What's the Best Kind of Line to Fish With?

What you think is the best fishing line might not be after all. 

Oh boy, this is going to get some people bent out of shape. The best fishing line debate is one best held in bars and around campfires, but today, we're taking it to the internet.

When it comes to this topic, there are generally three types of line in the conversation. As you probably know, most people go with braided line, monofilament line or fluorocarbon line.

To kick this off, let's look at all three. First, we'll go with mono.

Monofilament Line

When mono line came about back in the early 1940s, it was all the rage. Everyone used it and did so for decades.  This single-strand fiber floats, is relatively cheap to make and comes in a variety of colors and test strengths. For most, mono line is best for top water lures or presentations where line stretch is a good thing to allow for a more sweeping hookset without ripping the lure out of the mouth of the fish.

Fluorocarbon Line

Flouro line came about in the '60s. When this line emerged, it was created out of a fluoropolymer material, which makes it very dense. What really makes this line shine is the fact it doesn't shine at all. This line has reflective qualities very similar to that of clear water, so it blends in much better. It also doesn't stretch as much, making it more abrasion-resistant than mono. This tends to be the line of choice for crankbaits, spinnerbaits and other lures that stay underwater. Berkley Trilene often comes to mind for those who find themselves in the market.

Braided Line

Braided fishing line is a relative newcomer to the fishing world. This higher-tech line doesn't stretch, can handle tons of wear and tear, but can get waterlogged after a while and sink. Even though braided line was some of the first line ever made, modern lines like Power Pro and Spiderwire are a far cry from what used to be. Due to the small diameter of braid, this is great for spinning reels and the knot strength is second to none. This is also the line of choice for big-game fishermen chasing huge muskies and catfish. Thanks to the low memory of the line, it can produce solid results for many different presentations and lures.

Best Fishing Line

Brad Smith

So, with all that being said, which is the best fishing line? Unfortunately, this might get a little frustrating for you. It all depends on your fishing situation. At any given time, I have a rod with each line in my arsenal. When I'm after big fish, I tend to go with braid. I want strong hooksets and normally this is when I'm baitcasting for muskies or bass. When I'm bass fishing on top, I fish with mono line. The simple fact this line floats just makes fishing a little easier. However, braid can fill this void pretty effectively as well.

Finally, I do use fluorocarbon line quite often while fly fishing or fishing subsurface for bass or carp. The low visibility is great to have in your corner. With fly fishing, a fluorocarbon leader is hard to beat when trying to get flies down deep. Mono leaders are great for dry flies, though.

The Best Fishing Line

As far as the best line brands go, here's a secret, it's all pretty much the same. You may not want to hear this, but there are actually very few line manufacturers in the world. Most of what you see on the shelves are made by the same companies with different brands on the covers of the boxes. What matters most out of all of it is simply the pound test you think you will need for line strength, and the confidence you have in the brand.

Where most get frustrated with fishing line is the fact they bought old line that was already rotten or bad from the store. Line failure is rare thing when you have new stuff from a reputable brand. However, if you're buying line off Amazon, you get what you pay for. When the line breaks, you only have yourself to blame if you go the cheap route. Cheap line is cheap for a reason.

I get it, though. When you walk into a sports store, the line section is hard to navigate. There are tons of options that all seem to do different things. Just make this easier on yourself. Get a decently priced line from a brand you trust. The subtle differences that companies try to sell are nothing more than marketing tactics.

When it's mostly coming from the same handful of manufacturers, there really isn't much of a difference.