Braid or mono for pike?
The question of whether to use braid or mono line for lure fishing was resolved for me a long time ago.
Without doubt, braid has proved itself to be the far better choice in most pike fishing situations. Minimal stretch means better bite detection, and it’s low diameter relative to breaking strain makes it very user friendly. For me, one of the other important benefits I get from braid line is it’s reliability. Knots are easy to tie and very reliable, and the line itself takes a lot of abuse. Gone are the days when I’m pulling for breaks in snags and loosing my valuable lures. For lure fishing, I will never go back.
So, what about bait fishing? It took me a bit longer to completely change over to braid, but nowadays I would
use nothing else unless forced to do so by fishery rules. For the same reasons as I choose braid for lure fishing, I do so for bait fishing. My biggest problem when bait fishing was that the lack of stretch made the playing process more fraught with the stiffer bait rods. I was afraid of hook pulls, and indeed did suffer a few. Before long though, I simply found that playing pike on braid line required a slightly modified technique that applied less pressure and keeping the rod higher to absorb any sudden lunges.
More benefits were found like the reliability in striking at long range, particularly when drifter float fishing or long trotting baits down a river or flowingI keep coming back to reliability. When I have a bait caught in a snag or have to haul a pike from thick weed or from tree roots, I have every confidence that the line will not let me down. Power Pro has long been my choice of braid, and for bait fishing I use 15 kg breaking strain. In swims with serious snags you can go much stronger with little increase in diameter, but I would question whether it’s wise to fish such swims where snagging is so likely.
Braid is more expensive than mono but it will last so much longer than mono main line. With average use, I would expect to get at least five years use from my braid. If you are a penny pincher, you can reverse the braid after five years and get a few more from it. In the long run, it’s a choice I don’t think you will ever regret.