Braided line is made from Polyethylene (PE) microfilaments that are fused together to form strands. Strands are then woven together to create braided line. Common braided lines are made from 4 or 8 strands/carriers. Same pound test line between 4 or 8 strands will hold the same amount of weight before breaking point. The difference is the 4 strands will have bigger/rougher microfilaments vs smoother and smaller microfilaments for the 8 strands.
4 strands - when carriers are woven together the end result in a braided line slightly rougher than 8 strands. Due to its roughness, the 4-carrier braided line is ideal for cutting through heavy vegetation. If you are fishing for bass or targeting yellow tail in the kelp paddies, 4-carrier braided line might be a better choice.
8 strands - due to more strands weaved together, the line becomes smoother and rounder. Because of this, the line has less friction and you can cast further (better casting). The line flows through the guides quieter and is more sensitive. This is ideal when fishing live bait or cast-and-retrieve applications, such as using artificial baits or surf-casting.
The introduction of braided line is relatively new. The benefits of using braided line compared to monofilament are overwhelming:
- Reduced diameter per pound-test allows to spool more line on the reel
- Significant reduction of stretch enables to increase sensitivity - this is especially useful when fishing deep water because you can feel the bites more accurately
- Flexible and can be easier to cast long distances
- Visible in the water = easy to follow. Recommend adding topshot of monofilament or fluorocarbon. The size of the topshot depends on type of fishing but it is good to have at least a couple of feet to add the slight stretch when hooking the fish. Remember, braided line by itself is not stretchy.
- Cost savings - due to braided line's higher resistance to elements (especially saltwater fishing), you don't have to change the as often as monofilament.
As technology continues to improve, manufacturers are able to add more stands to the braided line, such as 9 stands:
Typically more stands = more expensive due to the time it takes to weave the strands together. Check out many variations of 4, 8 and 9 strands at Fishing Braided Line.