Best Fishing Lines Reviews and Guide
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The four main types of fishing line are monofilament, braided, fluorocarbon and nonfilament. Each has its 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 others 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 a 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. 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.
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.
Fluoro 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 fishing line underwater. Line shy fish will have trouble picking it up. Fluoro for spinning reels is best when used as a leader for either mono or braided lines.
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One criterion that every experienced fisherman will tell you to keep in mind when looking for a fishing line is the strength of the line and how durable it will be when out on the water. The last thing you want it to snag the biggest fish of your life on the line and your line breaks because it is not strong enough. This is why you should always have a couple of different strengths of lines in your tackle box so you are prepared where ever you find yourself fishing.
Before purchasing your line you should do some research on where you plan to fish and see what types of fish reside in that lake, river, or ocean and how many pounds you can expect these fish to be. Once you have that information you can then purchase a line that will work with the fish that reside in the area you we will be headed.
The brand of line is not the most important criteria to keep in mind but it definitely helps you to find a trusted, reliable line that you can count on. The common trusted brands when it comes to fishing gear is Berkley, Shimano, and Penn to name a few. If you stick to these brands you can rest easy knowing that when you are out in the middle of a lake, you will have the gear you need to catch any monster fish that crosses your path. It is sometimes a good idea to try out different brands as you may find a hidden gem, but if you do venture at your own risk.
Top Ten Fishing Lines
1. Berkley Fireline Fused
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.Read more
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.
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
2. Spiderwire Braided Stealth
Spiderwire has long been known to be one of the best and strongest fishing 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. I love the color lock technology that keeps the color of the line from getting washed off in the salt water. I’ve had a cheap braid that goes from a nice dark green to a weird pink that I am sure was picked up by many fish.Read more
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.
It is not cheap but 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.
Fewer wind knots, great casting, superb sensitivity, and incredibly strong knots makes this a no brainer when you are looking for the best-braided line.
3. Berkley Trilene Monofilament
Even with the more advanced fluoro 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 great all around the 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.Read more
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. It ties up into some great knots without any slippage. Perfect for tugging on some topwater lures and big stripers come 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.
4. KastKing Mega 8
Eight woven strands of polymer fiber make up the KastKing Mega 8 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.Read more
Casting is smooth as silk with the thin, round line. 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.
5. Power Pro Braided
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 the best-braided 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.Read more
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 wraparounds. 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.
6. KastKing FluoroKote
Another hybrid style fishing line is the KastKing FlouroKote. It’s not a pure fluorocarbon fishing line as it is also made with copolymer like mono. The result is a fishing line with the thinness of mono but the performance of a fluoro. It has a high density that sinks quickly as you would expect from a fluoro. As well as the great casting, low stretch, abrasion resistance and light refraction.Read more
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 fluoro due to its lower memory quotient.
This fishing line has a nice, supple feel uncommon in fluoro line making it much easier to tie a strong knot. I have had a few knots give out on me with high test fluoro 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.
7. Stren High Impact
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.Read more
This 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.
8. Stren Catfish Monofilament
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.Read more
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 your line 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.
9. Spectra 100% Pre Braided
Some fishermen would love to use a braided line, but the price usually keeps them from going for it. This Spectra fishing line from Extreme Braid comes in at much less than other big brand braided fishing line without sacrificing any performance.Read more
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.
10. South Bend Monofilament
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.Read more
This 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.