Different Types of Fishing Lines

Kristian Ole



Many anglers focus on lures, reels, and fishing rods. However, they tend to forget about one of the most crucial elements – the fishing line. Remember, the fishing line connects the hook and bait to your fishing rod tip and helps you manipulate the hook and lure. That is why your fishing line is essential.

You will find many different types of fishing lines on the market. However, as a beginner, you may get confused and select the wrong type. If you choose the wrong fishing line, it can mar your fishing experience. To help you out, here are a few of the most commonly available fishing lines.

Monofilament Fishing Line

A Roll of Monofilament Fishing Line

This fishing line is usually abbreviated to mono and is the most ubiquitously used fishing line. It is considered rudimentary as it is made using just one plastic fiber. It is inexpensive since it is easy to manufacture and also has many advantages.

This fishing line is made using polymers, which are melted into strands. These strands are then made into spools. A monofilament line is available in a wide range of thicknesses as well as test strengths.

Many anglers like using monofilament fishing lines as they come with low visibility when submerged in water and boast an excellent knot strength. So, you do not have to worry about scaring away fish or losing your hook and lure. Another reason for its popularity is that monofilament lines can be used with nearly all kinds of fishing reels that you get on the market.

If you are new to angling, a monofilament fishing line is the right choice. It is readily available and affordably priced. The only problem is that you will not be able to use this fishing line for deep-sea fishing. You may find that the spool unravels and comes off the fishing reel. In addition, you will find it tedious to wrap the line around the reel.

Also, you should know that monofilament fishing lines tend to absorb water since they are not that thick. The weight of the water reduces the sensitivity of the fishing line and can cause the knot to be undone. Furthermore, this fishing line tends to deteriorate quickly if you leave it outdoors, exposed to the elements. 

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Previously, many deep-sea fishermen loved to use fluorocarbon fishing lines as they are strong and resilient. However, now, you also get fluorocarbon lines that are designed for freshwater fishing.

This line is made from polymers, chlorine, carbon, and hydrocarbons. The lines are considered highly durable as they can withstand pressure and tugging without snapping. Just like a monofilament fishing line, even a fluorocarbon line is more or less invisible in water. However, what makes it popular is that it is very tough, sensitive, resistant to abrasions, and does not deteriorate if you leave the line in the sun.

One of the advantages it has over a monofilament fishing line is that it does not absorb water. The line is waterproof, and as a result, you will be able o handle the line better when casting it. While many intermediate and experienced anglers love using fluorocarbon fishing lines, you can use them as a beginner. You will not have to worry about the test strength or line performance while you are fishing.

Fluorocarbon fishing lines may not be the right choice for topwater and swimbait fishing. This line is heavier than a monofilament line, and once you cast it, the line will sink and reach the bottom in a quick time. Also, since this is a stiffer line compared to mono, you may find that it does not absorb quick impacts. However, do not let that worry you, as you can rectify that problem by loosening the line’s drag.

While a fluorocarbon fishing line costs more than a monofilament line, you will enjoy fishing and angling with it as a beginner. In addition, you will get consistent performance, which can impact your catch ratio.

Braided Fishing Line

braided fishing line

You will find many anglers swearing by a braided fishing line, and for a good reason. For one, this line offers great power when you consider the line’s diameter. You will also find that this one has the least stretch and comes with the highest knot strength compared to monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines.

Before technology came into the scene, fishermen used to braid their own fishing lines using cotton and linen. If these were not available, they would plant fibers and vines. That is not the case today. Thanks to advances in fishing line technology, modern-day braided fishing lines are made from polymers. However, they are less resistant to abrasions compared to mono and fluorocarbon lines.

Even though braided fishing lines have a thinner diameter than monofilament and fluorocarbon lines, you will find that they have high tensile strength. Therefore, these lines do not snap very easily; in fact, you will find that these lines have a breaking strength that is much higher than what is mentioned on the test label. Hence, if you are struggling to decide between the test strength of mono and fluorocarbon, you will be better off choosing a braided fishing line. It is more dependable as you will not risk the line snapping.

Since braided fishing lines have minimal stretch, they are highly sensitive. You will be able to control the line using your fishing rod. Also, you will improve your casting distance and feel the bite or a gentle tug by a fish.

The main disadvantage of a braided fishing line is that it is visible in the water. This can spook the fish. Also, this line does not sink like a monofilament and fluorocarbon line, making it challenging to use different kinds of lures. You can easily overcome the visibility problem by using a mono or fluorocarbon fishing line as a leader. It helps to reduce the visibility of your braided line. You may also find that tying a knot can be challenging for a beginner as the line does not have a lot of flex and stretch. But, if you are looking for a strong, resilient, durable, sensitive, and performance-oriented fishing line, a braided line is the right choice.

Copolymer Fishing Line

Copolymer Fishing Line

This fishing line is similar to a monofilament line but has several advantages. It is made by combining two kinds of nylon and hence, the name. This is a relatively new type of fishing line. Still, since its introduction into the fishing scene, it has become quite popular. Now, you can find copolymer fishing lines that are specifically designed for different fishing conditions.

Compared to a monofilament line, it is less buoyant, but it wins in the strength department. It does not snap as easily as a monofilament. Also, you will find that while it does absorb water like a monofilament line, the absorption is much less. That makes it a good choice for anglers who like bottom fishing (yes, this fishing line does sink).

Another thing you do not have to worry about is abrasions. Unlike the monofilament, a copolymer fishing line is more resistant and also has less memory. However, it does have a few drawbacks – it does not fare well when exposed to heat and sunlight. Most experts suggest changing your copolymer fishing line every year, and this line is best used with swimbaits and jerkbaits.

Related read: Different types of fishing rods

In Conclusion

These are the different types of fishing lines that are most commonly used by fishermen and anglers. You should consider strength, memory, sensitivity, and flexibility, where you intend to fish, and the kind of fishing you would like to catch. Based on these things, you can select the right fishing line for yourself.

Remember, you will not get a definitive answer for the best fishing line as each type has its pros and cons. For example, if you want to fish in clear water, your choice of the line should be a monofilament. On the other hand, if you want to catch game and trophy fish, you will be better off choosing a fluorocarbon fishing line. Braided fishing line is for anglers who want a light fishing line. You may also want to consider whether you are going for topwater, mid-water, or deep water fishing.

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to invest in a monofilament or copolymer fishing line. But, if you do not mind spending a little more, braided and fluorocarbon fishing lines could be just what you need. Also, it is prudent to note that if you fish occasionally, you will be better off choosing a monofilament or copolymer line.

Remember, choosing the right type of fishing line can make or break your fishing experience. So, it is best to have a line for each type of fishing condition and scenario. That way, you will always be prepared and have the right line on hand.

Related article: Different types of fishing reels


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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