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By Tackle Tactics Pro Angler Justin Willmer
First published: Nov 10 2021

Justin has spent his life fishing and is happy to target any species land based or from a variety of watercraft, including boat, kayak, SUP (stand up paddle board) and float tube.

Choosing a Braided Fishing Line

By Justin Willmer

Nylon monofilament fishing lines remain extremely popular with anglers fishing bait, beginner anglers and anglers fishing specific techniques where the characteristics of nylon monofilament is advantageous. Nylon monofilament lines are generally cheaper, more readily available in larger spools, easier to handle and manage, knot well and have stretch built in that can be beneficial when getting fish to eat your baits and acting as a shock absorber when fighting fish. So, why then have braided lines exploded in popularity in the last few decades.

Braided lines offer anglers different characteristics to nylon monofilament lines and these characteristics can be beneficial in many different scenarios. Let’s look at a couple of the main characteristics in more detail.

Stretch – Braided lines boast minimal to zero stretch and this reduced stretch gives anglers increased feel and more control, whether feeling bites and dragging fish out of structure, or driving lures more effectively. This reduced stretch has made braided lines popular in a myriad of scenarios, from fishing deep, to battling elements such as surf and current, to casting lures. The downside of reduced stretch is little give when a fish surges or runs, which can break lines or pull hooks. To counter this, we attach a shock leader of nylon or fluorocarbon line that provides a degree of stretch, generally around a rod length.

Diameter – Braid is much finer than nylon monofilament line, for an equivalent diameter. This allows us to fit more line on reels, fish smaller reels and combined with modern developments in rods and reels, we can reduce the weight and size of the entire combo that we are fishing. This makes fishing way more fun.

The finer diameter also reduces drag from the wind and water, allowing longer casts, lighter sinkers to be used and lures to run deeper, to name a few, with increased feel which has opened new species and techniques that were difficult or even impossible with nylon monofilament lines. The nylon or fluorocarbon leader again comes into play here as many believe that the finer fibres of the braid, combined with a lack of stretch, decrease its abrasion resistance, especially across varying structure types.

Based on these characteristics we may decide that braid is a better option than nylon monofilament for the type of fishing that we are doing, ranging from finesse bream luring to popping GTs, or spinning the surf to fishing deep water. We then need to decide which braid we will choose from the many options available, including multiple options from Australian Made Platypus fishing lines.

Here’s a few other characteristics that you may consider when selecting a braided fishing line.

Braid Strands / Carriers – You will commonly see braid referred to as a 4, 8 or 9 carrier / strand braid and this refers to the number of strands braided together to create the finished line. Each strand is made up of many tiny fibres, then these strands are braided together in a machine, whereby it is important to get the tension, pic count and other elements of the process correct, to ensure the finished product behaves how the maker and angler wishes it to. Let’s look at 4, 8 and 9 carrier braids in more detail.

4 Carrier – A 4 carrier braid relies on four strands to create the desired breaking strain, so each of these strands has a larger diameter than the eight strands required for 8 carrier. This generally creates a thicker diameter braid, with a coarser feel as it is built from four larger strands. Four carrier braid is generally cheaper, thicker, and rougher in terms of feel, while still being finer, lighter, and out casting monofilament lines. It also has the advantage of being more abrasion resistant due to the larger fibres and its coarser feel also means that it acts like a saw, cutting through aquatic weed and other softer structure. This has made 4 carrier braids popular as a workhorse option for fishing structure and a cheaper option when you don’t require the ultra-fine diameters and slicker feel of an 8 carrier braid.

8 Carrier – Being constructed from eight thinner diameter strands gives 8 carrier braid a rounder and smoother profile, generally with a finer diameter. This has made 8 carrier braids a go-to for finesse applications, scenarios where long casts with light presentations are a requirement and when fishing more open water. There is generally an additional cost that comes with 8 carrier braid, passed on from the additional cost of materials and manufacturing, that sees many anglers utilise the benefits of 8 carrier for the aforementioned applications, while utilising the cheaper 4 carrier for bulk line applications, such as offshore fishing and backing reels.

9 Carrier – The additional fibre of a 9 carrier braid consists of a strand that runs up through the centre of the 8 carrier braid during the braiding process. This gives the 9 carrier braid an engineered round profile, that sees it lay well on the reel, cast well and it also improves line management and behaviour under extreme conditions. Available in a range of breaking strains, anglers may spool up with a 9 carrier braid if they are chasing the big bites and believe they will be pushing the gear to its limits.

