Best Fishing Line for Spinning Reels

best fishing line for spinning reels

Do you want to know the best fishing line for spinning reels?

The right fishing line can make or break your day on the water. You need to choose a line that works with your rod, reel, and technique. This guide will help you find the perfect fishing line for any species and application. Whether you’re looking for braided, mono, or fluorocarbon lines – we have it all here!

We’ve done all of the research so that you don’t have to! Our team has tested dozens of different lines in various conditions so that we can bring you this comprehensive guide filled with everything you need to know about choosing the best fishing line for spinning reels. Now is your chance to take advantage of our years of experience and expertise when it comes to selecting a great fishing line!

Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the correct type of fishing line based on your specific needs as well as which species and applications they work best with!

Our Pick
Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line
$5.78

The Trilene XL is an especially thin monofilament line that makes long casts smooth and easy to attain.

Shop on Amazon
12/03/2021 03:17 am GMT

How To Choose the Best Line For a Spinning Reel

The market is saturated with seemingly unlimited styles of fishing line. Each manufacturer claims theirs is the best line you can purchase, but in reality, there are just three styles of line on the market today.

You can choose from monofilament, braided line, or fluorocarbon, with a fourth player, the copolymer core / fluorocarbon combination. These three types of line all have different strengths and weaknesses on a spinning reel. In deference to manufacturers, there are vast differences in the quality of these products, price doesn’t always dictate quality. A higher price doesn’t mean a higher quality line. Let’s take a look at the three different types of line you can use on your spinning reel a little closer.

Monofilament

Monofilament leads the spinning reel field, it’s most likely the first line you ever had a chance to use when you first cast a line in the water as a child. Monofilament is cheap, easy to use, easy to spool, and durable when stored properly.

The strength of monofilament is in the variety of strengths it is available in. Fishing line is measured via a term called “pound test.” Pound test means the rated strength the line was tested at in a lab before it was spooled, packaged, and sent out to retailers or end purchasers.

With monofilament, the lower the pound test number, the thinner the line will be.

Monofilament is usually marketed from two-pound test to 30-pound test line, but specialty line can exceed those limits.

The drawback to monofilament is that it is thicker than fluorocarbon or braided line in the same pound test rating.

Monofilament is also susceptible to nicks, cuts, abrasion and is very sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. Monofilament stored in the sun will quickly begin to deteriorate

Monofilament floats initially but soon begins to absorb water and will eventually sink. This property makes it a universal product for both top-fishing and traditional sub-surface angling.

Monofilament has low memory, meaning it won’t wrap itself in curling patterns but will remain straight in the water.

It cast well, has low visibility so fish won’t see it easily and you can buy it in a rainbow of colors:

Monofilament


Pros

  • Low cost
  • Wide range of strength
  • Many color choices
  • Casts well
  • Holds knots well
  • Low memory 

Cons

  • Weakens in sunlight
  • Cuts easily
  • Large diameter
  • Stretches

Braided line

Bass enthusiasts, professional guides, and commercial fishermen swear by braided line. Greater strength in a smaller size line is the foundation for braided line advocates.

Traditionally, braided line was made of small nylon fibers wound together into thread, and then the thread was wound into line. This makes it extra strong and resistant to cuts and abrasion.

Braided line is available in much larger strengths than monofilament or fluorocarbon line. It is much smaller in diameter meaning it has more strength for its size than the other styles of line.

Bass anglers prefer braided line since it floats, the fibers trap air inside the braid, making it buoyant. When surface fishing with buzz baits or crankbaits you can’t beat braided line.

A big drawback to braided line is its tendency to slip knots. Tying braided line requires more complex knots than the simple overhand knots that work with monofilament or fluorocarbon.

Anglers have adjusted to this problem by tying fluorocarbon leaders to the end of braided line. It attaches more firmly to lures and hooks and limits line visibility.

Braided line is the most visible of three, with many anglers claiming that fish can see braided line, limiting its usefulness in clear water. The jury is out on that.

The smaller diameter with greater strength allows longer casts with braid than any other line. The lower stretch of braided line makes setting hooks easier thanks to the extra sensitivity.

Braided

Pros

  • Small diameter
  • Great strength
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Low stretch
  • Buoyant
  • Sensitive
  • Handles cuts and abrasion well

Cons

  • Buoyant
  • Doesn’t hold knots well
  • Visibility

Fluorocarbon

The clear, invisible nature of fluorocarbon line makes it the preferred choice for leaders on braided line, and even in some applications with monofilament.

