The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Fishing Line

John Malcolm
John MalcolmPublished: April 20, 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Fishing Line

Choosing the right fishing line is a no-brainer for a successful fishing trip. Whether you're a seasoned angler or just starting out, the type of fishing line you select can have a massive impact on your experience and success. After all, we all head out to the water, hoping to reel in a trophy.

Fortunately, that's why we're going to walk you through the different types of fishing lines, their benefits, and how to pick the best one for your style.

The best fishing line by type.

We'll get into the various types of lines in just a moment, but we wanted to lead off with the best of each kind first.  

Fluorocarbon: Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Seaguar Tatsu represents the pinnacle of fluorocarbon lines, known for its almost invisible presence underwater, making it ideal for finesse fishing techniques.

This line boasts a very low stretch, enhancing sensitivity and improving your catch rate. It's also incredibly strong yet soft, making it easy to manage on both spinning and baitcasting reels.

Seaguar Tatsu's double-structure process fuses two types of 100% fluorocarbon resins, delivering a line that combines excellent castability with superior strength.

Ready to get the best fluorocarbon fishing line ever made?

Buy This Line
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Monofilament: Berkley Big Game

Our go-to for mono is Big Game. Berkley Big Game is a favorite among anglers targeting large fish, praised for its extreme fighting power and durability. This monofilament line is exceptionally strong and shock-resistant, offering controlled stretch that adds to its fighting power.

It's also surprisingly highly abrasion-resistant, making it tough against rough or sharp objects.

The outstanding knot strength ensures durability and reliability whether you're battling saltwater behemoths or freshwater giants.

Berkley makes some of the best fishing tackle in the world, so don't pass up on the Big Game fishing line!

Buy This Line
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Braided: Sufix 832 Advanced Superline

For those who prefer braided lines, and you'll see why in just a moment, Sufix 832 Advanced Superline is a top choice due to its unparalleled strength and durability.

The line features a unique blend of 8 fibers, including 7 HMPE Dyneema fibers and a single GORE Performance Fiber, creating a small diameter yet strong line.

This composition enhances abrasion resistance, increases casting distance and accuracy, and reduces line vibration, making it ideal for both casting and reeling in sizable catches.

When you need the best braided line, the Sufix is the way to go!

Buy This Line
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Understanding the different types of fishing lines.

Those lines might sound great, but before you can choose the fishing line, you need to understand the options available. For the uninitiated, there are three main types of fishing lines, each with unique characteristics and uses.

Monofilament fishing line.


Monofilament, often referred to in the industry as "mono," is the most popular type of fishing line.

It's made from a single strand of material, usually nylon, which makes it flexible and easy to handle.

This type of line is great for beginners because it's forgiving and has a high stretch factor, which helps absorb the shock of a fighting fish. Monofilament is also the most typical type of line you get pre-spooled on reels when you buy a rod and reel at a big box store.

Monofilament is less visible in water than other types, making it a good choice for clear-water fishing. However, it does have memory, meaning it can hold the shape of the reel, and it can degrade in sunlight over time.

Braided fishing line.


Braided lines are known for their strength and durability.

They are made from multiple strands of material braided together, often polyethylene, which makes them much stronger than monofilament lines of the same diameter.

Braided lines have almost no stretch, providing excellent sensitivity to even the slightest nibbles regardless of the size of the fish. 

They are ideal for fishing in heavy cover or deep water where strength and sensitivity are necessary to bring in the catch. However, their visibility can be a downside in clear water scenarios.

Fluorocarbon fishing line.


Fluorocarbon is valued for its underwater invisibility and low stretch, offering good sensitivity.

It's made from a polymer that refracts light similar to water, making it almost invisible to fish. Fluorocarbon is also more resistant to abrasion and doesn't absorb water, which helps it maintain strength and resistance over time.

It's an excellent choice for leaders and tippets when fishing in clear waters.

Factors to consider when selecting a fishing line. Line

When choosing the best fishing line, consider the following factors to match the line with your fishing conditions and target species. As we noted, not all lines are created equally.

Water conditions.

The clarity and type of water you'll be fishing in should influence your line choice.

In clear water, a less visible line, like fluorocarbon, is preferable. For murkier waters, where visibility isn't as big of a concern, a monofilament or braided line could be more suitable.

Generally, if you're going to a body of water where you've never fished and don't know the conditions, we always recommend fluorocarbon. Fish are easily spooked by the lines, and this can have a bigger impact than your lure of choice.

Target species.

Consider the size and type of fish you are targeting. 

Larger, stronger fish like bass or walleye require a heavier, more durable line like braided lines while fishing for smaller species like sunfish, perch, or crappie might benefit from the flexibility and stretch of monofilament.

The size of the fish you're going after will also dictate the test strength of the line. For those bigger fish, you might want something like a 10lb+ strength, but for smaller fish, a 4lb is fairly suitable.

Casting distance and accuracy.

Unless you're already a pro, this one might not be as applicable to you. We've noticed that even novice anglers can generally cast any line with no problem. 

However, if you need to cast long distances, braided line is often preferred due to its smaller diameter and lack of memory. For closer, more precise casts, monofilament might be beneficial because of its flexibility. If you're on a bass boat trying to toss that spinner between some reeds, doing it with braided line can be a bit tricky.

Durability.

Think about the environment you'll be fishing in. Areas with lots of rocks, trees, or other abrasive surfaces necessitate a line that can withstand potential damage.

Fluorocarbon offers good abrasion resistance, while braided lines are also a strong contender in rough conditions. Mono will undoubtedly be the first to fall apart and snap when your lure is going in the rocks.

Expert tips for maximizing your line's potential.

To help you get the most out of your fishing line, we want to give you a few tips—

  1. Match the line weight with your rod and reel. Make sure that the weight of the line is suitable for the gear you're using. Overloading or underloading your reel can affect performance and durability.
  2. Regularly check for wear and tear. Regularly inspect your line for any signs of damage or wear, especially after fishing in rough conditions. There's nothing worse than losing a monster bass because you had an old, frayed line on your reel.
  3. Store properly. Yes, you can use the same line over multiple trips, with proper storage, of course. Keep your fishing line out of direct sunlight when not in use, and make sure it's stored in a cool, dry place to prevent degradation.

What is the best fishing line for you?

That's totally up to you. There's not necessarily a "right" or "wrong" answer here, but your situation will dictate the best kind of line to use. Manufacturers wouldn't make all three if they weren't necessary in various environments.

Choosing the best fishing line involves a balance of multiple factors, including the type of water, the fish you're targeting, and the conditions you'll face.

By understanding the characteristics of each type of line and considering how they match your fishing style and preferences, you can make an informed decision that enhances your overall experience and success on the water.

With the right line on your reel, your next fishing adventure stands a great chance of being a memorable one.

John Malcolm

John Malcolm

Expert Angler

John is a highly skilled angler with over two decades of experience and a passion that has led him to participate in numerous tournaments, including reeling in a remarkable 9lb bass on Lake Okeechobee. His dedication to fishing and willingness to share his expertise make him a respected ambassador for the angling community, inspiring others to appreciate the sport.

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