 30 .28 .011
12 40 .33 .013
14 50 .36 .014
17 60 .38 .015
20 65 .41 .016
25 85 .45 .018
30 110 .51 .020

Berkley Trilene XL is a great monofilament line for spinning reels and baitcasting reels. When comparing the 20-pound line diameter only one line has a smaller line diameter which is the Momoi High-Catch. SpiderWire Ultracast and Berkley Vanish have the same 20-pound line diameter which is 0.41 mm. There are some made-in-China lines that might put smaller line diameters for marketing purposes but I would be skeptical. I imagine the line strength or diameter is listed incorrectly.

I really like Berkley Trilene for spinning reels. A 10-17 pound monofilament line is good for bass fishing and a 30-pound monofilament line is good for offshore fishing. The nice thing about using it is there is no need to tie a fluorocarbon leader. Monofilament is clear enough and abrasion-resistant enough to work on its own.

Berkley Trilene Big Game Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
8 20 .22 .009
10 40 .31 .012
12 50 .36 .014
15 60 .38 .015
20 100 .46 .018
25 110 .48 .019
30 150 .56 .022
40 160 .61 .024
50 190 .71 .028
60 215 .80 .031
80 250 .89 .035
100 290 .99 .039
130 370 1.12 .044

Berkley Trilene Big Game does not have the smallest line diameter but it is a good overall nylon fishing line. Stren Original and Sufix Superior have the same 20-pound line diameter of 0.46 mm. This is about the standard line diameter of a basic nylon fishing line. That does not mean it is a bad fishing line as there are many other factors like line stretch, abrasion resistance, color, and UV resistance to consider.

Since the line is a bit thicker it is better for conventional trolling reels and not as good for spinning or baitcasting reels. It has line strength that goes all the way up to 130 pounds. Even on my offshore fishing reels, I would only use a 60-pound mainline. If you are fishing for bluefin tuna or goliath grouper using a 130-pound line might be needed. In most cases, the drag-on reels max out below 40 pounds so using a line that is twice the max drag is the most that is needed when using proper fishing techniques.

SpiderWire Ultracast Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
4 10 .15 .006
6 16 .20 .008
8 25 .25 .010
10 40 .30 .012
12 45 .33 .013
14 50 .36 .014
17 58 .38 .015
20 65 .41 .016

SpiderWire Ultracast is one of the thinnest monofilament lines on the market. This is a great line to use for spinning and baitcasting rods for bass, crappie, perch, and bluegill fishing. It only has lines rated up to 20-pound test so it is not great for offshore fishing or large conventional reels. The 4-pound test is good for trout fishing while the 6-8 pound test line is good for salmon and steelhead fishing in streams.

Ande Premium Monofilament Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
2 12 .18 .007
4 15 .20 .008
6 25 .25 .010
8 30 .28 .011
10 40 .30 .012
12 50 .35 .014
15 65 .40 .016
20 100 .45 .018
25 125 .50 .020
30 150 .55 .022
40 163 .60 .024
50 188 .71 .028
60 210 .79 .031
80 250 .90 .035
100 290 1.00 .039
200 530 1.60 .063
250 610 1.80 .071
300 650 1.91 .075
400 690 2.01 .079

Ande Premium Monofilament is my personal favorite monofilament line to use. It actually does not have the smallest line diameter but is a great overall line. It is high in abrasion resistance and is made in a way that it has low visibility underwater. It comes in clear, pink, or green. All of which are great options for low visibility depending on the conditions. Typically I fish with clear which has low visibility when fish are looking up at the lure or bait.

Ande lines are available from a 2-pound test all the way to a 400-pound test. The line is so good that it also works great as leader material. Monofilament leaders actually have some advantages over fluorocarbon. The main advantage is that it has higher stretch which is great for shock leaders for wahoo, tuna, and swordfish. Ande monofilament in particular is highly abrasion-resistant even more so than some fluorocarbon leaders. Typically though a fluorocarbon line is more abrasion-resistant. This line is decent for spinning reels but really excels on convention trolling reels.

