Best Fishing Lines Reviews and Guide
Shopping for the best fishing line is not the most exciting thing ever.
It isn’t flashy like a new reel with a high tech set of gears. It doesn’t get the juices pumping when you hold it like a glass blank does. You just can’t envision yourself landing a trophy when you’re looking at a wall of fishing line.
It is a direct link between you and your prize in the most literal of ways, however.
There is no reel, rod, lure or trick that can help you if your fishing line is not up to the task. Choose your fishing line well and enjoy the challenge of landing a fish of a lifetime. Choose poorly and make sure you have your story ready of the one that got away.
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Not all fishing lines are created equal. Some are very inexpensive and perform way above what their price would indicate. Others cost a lot and when they snap off, the high price is obviously not justified.
Before we do our best fishing lines review, let’s discuss the different types of fishing line.
What kind of fishing lines are there?
The four main types of fishing line are monofilament, braided, flourocarbon and nonfilament. Each has it’s own benefits and drawbacks.
You might find yourself using all four of those on any given day based on your fishing needs. Since some perform better than other for certain tasks, there isn’t one that’s better than the other. They all simply have different characteristics.
Of course, within each of those types there are fishing line brands that perform well and others that don’t. That is where it gets tricky to pick the right fishing line.
First, we will talk about each of the different types of fishing line and then go into details about what brands are the best.
Braided line is one of the earliest types of fishing line going back centuries. Originally it was linen braided together to make a tight and very strong line.
The modern version is still based on the same principle of taking thin, but very strong line and winding them together to make an even stronger finished fishing line.
Rather than linen, today’s braid is made of synthetic material. Either Spectra, Dyneema or Dacron.
The strength of the line comes from the fact that these materials are all woven together. Think of how strong a suspension bridge is by the way they weave the metal cords together.
Braided line is ⅓ to ¼ the diameter of monofilament fishing line and much stronger and resistant to abrasion. It is not unusual for a braided line to handle fish above it’s stated limit.
Besides the benefit of being extremely strong for it’s minimal diameter, it is also very sensitive since it doesn’t have much stretch. When you are targeting species with a very light bite, like walleye or sea bass, then you want to feel every nibble. Braid is great for that.
When a fish like tautog can feel you try to set the hook before you actually do it, then having braided line with no stretch won’t tip the fish off that the hook is about to be set. There isn’t a delay while the line stretches like you get from some mono line.
When I go tog fishing I only use braided line. Not to mention that they like to find cover in the rocks when they are hooked and have been known to cut off a mono line on the sharp rocks.
The flipside of the benefit of the lack of stretch is that braided line is not very forgiving if your drag is set to tightly.
I mistakenly had my drag set as tight as it could go without realizing it once. I hooked into a monster fish that turned my kayak around 180 degrees. As soon as I tried to set the hook it snapped. If I had remembered in time that my drag was not set properly, I would be showing off pictures of my trophy instead of the one that got away. A mono line might have tipped me off by stretching a bit first before it snapped.
Braid also has a tendency to birds nest when casting into the wind since it is so thin and lightweight.
Mono as it is affectionately called, is a single thread of plastic line made out of different polymers. It has different thicknesses for different tensile strengths.
Monofilament is really cheap to produce and is great for the budget fisherman since technology has made it possible to create an inexpensive fishing line that is still very strong.
Mono has a few benefits as well as a few negatives.
As already mentioned, it has some stretch. That can be a good or bad thing. It’s bad when the bite is very light and you can’t feel it due to the stretch. It’s good when you have a big fish on the line and it stretches before it snaps allowing you to adjust your drag in time.
It also is harder to be seen by fish with good vision. And the various colors can blend into many different water types. Some fish like striped bass can be spooked by the line since they have such good vision. Being inexpensive means you can have many different colors in your tackle bag to match the color of the waters you are fishing in.
Even when using another type of line, like braid, it pays to have some mono on hand. Braid has trouble staying on the spool and a few cranks of mono backing can prevent slippage.
Mono also absorbs water which makes it less likely to knot up as braid sometimes can do.
Flouro is very similar to mono in the material they use to make it. The biggest difference however is in the weight.
It’s more dense and heavy than mono and has less stretch to it. This is great for line strength and durability. It isn’t as likely to break because of abrasion and can handle a lot of stress.
Flouro also has less slack in the line. The benefit of that is that you have less line in the water. Making it more of a straight line means keeping it tight and less chance of a fish shaking the hook off if the line goes slack.
Another advantage is that light refracts through it in such a way that it is almost invisible underwater. Line shy fish will have trouble picking it up.
