Best Monofilament Fishing Line

best monofilament fishing line

I tested twelve monofilament fishing lines and found Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line to be the best monofilament fishing line available today.

Our Pick
Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line
$8.99 $8.16

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

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04/02/2024 12:57 am GMT

Newer anglers tend to ask, “What type of monofilament line should I use when fishing?” We’ve all wondered that at some point. What line is best known for its smooth casting, lack of memory, and overall durability? Let’s break down the top twelve monofilament lines that I’ve researched for you.

Monofilament fishing lines should be tough but also offer a thin diameter, little to no memory, and low visibility. Fish will spook easily if the line is either too thick or is a bright, easily seen color. On the other hand, if the line you choose for your go-to is too thin, the line will be susceptible to breaks when bringing fish to the net.

A beginner angler might just opt for the cheapest line around. If that’s you and you don’t want to buy a quality line that will last, that’s fine. If you’d rather buy something that will last and won’t keep snapping off expensive lures, keep reading.

I have almost 40 years of experience and have been fishing for most of my life and have been teaching beginner anglers for over 20 years. I’ve spent a lot of quality time on the water with different monofilament lines and have determined that, for the price, Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Monofilament is the best overall.

 The Trilene 6lb test has been my go-to for most situations that require a leader. I use an 8 or 12lb test on my main spool and find the heavier mono fishing lines to operate just as well.

There are plenty of mono fishing lines out there that will outperform the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Monofilament. However, for the overall cost, sensitivity, durability, and availability (you can find this monofilament fishing line almost anywhere!), it earned the top spot.

Let’s look at the twelve best mono fishing lines.

Monofilament line that made the list:

  1. Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line (Best overall)
  2. Maxima Ultra Green (Best Premium)
  3. Berkley Trilene Big Game Line (Best for big fish)
  4. KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament Fishing Line (Award Winner)
  5. Seaguar Senshi Nylon Monofilament Fishing Line (Best Warrior line)
  6. Sufix Advance (Low-vis high-end line)
  7. Stren Original (Most likely to find in Grandpa’s tackle box)
  8. Sufix Elite Monofilament Fishing Line (Great tension strength)
  9. Stren Magnathin Fishing Line (Budget low-vis line)
  10. Berkley Trilene XT Extra Tough (Well-known and widely used)
  11. Stren High Impact (Great for tighter wallets and big fish)
  12. P-Line CXX-Xtra Strong (Best shock absorbent)

Best Mono Lines Reviewed

Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line – Best Overall

  • Available in Test:  2 to 30lb.
  • Colors: Clear, Low-Vis Green, Fluorescent Clear-Blue.
  • MSRP: $6.99 to $65.99

Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line provides you with an easy-to-manage, reliable, consistent line. It has a phenomenally smooth cast, partly due to its low memory and small diameter. The Berkley Trilene XL monofilament fishing lines are a great choice for new and seasoned anglers.

Berkley Trilene XL is a mono that is well-balanced and provides a fantastic return for its entry-level price. There are several monofilament fishing lines available that will outperform the Trilene XL, but not in every aspect. The price, knot strength, and durability make this stand out.

The fluorescent clear blue line is perfect for fishing in low visibility. You can shine a blacklight on it, and it will stand out plain as day. I tested the 17lb line while night fishing for catfish. The performance was great, with several cats coming to the net. I never felt that the bigger fish were going to break me off, so much so that I could have gone lighter and still been confident.  

The 6 and 8-lb tests were used for trout fishing in lakes, with multiple rainbows coming to the net throughout the day. High mountain lakes and streams are perfect for the 4lb test, with a 2lb leader if you’re going for a real challenge.

In the end, I am happy to load my reel with the Berkley Trilene XL. It stays on my ultra-light gear all the time and will move onto my main rods when I am looking for an easy, low-vis line with great knot strength.

Maxima Ultra Green

  • Available in Test:  3 to 140lb.
  • Colors: Moss Green
  • MSRP: $12.39 to $149.99

Maxima Ultra Green might be the best quality line on this list. Perfect for hard-hitting salmon and giant steelhead that make huge runs, the Maxima Ultra Green stands up to the challenge. The line is known for its strength. It is usually stronger than anticipated. Most people fish a few pounds lower than they would other modes.

Whether you target small trout with a light line or 40lb chinook, the Maxima Ultra Green will get the job done, plus some. The only drawback is the high cost. If that’s not an issue, this is one of the best mono fishing lines to have in your tackle box.

Berkley Trilene Big Game Line

  • Available in Test:  6 to 130lb.
  • Colors: Clear, Coastal Brown, Green, Solar Collector, Steel Blue, Ultra Clear
  • MSRP: $6.99 to $110.00

Berkley Trilene Big Game line is an excellent mono fishing line for those targeting bigger freshwater fish. Abrasion resistance with this monofilament fishing line is good and will let you get into dense cover without too much trouble.

