Choosing The Right Type of Fishing Line
Too Many Choices
Depending on the size of the outdoors shop you frequent, or the inventory of the online shop you've been browsing, you may be presented with a intimidatingly vast variety of fishing lines. In a sense, they all do the same thing, however chances are there are a few best choices for an given fishing quarry.
What initially was intended to be a hub to outline the characteristics of each line, quickly got out of hand, so this will be a VERY brief rundown of line choices and selection criteria. For more in-depth analysis, possibly more depth than you ever cared, check out my other articles.
We'll first take a look at more specialized lines, and then wrap up with monofilament, as that will be used in most non-specialized settings.
Low to zero stretch, very sensitive, very high strength to diameter ratio, expensive, opaque (visible underwater), abrasive to rod and reel components
When to use
- When high sensitivity is required: jigging for example
- When fishing deep water
- When high strength test line is required (~40 lb and up)
- When a large amount of line is needed on the spool
Lower stretch, abrasion resistant, clearest line available, expensive, notoriously stiff (but getting better with newer strands)
When to use
- When line clarity is of utmost importance: finicky fish, gin clear water
- Mildly abrasive situations
Fluorocarbon line is not often used at main line due to high cost and stiff nature, however it makes a great leader material.
Best abrasion resistance, low stretch, high strength to diameter ratio, heavy (sinks), extremely stiff, expensive, metallic (reflective), can not cast, can not tie knots
When to use
- Highly abrasive situations
- Bite protection from toothy fish: Pike, Musky, Barracuda, Shark etc
- Deep water trolling
Heavy (sinks fast), stiff, low strength to weight ratio, opaque
When yo use
- Trolling without needing additional weight
Inexpensive, easy to find, forgiving, the workhorse of the fishing line world.
When to use it
- Most any situation not already listed above
- Default fishing line: if you aren't sure what type of line you need, just stick with monofilament
But what kind of monofilament you ask? Check this out for everything monofilament!
And many more...
There are of course numerous other types of lines that are even more specialized than these, like fluorocarbon coated monofilament or unbraided dynema fiber line. There also exists situations when a specialized line may be beneficial that have not been mentioned here, but I tried to hit the big ones. If you have any questions about your specific fishing situation, just ask, I will gladly give the best advice I can.
Just some of the names to look for. There is likely no best choice from brand to brand, but some are definitely superior.
Braid: PowerPro, Tuf Line, Fireline, Spider Wire
Fluorocarbon: Sea Guard, Maxima, P-Line
Lead Core: Mason, Suffix
Monofilament: Trilene, P-Line, Suffix