Fluorocarbon line sinks, making it the last choice for most bass anglers, but it’s tough, handling abrasion better than the other products.

It is often the first choice of ice fishermen or in areas with sharp rocks and submerged structures that can damage or sever other types of line.

Fluorocarbon line doesn’t stretch, making it a superior product for setting hooks and quick reaction to strikes.

The biggest problem with fluorocarbon is its high memory. High memory means it will spool into coils on open water, and it tangles easily. It is prone to wind tangling as well.

There are no color choices with fluorocarbon it comes in clear only.

Fluorocarbon

Pros

  • Low visibility
  • High strength
  • Sinks
  • Holds knots well
  • Doesn’t stretch

Cons

  • Tangles easily
  • High memory

Best Fishing Line For Spinning Reels Reviewed

Our Pick
Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line
$5.78

The Trilene XL is an especially thin monofilament line that makes long casts smooth and easy to attain.

Shop on Amazon
12/03/2021 03:17 am GMT
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line
$14.99

KastKing is a rising leader in the braided line market. Their SuperPower braided line is one of the reasons they’re a company on the rise.

Shop on Amazon
12/03/2021 03:14 am GMT
KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line
$6.99

Designed to sink faster, with no water absorption it’s a great product to use as a leader tied to braid or even fly line.

Shop on Amazon
12/03/2021 03:12 am GMT
Stren High Impact Monofilament
$8.49

Stren High Impact Monofilament is a good and affordable quality line that comes on a large spool. It can typically fill more than one reel. The lightest test is 10lb, so it isn’t for finesse fishing, but toss a topwater, and you’ll appreciate the extra strength in this line as a bass smashes the bait.

Shop on Amazon
12/03/2021 03:10 am GMT
RUNCL PowerFluoro Fishing Line
$8.99

The PowerFlouro is a unique product that comes in unique, non-standard sizes. The line is available in five-pound test in one-pound increments up to eight pounds. It jumps to 10-pound test and maxes out at 32-pounds.

Shop on Amazon
12/03/2021 03:24 am GMT

In this list, we’ll view a few considerations to determine which line is best for your spinning reel uses. We’ll evaluate casting distance, knot holding potential, strength vs. size, cost, variety of colors, and durability in determining the best line you can purchase.

Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line

Berkley is a leader in fishing line and has been for a long time. Trilene is available just about anywhere, it is universally accepted by bass, trout, catfish and even surf casting anglers.

Trilene is available in sizes from two-pound to 30-pound test. Clear or green-tinted moss-colored line make it a useful line in clear water or in slightly cloudy fishing conditions.

The price is one of the lowest on the market, yet the quality is high.

It is available in 330-yard lengths and ready to spool directly onto your reel.

Price, range of size, strength, durability, and the Berkley reputation were the factors in selecting Trilene as the best choice for spinning reel line.

KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line

Available in sizes from six-pound test to a whopping 150-pound test, this braided line is an industry leader. KastKing is renowned in the angling world for quality reels, rods, and line.

SuperPower braided line is constructed of a double-knit design allowing longer casts.

The low memory feature of SuperPower prevents snarling, lowers the frequency of wind knots and increases hook setting success.

Braided line has greater abrasion resistance, and SuperPower braid improved that quality with its proprietary braiding technology.

KastKing has addressed the tendency of braided line to slip knots with a coating that enhances the holding ability creating solid knots.

The line is available in gray, green, blue, or bright yellow. It is also available in multi-color lengths with increments of 25 feet that allows you to measure line as you spool it behind a boat in trolling situations.

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

KastKing offers a superior fluorocarbon product in their FluoroKote line. Available in sizes from four-pound to 30-pound test, this coated line is almost invisible in the water. Whether it’s bright sunlight or muted twilight the FluoroKote line is a great way to present live bait or lures to finicky fish.

The product was introduced in 2016 to rave reviews. FluoroKote combines the best in fluorocarbon design with a copolymer blend. The combination allows casts similar to braided line, with the reduced visibility of fluorocarbon.

This product competes well with monofilament, offering similar performance. The smaller size allows more line on a spool, sinks quicker than braid, but is more durable than monofilament in ultraviolet resistance.

This is a great choice for any angling application and worth the experiment with a new product.

Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line

Stren has been around for a long time and has a huge list of satisfied customers. This monofilament is among the least expensive fishing line on the market. Available in standard sizes from 10 to 30-pound test, Stren High Impact is a favorite among professional anglers and standard equipment on fishing charters.