A bigger line means bigger reels, so don’t expect to load this on an ultralight reel. The ultra-clear line makes up for its larger diameter by being almost invisible in the water. Catfish and other large gamefish come to the net easily with this monofilament line.

A problem with this monofilament fishing line is its stiffness. With its bigger diameter, it needs to go on a reel that can handle it.

KastKing Premium Monofilament Fishing Line

  • Available in Test:  4 to 30lb.
  • Colors: Clear, Black Mamba, Ice Clear, and more
  • MSRP: $6.99 to $15.99

KastKing has built a name for itself by creating high-quality lines in an affordable range. The Premium Monofilament Fishing Line keeps that tradition moving forward. The wide range of colors, sizes, and diameters make this line a must-try.

Strong knots and low stretch make this monofilament line great for targeting big and small species. The 4lb test is great for the little kids to get out and catch a bucket of bluegill, while the 30lb will take on the toughest channel catfish. There isn’t a lot of memory, so the line lays out smoothly. I found that casting into the cover was okay as well. Line abrasion didn’t seem to affect anything, and after a few hours of catching bass around the rocks, I didn’t lose one fish.

Seaguar Senshi Nylon Monofilament Fishing Line

  • Available in Test:  4 to 20lb.
  • Colors:  Low-Vis Clear, Low-Vis Green, Blue Fluorescent,
  • MSRP: $12.99 to $101.99

Seaguar Senshi is a perfect line for those that are willing to pay for it. The knot strength is next to none, even when targeting heavy fish. Abrasion resistance is on par with the best lines out there.

Japanese for warrior, this monofilament fishing line is just that. The only drawbacks are the lack of availability and cost. This line might not be readily available at your local tackle shop, so you might need to search for it.

Sufix Advance

  • Available in Test:  4 to 25lb.
  • Colors: Moss Green
  • MSRP: $15.39 to $149.99

Sufix Advance Clear Monofilament allows for a stealthier presentation than most other lines on this list. It becomes nearly transparent when wet. This line provides up to 50% less stretch and UV damage than most mono lines.

Sufix has raised the bar on its premium competition by creating a line with almost no memory, outstanding knot strength, and high abrasion resistance. Heavier lines don’t seem to lose the sensitivity found in lighter lines. One of the best lines tested, though it is a premium line and comes with a higher price tag.

Stren Original

  • Available in Test:  4 to 20lb.
  • Colors: Clear, Low-Vis Green, Blue Fluorescent, Hi-Vis Gold
  • MSRP: $3.99 to $14.99

Stren Original is a staple in most tackle boxes. It’s been one of the most used mono lines out there. A fantastic value and history make this one of the best mono fishing lines for just about anybody. If you want to spend as little as possible, go with this or the Berkley Trilene XL. They are both among the best fishing line on the market; I just found the Berkley to have a slightly smoother cast and less stretch.

Sufix Elite Monofilament Fishing Line

  • Available in Test:  4 to 20lb.
  • Colors:  Clear, Low-Vis Green, Hi-Vis Yellow
  • MSRP: $9.99 to $11.99

Sufix Elite Monofilament Fishing Line is one of the best monofilament fishing lines with low memory and a great ability to cast. This monofilament line is just as good on a baitcaster as it is on a spinning reel. Use it as a mainline or as a leader on a baitcaster. It will bring in anything up to 25 lbs.

I’ve used this mono fishing line for years and have found it to have very few if any, line twists when putting it on the spool. It handles everything I’ve thrown with it and has a good amount of longevity, and that is why this one made the cut for the best mono line.

Newer fishing lines like the Sufix Advance have overshadowed this monofilament fishing line, but it does still hold its own.

Stren MagnaThin Fishing Line

  • Available in Test:  4 to 20lb.
  • Colors: Clear, Moss Green, Walleye
  • MSRP: $9.99 to $13.99

The Stren Magnathin is designed to get your bait in front of fish that are easily spooked by a fishing line. Small diameter and high tensile strength give you the opportunity to cast a lighter line without giving up strength. Perfect for high-mountain lakes and streams, this monofilament fishing line brings that wary fish to the net better than most.

Think of this monofilament fishing line as your go-to for that beaver pond full of native cutthroat trout that take off at the smallest shadow.

Berkley Trilene XT Extra Tough

  • Available in Test:  10 to 30lb.
  • Colors: Clear, Fluoro clear-blue, Low-Vis Green, Solar
  • MSRP: $4.99 to $21.99

Berkley Trilene XT Extra Tough is a great option when searching for heavy gamefish. While not quite as castable as the XT Big Game, it’s more flexible and ties tighter knots. Heavier lines should be set up on larger reels.

