Fishing Line Guide (Choose The Right Fishing Line)

Fishing Line Guide (Choose The Right Fishing Line)

by | May 17, 2017 | Fishing Line, Gear and Tackle | 0 comments

Your fishing line is one of the most important things you can have between you and that trophy fish trying to get free from your hook.  We have put together a fishing line guide that will help you understand what kind of fishing line you can purchase, why all line is not the same, and why matching the right line to your gear is important.

Fishing Line Guide to Monofilament  fishing line

Monofilament fishing line has been around since the late 1930’s when DuPont company invented nylon.  Monofiliament fishing line is made from a single fiber of plastic.

Mono is very popular because it comes in a large range of diameters that can be fished in light tackle environments or in heavy offshore fishing for large fish.

Mono did not become super  popular until 1959 when DuPont introduced a product called Stren to the market.  This mono fishing line was much softer and now could be fished on a larger variety of reels like spinning and bait casting.

Tensile Strengths or Tests of monofiliament line

Mono now comes in a whole lot of tests.  From  2 pound test which is extremely thin and used on light rods and small reels all the way up to 400 pound test for monster fish.

Your reel and rod will be rated for certain test and you should follow the manufacture suggested test when spoiling up your gear.

Monofilament colors

Mono now comes in a variety of colors from clear, blue, smoke, green, pink, yellow, and reds.  There is a lot of speculation on the visibility of these lines underwater and what a fish can actually see.

We have always fished with clear and light blues for main line and fluorocarbon leaders.  We will discuss more on what fluorocarbon is below.

Fishing Line Guide
Source: Blog

Braid fishing line

Braid fishing line is made from woven fibers of materials such as Spectra or Dacron that become a strand of fishing line.  Fisherman love the fact that braid posses the following attributes.

  • It has very little stretch which make it ideal for fishing in deep current filled water.
  • Feeling the smallest bits.
  • Very abrasion resistance compared to monofilament line.
  • Great for bottom fishing for pulling fish away from structure.

Braid line is thin and strong

Braid line can be 1/3 to 1/4 the thickness of monofilament line at a given breaking strength of that line.  Because braid is thinner, anglers can spool up much more on the same reel size then monofilament line.

Cast Braid line farther

Because of the properties of braid fishing line anglers can cast much farther within the same environment then monofilament line.  This is helpful in certain situations when a long cast is needed.

What are some drawback of braided line?

  • Braid line is much more easily seen in water then mono and fluorocarbon material.  Anglers almost always tie a piece of flurorcarbon leader to the end of there braid line.
  • Because braid has a slippery surface to it anglers find it harder to tie knots with braid then monfilament line.
  • Because there is no stretch in the line hard running fish hooked close to a boat or land can cause the fish to pull free.


Fluorocarbon is denser and thicker then the same test as monofiliament and most commonly known for being more invisible in water making fluorocarbon a top choice in leader material because of its ability to be fished in clear water without being noticed.

The benefits of Fluorocarbon line

Low Visibility

Because fluorocarbon doesn’t distort light passing through it makes it nearly invisible under the water.  This is critical when fishing for skittish fish in clear water.

Fluoro is tough

Fluorocarbon has a higher abrasion resistance then standard monofilament line of the same diameter.

Water Proof

Fluorocarbon is waterproof unlike monofilament line meaning that it acts the same way every time, over time.

Keep in mind that we recommend using fluorocarbon as your leader material and not your main line.   Because fluorocarbon is stiffer then mono it can be more difficult to mange on the spool.

Cons of Fluoro line

  • Sink rate is also a factor as fluorocarbon will sink faster then mono.  This can be problem when fishing top water baits.
  • Stiffer then mono leading to difficulties on the spool and cast ability when compared to mono or braid.

Fishing Line Guide to Line stretch

Monofilament line will have more line stretch then braid or fluorocarbon material.   Braid line has almost no stretch, followed by fluorocarbon.

Each application of line stretch has its pros and cons.  For example if your fishing deep water and need to feel subtle bits braid is your best choice.

Each line has its place, some prefer monofilament and will not switch to braid.  Others are die hard braid users who wouldn’t think of fishing mono in any condition.

Line Stretch Tip

Our fishing line guide tip to remember:  Braid does not have stretch line mono line so be careful when fighting green or wild fish close to the boat.  A quick surge from the fish could result in a pulled hooked.




Matching fishing line to your reel or rod

You should always match your reel and rod to the proper lb test that the reel and rod are made for.  If you don’t casting can be severely hampered when spooling up to large test on a rod made for light line.

Same is true for spooling to light line on a larger reel and rod.  You will break fish off.  You can learn more about this by ready about how to choose a reel.

How to spool your reel with new line

Bucket and water method

There are many ways to spool up your reel with new line.  Here are a few methods we have used over the years.    The bucket and water method.

Fill up a 5 gallon bucket or something comparable.  Place your spool into the water and start spooling up your reel.  The water gives the line some good tension and the line packs on tight.

Pencil method

Have a buddy slide the spool of line onto the pencil and have them give a little tension on the spool by using a rag.  Start spooling up the reel.

Phone Book method

Take a phone book and place the spool of line in front of the phone book or other large book.  Open up to the middle of the book and slide the line into the middle of the book and close it.

This will give the line tension when spooling it onto your reel.   There are other methods on spooling your line and we would love to here yours in the comment section.

Storing your Line Spools

Store your spools of line in a box or other container.  These spools of line should be stored in a cool, dry environment away from extreme hot or cold conditions.   Heat and UV light can quickly break down the integrity of your line causing it to weaken.

Be responsible when discarding line

When you remove your old line from your reels be sure to be responsible when discarding it.  Do not leave line at a boat ramp, park, or lake.  This line can easily make its way into water wrapping around props, fish, and other wildlife.

Some retail locations that sell fishing gear will have recycling bins specifically for fishing line.   If not, be sure to that all your line makes it in your garbage.  If you know of another way please comment below.

In Closing

Follow the above fishing line guide and it will help you understand what line is best for you.  There are times and applications when one kind of line may be better then the other.  Be sure to match the line to the recommended rated pound test of your reel and rod.   Be sure to keep your fishing line stored in a dry cool place away from harmful heat, or UV light.

Check your fishing line on your rod and reel from time to time to check for abrasions within the line that could cause you to loose fish.  If your fishing line is looping when there is no pressure on the line it may be time to change it.

Tournament anglers will change there line out every time they fish.  For recreational anglers we do not believe this is necessary.

About The Author

Anthony Arcodia

A Florida Native, Anthony has been a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. As a child, he started fishing lakes around the South Florida area chasing bass which quickly spread to chasing snook and tarpon in the 10 thousand islands. Anthony has passed his love of the outdoors and fishing to his son and both continue to enjoy the great outdoors together while pursuing their passion of fishing.

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