There are two types of line to use for shark. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but there is still one that is a little better than the other. We are going to go over the advantages and disadvantages of braided and mono-filament fishing lines. After that we are going to talk about different types of leaders to use for shark. Again there are a couple of options and both have advantages and disadvantages. We are also going to talk about sizing up your gear to the size of the shark you are going after.
Monofilament for Catching Shark
Hands down mono is the best option for shark fishing. Why? Because mono has stretch and it also is much more abrasion-resistant. Stretch is important because sharks thrash their head around a lot and the stretch in the line allows you to absorb the sudden shock. Mono is also much more abrasion-resistant, which means it is more solid than braid and will last a lot longer when your line is dragged over shells and rocks. It also will withstand the hits from the shark’s tail if your leader is too short. As you may know, shark skin is very rough – kind of like sandpaper and it will cut through braid like butter. The disadvantage to this is how thick mono is. You need a very big reel to get the line capacity you need at times. So keep that in mind.
Braided Fishing Line for Catching Shark
Don't think from the mono information that braid is not a good way to go. Braid certainly has its place in shark fishing. The biggest advantage to braid is that it has a thin diameter. What does that mean? It means you can get by with smaller reels and still get the right pound test to do the trick. Being able to get 500 yards of 50-pound braid on a spinning reel is amazing! You won't be able to do that with mono. The thing I suggest is if you're going to use braid, top it off with mono. As you know mono is more abrasion resistant so let that take the beating in the sand if you are beach fishing. If you are fishing from a boat you really don't need to top it off. There is also one more disadvantage to the braid ... the price! Braid is more expensive then mono, but like I said, it certainly is useful at certain times.
Leaders for Shark
Using the right leaders when you're trying to catch shark is critical to your success. Sharks can be big, aggressive, and built to eat living things nearly as big as they are. Their mouths are chewing machines, and leader is an easy thing for them to cut.
Single Strand Wire
Single-strand wire is a great option for big sharks and also is the least expensive. Single strand wire is just that -- a single piece of wire that can range from 30-lb. to 400-lb. Single strand is great for little sharks, which call for lighter wire in the 60-to-100 pound range. It is cheap and works great for the little guys. I also recommend it for big sharks. We are talking the 300-and-over club. Why? Because it is way thicker than 49-strand and will not get bitten through. Single strand has one disadvantage and that is if the shark gets a hold of it ... it is done after one shark. It bends and gets easily beat up but the cheap cost makes up for this.
49-strand wire is usually 7 strands of 7 other small strands of wire wrapped together. So you have one strand that is actually 7 small strands wrapped together. Then you have 7 of those wrapped together which equals 49 strands. This stuff is great when it comes to flexibility and continued use. Even if a shark grabs the wire you can usually use it repeatedly. It is very flexible and just is a great leader. The disadvantage is since you are dealing with such small strands that the sharks can actually bite through it, and yes, even the 400-lb. stuff. What happens is that they keep biting the same spot and after 3-4 hits it is through the leader and on its way to freedom. That is why I recommend this for medium-sized sharks say in the 100-300 pound class. Generally these smaller sharks just don't have the teeth and bite-force to get through it.
Overview of Line and Leaders for Shark
Really what a lot of this comes down to is what size sharks you are going after and what size reels you have. For smaller reels you should go with braid; for bigger reels I suggest mono. Same goes for leader – for small-to-medium sharks you could use either single strand or 49-strand, and for the big boys, single strand is the best option. Hopefully this has been of use to you. Now that you know a little more about lines and leaders for catching sharks, rods and reels are the next thing we're going to talk about. Read here: Rods and Reels for Catching Sharks