The negatives are that because of the density, the higher test line can be quite thick. Trying to tie a knot with 50 pound test flourocarbon with freezing fingers can be a challenge to say the least!
The density of flouro also works against it. It’s heaviness when it is cast can lead to birds nests once the bail is closed. It is much better suited to conventional reels.
Flouro for spinning reels is best when used as a leader for either mono or braided lines.
Best Fishing Lines Reviews in 2016
We reviewed the best fishing lines in 2016. Check out and feel free to find out more about each item by clicking on the links.
10. South Bend Monofilament Fishing Line
There’s nothing worse than the feeling of losing a fish because the know wouldn’t hold. Having a monofilament fishing line that has great knot strength is essential to any fisherman. It’s even better when the price for that kind of knot is economical like the South Bend monofilament.
This fishing line has a very small diameter but packs a lot of strength. When you are bottom fishing in a rocky area this is a great mono fishing line to use. It resists abrasion very well.
For finicky and line shy fish, you need a clear, thin mono like South Bend to present your bait or lure without them noticing the line.
And if you need a good backing of mono this is a great way to have some always on hand for a great price.
9. Spectra 100%Pre Braided Fishing Line Gray 100m-2000m 6-300Lb Test
Some fishermen would love to use braided line, but the price usually keeps them from going for it. Braided line can get quite expensive.
This Spectra braided line from Extreme Braid comes in at much less than other big brand braided fishing line without sacrificing any performance.
What you get from this braid is great strength and durability that you would expect from a Spectra made braid. From 6lb test all the way to 300lb, you can find a line for whatever type of fishing you will be doing. Your bottom fishing outings will definitely improve since you will feel every nibble from the sensitivity of the line.
A little detail that I really like is the fact that it is a round braid rather than flat. It lays much better in the spool than one that is flat. Casting is a breeze as the line comes out of the very evenly.
8. Berkley Fireline Fused Crystal Superline
Not quite braid, but not mono either, the Berkley Fireline is a class of its own.
It is made from Dyneema like most braids, but, it is thermally fused making it even stronger and thinner than your typical braided line. It goes above and beyond the test limits. In fact they have their own rating system. A 6lb test line is 14/6 lb. Meaning that your 6 lb test actually comes in at a 14 pound rating with a lower diameter than a typical 14 lb test braid.
This braided line is 3-4 times stronger than your typical monofilament line. And it is much more abrasion proof than many of its competitors. This braid saved me a few times when fishing for toothy bluefish that would have torn my mono to shreds. Instead it held up great and led to an awesome day fishing for monster blues.
When fishing in very clear water, this should be your go-to braided fishing line as it is almost undetectable by even the most line shy fish around.
It’s so easy to tie and thread a hook since it is so thin. The 6 lb test is not much thicker than a human hair. It really is amazing. It casts incredibly well, but, still doesn’t get wind knots due to how light it is.
This stuff is not cheap, but for what you get out of a fishing line, I highly recommend it.
7. KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line – 100% Pure Fluorocarbon Coated
Another hybrid style fishing line is the KastKing FlouroKote fishing line. It’s not a pure flourocarbon fishing line as it is also made with copolymer like mono.
The result is a fishing line with the thinness of a mono but the performance of a flouro fishing line. It has the high density that sinks quickly as you would expect from a flouro. As well as the great casting, low stretch, abrasion resistance and light refraction.
When you fill your spool with 100% KastKing Flourokote, you won’t end up with a day of frustrating wind knots, and loops as you would with a traditional flouro due to its lower memory quotient.
This fishing line has a nice, supple feel uncommon in flouro line making it much easier to tie a strong knot. I have had a few knots give out on me with high test flouro since they can be so thick and stiff. As mentioned earlier, your knot is probably the most important part of your rig and anything that helps you tie up a strong knot is well appreciated.
The best part about this line is the price. For the performance you get out of it, you would expect to pay double.
6. Stren Catfish Monofilament Fishing Line
When fishing for catfish, you need to have the right kind of fishing line. Mono is great since it is usually very abrasion resistant, but the stretch can make it difficult to pick up the subtle bite of a catfish.
Stren Catfish is designed specifically to help you land some nice catfish. It is a bright orange color easily during the day and also glows at night under black light. If you have ever done any catfishing, then you know you need to be able to see the line clearly to detect any bites.
Unlike most fish, catfish don’t care how visible the line is. As long as you can see the line, then you will lose less fish.
The strength of this mono really comes into play here when fishing for catfish. There are some real monsters lurking in that murky water. When you hook into one, you don’t want to have to worry about whether you rline will hold up or not.
