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 fishing lines – we have it all here!
We’ve done all the research so that you don’t have to! Our team has tested dozens of different fishing 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!
How To Choose the Best Line For Spinning Reels
The market is saturated with seemingly unlimited styles of fishing lines. 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 fishing line combination. These three types of lines all have different strengths and weaknesses on spinning reels. 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 lines you can use on your spinning reel a little closer.
Monofilament line 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 fishing line is cheap, easy to use, easy to spool, and durable when stored properly.
The strength of monofilament line is in the variety of strengths it is available. 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 line, the lower the pound test number, the thinner the line will be.
Monofilament fihsing line is marketed from two-pound test to 30-pound test line, but a specialty line can exceed those limits.
The drawback to monofilament is that it is thicker than fluorocarbon or braided lines 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 fishing lines have low line memory, meaning it won’t wrap or develop a line twist 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:
- Low cost
- Wide range of strength
- Many color choices
- Casts well
- Holds knots well
- Low memory
- Weakens in sunlight
- Cuts easily
- Large diameter
Braided Fishing Line
Bass enthusiasts, professional guides, and commercial fishermen swear by braided lines. Greater strength in a smaller size line is the foundation for braided fishing line advocates.
Traditionally, braided lines were 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 lines 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 is its tendency to slip knots. Tying braided lines 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 braid. 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 fishing 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 makes setting hooks easier thanks to the extra sensitivity.
- Small diameter
- Great strength
- Wide range of sizes
- Low stretch
- Handles cuts and abrasion well
- Doesn’t hold knots well
The clear, invisible nature of fluorocarbon fishing line makes it the preferred choice for leaders on braided fishing line, and even in some applications with monofilament.
Fluorocarbon fishing 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 lines.
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 line 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.
- Low visibility
- High strength
- Holds knots well
- Doesn’t stretch
- Tangles easily
- High line memory
Best Fishing Line For Spinning Reels Reviewed
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.
In this list, we’ll view a few considerations to determine which line is best for your spinning reels. 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 lines 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 lines.
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line
Available in sizes from six-pound test to a whopping 150-pound test, this fishing line is an industry leader. KastKing is renowned in the angling world for quality reels, rods, and line.
SuperPower is the best braided fishing line for long casts and is constructed of a double-knit design allowing for even more reliability.
The low line memory feature of SuperPower prevents snarling, lowers the frequency of wind knots and increases hook setting success.
Braided fishing line has greater abrasion resistance, and SuperPower braid improved that quality with its proprietary braiding technology.
KastKing has addressed the tendency of braided lines 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, 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 fishing with spinning reels. 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.
The line you use depends on the application.
Bass anglers using spinning reels will still lean towards the buoyancy and strength of braided fishing lines, while trout fishermen will continue to use fluorocarbon for its quick hook setting quality and its near invisibility.
Braided lines with a fluorocarbon leader are still the industry standard when fishing for shy fish that may bolt at the sight of monofilament or braided fishing line.
To summarize the type of line you should consider with spinning reels, we’ll finish with a few fish-specific uses:
Spinning Reel Line Choices by Species
Braided fishing 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.
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.
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.
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.
Monofilament is the preferred line for anglers working fast-moving western rives in search of powerful hard fighting salmon. It, along with braided fishing lines, work well offshore for salmon just outside the mouths of large rivers.
Carp isn’t a popular game fish 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 line. The smaller diameter line allows you the latitude to let the carp run and test the drag on your reel.
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 fishing lines without a leader using organic bait is the preferred method of fishing for big catfish in the Mississippi drainage.
Monofilament was once a spinning reel monopoly. Braided lines were for baitcasting 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 spinning reels 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. These are all considerations when it comes to deciding what line to wrap onto your reel.
For more guidance on choosing the best fishing lines, check out these pages below:
- 15 Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines
- Best Mono Fishing Line
- The 20 Best Braided Fishing Lines for 2021
- Best Line for Ice Fishing | Why Fluorocarbon Is Our Choice
- Best Fishing Line for Walleye | Mono, Braided, or Fluorocarbon?
- Best Fishing Line For Crappie | Mono, Braided, or Fluorocarbon?
- Best Fishing Line For Trout | Braided, Mono, or Fluorocarbon?
- Best Mono Line for Bass