How to Choose The Right Fishing Line?

how to choose the right fishing line

Fishing lines play an essential role in your angling adventure. They are the ones that connect the bait or lure to the rod. A fishing line also determines the casting distance and helps you reel your fish. Whether you choose to use a fluorocarbon line or monofilament line, knowing which fishing line to use can give you a competitive edge in the waters.

Picking the right fishing line for your next trip can be challenging for a beginner. If you choose the wrong type, you might fish for the whole day without much success. So, how do you know which fishing line to use? This guide explores the essential factors to consider when choosing a fishing line.

Roland Brooks

Daddy by day, fisherman at night.

Table of Contents

Line Strength

The strength of a line is measured in a pound test. Line strength measures how much weight a line can handle without breaking. The line strength varies depending on the type of fishing line you’re using.

When buying a fishing line, ensure it gives you optimal line casting and retrieval. Your line should also be able to handle the force of a big fish.

For example, if fishing for trout, use a 4-pound test fishing line because these ratings help you fight it without breaking.

The line strength you choose also depends on the type of fishing rod you’re using. If using a heavy fishing rod and lure, you need a strong fishing line that can handle the weight of the lure.

To be safer, ensure you choose a line with higher ratings. This prevents your line from breaking when fighting with your catch.

If you’re fishing for more extended periods, choose the lightest travel fishing rods because they are lightweight and pair well with a light line. Remember, you need the right experience to fight a heavy fish hooked an ultralight fishing gear.

You also have to consider the area you’re fishing at. You will need a strong line if fishing in areas with cover and a thin line when fishing in open waters.

Line Diameter

The diameter of your fishing line determines how many lines will go in the spool. The thicker the line, the less line capability your spool will handle.

Additionally, the line diameter you choose determines how your lure will behave and how resilient your fishing line will be in heavy structures and rocky areas.

For example, the diameter of a braided fishing line is 35-45% less than the diameter of a monofilament fishing line and fluorocarbon fishing line. Monofilament line is the best option if you’re looking for a cheaper fishing line.

Since a braided line has a thinner diameter, it is the best choice for anglers targeting long casting distances. A braided line is also a good option if you need a line with a lot of sensitivity. It also offers an excellent hookset on hard-mouth species.

Braided lines work better with the best fishing reel brands manufacturing baitcasters and spinning reels. This is because a braided line has line memory and low stretch properties compared to other lines. Its sensitive nature makes it the best option for people who want to make a smooth casting.

The Fluorocarbon line is also nearly invisible in water and more abrasion resistant. If fishing in clear waters, choose a fluorocarbon leader as it’s near invisible and will increase the chances of inducing a bite.

The fluorocarbon line is stronger than the monofilament line and has a higher breaking length. Remember, you will need a monofilament line if you are fishing in rocky areas or where you need to tie tight knots.

Monofilament lines also offer greater abrasion resistance, thus ideal for anglers fishing in rocky areas.

Line Material

Fishing lines come in different materials, and the one you choose depends on your fishing needs. Traditional fishing lines are made of silk. Nowadays, fishing line companies use synthetic polymers and polyethylene fiber to manufacture high-tech lines.

Nowadays, the most common fishing line types include monofilament lines, braided lines, and fluorocarbon lines.

Monofilament lines, or mono, are preferred by most anglers because they are cheap and offer tensile strengths. Unlike other fishing lines with multiple fibers, monofilament lines have only one continuous filament.

Manufacturers use nylon to produce monofilament lines. They are made by mixing different polymers and heating and extruding them through small holes. They are then spun into spools, and each spool varies depending on the thickness of the line.

Fluorocarbon lines are also famous as they can quickly be spooled in your spinning reel. As their name suggests, fluorocarbon lines are made with carbon, chlorine, and fluorine compounds.

Most anglers prefer fluorocarbon fishing lines because they are abrasion resistance. They are also weather resistant, tough, and offer greater hooking power. These lines are thinner than monofilament lines, thus enhancing low visibility when fishing in clear waters.

The manufacturing process of fluorocarbon lines is similar to that of monofilament lines, but the results are quite different. Fluorocarbon lines are dense as their molecules are tightly packed together. Their dense nature has better line stretch and enhances their visibility and durability.

Braided lines are among the best lines that have stood the test of time. These types of fishing lines are sharper, thinner, and lighter. They work best with artificial lures because they are lighter and more finesse.

They have been used since ancient times and are popular among anglers who want a line with low abrasion resistance. Unlike monofilament lines consisting of only one strand, braided lines are made of several strands. Most braided lines are nylon, but you can find other blends.

The most common synthetic blends to make braided lines include Dacron, Spectra, and micro-Dyneema. These materials are strong, light, and can pair well with your spinning gear.

What makes braided line materials to be exceptional is the ability to make thinner lines while maintaining high strength.

Unlike other types, you can spool more braided lines on your spinning reel while maintaining high-test breaking strength. They are also a perfect option for ultralight fishing anglers as they are lighter and can fit in smaller spools.

Besides strength, braided lines made of synthetic blends offer other benefits, including the ability to have high knot strength, high flexibility, lack of stretch, and are easy to cast for long distances.

Line Color

The color of your fishing line will help you in your fishing game. The color you choose depends on line and water visibility. Here are essential tips for determining the color you need for your next fishing trip.

If fishing in low-light conditions, choose a line with high visibility, such as gold. A bright-colored fishing line will help improve line visibility, especially in low-light conditions like dusk, dawn, and night. The bright golden color will also help you detect when the fish bite.

You can also choose a coffee-colored fishing line when fishing in low-light conditions. This color also works well in muddy waters by blending in with the murky water. This way, you won’t spook fish, especially the finicky species.

A high-visibility green fishing line is the best option if you’re fishing in areas with heavy vegetation and algae. This way, the line will blend with the vegetation and help prevent spooking fish.

If fishing in clear water, choose a blue fluorescent or clear line. You still want to make your line visible when casting and reeling in the fish. A blue fluorescent line is illuminated on the surface, so you will still see it even when the fish can’t.

Since it can be hard to know the kind of visibility and water you will be dealing with, buying lines with different colors is essential. This way, you can easily switch the lines depending on the state of the water you’re fishing at.

Line Length

How much the line in your spinning reel depends on the line you’re using and your fishing style. You can encounter many problems when fishing with the wrong line length.

For example, the wrong amount of fishing line can limit your casting distance and also create more tangles. There’s nothing worse than spending all your precious time untangling the line instead of catching more fish.

If you use a long line in a smaller spool, the line can overflow, thus increasing the resistance of the line leaving the spool.

If you want to make advanced casting applications, ensure you feel the line up to the lip of the spool. This helps you to make longer casts with minimal applications. Anglers targeting larger species will require a long fishing line to manage a fighting fish.

For example, anglers doing game fishing need about 1000 to 1200-meter spools. However, you will need a 300-600 meter spool for general fishing applications like drop shot fishing.

Choosing a longer fishing line is advisable if you target species in open waters. This is because open waters have a large surface area, allowing you to cast further.

However, if you’re fishing in tight spaces or areas with heavy cover, it’s advisable to use shorter lines. If you go fishing with a long line in tight spaces, the chances of your line getting tangled are high.