I have used this for going after carp, and it worked well. I let the line free spool, so there was no resistance. Once the carp took the bait, I let it swim away for a moment before setting the hook. This monofilament fishing line handled the hookset without any noticeable stretch.

Stren High Impact

  • Available in Test:  10 to 30lb.
  • Colors: Clear, High-Vis Green, Low-Vis Green, Smoke Blue.
  • MSRP: $6.99 to $21.99

Stren High Impact Monofilament is affordable and offers one of the best monofilament fishing lines for the money, plus in large amounts. It can typically fill more than one reel. The different sizes and colors will provide everything you need for fishing in almost any situation that requires a heavier test.

One drawback to this monofilament fishing line is the tendency to kink easily, making weak spots.

Great shock resistance helps secure more solid hookups with big gamefish. Line weights of up to 30 lbs allow for both freshwater and saltwater fishing applications.

P-Line CXX-Xtra Strong

  • Available in Test:  4 to 40lb.
  • Colors: Clear, High-Vis Green, Low-Vis Green, Smoke Blue.
  • MSRP: $9.99 to $21.99

P-Line CXX-Xtra Strong is a great monofilament fishing line for those looking to fill multiple reels. Strong enough to bring in the bigger fish while still thin enough to be low-vis underwater. Reduced memory and good ability to cast will get your bait to the hard-to-reach areas. Putting this monofilament line on a baitcaster can help you target those areas that require super-accurate casts. Whether loading on a spinning reel or a bait caster, this monofilament fishing line won’t let you down.

Mono, Braid, or Fluorocarbon? What’s the Right One to Choose?

fishing from boat

Mono line is widely used and offers a low-cost way to get set up. The three main types of fishing lines are Monofilament, Fluorocarbon, and Braid. A new angler doesn’t need to get too wrapped up in different line types, but it is good to know what’s out there. Let’s start out with the differences between the three and when to choose one above the others.

First, keep in mind that mono is the least expensive option and braid is generally the most expensive. Fluorocarbon is perfect for crystal clear water situations like ice fishing because it doesn’t reflect light the same way mono does. Braid freezes and becomes unusable in ice fishing, so it’s best to use the best fishing line.

Braided line, is generally made from ‘braiding’ several strands of line together into a tight line. It has more strength because each strand is able to pull weight. Braid also offers the smallest diameter of the three types. It works well for distance casting on baitcasters and is a good option as a mainline on a spinning reel. Mono is very adaptable to different water clarity levels. Any water that isn’t crystal clear is perfect for mono.

Mono is thicker in diameter than braid and most fluorocarbon lines. With that said, here are some things to consider when buying the best mono fishing line.

Line Diameter

The diameter is determined by measuring the width of the fishing line. The general idea is that the smaller the diameter, the better the line will be cast. That holds true most of the time. If you only shop diameter, you’ll miss out on the other biggest thing to consider. Strength is also important. Choosing a thin diameter is a good practice but in the right test.

Monofilament is a thin diameter that will sink faster than a thicker fishing line. You can cast it farther and put more on the line than with a thicker diameter at the same test. Fishing knots are easier to tie with a thinner diameter, though the line may not be as abrasion-resistant as a thicker diameter. If you are fishing cover that is close, you can use a thicker diameter and be okay.

What is X-lb Test?

The line test is the breaking strength of the fishing line. A six-pound test should be able to hold a six-pound weight without breaking. A good rule is to decide what you are targeting, then plan the test on the biggest of that species. For fish like crappie or bluegill, a very light test of 2 – 4lbs is good. Catfish are going to require a much higher test strength in the 15 – 25lb range.

Watch this video below, where the strength of a line is put to the test.


line memory

What is line memory? Is high memory good or bad?

Fishing line memory is the line’s natural ability to lay flat and straight. The lower the memory, the better. High line memory is going to reduce cast distance, reduce line strength, and cause all sorts of birds’ nests and line twists. High-quality mono will have a very low line memory.

The Best Mono Fishing Line

fishing during sunset

Overall, I would go with something affordable. If you can afford the best monofilament fishing lines, go for it. If not, the Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Monofilament or the Stren Original Monofilament Fishing Line will provide you with all the range you’ll need.

Get a spool of monofilament line, and you’ll be ready for a great day on the water. Keep your fishing line fresh, and don’t let it sit on the reel for more than a season before changing it out to get the best functionality. And lastly, have fun!

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

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Hi, my name is Eric. I am a contributor for A Fellow Fisherman and a former charter captain who has been saltwater fishing since before I can remember. I grew up in New Jersey, fishing mostly the Delaware Bay and River, as well as many offshore charter trips. I have had an enormous passion for fishing my whole life, and am lucky to have done it as a profession. I am confident when it comes to telling people about the best techniques for catching fish, but am still open to a good debate.

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