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Got a spinning reel? Not sure which type of line to use with it?
Fear not, we’ve produced this guide to the different fishing line types and the best lines to use with your reel.
Sneak Peak: Top Rated Fishing Lines (for Spinning Reels)
- Stren Original Service Spool (Monofilament)
- Power Pro Spectra Fiber Fishing Line (Braided)
- Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon Line
- Berkley Trilene Big Game (Monofilament)
- Piscifun Lunker Braided Fishing Line (Braided)
- Berkley Trilene XL (Monofilament)
- Sunline Super FC Sniper Fishing Line (Fluorocarbon)
Types Of Line For Spinning Reels
Braided Fishing Lines
Braid tends not to stretch and is extremely tough. Yup, these lines are the most resistant to damage and breaking out of the three. When you’re setting the hook, you’re less likely to lose the fish. In most cases the tense line helps set that hook and you can begin to start thinking about reeling in.
We recommend using braided lines if you’re fishing from a kayak. Because fishing from a kayak is the opposite in tense (floating on the water really doesn’t help!), countering with the tight and tense braid really helps out with the hook set
They are a lot thinner than the others. The line goes through the guides easier resulting in further casting. This is especially the case with light lures.
Top Tip for Braid: Fill the Spool!
It’s best to fill the spool up as much as possible. By doing this, there’s less friction between the line and the edge of the spool – making casting easier. So, use monofilament for at least the first third of the spool. Then use braided line onwards. This should help stop the braid from spinning on the reel.
Note that if you have bought a shorter line, it can be hard to know how much mono line to put on (if you used a big reel of braid, this issue doesn’t arise of course). This can mean either your braided line doesn’t fill the spool completely, or you waste a lot of line that can’t be used again.
To get around this you can ‘reverse’ the process if you have an identical spare spool. You just put the braided line on the spare first, then top up with mono line. Then remove the mono line from the spare spool, and wind it onto the main spool, followed by the braided line. This results in a perfectly proportioned mono/braid spool!
Make sure you have a durable reel that can handle the drag.
The other way to accomplish a good mono/braid ratio is to get your tackle store to do it for you!
A 6 pound braided line takes up less room as a 6 pound mono. This means that you get a lot more line on your spool.
With all of this goodness, there are some downsides too. The price for a start. Expect to pay up to 5 times more for a braided line. You ain’t getting the good stuff cheap! Having said that, compared to forking out for all the other essential fishing gear, the extra cost probably isn’t going to bankrupt you.
Also, the line is more visible to the fish. Yup, fish can see too! If fish see the line it may scare them off from biting.
Oh, and while high tension is a good thing generally (as we mentioned earlier), sometimes it can go against you. If a big strong fish bites and fights the line, it may be so strong that it can rip the hook right out of its mouth. If a mono or fluoro line was used, this might not have happened as the stretch may have lessened the chance of a vicious yank dislodging the hook.
So overall, braid lines are great for bass fishing in murky waters, especially when you want to cast further.
Monofilament Fishing lines
Ok, so now let us look at the cheapest lines out of the bunch. And yes, cost is one of the major benefits here.
Monofilament lines (often referred to as ‘mono’ lines) float well. So, for top water fishing (keeping the bait afloat), this is a good bet. Note that braid lines also float pretty good too!
Mono lines tend to have a lot more stretch in them and less tension compared to braid. So, if a fish bites, there’s less chance of losing it when you’re trying to reel it in because the hook won’t tear out of the fish’s mouth so easily.
On the flipside, because mono lines are less tense, they are less sensitive. So, it’s possible you have a bite but you may not necessarily feel it.
Braided lines can sit within their reels for months and keep their shape. One of the negative aspects of mono lines is that they tend to coil up more easily. This can result in coils and a mess in your reel, which can end up looking like spaghetti – in other words, all twisted up!
Mono lines are thicker than braided, resulting in less casting distance. Don’t assume that because it’s thicker it means that it’s stronger. Mono lines are more susceptible to breaking. So beware if you get caught up in the cover.
The sun will damage monofilament lines more easily (UV light are a killer). This means that you’re going to have to replace the line more often.
Monofilament lines are great for all-round fishing, and is a good choice for beginners.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines
Almost invisible under water. Fluorocarbon lines are great to use in clear water as there is less chance of the fish being scared off by the line.
Downsides are the price. While they mostly aren’t quite as expensive as braided lines, they are still way more expensive than monos.
Because of the lack of line memory, it’s also easier to twist up, resulting in tangles within your reel.
Like the mono lines, the line is relatively thicker too. So, they don’t cast as far and you are more limited to how much line you can fit onto your reel.
While not UV resistant, they sit somewhere in the middle of durability between braided and mono lines.
Following on from our braided tip earlier, it can be a good idea to place mono line on your reel first, then wind on fluorocarbon.
So, summing up, fluorocarbon lines are a good suit for clearwater fishing. But don’t be put off by the negatives we pointed out. Like most things in life, the more you pay the better the quality. Better quality means a tougher line with thinner line diameter. Also the higher quality fluorocarbon lines have a thicker coating on them, making them less prone to abrasion and damage.
Line Features You Need To Be Aware Of
Should The Line Be Invisible?
Having your fishing line be invisible to the fish is often what many anglers will go for. If the fish can’t see the line it can mean they’re more likely to take your bait because they can’t see that it’s attached to anything.
However, when the line is invisible, it may make it more difficult for you to see where it is. Some anglers might prefer to see their line so that they know when a fish bites.
