So you’re trying to decide on which line is best for you, but you are not sure where to start. There are so many different types of fishing line out there, that it can be a little overwhelming at first. We here at Fishing Tips Guru decided that it’s time we did a comprehensive review and guide to help anglers choose which line is best for them. There really is no “best fishing line” period; it all depends on your needs. This guide will go through the different line types, when it’s best to use each type, which brands are best, and some fishing line reviews to help you choose the one that meets your needs. We hope to update this page regularly to ensure the information stays accurate.
Monofilament Vs. braided Vs. Fluorocarbon Fishing Line – Which One Is Best?
These are the three types of fishing line that you will come across at your local tackle store. They all have pros and cons, and they all vary in price point. Depending on your individual needs and what you are targeting, the line type you choose will vary. It is very important to know the different styles of fishing line in order to choose the correct one. Be sure to take into consideration the following before choosing which type of line you will require:
- How big is the fish you will target? Bigger fish require stronger line and a high test
- How sensitive are the fish? Sensitive fish will require a thin clear line with a lot of sensitivity
- What color is the lake?
- What kind of knot will you be tying
- What kind of rod and reel are you using?
Here’s a summary of each category of fishing line if you are unfamiliar.
Different Types of Fishing Line
A single strand of nylon. Sometimes referred to at mono line.
- Easy to tie knots with – can use pretty much any knot style effectively
- Difficult for fish to see underwater
- Decent strength
- Cheap and effective for most needs
- Flexible making it easier to cast and less likely to snap due to a large strike
- Doesn’t sink fast and comes in a variety of colors making it easy to match the water type
- Weakens over time due to moisture and UV light
- Usually needs a thick line to get good strength
- Stretchiness makes it difficult to detect sensitive fish
- It absorbs water
Mono is a good standard line and is still frequently used all over. This line is recommended for people just starting out or people on a tighter budget. I have caught fish well over 25 lbs on mono line with no issues as well as fish well under 1 lb. If your serious about fishing and spend a lot of time out on the water I would be using one of the other two styles of line.
Also known as microfilament line. This line consists of braided strands of ultra-high-molecular weight polyethylene. This is going to be the strongest fishing line on the market.
- Solid line with little to no stretching in it
- Super thin line to strength ratio
- Does not absorb water and does not deteriorate easy
- No memory or changing shape
- Can fit more line on the spool
- Expensive – the most of the lines
- Can be difficult to tie knots with/ change out lures
This line is my go to line. It is the most expensive but to me the expense is well worth it. It is very strong line especially for the diameter. If you are serious about fishing this is probably the line that you want to go with. Even at the lower tests this line is hard to snap even while remaining thin, making it a great all around line for a multitude of species.
Made from a single strand of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).
- Extremely thin and very low visibility
- Does not stretch nearly as much as mono and is much stronger than mono
- Great for a fly fishing rig
- Good for floating lures and baits
- Stronger hook sets
- Lots of line breaks/knot breaks if you don’t tie correctly
- Not great on spinning reels
- Sinks fast so not great in all situations
Overall fluorocarbon is a great type of line, and should be used over mono in most cases. It is not as strong as braided which is why I don’t frequently use it. It also isn’t great in a spinning reel which is what most fisherman in my area use. It is expensive, but to me the expense may be worth it. One great time to use fluorocarbon line is one three way swivels or as a running line at the end of your rig. A couple feet of this line helps reduce visibility and is cost effective. I also use fluorocarbon line when going after finicky fish like trout or in areas with really clear and viable waters that you need to disguise the line.
Fishing Line Comparison Chart:
Source: Fix.com Blog
Top 3 Fishing Line – The Best Reviews of 2018
This is my favorite line on the market. It is great in pretty much any situation. You get all the benefits of braided line (strength, stiff, low diameter) plus the sink ability and low visibility of a fluorocarbon line. It’s a cross between a fluoro and a braid made with Gore fluoropolymer and Dyneema fiber blend. The only downfall is the price. This line is really expensive, and is probably not worth it for beginners or hobby fisherman. But if you are serious about your sport, than this is the line for you.
This is another great line by Spiderwire. It your fishing in clear waters, or for species that are a little more sensitive than this is the line for you. Its cast-ability is second to none and it has extremely low viability. It is a braided/fluoro line – giving you some strength and low visibility properties. One notable downfall is the white color tends to “stain” over time. It comes in at a reasonable price though, making this a must have line for anglers of all skill level.
Just a good solid braided line. This is a really popular seller, and for a good reason. It’s a great braided line- and is good in many settings. Best of all this line is relatively cheap compared to other high end lines. It is great for casting and trolling and will not snap. It has decent visibility, and reels in smooth. This is a good product for an angler on a budget.
Fishing Line FAQs From Readers:
A lot of readers have been asking questions so we decided to start up an FAQ section on this page. If you have questions comment below and we will answer as soon as possible – FTG Fishing Team.
What is the best Monofilament (Mono) fishing line?
It’s hard to pick a best monofilament line without knowing the specifics of what equipment you are using, what species your targeting, and the water conditions. My go-to pure mono line would be Spiderwire Ultracast Ultimate-Mono. It is very reasonably priced and has great casting ability on both spinning and baitcast reels. It has much less stretch and shock snapping than many of the low quality monofilament lines out there. Choose a test appropriate for the size of fish you’ll be targeting
What is the best braided fishing line?
Braided line is my go to line as mentioned. A pure braided line is great and will provide you with a good strong line that is pretty much unbreakable if used correctly; while maintaining a small diameter. As mentioned above: Spiderwire Ultracast Fluorobraid Superline is my go-to. Its a cross between fluoro and braided line and can’t be beat.
What is the best fluorocarbon fishing line?
I usually don’t recommend fluorocarbon line unless its absolutely required. If you require a fluorocarbon line (likely due to it’s low line viability) then do not cheap out. A good fluorocarbon line will have the least viability under the water of any of the line choices above making it ideal for targeting sensitive or smaller fish (example: brook trout). My go to fluorocarbon is Berkley Vanish. It is well priced and will give you all the specs to need in a fluorocarbon at a reasonable price.
What is the best line for bass fishing?
Bass are very aggressive fish and will often jump and shake their heads wildly. They are not difficult to catch and are not overly sensitive. You need a strong durable line when bass fishing to prevent snapping when the jump and buck wild. Therefore you definitely want to use a braided fishing line when bass fishing. My go-to braided line is listed above, and choose a color similar to the waters your fishing in.
What is the best line for trout fishing?
This is a tough question and depends on what kind of trout your targeting. If its species over 5lbs or in deeper waters I would go with a braided-Fluoro combo line such as Spiderwire Ultracast Fluorobraid Superline. If you are creek or stream fishing for smaller species of trout such as specks use a very thin monofilament line to avoid being detected.
What type of fishing line is best for casting?
Braided line tends to cast best. You can really throw it around and it does not tangle or curl up.
What is the best line for spinning reels?
Once again, I go with braided line, see above for my reasons why. Basically it is the strongest with the thinnest diameter. It casts very easily and does not curl up if spooled for prolonged periods of time.