Not to mention the branches that are also under there that can wreak havoc on an inferior mono line.
Stren should be in every fisherman’s tackle box that enjoys fishing for catfish.
5. Spiderwire Braided Stealth Superline
Spiderwire has long been known to be one of the best and strongest braided line out there. They have gotten even better with this latest in their braided line arsenal since it is 30% stronger than their last version.
They have all the details covered making this a top of the line braided fishing line.
I love the color lock technology that keeps the color of the line from getting washed off in the salt water. I’ve had cheap braid that goes from a nice dark green to a weird pink that I am sure was picked up by many fish.
The line is treated with a polymer making for an incredibly smooth cast that resists the dreaded wind knot. I don’t know how, but, this line also won’t damage your guides as some braided line can do.
This line is not cheap but if you are serious about your fishing you know that you get what you pay for when it comes to Spiderwire brand braided line. If you are out dinking around it doesn’t really matter what braid you use most of the time. When you are out to fight a tough fish, you want confidence in your line that it will perform.
Less wind knots, great casting, superb sensitivity and incredibly strong knots makes this a no brainer when you are looking for the best braided line.
4. KastKing Mega 8 Super Performance
Eight woven strands of polymer fiber make up the KastKing Mega 8 Super Performance braided fishing line. Those eight strands make this braid some of the strongest available giving the angler unparalleled performance.
It’s probably the most sensitive braided line I have ever used. Not only is it great for bottom fishing since you can detect even the slightest nibble, but it works wonders for lure fishing. Getting the action right on your lure comes naturally when you use a braid of this caliber.
Casting is smooth as silk with the thin, round line. I love round braided line for its ability to lay evenly on your spool. And coming out of the spool it peels off beautifully.
It also doesn’t matter what kind of structure you are around either. Those eight strands can resist most rocks and tree branches that might be lurking under the water.
If you are looking for that extra little bit of distance in your cast but hate the dreaded bird’s nest, you needn’t worry.
A winner of the iCast Award in 2015, it is a high quality braided line that still costs much less than its competitors and delivers much more.
3. Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament
Even with the more advanced flouro and braided lines out there, I still love to use mono. The other kinds of fishing line are great for certain circumstances, but mono is a great all around fishing line.
Berkley Trilene mono is the best, most consistent monofilament fishing line in my book. This fishing line is very strong and can absorb some pretty big shocks thanks to its stretch. What I love is that it doesn’t stretch too much, though. Not nearly as much as the weaker mono lines out there.
I fish in some pretty rocky areas and not once have I had a line give out because of abrasion. It’s very durable even while being very thin.
Being thin, it ties up into some great knots without any slippage. Perfect for tugging on some topwater lures and a big stripers comes pounding it.
There isn’t much more to say other than you should always have some mono on hand. You can’t go wrong with this Berkley Mono if you want consistency at a great price.
2. Stren High Impact Fishing Line
One of the best feelings when fishing is when a monster fish slams your lure. You feel the shock all the way up your arms!
The worst feeling is when you feel that shock and then…nothing. The line broke.
What you need to make sure that doesn’t happen to you is Stren High Impact mono fishing line.
This fishing line is designed with the angler who targets the big sport fish in mind. Whether you are on a large lake looking for a prize salmon or out offshore trolling for a tuna, this line will serve you well. You get versatility with this line.
1. Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line
If you have been paying attention at all, you now understand that not all braided fishing lines are created equal.
At the top of the list for best fishing lines has to be Power Pro Spectra.
It is extremely strong and durable for maximum performance that can face any conditions you want to throw at it.
Its profile is thin and round enabling it to even spool onto your reel and peels off smoothly when cast. Wind knots are a thing of the past as well as backlash and rod tip wrap arounds. Even if your line stays on your reel for too long, it won’t pick up any reel memory. It will cast smoothly as if you used it yesterday.
And those casts won’t cut your guides or get frayed by them either.
When you don’t have to worry about your line holding up during a tough fight with a fish, you know you have a winner. Anytime you have one less thing to worry about while fishing it makes the day that much better.
Now that you are armed with the information that you need to find the best fishing lines for your needs, it’s time to get out there and try them.
Pick one of each of the types of line I described and see which one is going to work best for you. As I said, there isn’t one fishing line that is going to be great at everything so you need to have an assortment in your tackle box.
Don’t overlook the importance of a good fishing line. Getting an inferior fishing line is like buying a new car and putting bicycle wheels on it!
You have the right reel. The custom rod. Lures that could be put in an art museum they are so well crafted. Don’t you think you should put the same kind of thought into your fishing line?