Material Quality

I have heard many stories of negative experiences that anglers have had fishing braided lines and the discussion generally comes back to the type of braid they were using. Most of these anglers could have avoided the negative experience by avoiding the cheap and nasty, home brand styles of braids that are becoming more readily available. I often compare manufacturing fishing line, braid or monofilament, to making a cake. There are many elements to making a cake, including the chosen ingredients, how these ingredients are combined, the quality of the appliances (machines) used, along with the heat settings, timing and other processes used throughout the process of creating the finished product. You can end up with a good-looking cake that tastes terrible – that is a braid that looks good, that is made using cheap materials that perform poorly and fail… or a terrible looking cake that tastes great – that is a braid that is made from quality materials, that have suffered from poor quality machinery and processes and in turn doesn’t perform as it should. Stick with a recognised brand and you should be off to a better start.

Platypus Braids

Platypus is an Australian Owned & Operated Family Business, that has been making fishing line in Australia since 1898. These lines began as thin linen ropes, evolved with the birth of nylon monofilament lines in the 1960’s, creating many innovative products, before embracing the new materials and processes that saw the development of cutting-edge braided lines, made from fibres stronger than steel.

Platypus created many iconic braids that still have a strong following today, including Super Braid and Bionic Braid, before more recently embracing new materials, machinery, coatings, and processes to create the cutting-edge Pulse X4, Pulse X8 and Bionic X9 braids. Let’s take a closer look at the range of Platypus braids, along with the applications and anglers they may suit.

Bionic Braid X9

The latest release from Platypus is the 9 carrier Bionic X9, featuring the internal strand discussed earlier, braided within the outer 8 carrier construction. This braid lays well and casts well, with the added advantage of an engineered round profile that ensures it performs well under extreme conditions and drag pressures. Perfect for anglers fishing the line to its limits on big fish for the set breaking strain.

Pulse X8 Braid

Pulse X8 is a slick, smooth, and round 8 carrier braid that is perfect for finesse applications and long casts. This is a premium performance braid that is ideal for open water applications, casting and fishing lures and general fishing, with a fine diameter that allows plenty of line to be loaded onto the spool. Coated with Armour-X coating for increased abrasion resistance.

Pulse X4 Braid

The workhorse of the Pulse range, a 4 carrier braid that is built to handle more harsh environments. Coated with Armour-X for increased abrasion resistance and a slicker feel, Pulse X4 is available in hi-vis Aussie Gold colour for ease of line management when fishing structure. Although not as smooth as Pulse X8, with a thicker diameter, quality materials ensure that diameters are kept to a minimum and the braid remains long casting and handles well.

Bionic Braid

The basis from which Bionic X9 was built, original Bionic Braid still maintains a cult following due to the quality construction that has seen it become a big fish favourite, from jacks in the estuaries, to barra, threadies and black jewfish up north, kingies and tuna in the south and epic bluewater battles around Australia. Bionic Braid also has a reputation as the chosen fly backing amongst experienced fly anglers. Proven reliability and a big fish reputation have seen many anglers naturally gravitate from the heritage of this line to the added advantages of the Bionic X9.


A 4 carrier workhorse, Platypus Platinum Braid is an angler friendly braid that has appealed to many first time braid anglers due to its price, feel and easier line management, when compared to fine 8 carrier braids. Today it remains a popular entry level braid in the range, however more Platinum users are now turning their attention to Pulse X4 and its associated benefits.

So, there’s a quick look at the characteristics and benefits of braided fishing lines, along with a basic overview of the Australian Made Platypus range. Hopefully this assists you in terms of selecting the appropriate braided line for your next reel and your next adventure. All the best with the fishing.

See you on the water…
Cheers, Justin

A bit about Platypus…

Platypus would like to thank anglers around the world for supporting this Australian Owned and Operated Family Business, manufacturing fishing lines in Australia since 1898, making it Australia’s longest running fishing tackle business.

Platypus fishing lines was started by George Ross McPherson in 1898. George was a Scottish rope maker by trade and saw the opportunity to make fishing line in Australia. In those days fishing line was made from twisted linen fibres and was a small diameter rope. Within a few years the popularity and reputation of Platypus saw the business expanding. The name Platypus, was apparently chosen to signify the unique Australian nature of the product and just like the animal, being as good or useful on land (as a string or fine rope) as it was in the water (for catching fish).

Throughout the next century Platypus was passed through the family, before being acquired by Australian owned and operated family business, Tackle Tactics, 121 years after it began, where it is still owned, operated and manufactured in Australia. Platypus has always prided itself on innovation; producing Australia's first extruded nylon fishing lines in the 1960's. Realising the advantages of gel spun polyethylene braided lines, Platypus pioneered many braided lines in Australia and still operates a braiding plant in Australia today.

Recognised in the plastics industry as an authority on nylon monofilament extrusion, Platypus produces many products other than fishing line, including hi-tech fibres for mining and medical applications. The diversity of our products often allows concepts and materials used in one application to be used to create better fishing lines. We are constantly reviewing our manufacturing processes, raw materials, and additives to offer the best available fishing lines to you. 

Still manufacturing in Brisbane, Australia over 120 years later, Platypus Lines continues to develop a comprehensive and evolving range of fishing lines for Australian anglers and conditions.

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