How to Choose a Fishing Line for Spinning Reels
Spinning reels are the predominant reels in the fishing world due to their affordable price and shorter learning curve.
And while almost all type of fishing lines can be spooled onto a spinning reel, there are some features that distinguish one from the other.
Moreover, each line is more suitable for different purposes and making the wrong purchase can be quite costly.
So if you want to know how to pick the ideal line, you should understand that there are 3 types: Braid, Fluorocarbon, and Monofilament line. Pay attention to the next things.
1. Line Diameter
The line diameter is usually given in mm or inches and it refers to the width of the fishing line.
It has an impact on many fishing properties. Firstly, larger diameter lines cause more friction between the line on the spool, which in turn reduces the distance of castability.
While it’s not a drastic difference, it can still be important if you want that extra distance.
Moreover, line diameter also has an impact on how your lures will move in the water due to the generated water resistance against the line.
Of course, some fish are warier than others. So if you know you're fishing for those, you should aim for a smaller-diameter line to minimize the disturbance in the water.
Generally, smaller fishing line diameter means a capability to cast further, more line on the reel, superior lure action. However, it’ll also mean that the line would sink quicker.
2. Line Color
Many of the lines on the market nowadays have color options. Especially braided line.
Colorful lines help you either camouflage the line in order for it to blend easier in the water or to be more visible to the angler if the line has vibrant colors. The latter helps the angler locate their lure in the water more easily.
If you're going to be fishing in a lake or somewhere with natural vegetation, neutral colors like grays and olives will be great for camouflage.
On the other hand, red and yellow-colored lines will give you more visibility to understand where your bait is in the water and how it's behaving.
3. The durability of the Line
Whatever your choice is between the 3 lines, it’s bound to start breaking and losing its strength with time.
However, they differ in the way they’re affected. Braided line, for example, dulls and frays.
While on the other hand, monofilament and fluorocarbon lines breakdown due to the effects of ultraviolet rays and water absorption.
So choosing the right line for your fishing trip depends on your background regarding how long you'll be in the sun. If you're going to be fishing from a boat with nowhere to go to for shade, you should go for braided instead of monofilament or fluorocarbon lines.
4. The Line Twist
The twisting of the line is also as inevitable as its fraying and breaking down.
And although the spinning reel itself may affect the frequency of twisting depending on the bearing system on it, the line you use may also have an impact on the rate.
Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines are more prone to twisting than braid because of their innate structure.
5. Line Strength or Pound Test
Line strength simply means how much weight the line can pull in without snapping.
And while whether you drag correctly has an impact on the line snapping or staying intact, the strength of the line also plays a role.
So if you’re going to be fishing for smaller fish that don’t fight that much such as panfish and crappie, there’s no need to get a line with a high pound test rating.
However, heavier fish that are known to put up a fight would require stronger lines.
6. How Much the Line Can Stretch
You want to find the breakeven point between the line stretching enough to provide you with flexibility without breaking and also not affect the hooksets.
The way you fish also has a say in the degree of flexibility or stretch of your line.
A line with low stretch would be more suitable for the high sensitivity needed when you drop the bait below your boat and wait for a catch.
On the other hand, less sensitivity and therefore more stretch is needed when you’re using topwater baits. This helps counter the strike’s shock factor.
7. The Line’s Memory
A rule of thumb is that the lower memory line is, the better the line is and less likely to tangle your rod or your reel.
High memory lines will float and twist above water instead of sinking as the weight doesn’t hold it down.
Depending on your style of fishing, your target type of fish, and your circumstances, each line would either help or obstruct you.
Monofilament line is more affordable than the other two options, and that’s why it’s a very common choice among anglers.
However, it has a lot of stretch so it's less sensitive then braided or fluorocarbon lines.
On top of that, it has noticeable spool memory.
Fluorocarbon usually acts as a leader material and not used to fill an entire spool.
This is because it’s less visible as it’s colorless –another reason it’s the best option for fishing in clear water.
Furthermore, it has less line memory and less stretch than monofilament line.
Take care that some lines are only fluorocarbon-coated. This means that they'll act more as monofilament than fluorocarbon lines.
On the other hand, braid lines are made up of several strands so it's very strong.
It has almost no stretch properties so it's incredibly sensitive.
However, it frays and is more prone to breaking in a shorter period of time than the other lines would suffer from UV and water absorption.
On top of that, it's quite visible in water so it would probably scare fish away if you use it in clear water.