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Very few fishing lines are created especially for a single species. Instead, they come in a range of pound tests, lengths, and colors, allowing you to choose the combination that best suits your target fish. When it comes to bass fishing, certain types of line are better for specific applications. For example, the floating nature of monofilament line makes it ideal for fishing with topwater lures; while the incredible strength of braided line comes in handy when angling for trophy bass. In this article, we separate bass fishing lines into unique categories and select our top pick for each one. Read on to see the best ones to buy today, so you can reel in your big catch in no time.
Our Top Picks
Most Popular: PowerPro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line
Marketed as the workhorse of the respected PowerPro line up, the PowerPro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line offers excellent abrasion resistance and an impressive strength/diameter ratio, making it ideal for packing onto the spool when targeting big bass or fishing in heavy cover. Unlike many braided lines, it’s also surprisingly cheap — and it’s this blend of quality and affordability that makes it so popular.
Made from ultra-strong braided Spectra Fiber, the line is treated with the brand’s Enhanced Body Technology making it rounder, smoother, and more sensitive than competitors in the same price bracket. This smoothness allows you to cast further while the roundness enables the line to be reeled neatly back onto the spool, preventing tangles. You can choose from a wide range of lengths and pound tests, from a 150-yard/8-pound line to a 1,500-yard/150-pound line (for much bigger species than bass!). Colors include moss green, vermilion red, and high-vis yellow.
Best Monofilament: Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line
Monofilament stretches more than other line types, making it more difficult for bass to spit your lure during the fight. As such, it’s a great choice for treble-hooked lures, including lipless and diving crankbaits. It also floats better than fluorocarbon or braid, making it ideal for use with topwater lures. Berkley’s Trilene XL Monofilament is known for its strength and sensitivity. A new formula gives it 20 percent greater knot strength than the original formula, in addition to 50 percent greater wet strength and 20 percent more flexibility.
The brand’s Smooth Casting treatment also helps to reduce the likelihood of tangles, twists, and kinks, helping you cast further and with greater accuracy. Choose from a range of different lengths and bass-appropriate pound tests (from 2 to 30 pounds), then opt for the color that best suits the fishing conditions on any given day. Green is perfect for fishing in heavy vegetation, while clear/blue is the winning choice when fishing in clear water on a sunny day.
Best Fluorocarbon: P-Line Tactical Premium Fluorocarbon Line
Once primarily used as a leader for braided line, many fishermen are now opting to fill their spools exclusively with fluorocarbon. It refracts light and is nearly invisible underwater, making it a superb choice for targeting pressured bass in clear water. The P-Line Tactical Premium Fluorocarbon Line is made from 100 percent pure premium Japanese fluorocarbon, which uses the latest raw materials and extrusion techniques to deliver exceptional strength and durability.
Although it is expensive, the line won Best of Show in the Line category at ICAST 2016, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show. Its increased smoothness allows for longer casts, while a special formula makes it clearer and more abrasion resistant than most other fluorocarbons. It comes in a range of pound tests from 6 pounds to 20 pounds, all on a 200-yard spool. Its fast sink rate also makes it an excellent choice for pairing with sinking jigs and worms.
Best Braid: Spiderwire Stealth Fishing Line
Braided line is famous for its combination of incredible strength and small diameter, which means that you can fit more on the reel at a given pound test than you could when using either fluorocarbon or monofilament line. The Spiderwire Stealth Fishing Line is made from Dyneema, the world’s strongest fiber, for unparalleled strength and thinness. The line’s round shape allows it to run smoothly on and off the spool while reducing backlash. The fluoropolymer treatment helps achieve longer casts and keeps sound to a minimum for a stealthy approach.
Like most braided lines, the line has zero stretch. This means that you can instantly feel structure and bites, making it easier to achieve positive hook sets. Choose from an extensive selection of lengths and pound tests, then pick one of seven different colors ranging from low-visibility blue camo or moss green to high-vis Yellow. The latter enables you to see the line clearly above the water, giving you a visual heads up for subtle strikes. The only downside to this product? Some reviewers report that colors fade quickly.
Best Copolymer: KastKing Copolymer Fishing Line
Those that can’t decide whether to go for monofilament or braid should consider compromising with KastKing’s Copolymer Fishing Line, which combines attributes of both. In comparison with traditional mono, copolymer offers better abrasion resistance and reduced line memory. The latter is an important advantage as it allows you to achieve longer, smoother casts with fewer tangles. The line also has more stretch than braid or fluorocarbon, making it better for situations in which you want the bass to hold on a little longer before striking. It’s also easier to tie secure knots in a copolymer line.
These properties make the line ideal for all kinds of bass fishing except for techniques that use topwater lures. This is because KastKing’s copolymer is designed to cut through the water for the fast presentation of sinking lures. It comes in four colors: copper, green, camo, and clear. The clear line can be used as an effective leader and is a cheaper alternative to fluorocarbon for this purpose. Whether you choose 4-pound or 30-pound line, it comes on a 300-yard spool.
Best Ultralight: Berkley NanoFil Uni-Filament Fishing Line
The Berkley NanoFil Uni-Filament Fishing Line is another, newer cross-over between braid and monofilament. The winner of four international awards, it is made from hundreds of Dyneema nanofilaments molecularly linked to create a single, unified filament line. It boasts an incredibly high strength/diameter ratio and is the brand’s thinnest line per pound test. An ideal choice for ultralight bass fishing, you can pack plenty of the high breaking strength line needed to target big bass onto the small spinning reels associated with ultralight setups.
It’s also Berkley’s longest casting line, affording exceptional accuracy while requiring minimal effort. With zero stretch, you can feel every nibble and bite immediately, while zero memory virtually eliminates line tangles. Pound tests range from 2 pounds to 17 pounds, lengths range from 150 to 1,500 yards and color choices include clear mist, high-vis chartreuse, and low-vis green.
Best Fly Line: Orvis Hydros Bass Fly Fishing Line
Expressly designed for bass fishing, the Orvis Hydros Bass Fishing Line is an expert at getting big flies into tight spaces. Ideal for heavy nymph rigs at short to medium distances, the compact head and short front taper allow you to direct flies between heavy cover and into the shaded holes where big bass hang out without fouling up. Cast effortlessly into the wind thanks to the brand’s Integrated Slickness additive, which provides lubrication for maximum casting distance. It also helps the line to remain supple for longer.
Orvis’ printed Line ID lets you read the taper, weight, and functionality at a glance so that you can pick it out of your tackle box in a hurry. Attach your leader just as quickly using the line’s enhanced welded loop. Although the line is marked for use in warm water, reviews state that it’s effective in temperatures as cool as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It measures 90 feet and comes in six-, seven-, eight- or nine-pound tests. The chartreuse/orange color is highly visible, allowing you to see strikes and line placement clearly.
Best Budget: KastKing Monofilament Fishing Line
Available in 300-yard or 600-yard lengths, the KastKing Monofilament fishing line comes in a variety of pound tests ranging from four to 30 pounds. Depending on which line strength and length you choose, you can pick up a spool for next to nothing. Despite the line’s budget-friendly price-tag, it’s also known for its exceptional quality.
It offers good abrasion resistance and is supple enough to allow for strong, reliable knots. The brand’s Paralleled Roll Track technology allows for increased reel capacity and prevents the line from sinking into the spool, thereby helping you to cast further and smoother. Line color choices include rebel red, chrome blue monoline and sunrise yellow. The ice clear version boasts impressive clarity, making it a possible wallet-friendly substitute for a fluorocarbon leader.