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Types of Fishing Line

If you are just starting out fishing the making the choice between the different types of fishing line may seem a little confusing.

However, once you understand what each fishing line type is used for and their strengths and weaknesses then you choice of line will become a lot clearer.

Knowing when to use a certain type of line and more importantly when not to use it can have a dramatic effect on your success when out on the water fishing.

Types of Fishing Line

1. Monofilament

Monofilament is probably the most popular kind of fishing line and it is the best fishing line for a beginner.

Mono is generally used on spinning reels and lighter setups like trout rods as it is much less visible than braid and lighter lures and techniques will generally be used on small rivers and streams, so going unnoticed is very important.

Mono has some natural stretch built into it which can be both a positive or a negative depending on what type of lure you are fishing.

If fishing with small single hook jigs then you do not want to much stretch as you will need to set the hook quickly.

If using lures with treble hooks then having a little extra stretch in the line is a bonus as it will help to delay your strike by a few milliseconds.

2. Braided Fishing Line

The main difference between braid vs mono is that braid has very low stretch characteristics when compared to mono.

Braided fishing line really shines when you are looking for a low stretch line that can cut through heavy weeds.

The best braided fishing line is low stretch and has a really thin diameter.  

Braid is considerably thinner than the equivalent mono or fluorocarbon. Because of this you can use a heavy braid and it will slice through thick weeds.

When fishing a frog lure in heavy weed beds braid really shines whereas other lines will not be suitable.

If you are using braid as a main line and are concerned about visibility you can use a fluorocarbon leader.

Fluoro is a low visibility type of line and also has a very high knot strength, two attributes which make it a great leader material.

3. Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon is a specially formulated fishing line that is low stretch, is see through and has a very high know strength.

It is commonly used as a leader especially when using braid as your main line.

However it is also very effective when fishing with small single hook lures particularly when you want to have a line that is as invisible as possible.

Fluoro is also a popular choice as a fishing line for crankbaits particularly if you are fishing around a lot of weeds or bouncing your lure off the bottom in and around structures.

4. Co-Polymer

Co-polymers are hybrid lines of different types of nylon that are stretched just like when making monofilament except there are multiple strands of nylon in co-polymer.

Think of it as a more advanced and modern version of monofilament fishing line.

It combines a lot of the best attributes of braid and fluoro without any of the drawbacks.

One disadvantage is that it is quite expensive when compared to other fishing lines.

5. Ice Fishing Line

Ice fishing line is a specially formulated type of line that remains supple even in really low temperatures.

It is also designed to be very abrasion resistant, which is very important when fishing through an ice hole.

Ice fishing line is usually made from fluorocarbon and occasionally from braid.

It is usually low stretch as you will be using either single hooks with bait or jigging with single hook spoons or small jigs.

6. Lead Core Line

Lead core line is a fishing line that is used primarily for trolling.

Trolling at a certain depth is only attainable if you are using a downrigger or lead core line.

All other lines will only go as deep as the lure will naturally allow it to dive.

As the name suggests it has a lead core that is covered by an outer layer of woven line that protects not only the lead core from the elements but also your line guides from the lead inner.

It is normally colored every meter so you know can calculate how much line you have out when trolling.

The depth that the lure will run to can be calculated by how much line you have out.

7. Fly Fishing Line

Fly fishing line is a specialty type of fishing line that can only be used with a fly rod.

It comes as either a floating, sinking or neutral in terms of buoyancy.

The ends of the line have a taper and depending on the kind of casting performance you are looking for the taper can be chosen as to where it starts.

Fly line is rated by weight generally starting at a 3 wt up to a 12 wt. A 3 wt is very light line and is used with very light rods for dry fly fishing on small fivers and streams.