How To Choose a Fishing Line?

When you’re out fishing, knowing how to choose a fishing line is super important. With so many choices, it might feel a bit confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.

The fishing line you use affects how far you can cast, feel bites, and handle different fishing situations. In this guide, we’ll talk about the important things to think about when choosing a fishing line. We want to help you make smart choices based on the way you like to fish and the fish you’re going for.

Whether you like fishing in ponds or the salty sea, understanding different fishing lines will make your fishing trips way better. So, let’s start by figuring out to choose a fishing line and make it easier for you out on the water!

Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Line?

Get a fishing line first, even before getting other fishing gear. I want to make it clear – the fishing line is the most important thing in your tackle box, no doubt about it.

Why is the fishing line so crucial? Because it’s what stands between you and the fish, making it possible for you to catch it. The right choice of line can affect and improve how you present your bait because it’s the direct link between you and the fish.

When you pick the right fishing line and reel, you can cast smoothly and cover long distances without any trouble. The choice you make can be the difference between getting a bite or not. It’s also a big factor in feeling those bites, and whether you can hook and bring in the fish successfully.

Many anglers invest a good amount in pricey rods and reels but opt for cheap fishing lines from the bargain bin. This can lead to frustration and missed catches. Let’s start by exploring how to choose the right fishing line for your setup in this article.

Later on, we’ll take a look at the various types of fishing lines and understand when each type is most effective. The last step will be to go over how to pick the right line for a particular fishing method or technique.

How To Choose a Fishing Line?

When choosing a fishing line, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision for your fishing needs. Here are some key things to look for:

1. Nylon, Dacron, Spectra, Dyneema

It’s a great choice for fishing lines because it balances strength, stretch, and resistance to wear. Nylon is made from tough and stretchy stuff called linear polyamides, and it’s the oldest and most widely used synthetic fiber in fishing lines. Dacron, made by DuPont in the late 1950s from long chains of polyester, is another option. It’s strong, flexible, and doesn’t stretch much, which can be better than Nylon in certain situations.

Today’s fishing line makers use super-strong polyethylene fibers known as Spectra and Dyneema. These fibers outperform steel by being much stronger, more durable, and way lighter than polyester. There’s really no contest.

Spectra and Dyneema are extra strong compared to regular nylon. Because they can be wound on a smaller spool, they make your fishing gear lighter. This means you can have more fishing line on your reel without making it heavy. For example, a Spectra line with a strength of 130 pounds is about as thick as a regular 30-pound nylon line.

2. Line Stretch

Anglers want fishing lines with less stretch so they can feel the fish better. However, when trolling, a bit of line stretch can be helpful. It acts like a shock absorber when dealing with fish like salmon, which have softer mouths. This stretch helps absorb shocks, like when setting the hook or reeling in the catch.

2. Castability

For more accurate and longer casts, it’s a good idea to use smooth and light fishing lines, especially when you’re doing active styles of fishing that involve casting a lot.

3. Line Memory

Fishing lines have less memory than humans and computers, and that makes sense because we don’t use them as much. When we talk about memory in a line, we’re talking about its ability to keep its shape after being bent or stretched.

Lines with high memory “remember” the loops they form when wound on spools. When a line comes off the spool without much memory, it stays straight. This means less drag on the reel and guides, allowing for longer and smoother casts.

4. Line Strength

A crucial feature of a fishing line is its strength, measured in pounds by the test term. It’s best to use a line that matches the size of the fish you’re after. For instance, if you’re aiming for tuna weighing around 30 pounds, go for a 30-pound line. When casting for trout, a 4-pound test line is usually suitable.

When fishing for big game fish, it’s advised to go for a braided line with a test of at least 30 pounds. A general rule is to use the lightest gear possible for a more enjoyable experience without wearing yourself out. However, in competitions where the test is specified, using light lines becomes essential for successfully landing heavy fish.

Success in fishing needs skill, experience, and a passion for the fight. In tournaments, the line must break after the rating, while with regular lines, it usually breaks above the rating for records to count.

How To Choose The Right Fishing Line Type?

If you’re getting ready for casting or spinning, you need to decide on the type of fishing line. Your choice of line really matters for how heavy your line is and how well it works. What’s good for one person might not be good for another, so pick the right one for you.

First, decide which fish species you’re going for. Are you focusing on bass, or are you also after trout or toothy fish like musky or pike? Knot selection is crucial, and consider the reel sizes for this type of fishing. Regardless of the line type, use the Palomar knot for tying.