It comes in spools of 400 to 1275-yards providing more than enough line to fill many mid to large size reels from one spool.

Low visibility makes it a good choice for freshwater angling but the line is designed for saltwater applications as well. It is popular with surfcasting reels.

The 10-pound test size works well with 3000 to 6000 series reels and the higher weight 25 and 30-pound test line is a perfect combination for use with larger reels from 8000 to 11000.

RUNCL PowerFluoro Fishing Line

Hybrid line technology is changing the world of spinning reel fishing. PowerFluoro by RUNCL is an experimental technology whose time has arrived.

Composed of a copolymer core with a 100% fluorocarbon outer coating this combination delivers the solid hook setting capability of fluorocarbon with the casting ability of braid, all combined into a nearly invisible package.

Increased strength, faster-sinking speed, and low stretch all combine for a unique fishing product. Low stretch in a smaller diameter line allows greater spool capacity and longer casts.

The PowerFlouro is a unique product that comes in unique, non-standard sizes. The line is available in five-pound test in one-pound increments up to eight pounds. It jumps to 10-pound test and maxes out at 32-pounds.

You can buy a single-use spool in lengths of 300-yards or a professional-sized 1000-yard spool that will fill many spinning reels.

Buyers Guide

The line you use depends on the application.

Bass anglers using spinning reels will still lean towards the buoyancy and strength of braided line, while trout fishermen will continue to use fluorocarbon for its quick hook setting quality and its near invisibility.

Braided line with a fluorocarbon leader is still the industry standard when fishing for shy fish that may bolt at the sight of monofilament or braided line.

To summarize the type of line you should consider with a spinning reel we’ll finish with a few fish-specific uses:

Spinning Reel Line Choices by Species

Bass

Braided line in eight-pound to 12-pound test size. The line needs to float so surface jigs, buzz baits, crankbaits, and plastic worms move naturally in the water.

Walleye

Monofilament in six-pound to 10-pound size. This line gives you the versatility of jigging, drop shotting, or using spinners and spoons in open water. With live bait, especially minnows monofilament is not invisible but has the limited visibility to present live bait correctly.

Trout

Monofilament in smaller two to six-pound test, and fluorocarbon in four to 10-pound test are perfect lines for trout anglers. You can present flies with a clear bubble rig, spinners, spoons, or float live bait in fast-moving streams with ease fishing for rainbow, brown, brook, or cutthroat.

Perch

Monofilament, braided line with a fluorocarbon leader, or a hybrid copolymer/fluorocarbon composition all work well for perch. Jigging and live bait are the preferred method for catching perch and each of these lines does the job well.

Salmon

Monofilament is the preferred line for anglers working fast-moving western rives in search of powerful hard fighting salmon. It, along with braided line work well offshore for salmon just outside the mouths of large rivers.

Carp

Carp aren’t a popular gamefish in America, but the English go crazy in pursuit of this tremendously strong, hard-fighting fish. Carp don’t care much about the visibility of a line, and lures don’t work that well with them either, carp like organic bait and will hit on worms, leeches, waxworms, or homemade stink bait.

Carp hit hard, they break lighter monofilament with ease, so serious carp anglers used 15 to 20-pound test braided line. The smaller diameter line allows you the latitude to let the carp run and test the drag on your reel.

Catfish

Catfish have similar eating habits to carp, and while they are not a hard-fighting species, they can hold tight on the bottom, bending your rod and testing the strength of your line. A big channel cat can run with the current creating tremendous stress on the line. Braided line without a leader using organic bait is the preferred method of fishing for big catfish in the Mississippi drainage.

Conclusion

best fishing line for spinning reels

Monofilament was once a spinning reel monopoly. Braided line was for baitcast reels and fluorocarbon’s tendency to snarl and coil in the water kept most anglers away. Most of those problems have been solved with new hybrid technology, different braiding techniques, and unique combinations of different materials to fill the market with spinning reel line choices.

Many spinning reel anglers are jumping to copolymer/fluorocarbon combinations or specially coated braided line.

Determining the best fishing line for a spinning reel is a bit more complicated than the average angler may think. The size of the reel, type of conditions you’ll be fishing in, the species of fish you’re after, even the length and power of the rod are all considerations when it comes to deciding what line to wrap onto your reel.

For more guidance on choosing fishing line check out these pages below: