Get Familiar With The Different Types Of Fishing Line

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By Bryan Rucker •  8 min read

Outside of the fishing rod and reel, fishing line is perhaps the most vital piece of fishing equipment in the sport of angling, forming a connection between the rod and the fish. Without the right type of fishing line, catching and landing a fish can be extremely difficult, and in some cases, simply impossible. In the following article we will describe the many different types of fishing line, including the advantages and drawbacks of each type.

Monofilament and Braided Fishing Line

There are many different types of fishing line, but the two most common types are monofilament line and braided line. Here is a brief definition of each type:

Monofilament line is the most popular type of fishing line. In fact, most fishing lines are now monofilament, largely because monofilament fibers are inexpensive to produce and are made in a wide spectrum of diameters which have different tensile strengths (called “tests” after the process of tensile “testing”). Monofilament line is additionally made in various colors, such as clear, white, green, blue, red, and fluorescent. Different colors of line are used in different fishing environments to essentially conceal the line from the fish when under the water,

Braided fishing line was one of the earliest types of fishing line used by fisherman, and in its modern forms it is still very popular in some fishing situations because of its high knot strength, rigidity, and great overall power in relation to its diameter. Although now made from a Kevlar-like material, braided line was historically constructed from natural fibers such as cotton and linen, but natural fiber braids (with the very rare exception of braided silk) have long since been replaced by braided or woven fibers of man-made materials, such as Dacron and Spectra. Braided fishing lines have low resistance to abrasion; and sharp objects can easily cut through braided line. Their actual breaking strength will commonly well exceed their pound-test rating.

Monofilament Line vs. Braided Line: Pros and Cons

Below we will look at some of the pros and cons of both monofilament and braided fishing line.

Monofilament Fishing Line Pros & Cons



Braided Fishing Line Pros & Cons



Other Types of Fishing Line

Although monofilament and braided fishing line are by far the most popular types of fishing line, there are a few other types of fishing line of which you should be aware. These fishing line types include fluorocarbon fishing line, wire fishing line and fly fishing line.

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon fishing line is a type of line that is used mostly in leaders. People who use braided line would be well served to use a fluorocarbon fishing line leader, because the material is completely invisible underwater and very abrasion resistant.

Some companies are now making fluorocarbon fishing line and marketing it as a main line for your reel, but as of now it still lags way behind the other two types of line in terms of popularity.

Wire Fishing Line

As you might expect, wire fishing line is very strong. Like fluorocarbon fishing line, wire fishing line is also used mostly as a leader. It is especially helpful when fishing for varieties that have very strong teeth, such as mackerel, tuna and some of the larger sporting fish varieties. Wire fishing line is available as either a single strand or braided material, and because of its weightiness; it is very popular among fisherman who prefer to troll in very deep water. However, when using wire line it is imperative that you have a special hardened spool on your reel that can handle wire line.

Fly Fishing Line

Fly fishing line is a type of line used exclusively for fly fishing and exclusively with a fly rod and fly wheel. Fly fishing line comes in different weights, but these weights do not indicate the “test” as they do with monofilament, braided and other types of line. Instead these weights refer to the actual heaviness of the line itself. Fly line attaches to a leader called a tippet which comes in different breaking strengths

Unlike in spin fishing and baitcasting, the weight of the fly line—and not the lure—is what allows the fisherman to cast the fly. Different fly rods and reels demand a certain heaviness of fly fishing line—and only that weight will do. In other words, the fly fishing line must be exactly matched up with the fly rod and fly wheel. An angler who attempts to utilize the wrong type of fly line will not only find it impossible to cast, he will probably also scare off all the fish for miles around. Therefore, if you do not know what type of fly line is exactly right for your setup, it’s important to ask a professional before making a purchase.

image: MaxPixel

Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things wildlife. His concern grew astronomically during the previous tensions between the United States and other nations. He also has grown a substantial interest in survival and sustainability due to the current shape of the world over the years. He believes that preparation triumphs all things.