What To Look For
Monofiliment fishing lines come all-pound test varieties. This means that you can purchase a 5-lb test line for trout and bass and up to 80-lb test line and beyond. Mono lines stretch and absorb shock well. They are available in many different colors for different fishing environments. Braided lines are very durable and strong. They are made by weaving manmade materials into a line. They do not stretch and are very sensitive because of this--you will be able to feel every bite. Knots are stronger with braided lines.
Over time mono line on a reel will conform to the reel's circular shape. When casting the line, the line can get caught in the pole, or the line in the water will be noticeably wavy and circular, which can cause problems with sensitivity to bites on the line. Mono lines are also not as strong as braided lines and consequently do not last as long.
Braided lines are more visible than mono lines. They are very sharp and if caught around a finger will slice through the skin and cause some pain.
Where To Buy
Most, if not all, major brands of both monofilament and braided fishing lines are available at major stores and online. Places to buy include: Cabela's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart, Modell's, Sports Authority, Amazon.com. Depending on the town you live in, there could be independently owned fishing and bait shops that can provide you with expert knowledge and a personable experience.
Mono fishing lines are going to be cheaper than braided line. For example, a 10-lb test line of mono is $6.99 for 330 yards (Trilene); a 10-lb test line of braided is $27.99 for 300 yards (P-line).
Some top mono lines are Trilene XT, Stren, Stren Super Tough, Remington Express, Rapala Tough and Ande. Some top braided lines are Power Pro, Spiderwire, Fireline, Sufix braid and Stren braided lines.