Berkley Vanish Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
2 10 .15 .006
4 12 .18 .007
6 20 .23 .009
8 25 .25 .010
10 30 .28 .011
12 40 .30 .012
14 45 .33 .013
17 58 .38 .015
20 65 .41 .016
30 125 .51 .020
40 150 .56 .022
50 194 .74 .029
60 220 .81 .032

Berkley Vanish is actually a fluorocarbon line that is used as the main fishing line. There is also a Berkely vanish fluorcabon leader line that is a bit stiffer than mainline material even for the same pound test. This is my favorite line for trout fishing and snapper fishing. When a fluorocarbon line is above around 14 pounds it is too stiff to work well on spinning reels. However, with a 2-8 pound line, it casts well and is nearly invisible to the fish. This is due to the type of material and small diameter of the line.

Some anglers think all fluorocarbon is invisible underwater but this is not the case. Using a thinner line significantly decreases the line visibility under water. When fish like snapper are not biting sometimes changing the leader from 20 to 8 pounds is enough to get them to bite. The same is true for fish like trout and salmon. Tuna can also be leader shy but the line still needs to be over 30 pounds or it will likely break the line. Berkley Vanish also works well on conventional and line counter reels up to around 30 pounds.

Stren Original Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
4 15 .20 .008
6 20 .23 .009
8 30 .28 .011
10 40 .30 .012
12 45 .33 .013
14 50 .36 .014
17 65 .41 .016
20 100 .46 .018
30 150 .56 .022

Stren Original was actually quite revolutionary in 1959, which is when it was first introduced into the market. Before that nylon lines were not popular because they were too stiff. If you compare it to other monofilaments today there are thinner lines that are denser, sink faster, do not absorb water, and are more UV resistant. However, the line properties are good enough that it is still sold today. It is a basic line that will work well for one season. Even though I do not use Stren Original I still reap the benefits of it being invented.

Sufix Superior Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
6 25 .25 .010
8 30 .28 .011
10 40 .30 .012
12 50 .36 .014
15 65 .41 .016
20 100 .46 .018
25 125 .51 .020
30 150 .56 .022
40 163 .61 .024
50 188 .71 .028
60 220 .81 .032
80 260 .91 .036
100 290 .99 .039
130 370 1.19 .047

Sufix Superior is another basic nylon line. Its line diameter is larger than most on the market. I have used the 30-pound line on spinning reels and the 60-pound line on conventional reels. The line does break down from UV light so it is a good idea to store the line in a dark place and replace the line on the reel every few months of use. The line is light and it works well for trolling and fishing with surface lures. This is not a great line for deep dropping or verticle jigging.

Momoi High-Catch Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
12 40 .31 .012
16 58 .37 .015
20 65 .40 .016
25 120 .50 .0197
30 130 .52 .0205
40 160 .60 .024
50 185 .70 .028
60 200 .75 .030
80 230 .85 .033
100 270 .94 .037
130 370 1.19 .047
150 400 1.27 .050
200 450 1.40 .055
250 530 1.60 .063
300 610 1.80 .071
400 710 2.06 .081

Momoi High-Catch is a top-quality monofilament line. Whether it is the number 1 monofilament in the world is debatable. That is how the company markets the line though. To be fair it is one of the thinnest lines on the market. It also has high stretch, high knot strength, and high abrasion resistance. These are definitely desired properties of a monofilament line.

Maxima Ultragreen Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
2 8 .13 .005
3 10 .15 .006
4 12 .18 .007
5 15 .20 .008
6 20 .23 .009
8 25 .25 .010
10 40 .30 .012
12 45 .33 .013
15 58 .38 .015
20 80 .43 .017
25 125 .51 .020
30 150 .56 .022
40 163 .61 .024

Maxima Ultragreen line is not the thinnest or thickest on the market. What makes this line so popular is its ultragreen color. It also has a very high line stretch. This is my favorite line to use when fishing for salmon and rockfish. It works great on a downrigger or when mooching for salmon. The line color is perfect for offshore waters of the West Coast including California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. It is also good in any green-stained water. Personally, I used this line on Shimano Tekota line counter reels and it worked great.

