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Fishing Line Buyers Guide

If you're here, you understand that you can't just choose any fishing line on a whim. It requires strong consideration and the right expertise to choose a fishing line. After all, it's the part of your gear connecting your rod to the bait and the fish. More than that, it is what you rely upon to capture the fish.

However, there are too many fishing lines available in the market that it's almost bewildering to shuffle through them. Sure, there are limited categories, but there are too many other aspects. You have to consider the length, size, color, thickness, and many other specifications. How can you find the perfect line for your style?

This guide aims to highlight the vital aspects and inform you of choosing the best fishing lines. Therefore, it will enable you to get the best out of your lines as you go fishing. There will be some essential tips that could help you get a high value for your money. So without further ado, let's begin!

Importance of choosing the right fishing line

Most of the anglers consider their rod type and construct. They will even choose different types of reels. Many ponder strongly about the type of lure or bait to use. However, many anglers tend to forget about the importance of choosing the right line. Hence, the fishing line ends up becoming the weakest link of their gear.

You can't rely upon a single line if you are a versatile angler. It's vital for those who fish in different seasons and water types to have different types of fishing lines. If you are a single-season angler, you still need to get a fishing line that perfectly complements your style.

The fishing line is the most integral part of your equipment because it enables you to 'feel' the water's movement. It can determine how much power you need to invest and how quickly you will catch the fish. There are many other benefits like these you will learn in the factors to consider.

However, the primary importance of choosing the right fishing lines is about the integrity of your equipment. If you use the wrong fishing line, it could tangle or even inflict more stress on the gear if the weight is too much for its integrity. As a result, you may either break your rod, or the reel, even both.

More than that, if you are using the wrong line, you won't be able to knot them perfectly. Similarly, they may break more frequently and lead to loss of the catch you were just about to have. More than your rod or lure, the line determines the rate of succession. Ergo, it is paramount to get the right fishing line for your style.

Factors to consider when buying a fishing line

Choosing the right fishing line is not as easy as it would seem. There are many properties in a line that meet the eye. The hypersensitivity, action, type of fish, everything would determine the type of line you need.

These factors are divided into two segments, the first one will in-depth factors for a well-informed decision, and the second one is for quick buying requirements according to the category.

Attributes of the line

The first thing you need to learn regarding fishing lines is various specifications and attributes. Of course, you can skim down to the type of lines to make a quicker choice. However, these qualities of a line can help you personalize the lines better. It also ensures that you won't fall for the marketing schemes and would judge the line on its practicality.

Therefore, you will have an easier time making the judgment. Each angler has a unique fishing style, and there are many different types of fishing techniques and rods available. If you learn about these aspects, you can pick the right line to meet your rod. Here's everything you need to know:

Test capacity or strength

You will often see 'test' as a specification on the lines that have a number. It determined the strength of the line. In other words, your fishing line's ability to withstand weight, force, and pressure depends on this test factor. The higher the number, the more weight it can easily withstand. A lower test means that line will break easier. It's always better to get a higher test, but it could also impact the type of fish you want to capture.

The quality of your line will impact the strength of your line, as well. If you have higher quality lines, it mostly offers more strength than the given number. You also have to remember that the test isn't related to your fish's weight, but the fight it will pose. The force will use against you is what the strength of your line will primarily fight. Therefore, you can catch heavier fishes without having the test support of their weight.

It is due to the neutral buoyancy of the fishes. Therefore, you should always choose the lightest test available for the type of fish you want to catch. However, the second most contributing factor to your line's strength and performance would be diameter or thickness.

Diameter or thickness

The thickness of a fish line determines its ability to withstand the water pressure and the waves' changes. If your fish line is thicker, it is more prone to getting displaced due to the water's motion. Winds also significantly impact the line and displace it.

Thicker lines also pose challenges to cast at a longer distance. They can't cut through the winds as efficiently, and due to poor aerodynamics, they can't reach the aim. Therefore, it's paramount that you get the thinnest line possible for the type of fish you want to catch.

Of course, if you want more tests, the thickness of the line will increase. Hence, people try to get the thinnest line possible with the lightest strength for the type of fish they want to capture. You don't need excessive tests or thicknesses to capture bigger or stronger fishes.

Correlatively, the thickness may impact the buoyancy of the line. It also impacts the visibility as thinner lines are harder to notice. You will learn more about these factors below.

Buoyancy or density

Depending on the type of fishing you plan on doing, the line's buoyancy and density will play the most integral role possible. The naturally denser lines than water will always sink while others would float on the water or have a harder time sinking. So it comes down to the type of fishing.

