In the weeds about which line is best for your spinning reel?
Relax – our guide to the different kinds of line will show you which are best for you, both generally and with specific recommendations of the best on the market right now.
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Best Fishing Line For Spinning Reels - Comparison Table
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Best Fishing Line For Spinning Reels - Reviews
The Power Pro Spectra is our top choice of braided line.
It’s longer than many, which makes for a more sensitive line, less likely to break under the pressures of a day’s fishing.
You can spool it straight from the box, and the packaging serves two purposes – easy storage, and protection of the unused line. The Power Pro Spectra comes in a variety of sizes and test weights too, so there’s an option that’ll be just right for your particular fishing needs.
It’s a line designed to reduce friction for a smooth cast at greater distances. Tinted green, it’s in its comfort zone in green water or water that’s lush with vegetation. For added ease of use, it also comes with its own cutter and arbor tape.
It’s the combination of quality line, length, sensitivity, and the thought that’s gone into giving anglers the easiest time they can have that makes the Power Pro Spectra our favorite braided line.
The Sunline Super FC Sniper is our top fluorocarbon line.
It comes triple-coated in resin to help protect it against abrasion during use, and it’s especially your friend in heavy cover.
The Sniper has low memory, which not only makes it easier to cast, but reduces the chance of the line spoiling while it’s in the reel.
It’s made from 100% fluorocarbon, which makes it both strong and durable, while that triple coating of resin should mean it’s easy to tie knots in this soft, supple line. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that fluorocarbon lines are secret assassins in clear water where other lines might be spotted, so that’s a great environment for the Sniper.
The Sniper line comes in a range of weights and sizes, from 5-20 pounds and anything up to 1,200 yards should you want to bulk buy. The combination of low memory, strength, suppleness and relative invisibility in clear water make the Sniper our top choice of fluoro lines.
The Stren monofilament spool brings a lot to your fishing party – it’s a strong, anti-abrasion line which gives you good knots. That makes it a great option for both beginners and occasional users who don’t want to think too hard and don’t need their fishing instincts so sharply honed as regulars.
While it’s both strong and abrasion-resistant, the Stern monofilament line is also designed to be supple enough for easy knot-tying, with a good sensitivity level, to let you feel even tiny bites. Easy to cast and with low memory, it could be an ideal line for beginners, helping them build their confidence and skill in either freshwater or saltwater angling.
The clue to the Seaguar Invizx’s appeal is in the name – underwater, it has a high degree of invisibility, so fish can’t detect it until it’s too late. That gives this fluoro line a strong selling point for those who want to fish in clear water.
As with some of the other lines on our list, this is a strong line with low memory and a useful sensitivity, meaning it should be able to transmit even smaller bites to the angler effectively. It’s also been designed to cast easily, and has UV protection to extend its useful lifespan.
You can use the Seaguar line in both fresh and salt water, and it’s unlikely to be affected by cold weather and water conditions. Non-absorbent and chemical resistant, it’s as all-purpose as fluorocarbon lines come, and that’s just part of what makes us recommend it on this list.
The Berkley Trilene Big Game monofilament line is a king of variety – it comes in a range of sizes and weights from 10-100 pounds, and colors to match your every fishing need.
It’s a shock-resistant line, giving you the power you need to catch bigger fish. Naturally, that translates into less sensitivity than some other lines. As such, it’s a line that gives more value to experienced anglers with bigger fish in their sights.
It will also give you good service in cover or near structures, because it’s designed to withstand contact with sharp or rough objects, in either fresh or saltwater.
The Piscifun braided line is ideal for spinning reels. It has low memory and high sensitivity, meaning the lightest bite should be transmitted to the angler.
The Lunker, like many lines on our list, comes in several different color, length and weight options (from 6-80 pounds). It’s also nano-coated to boost its durability and give the line a smoother feel.
Bonus? That coating also reduces the line’s susceptibility to abrasion, which means it’s extra useful for fishing in highly vegetated areas. Added to which, the combination of a thin diameter and a strong line means it cuts through water faster than some other lines on our list.
The Berkley Trilene XL line has been engineered to be easy to cast, meaning it could be a great line for newcomers to angling, and could also improve your casting distance even if you’re older or more experienced in the game.
It’s available in many sizes and weights and has low memory, which means it doesn’t kink or coil as easily as some lines. It’s also got high sensitivity, so more of what happens to the bait is translated up to the angler – when the fish bite, you should know immediately when you’re using this line.
Strength and versatility, low memory and high sensitivity combine in the Berkley Trilene XL, meaning it’s suitable for a wide range of baits and can be used in a number of different fishing techniques.
