Monofilament line

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A tangle of monofilament fishing line. The most common colorless variety can be seen.

Monofilament fishing line (shortened to just mono) is fishing line made from a single fibre of plastic, as opposed to abraided fishing line made from multiple fibres. Most fishing lines are now monofilament because monofilament fibres are cheap to produce and are produced in a range of diameters which have different tensile strengths. Monofilament line is also manufactured in different colours, such as clear, white, green, blue, red, and fluorescent.

Monofilament is made by melting and mixing polymers and thenextruding the mixture through tiny holes, forming strands of line, of various thicknesses. The extrusion process controls not only the thickness of the line but its strength as well.


DuPont invented nylon in 1938. This new invention was the first synthetic fibre and In 1939, DuPont began marketing nylon monofilament fishing lines. Early monofilament did, however, have good knot strength and very low visibility to the fish, creating a small loyal following among fishermen. In 1959 DuPont introduced Stren, a thinner and much softer monofilament line that could be used in a large range of reels, including newly introduced spinning and spin casting tackle. Stren's monofilament lines soon became a favourite with many fishermen because of its overall ease of use and it spawned a whole host of imitators.


Monofilament fishing line is used in a huge variety of fishing applications.

Monofilament is not advisable for deep water fishing, since it can absorb water, resulting in loose knots, and its sensitivity can decrease when it is wet. Monofilament degrades with time and can weaken when exposed to heat, sunlight, and/or saltwater. When stored on a spool for a long time, it may come off the fishing reel in coils or loops. It is advisable to change the monofilament line at regular intervals to prevent degradation.

Non-fishing uses

The transparency of monofilament fishing line makes it desirable for special effects where objects need to look like they are floating unsupported.

It has also been used for string trimmers, musical instrument strings, sewing thread.

Environmental impact

A bird entangled in monofilament line. It appears as though some of the line may have been ingested.

Discarded monofilament lines can present serious environmental problems as the plastic lasts a long time. These lines are extremely difficult to spot when submerged in water, and fish, birds, and other marine life can easily become entangled, causing starvation, amputation, and death. Monofilament lines also present a risk to swimmers and scuba divers. The breakdown of lines, especially in string trimmers, leads to microplastics which may cause starvation or poisoning of organisms in soil or water.

For these reasons, programs have been started to recycle fishing line, to keep it out of the environment. Specialized containers have been designed to collect fishing line for recycling.

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