For water surface and fly fishing types, you might need lighter lines that would float. Meanwhile, to reach the deeper ends in the water, you'd require a denser line. Most of the crankbait anglers use denser lines. However, you can impact the sinking of the line by using different types of lures.

A lure may enable your line to sink better, regardless of the density. Buoyancy strongly depends on your preference and type of fishing.

Stretching capacity

The sensitivity of your line primarily depends on its ability to stretch. If the line stretches less, you will have an easier time getting the 'sense' of the water and the line. You will be more aware of any activity or even the fish's most subtle actions on the water lines.

There are two types of fish mouths – hard mouth and soft mouth. A soft mouth fish requires gentle hooking; otherwise, the hook might rip out of their mouth. Meanwhile, hard-mouthed fish require more force and sharper hooks for a stable grasp. A line with less sensitivity makes it easier for you to penetrate the mouth of hard mouth fishes.

Similarly, as there is less stretch, you can use the 'sling-shot' method to immediately pull the fish out of the water with excessive force without needing to 'play' or 'fight' with the fish. On the other hand, a more stretchable line is better for soft mouth fishes as it would enable the hook to settle adequately.

It's not great for heavier fishes to snap and pull the fishes that could break the line. So stretchable lines can withstand that pressure and enable you to pull them easier. However, more stretchable lines make it harder for you to sense the fishes. For most beginners, stretchable lines are more suitable than rigid alternatives.

Shock resistance

The stretchability of your line also impacts the shock resistance. The same quality of the line will prevent it from snapping if it receives a sudden impact like a pull or attack from fishes and other objects. Many anglers prefer more shock resistant lines for hard-hitting fishes.

Apart from stretchability, shock resistance also depends on the line's thickness, density, and material. It's almost as important as the line test because, without resistance, a lighter test line won't support fishing for heavier fishes.


This one is a very straightforward consideration. The memory of the line is its ability to retain shape. In this case, the lines come in 'reels,' and if they have higher memory, they will have curves, even spirals as you unwind them. This is not a good quality in the line.

For a good fishing line, you need the least memory possible. A line should unwind straight instead of bending or curving in any manner. You wouldn't want higher memory because it will tangle with all of your rod's components and make it harder for you to spool or redirect the line.

There isn't any scenario in which having better memory is a good thing. Therefore, it is the primary feature you can check on the line to see if it's worth your consideration.

Abrasion resistance or durability

The water is full of a wide range of obstacles and challenges. There are rocks, branches, trees, and then the mouth of the fishes itself. Some fishes may be able to cut your line if it lacks abrasion resistance. Similarly, less durable lines are also prone to get cut or snapped while hitting the rocks or rubbing against them.

Therefore, it's pivotal to find fishing lines that have higher abrasion resistance. Of course, the line may wear out over time due to consistent use or exposure to other elements. To have a longer-lasting line, it would be better to check for anti-element factors.

Anti-element factors

Almost every angler prefers fishing during the daytime, and it exposes your line and other equipment to sunlight. As you consider anti-UV quality for other essential gear, it's also indispensable for your line. If you want your line to last longer and prove to be more value for money, it is a good factor to look for.

Over time, UV lights will impact your line's integrity and reduce its physical excellence from strength and durability to shock resistance. Therefore, anti-UV coating or material could be an excellent choice. Similarly, more resistance against corrosive water with higher ph, or saltwater resistance would be a good quality to look for in a line.

It would also help your rod as the line would get wet and carry the water to the reel, which could drip on the rod and what not. So if you have a more resistant line, it significantly extends the life of your gear.

Visibility or color

Finally, the visibility or color of the line can play a prominent role in catching the fishes. Fishes are not mindless creatures. They have enough capacity to think. If they notice the line and deduct that something is wrong, they would most likely not attack the lure or the bait. Depending on the color of the water and its quality, the visibility could matter significantly.

Using more natural or blending colors help make the thread harder to notice. However, it could pose similar challenges for you to keep track of your lines and such. Therefore, it comes down to your expertise and how much visibility you can compromise. Some lines are so transparent that they blend with the cleanest water and remain invisible.

Different types of lines


This one's perfect for beginners and often has great buoyancy for shallow water fishing. Monofilament is the cheapest option and comes with a wide range of color options, which makes it highly versatile. It is a single thread polymer, often consisting of nylon as a primary material.

You get high stretching ability, which hinders hypersensitivity but acts well to withstand higher pressure and force. Nylon can further absorb water for more stretchability. However, it is less durable and less resistant to other elements. Thanks to its ability to recycle, it is one of the most eco-friendly methods available.

If you're not experienced and don't want to go into deeper waters for hard mouth fishes, monofilament will meet your needs. Monofilament can vary in memory. Some would have less memory, while others could have a higher memory. So that's something to look out for. Coincidentally, mono is great for larger fishes, as well.


Think of copolymer as an upgraded version of monofilament with a blend of two or more polymers instead of a single nylon thread. It has lesser stretchability and more shock resistance with ease of knotting. You get less memory than monofilament, and it seems like a copolymer is certainly an improved version in every aspect.

However, it has less buoyancy, so it doesn't float as much as monofilament, allowing you to get deeper into the waters. That's its key strength and drawback. Similarly, copolymers are not as cost-effective and cost more than monofilament. Despite a stronger construct, it's still weak against sunlight and other elements similar to monofilament.


The first thing to consider in braided lines is the strands. It can have anywhere between two or four to up to sixteen strands. Why does it matter? It impacts the finesse of the line. More strands mean a thinner line. However, lesser strands mean more abrasion resistance, which means that it is more versatile. However, braided lines have no stretchability or memory.

Braid is that heavy-duty performer you use in water with too much weed, grass, vegetation, and other obstacles. It is better in water with less clarity. Otherwise, it will stand out easily due to its thickness. Braided requires heavy-duty gear, or else it would end up damaging your rods and other parts of the gear.

The best game you can play with braided is powerful hooking capacity. It's great for the anglers who rely on their hook's penetration and catching power to get the fish. Braided lines also have the thinnest diameter, making them great for more depth and longer casts.


Here you have a line that is perfect for its lesser visibility and higher durability. Fluorocarbon is one of the most expensive lines available in the market and a premium-grade choice. It brings you high precision due to less stretching under normal conditions. Still, it has high stretchability if apt force is applied. Thus, making it shock resistant. More importantly, it is highly durable and doesn't succumb to abrasion.

However, fluorocarbon's primary drawback is the inability to tie knots that require more practice and precision than other lines. It is denser and provides better feedback. In clear water, this can be your ace. Correlatively, it has a high sinking ability and would be more suitable for deeper waters.

FAQs: Best Fishing Lines

Q: How to find the right line according to the reel?

A: To find the right line, you have to check the capacity of the reel. The general rule of thumb is to get one size smaller. Sometimes, you can use one size larger than the reel's support. Usually, the capacity of the reel is showcased with test and length.

If it reads something like 6lbs/12yards mono, it means that the reel can support a mono with a 6 lbs test and 12 yards long. You can use mono's specs for fluorocarbon, as well. However, you can't use it for braids, as reels have different specs mentioned for braids.

Q: Does rod's flexibility matter for a line?

A: Yes, the rod's flexibility will determine the type of stretchability you want for your line. If it's a medium to slow action rod, it means that it is too flexible, so pairing it with monofilament might not be a great idea. Higher actions can tolerate more stretchability. You have to balance these factors according to your requirement.

Q: How long does a fishing reel last?

A: It depends on how frequently you fish. Most of the fishing lines may last for around two to three years on average. If you get anti-element protection, it could last longer.

Q: Which color is best for the fishing line?

A: It depends on the water's condition and the time of the day, but the green line seems to work best for murky water, while transparent or white is better for clear waters.

Q: How to clean and maintain fishing lines?

A: Use soapy water to clean and rinse the line. Always use the special grease that comes for lines. The grease will prevent corrosion on the line and make them last longer. Once you are done using the line, spool it in your reel and store it separately from the rod in a mesh back. That prevents the guides or other parts of the rod from impacting the line's durability.

Q: Does bait or lure stack with your line's abilities?

A: Yes, almost every part of your fishing gear works together to bring you complete access to skills. You can't focus on a single part. You have to choose the right rod, leaders, reels, and even the bait to ensure you can indulge in a good fishing activity that works with your line.


Now you won't have any problem finding the best fishing lines. If you need a quick selection, then different types of lines cover that segment. Hopefully, the common questions and other points clarify why the fishing line is so important for anglers. Once you understand the attributes, you can get the best reels according to your preference.

To determine the right line, decide the type of fish and water, and consider the above-given attributes. That will always get you the best selection. Always make sure that the stretchability, strength, and color of the line matters the most.

Additionally, you have to consider other parts and gears, as well. You can't just choose your fishing lines first and then the gear or vice-versa. Ensure that you cover every vital aspect to get the best fishing experience. / - © Copyright 2020