Best Fishing Line For Spinning Reels - Buyers Guide
Types Of Line For Spinning Reels
Braided Fishing Lines
Braid is extremely durable and hardwearing. That means any fishing line made of braid will be tough and won’t break easily. Once your hook is set, you’re unlikely to lose your fish on a braided line. Usually, the tensing of the line will set the hook for you, so you can start reeling quickly and with confidence.
If you’re going to fish from a kayak, use a braided line – you’re going to need all the help you can get in terms of tension and hook-setting, because you’re sitting on the water, so the toughness and the tension of the braided line will help you to more successful fishing.
Braided lines, despite their strength, are noticeably thinner than other kinds of line. That brings another bonus, because it means braided lines go through guides more easily, giving you greater distance to your casting. If you’re using a lighter lure, it’ll go even further.
Top Tip For Braid: Fill the Spool!
Life is easier when your casting is easier. To make your casting easier, you’re aiming to get as little friction between the edge of the spool and the line as possible. A top tip to ensure you reduce the friction is to fill your spool as much as you can. Want to get technical? Use monofilament for the first third of your spool, then braided after that, so you get friction freedom plus the strength of braid, and it should stop the braid from spinning hopelessly on your reel.
If you have a shorter line, it’s difficult to judge how much monofilament to use. That means you can get stuck wasting a lot of line, or caught in the situation where your braided line doesn’t fill the spool as you want it to.
There’s a trick to get round this. You just reverse the process with an identical spare spool. Try out the braided line on your spare first, adding the mono line as appropriate. When you’ve got it right, take the mono line from the spare spool to the main one, and follow it with the braided line. Result? One perfectly proportioned spool of mono/braid. Yes, it’s a process to have to go through, but in terms of either removing frustration or saving you line and money, it’s worth it every time.
Of course, if you have a winning smile or a regular order, you could always try getting your tackle store to do this for you. Then all you need to be sure of is that your reel is durable enough to handle the drag, and you’re good to go.
All this braided greatness comes with some down sides though – Quality costs, so you can expect to pay up to five times as much for a braided line as you’d pay for a mono line. But there’s throwing your money away on gimmickry, and there’s making a conscious decision to buy quality equipment, and of the two, braided line comes under the second heading, because of the guarantee of strength and the hassle it removes from your fishing expeditions.
Another thing to be aware of with braided line is that fish can see it. And if fish can see it, it can be like looking behind the curtain in The Wizard Of Oz – they may well be wary of the machinery of their capture if they can see it, even if they’re not entirely sure how it works.
Added to which, while high tension is generally useful, especially when fishing from a kayak, it can give you trouble too. If you get a big fish on a tense line and it decides to make a fight of it, it can rip the hook out of its mouth. And you might say ‘Well, won’t it do that anyway?’ but the answer’s no, not necessarily – using a mono or fluoro line, with more stretch in the system, the fish wouldn’t be able to transfer the power of its yank through enough tension to pull the hook free.
Overall then, there are things to keep in mind, but generally braided lines are worth paying extra for, especially if you’re kayak fishing or casting in murky waters, because your cast will go further and your line will stay strong, helping you catch the fish you want.
Monofilament Fishing Lines
Monofilament lines (‘mono’ lines for short) have several advantages to make them a viable choice for your reel. First and foremost, they’re cheap, which puts them in the hands of almost every angler.
But they also gain points because they float. Yes, braided lines float pretty well too, but again, mono lines are around a fifth of the cost, so they’re frequently used for top water fishing, where you keep the bait afloat.
Mono lines have more stretch in them than braided lines, and less tension. That means if and when a fish bites, there’s less resistance, so it can’t use the tension to yank the hook out.
On the other hand, less tension means less sensitivity and responsiveness. That means you might have the biggest bite of the season on your line, and you may just possibly never know it with a mono line.
Another thing to beware of is that braided lines sit quietly in their reels for months on end with no drama or kinks. Mono lines? It’s like coat hangers in a closet – leave them alone for too long and without any seeming outside influence, what you have is a ball of kink and tangle, of use to no-one. Watch them like a hawk.
Mono lines also won’t give you the same casting distance as braided lines, because they’re thicker. Sadly, thicker doesn’t necessarily equate to stronger, and mono lines are notorious for breaking when the going gets tough, so if you get caught up in the cover…well, good luck with that.
Not to pile on to monofilament lines unduly, but they also have a touch of vampire about their nature – sunlight damages them, and UV light can kill them stone dead. So while they’re five times cheaper than braided lines, between their fragility, tendency to tangle and death by sunshine, you are going to have to replace them a whole lot more often.