With fluorocarbon line often being the most invisible to the fish underwater, sometimes it can be useful to use a fluorocarbon line as a leader and use another type of line as your main line. This can combine the benefits or preferences for two types of line while keeping the leader line as invisible to the fish as possible.
You will discover that fishing lines often come in a variety of colors. This is because certain colors can be more likely to blend in with certain types of water than others. For example, if the water has a green tint to it, you may find that a green line may be less visible underwater than a clear line.
On the other hand, if you’re fishing in very clear water, it might be better to fish with an invisible clear line.
Lines also come in more high visibility colors, but this will tend to mean that they’re more highly visible to you rather than the fish. High visibility colors can be useful if you want to see your line move when there’s a small hint of a bite, which may be helpful if you’re using less sensitive line.
However, some highly visible colors, such as yellow, may be also be visible to the fish, unless the water is particularly murky. Some colors, including pink, on the other hand, may lose their visibility at certain depths, which can make it more difficult for the fish to see but you should still be able to see your line on the surface.
Some fishing lines are designed to prevent or reduce twisting. Line twist can often happen on spinning reels if the lure on the end manages to rotate around the end of the line. It’s then only a matter of time before it works its way up to the rest of your line.
This can mean your line can become tangled when casting or it won’t cast as far. But there are some ways you can prevent your line from twisting, such as by putting the line on the reel with the flat side of the line-spool facing you, so that the line is going on your reel spool in the same direction as it’s coming off the line-spool.
It can also be a good idea not to start reeling in a fish while it’s pulling line away, as the line can become twisted as it’s wound back on the reel.
Video: How To Avoid Line Twist
Best Fishing Lines For Spinning Reels
1: Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line (Braided)
Ok, so first up is our choice for braided fishing line. This extra strong line is also extra thin, giving you more sensitivity along with a line that is much less likely to break.
Comes in a variety of sizes and test weights, plus you can spool from the box.
The packaging is also designed to protect the remaining line, so you can easily store it and keep it separate from other lines.
This microfilament braided line is also designed to feel smooth in order to reduce friction, which could mean you cast a greater distance and it may make it easier to knot. It’s a green braided line, which could be good for fishing in green tinted water or water with lots of vegetation.
This line comes with a built-in cutter and arbor tape.
2: Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line (Fluorocarbon)
This fluorocarbon line features a triple resin coating to help resist against abrasion.
It is recommended for heavy cover use and with its low memory, there’s less chance of the line spoiling in the reel.
The line’s low memory also means that it could make it easier to cast.
This strong and durable line is made from 100% fluorocarbon and the triple coating could also make it easy to tie knots, as it has a soft and supple feel. It could be a good choice for fishing in clear water.
The line comes in a range of sizes and weights, from 5 pounds to 20 pounds and up to 1,200 yards.
3: Stren Original Service Spool (Monofilament)
With its tough knot strength, this offering from Stren is tough, abrasive resistant and would be a good consideration for beginners or occasional users.
This monofilament line comes in a range of sizes and weights and has UV protection to help boost durability and longevity. It is designed to be easy to use and cast, with low memory, which could make it a good choice for beginners.
It’s a strong, clear line designed to offer a high level of abrasion resistance but it’s also built to be supple enough to allow you to tie a knot easily. It has a good level of sensitivity so you can feel even small bites.
This line can be ideal for both freshwater and saltwater angling.
4: Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
This Seaguar fishing line is made from 100% fluorocarbon and is designed to have a high level of invisibility under water so the fish should not be able to notice it.
It is a supple yet strong line with good sensitivity and low memory, which can make casting easy, as well as improved knot strength. It also benefits from having UV protection which can help extend the life of the line.
This high density line is non-absorbent, chemical resistant and should be unaffected by cold conditions. It can be ideal for both spinning reels and baitcasting reels and can be used in both freshwater and saltwater.
5: Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line
This Berkley Trilene monofilament fishing line comes in a range of sizes and weights from 10 pounds to 100 pounds, as well as a variety of colors to suit your fishing conditions.
The line is built to be shock resistant with controlled stretch, designed to give you more power to fight big fish. However, this can mean it may not be as sensitive as other lines that have less or zero stretch.
This monofilament line is also built for strength, durability and abrasion resistance, so might be a good choice for fishing in cover or near structure as it’s designed to stand up to sharp or rough objects.
It can be ideal for using in both saltwater and freshwater.
6: Piscifun Lunker Braided Fishing Line
This braided fishing line from Piscifun has very low memory and can be ideal for spinning reels. The high sensitivity of the line means you should be able to feel even the slightest hit from a fish.
It comes in a range of colors, lengths and test weights, from 6 pounds up to 80 pounds. The line has a nano-coating treatment that helps to improve durability as well as give the line a smoother feel which reduces friction.
The coating also means the line is abrasion resistant, which can be ideal for fishing in areas of vegetation or around structures. Additionally, the line is built to cut through water faster thanks to its thin but strong diameter.
7: Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Fishing Line
This monofilament Berkley Trilene XL fishing line comes in a variety of sizes and test weights. It is designed to be very easy and smooth to cast, which could be ideal for beginners and could help you to cast over greater distances.
It also benefits from low memory, which can help to prevent it from coiling and it is designed to be resistant to twists and kinks.
As well as low memory, the line is also sensitive, so you can feel if your bait hits the bottom or if a fish takes a bite. It is built to be strong and can be used with a range of different baits, as well as for various fishing techniques.
What type of line do you use, and why? Tell us about it below!