Gear Review: Berkley Nanofil Line

One of the newer products to hit the market recently has been Berkley’s NanoFil Line. It’s touted as not being a monofilament, or a braid, but “The next generation in fishing line”. However, it’s most similar to a braid, as it has a very small diameter, no stretch, and superb sensitivity. Recently I received a sample to try out so I’ve been using it for the last couple of months on late summer steelhead to get a feel for how it performs. Here’s my thoughts on it so far.

First Impression:

In the brochure I received from Berkley, they talked a lot about how the NanoFil line will increase your casting distance. Right out of the box you could feel just how smooth it really was, and that coupled with the small diameter could definitely increase the casting distance. However, the small diameter, and coating on it had me a bit skeptical that it would hold up to abrasive conditions and a hot fish.

Testing

Berkley themselves don’t recommend using the NanoFil line on baitcasters, so I opted to spool up my Zebco Trout Seeker combo. The first day I used it I started out with the mono that was already on the reel. I wanted to be sure that I had a good comparison between the two lines. It was a very cold morning, and the eyes on my pole were constantly freezing with ice. After a little while I respooled with the NanoFil line. It didn’t quite fill up my spool, but was close enough to not worry about it.

Spooled up with Berkley’s NanoFil Line

The first cast was like night and day compared to mono. Compared to my 10lb Berkley Big Game the NanoFil flew off the reel. I also never experienced another frozen eye after that. The coating on the line doesn’t absorb any water, so there’s nothing to freeze once it reaches the pole. I’m also used to drift fishing with braided line so the huge increase in sensitivity over mono was very much welcomed. The NanoFil line is also advertised as having no memory, however I noticed it kept a bit of the shape from being spooled up.

Throughout the day I used the NanoFil line both drift and float fishing. I didn’t encounter any problems with abrasion while drifting, and the increased sensitivity over mono is huge. Where the NanoFil really seemed to shine was when float fishing. The line floats, and also doesn’t absorb any water. This makes it extremely easy to mend, and get that perfect drift.

Over the coarse of testing the NanoFil line I’ve been able to put it against a few fish. I’ve yet to have it break while fighting a fish, even on a couple of very hot steelhead. When getting snagged while drift fishing, it has broken a couple of times before my 8lb leader. I also haven’t experienced the coating coming off or any tip wraps from the line.

Summary

Pros:

  • Casting Distance – When compared to mono and braid of the same lb test, there is a noticeable increase in casting distance. 
  • Sensitivity – The NanoFil line is on par with braids, and way above monofilaments.
  • Float Fishing – It is extremely easy to mend due to it floating and not absorbing water.
  • Freezing Temperatures – The coating on the line virtually eliminates frozen eyes, and you can retain the sensitivity of braid without worry of the line freezing.

Cons:

  • Not Recommended for Bait Casters – Since Berkley themselves recommended it not be used on bait casters I didn’t try it out. Somewhere down the road I may pick up a heavier pound test and give it a go anyways.
  • Different Knots Required – The old standby clinch knot can’t be used with the NanoFil line. The Palomer knot or NanoFil knot are musts. If you’re used to braid this probably won’t be a problem.
  • Color – It comes in “Clear Mist” which is just another way to say white. If you’re trying to be super stealthy you’ll definitely want to use a leader, and possibly even a 15′ or longer top shot of mono or fluorocarbon.

Final Thoughts

Overall I definitely give the Berkely NanoFil line two thumbs up. The Pro’s more than outweigh the Con’s. It may not be the greatest line for every situation, but it shines when it comes to float fishing with a spinning setup. If you’re used to fishing with braid you’ll probably love this line. If you’ve tried braid and hated it, you may not like it either, and if you’ve never made the switch from mono, I recommend you at least give this line a shot. Over the last couple of months I’ve fallen in love with it, and you can’t argue with fish on the bank…

An upper Rogue summer steelhead caught using Berkley’s new NanoFil Line.

Tight Lines….

Disclamer – The Berkley NanoFil line reviewed in this post was received free via a promotion on Berkley’s Facebook Page. Southern Oregon Fishing is in no way affiliated with Berkley or Pure Fishing, and was not compensated in anyway. As always I provide my honest opinion and if something sucks I will be sure to let you know.

5 thoughts on “Gear Review: Berkley Nanofil Line

  1. Excellent assessment of a product I’ve been waiting on buying;you’re criteria and attribution markers were the exact empirical parameters I’ve been waiting on from a reliable and experienced source. Well Done!

  2. @Mel – Although I’m a huge fan of braid, I’ve never liked it for trout fishing. However, all my setups are also ultralights. I do think this line would be a good compromise though, as it’s not near as stiff as normal braids. I would also definitely run a top shot of flouro or mono due to the visibility of the line, and to add a bit of a shock absorber.

    The big pluses of the line are you’ll be able to toss light lures a bit further, and if you’re still fishing you’ll be able to detect light bites pretty easily.

    The downsides are just like any braid. You’ll have to learn a new knot if you’re not used to it, and you’ll definitely want to use a limber rod.

    As long as you’re not fishing around a lot of sharp structure I would give it a shot. I’ll be using it around here in a couple of months when our trout season gets going.

  3. Hi, Steven! Sure appreciate your review and comments on NanoFil. I have read some about this line and was curious as too how it cast and fish. I have used both mono and braid and both have plus(s) and minus(s). Stream or lake fishing for trout? Any opinions?

  4. I appreciate Your honesty.I have used a lot of braid and have spooled one reel with nan o fil.My complaint with braid is the lack of abrasion resistance.I have used everything from 12# to 100# test in 4 different brands and they all abraded much worse than mono.Snapper fishing around oil rigs we found that 30# big game had more abrasion resistance than 80 and 100# braid,

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