Having said all that though, mono lines are great for all-round fishing action, and can be kinder to beginners because of that lack of tension, and because beginners may want to cast closer to home when they start out.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines
Fluorocarbon lines are the undercover agents of the fishing line world. Practically invisible in action, you can use them to great effect even in clear water, where the fish won’t see them, and so won’t be scared off as they might be by braided lines.
If you’re looking for a down side, it comes written in dollar signs. Fluro lines aren’t as expensive as braided lines, but it’ll still cost you a pretty penny so send cloaked lines into the water, certainly compared to the simplicity of using mono lines.
That’s annoying, because in many ways, fluoro lines share some of the worst features of mono lines. Tangles within the reel? Check. Thicker line for shorter casting? Yep. Limited amount of line fitting onto the reel? Yep, that too. They even share some of the UV-sensitivity of mono lines, though they are usually more durable and resilient than monos.
As with braided lines, it can be useful to combine mono and fluoro lines on your reel for smoothness and friction freedom.
For all we’ve said about them sharing some negative characteristics with mono lines though, fluoro lines, costing more, are usually of better quality than mono lines – they’ll be tougher, with thinner line diameters, which makes them less likely to be damaged or abraded in use.
And for clearwater fishing, they’re packed with advantage, because they’re invisible to the fish in that environment, meaning fluoro lines have a natural niche in which they’re the first and best go-to option.
Line Features You Need To Be Aware Of
Should The Line Be Invisible?
As we’ve said, having a line that’s invisible to fish means you’re more likely to get a bite, because the fish won’t spot the trap until they’ve bitten and felt the hook.
On the other hand, it’s also true that invisible lines make it equally difficult for you to see them, which, especially in lower-tension lines than the braided, can lead you to a lot of intense squinting to see where your line is and whether or not you have a bite. So the question of whether an invisible line is an actual bonus becomes one that depends on your own fishing circumstances – and the sharpness of your eye.
Alternatively of course, if you’re fishing in clear water, you could always use a fluoro line for beneath the surface action, while adding a line that’s more visible to the human eye for the above-water part. That way, you get the best of both worlds – a line that’s invisible to the fish, but visible to you.
Fishing lines come in a whole variety of colors.
No, that’s not about matching your outfit – fish may have amazing colors of their own, but they’re not fashion-conscious. The point of having different colored lines is to blend in with different types of water as a kind of rudimentary camouflage. If your fishing water has a greenish tinge, using a green line can be more effective, because something green, in a green world, is more or less invisible till it moves. In fact, though this might sound counter-intuitive, matching the color of your line to the color of the water in your fishing environment might well be more effective than using a clear line in the same environment.
That logic runs through though – if you’re fishing in clear water, use a clear line to be the least visible you can be. Again, this is probably a job for your fluoro lines.
Highly colored lines are more likely to be useful to help you the human angler see them than they are to help the fish not to see them. If you want to be quickly certain when your line moves and you have a maybe-bite, having a high color line will help you be aware of it much faster than having a clear or barely colored line.
Color is something of a game in itself – some colors we can see and the fish can’t. Some colors are visible to both species, so say a yellow line would be very visible to us, but might also be visible to the fish – so be aware just exactly how far above the water your colored line needs to be visible to you. On the other hand, some colors, like pink, are vividly visible to us, but give fish some problems, especially in murkier waters, so it might be a better colour choice for closer to the water’s surface, to be sure of a twitch without tipping off the fish.
Twisting is great in a Sixties dance-off or a vodka martini. In a fishing line, it’s just there to burn lifetime and build frustration. That’s why some lines are now designed to reduce the amount of twisting they do, or even prevent it altogether. Line twist can happen with ridiculous ease, say when the lure on the end of the line rotates. That’s it – the lure rotates, the twist begins, and then gets worse, and worse, spreading like a crack up the rest of your line with the sole intention of ruining your day.
You’ll try to cast, and your line will go nowhere, or go nowhere near as far as you intended. Frustration, fuming, and the end of fishing joy – at least for a little while till you’ve untangled the twist.
But only two things in life are inevitable: death and taxes. Line twist, you can guard against. Try this tip: put the line on the reel so that the flat side of the line-spool faces you. That means the line goes on your reel spool in the same direction as it’s coming off your line-spool.
Also, try not reeling in a fish while it’s pulling away. The opposition of forces is almost bound to create conflict, which can manifest as line twisting as you wind it back onto the reel. Let events play out without so much force and friction, and the chances of an untangled, untwisted line increase greatly.