Ron's Tackle Tips —Monofilament Line

Ken Jones

Staff member
Monofilament Line

By Ron Crandall of Ron's Reel Repair (April 1997)

Monofilament line is the most commonly used line for shore or pier fishing.

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

To Stretch: When fishing around pilings, or in rocky, kelp areas along the coast, where wave surge is a factor, use a line that has some Stretch to it. This way if snagged, the line will stretch instead of breaking. Example: Berkley Big Game -- 30% stretchability.

Not to Stretch: When you have a lot of line out, as when fishing off Pacifica Pier for salmon, use a line that has little or No Stretch. If you have 100 yards of line out with a 30% stretch you have 30 feet of stretch before setting the hook. Example: Advantage -- 12% stretch.


In kelp, rocks, piers, or when fishing with other people use Bright colored, solar type, florescent line with a clear leader. Examples: Berkley Big Game Solar (bright green), Ande Tournament (bright yellow), Stren (Clear Blue Florescent). Use clear or subtle lines when fishing for Game Fish like Salmon.

When To Change Line

New line is Shiny, Smooth, and feels Oily. Change line when it is Chalky, Not Smooth and/or is Nicked.

Chalky: While chalkiness is usually visually obvious, (the line is not shiny and looks whitish), sometimes you're not sure. If in doubt, hold a darker colored cloth in your hand and draw the line through it. You will see the white chalky residue that indicates its time to change line.

Nicks: To check for nicks and abrasions, run the line through your thumb and forefinger to feel for nicks and unevenness. If your hands are callused, gently run the line through your lips.

Note: Pay particular attention to the last 10 to 15 feet on your line each time you go fishing. This part of the line takes the worst beating. If nicked or abraded, cut off the end of the line and start with smooth line each time you go fishing.


Well-Known Member
After all these years of trying fancy lines and cheap lines for all kinds of fishing, I just use Big Game for everything. Works for everything from plugging to bait waiting to fishing off charter boats and jigging for yellowtails.