There are several types of fishing line in the market place and in this article I’ll try to explain the different kinds and their uses in your fishing. First we need to determine a few things that will help in your choice of line types. So let’s get started.
- What type reel will you be using?
- If you will be using a bait casting reel then you can use all three type lines listed below. But each line will have its place in the technique of fishing and lure type you’ll be using.
- How important is casting distance?
- If casting distance is important to keep from spooking fish then you will need a smaller diameter line for less wind resistance to get those longer casts.
- How important is line visibility to you and the fish?
- Do you need to see the line for light fish bites or will be you be fishing extremely clear water?
- Do you need a line that floats, sinks or suspends?
- Will you be fishing deep diving crankbaits, or using suspending jerkbaits or how about floating Topwater lures?
- Is sensitivity important to you?
- Do you need the extra sensitivity while fishing finesse lures like small jigs or drop-shotting?
- How much shock resistance do you need in your line?
- When you are using fishing techniques like the Carolina Rig or the Alabama Rig?
- Will you be fishing where abrasions, nicks and scrapes are a problem?
- Will you be fishing around rip-rap rocks, zebra mussels or shell-beds?
Strength per diameter: How strong is the line at a given diameter?
Knot Strength: What strength is the line at the knot.
Abrasion Resistant: How your line holds up to nicks and scrapes.
Sensitivity: How you feel bites and what’s on the bottom through your rod and line.
Shock Resistant: How much strength your line has when you set the hook on a fish.
Clear: Clear line is transparent in clear water and is best when fishing for finicky fish.
Green: The perfect color for blending in with the underwater environment, like weeds or grass filled lakes and during algae blooms.
Clear-Blue: Has a light blue florescent color to it above the water and makes it easier to see than clear line. This line is used for night fishing when the fisherman uses a black-light to be able to see his line.
Hi-Vis Yellow or Solar Green: The best when you need a high visible line, also glows at night under a black-light.
Monofilament lines are the most common and cheapest of all the types of fishing lines on the market. More reels are spooled with this type line that the other two lines combined. If you buy a pre-spooled rod and reel combo or just a reel pre-spooled with line then it will be monofilament.
Pros and Cons of Monofilament Lines
• Pro: Cheap less expensive than the other line types
• Pro: Excellent line for most fishing conditions and for all reel types
• Pro: Monofilament stretches for good shock absorption
• Pro: Knots are strong and easy to tie
• Pro: Absorbs water which relaxes the line
• Con: You need to re-spool often with monofilament lines
I personally use monofilament for most of my fishing techniques. When I’m fishing crankbaits I use 10 pound monofilament on my slow speed bait casting reels. I also use this line for Shaky-heads, tubes and most top-water lures like Pop-R’s and Zara Spook type lures.
This type line is the most sensitive and the less visible to both you the fisherman and the fish.
It is virtually invisible underwater.
Sinks, and allows you to get your lures deeper and less slack in the line.
No water absorption which allows it to maintain it’s strength.
More sensitive to feel more bites and for finesse fishing lures.
Make sure to wet knots to keep from burning or friction damage to the line.
Braids and Super-lines
Up to 4 times stronger than monofilaments
Extremely strong for fishing heavy cover
Zero stretch for maximum sensitivity
Thinner diameter for longer casts and maximum line capacity
Longest lasting line
Where and When to Use
This is the line you want to use when fishing around any type of grass such as hydrilla, milfoils, coontail or lily-pads for example. The strong thin line will slice through a lot of these weed types allowing you to get your lure and fish out of this heavy cover. When flipping heavy cover you can haul out those huge bass that at buried down in the heavy cover without fear of breaking your line.
Some types of other lures I like to use braid with are lures such as a buzzbait, walking lures like the Zara Spook and Lucky Craft Sammy for example. Of course you want to use braid when fishing a Topwater frog and swimming frogs like Zoom’s Horny Toad or Stan Sloan’s Rabbit frogs.
Another setup I like to use braid with are bottom bumping lures such as a ½ to ¾ ounce football jig, a regular jig, a Carolina Rig and a 10” to 14” power worms. In this case I use a leader made from monofilament instead of a leader made from fluorocarbon. I do this because I want a little stretch in my line when I set the hook on these lures. If you use a titanium weight instead of lead you will have the ultimate feel or sensitivity for this setup. I unite these two types of lines with a double uni-knot for maximum strength.
Choosing the Right Line
Ultra-Light – Panfish (bluegill, crappie, etc)
Mono – 2 to 6 pound test.
Fluocarbon – 2 to 6 pound test.
Braid – 4 to 15 pound test.
Dropshotting – Smallmouth and Largemouth
Mono – 4 to 8 pound test
Fluorocarbon – 4 to 8 pound test
Jigs and Worms – Medium Weight Lines
Mono – 12 to 17 pound test
Fluorocarbon – 14 to 20 pound test
Braid – 15 to 30 pound test
Flipping and Pitching – Heavy Weight lines
Mono – 20 to 30 pound test
Braid – 20 to 65 pound test
Carolina Rig – Heavy Weight lines
Mono – Main line – 17 to 25 pound test – Leader – 14 to 20 pound test
Flurocarbon – Main line – 20 to 30 pound test – Leader – 15 to 20 pound test
Braid – Main line – 30 pound test – Leader (Mono) – 14 to 20 pound test
I hope this has helped you understand fishing lines and their places in our tool box of tools we use in bass fishing. There are more lines out there that are not covered (Nano, lead-core, fly-lines, etc) but you should now get the ideal of what type lines and the types of lines to use in your fishing trips.