Monofilament Line

We’ve all heard this saying while growing up. Mono, short for monofilament, is not only soft and flexible but also easy to cast. It comes in various colors and has different characteristics, like being reasonably resistant to abrasion. This material is quite stretchy, making it great for absorbing the shock from big fish strikes or long battles.

In deeper water or when bottom fishing, the stretch in mono makes the hook less sensitive and a bit tricky to set. Despite having a larger diameter, it’s the strongest. However, it’s inexpensive, but it can develop memory coils and isn’t super durable. Mono is great for topwater lures because it floats. Good brands for mono include Maxxima, Trilene, and Stren.

Copolymer Line

Unlike monofilament or nylon lines, copolymer lines are made by combining different types of lines, such as fluorocarbon and nylon. This combination results in a more manageable and easier-to-cast line.

Fluorocarbon keeps certain features like low stretch, neutral buoyancy, and low visibility, but it’s notably stronger in terms of tensile strength. The good news is, it’s much more affordable than pure fluorocarbons.

When I’m into power fishing with bait cast setups, especially using crankbaits or spinnerbaits, I opt for Copolymer line. It not only casts smoothly but also works well with spinning reels. P-Line’s and Trilene’s Copolymers are solid choices for this kind of fishing.

Braided Line

My favorite is the braided line. It’s made by weaving together materials like Kevlar, Dyneema, or Spectra. Casting with it is a breeze, and it’s incredibly strong. To steer clear of the line management problems mentioned earlier, be sure to spool braid on a casting reel with a much thicker test than a non-braided line.

Not all braided lines are the same. Usually, the tighter the weave, the thinner the line’s diameter, and the more flexible it is for casting. Stiff braids don’t work well with spinning or casting reels, causing problems with line management.

Great options for braided lines include Sunline FX, Berkley Fireline, and Suffix. These braids are designed with a “flatter” cross-section, making them well-suited for spinning reels.

What are the Properties of the Top Three Fishing Lines?

The following are the top three fishing lines according to their properties:

1. Monofilament Line

Monfilament Line’s properties are as follows:

  • Material: Monofilament lines are typically made from a single strand of nylon, although other materials like fluorocarbon or copolymer blends can be used.
  • Visibility: Monofilament is more visible underwater compared to fluorocarbon, which can be a disadvantage in clear water but an advantage in situations where visibility is not a concern.
  • Stretch: Monofilament has more stretch compared to other types of lines. This can be beneficial in situations where shock absorption is needed, such as when using topwater lures or fishing in areas with heavy cover.

Knot Strength: Monofilament generally has good knot strength, and knots are easier to tie compared to some other lines.

2. Copolymer Line

Copolymer Line properties are as follows:

  • Composition: Copolymer lines are made by blending different types of polymers, often combining the best features of monofilament and fluorocarbon.
  • Strength and Sensitivity: Copolymer lines often have a good balance of strength and sensitivity. They can offer better sensitivity than monofilament and less stretch, providing better control over the bait and improved hook-setting ability.
  • Abrasion Resistance: Copolymer lines can have good abrasion resistance, making them suitable for fishing in areas with rough cover.

3. Braided Line

Braided Line properties are as follows:

  • Material: Braided lines are made from multiple strands of synthetic fibers such as Spectra or Dyneema.
  • Strength-to-Diameter Ratio: Braided lines have a high strength-to-diameter ratio, meaning they are thinner yet stronger compared to monofilament or fluorocarbon lines of similar breaking strength.
  • Sensitivity: Braided lines have minimal stretch, providing excellent sensitivity. This makes them suitable for situations where detecting subtle bites or feeling structure is crucial.
  • Visibility: Braided lines are highly visible in the water, which can be a disadvantage in clear conditions. However, many anglers use a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader to mitigate visibility concerns.


In summary, picking the right fishing line is really important for a good fishing trip. The fishing line connects you to the fish and affects how you cast, feel bites, and catch fish. Different lines have different features, like strength, stretchiness, and memory.

The top three types of lines are monofilament, copolymer, and braided. Monofilament is stretchy and good for various situations. Copolymer balances strength and sensitivity, while braided lines are strong and don’t stretch much. Knowing about these lines helps you choose the one that suits your fishing style and makes your time on the water more enjoyable.

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