Yo-Zuri Hybrid Line Diameter Chart

Mono
Pound
Braid
Equiv
Dia
(mm)
Dia
(in)
4 20 .23 .009
6 25 .26 .010
8 30 .28 .011
10 40 .31 .012
12 45 .34 .013
15 65 .41 .016
20 80 .44 .017
25 113 .48 .019
30 156 .57 .023
40 163 .62 .024

Yo-Zuri Hybrid contains both nylon monofilament and fluorocarbon resin in the same strand of fishing line. This allows it to have favorable properties of both line types. The diameter of the line is average, some lines are thinner and some are thicker. Some advantages of the line are that it does not absorb water, does not break down as quickly from UV damage, and has high knot strength. The line is patented due to the hybrid blend and is made in Japan.

Monofilament Line Colors

The monofilament line does not have to be clear and can be pink, yellow, smoke, orange, blue, or green. Lines are often marketed as high visibility for anglers that want to be able to see their lines above water. This can be helpful to see where the lure is located, if a fish is pulling line, or if a line is tangled when trolling.

Underwater the goal is for the line to be less visible. In my experience fish are usually looking up at the bright sky or across into the surrounding water. Clear or white lines are definitely the least visible when fish are looking up. Also, they are less visible or about equal in visibility when looking across the water column. For this reason, I would stay away from dark color lines. Clear, light pink, light green, or light blue are all good options. I would stay away from smoke, dark green, and purple monofilament. Fish do not see exactly the same as humans so finding lines where the type of fish you are targeting bites is a great way to know if the line is working well.

Monofilament Line Strength

The strength of a fishing line is often compared by looking at the line diameter to breaking strength. This is a good first check when comparing different types of lines. The type of line also matters. Monofilament often gets a bad rap for not being as good as braid or fluorocarbon. However, monofilament has the highest line stretch and is more abrasion resistant than braid and some fluorocarbons. Depending on the color and line diameter it also can be nearly transparent under the water.

It is also nice to leader fish with mono because the line is thicker and is less likely to cut into your hand. If the line breaks or comes out it can snap back at the angler. It is important to grab the leader close to the fish so if the hook does come out it is not a hook on a spring. I have seen many people get hooked this way.

Mono is not as good when it comes to how long the line lasts. This is because it is susceptible to UV damage and water absorption. The line is also not as dense which means it sinks slower than fluorocarbon. This can be nice though because you can see your line on top of the water. This can serve as a strike indicator if you are paying close attention. It also allows you to notice when your lure hits the bottom as the line is no longer being pulled from the surface.

Monofilament Line Abrasion Resistance

Monofilament line is more abrasion resistant than braid and typically less abrasion resistant than fluorocarbon. This is because the braid is very thin and fluorocarbon is dense and hard. Some quality monofilament lines like Ande premium monofilament are actually more abrasion resistant than some fluorocarbon lines. This also likely depends on exactly what the line is rubbing up against. Sometimes braid is difficult to cut with pliers while mono is really easy to cut. It really depends on the situation but overall monofilament is actually a good all-around fishing line.

In the video monofilament is actually more abrasion resistant than the fluorocarbon. Looking at the charts though 20-pound Ande monofilament is 0.46 mm in diameter and the 20-pound Segaur Blue label is 0.405 mm in diameter so this is not incredibly surprising. As a general rule fluorocarbon and monofilament have about the same amount of abrasion resistance for a given line diameter.

The same is true of braid, the reason it is less abrasion resistant is that it is so much thinner. For example, a 20-pound braided fishing line is about 0.23 mm thick. Even when comparing monofilaments it was the same result, monofilaments with larger diameters were more abrasion-resistant.

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