The 10 Best Fishing Lines of 2022

The top picks to help you land your next big catch

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You can have the best rod-and-reel set-up and the most attractive lure, but none of that helps if your line gets tangled—or, worse, snaps—as you attempt to land your catch. From deceptively simple monofilament lines to fluorocarbon leaders, the line you use matters. It needs to align with the weight of your target fish species, fend off abrasion damage, stay invisible from fish, and improve casting, reeling, and every other aspect of the sport.

From deep-sea game fishing to fly lines that sink quickly to the river floor, or float with tantalizing ease, these are the best fishing lines for every angler.

Best Overall: Berkley Vanish Transition Fishing Line

Berkley Vanish Transition Fishing Line

Berkley

What We Like
  • All the advantages of fishing with a colored line, none of the drawbacks

  • Modest stretch for larger, hard-hitting fish

What We Don't Like
  • Some anglers report that they have to use a palomar knot and the max length is only 250 yards

The 100 percent fluorocarbon Vanish Transition fishing line from Berkley employs a color transition feature that keeps the line always visible above the surface of the water while transitioning into a nearly-invisible clear tone below the waves. This helps anglers track long casts and better notice subtle strikes without risking fish seeing the line. Built to sink quickly, it boasts a more direct profile from the tip of the rod to the lure and proves easy to handle and tie knots. Modest stretch can handle larger, hard-hitting fish, and the memory is minimal.

Line Weight: 6, 8, 10, and 12 pounds | Length:  250 yards | Line Colors: Crimson red, clear gold

Best Budget: Bass Pro Shops Tourney Tough Monofilament Fishing Line

Bass Pro Shops Tourney Tough Monofilament Fishing Line

Bass Pro

What We Like
  • Solid knot strength

  • Lots of test weight options

What We Don't Like
  • The shelf-life isn’t as long as a true copolymer or fluorocarbon line

The high-performing Bass Pro Shops Tourney Tough Monofilament Fishing Line uses a copolymer construction to boost strength and stretch, delivering excellent knot strength and solid handling. The line diameter measures in at only. 0.18 millimeters (in the 2-pound test version), and pushes up to a still-streamlined 0.52 millimeters in the 25-pound test option, which lets it glide smoothly in the water.

Line Weight: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, and 25 pounds | Length: 275 yards | Line Colors: Green, clear

Best Splurge: PowerPro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line

PowerPro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line

Cabela's

What We Like
  • Highly performant

  • Reliable, and sturdy

What We Don't Like
  • Some users report line not being as strong as rated

Blessed with ample stretch to handle the feistiest of fish, the Braided Spectra Fiber Micro Filament Line from PowerPro is built with an ultra-strong braided fiber that’s been treated with the brand’s Enhanced Body Tech, making the line perfectly round, smooth, and sensitive. It comes in four colors (including white) and a wide array of pound tests.

Line Weight: 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 200, and 250 pounds | Length: 300 yards | Line Colors: Moss green, white, vermillion, red, and high-vis yellow

Best Monofilament: Ande Premium Monofilament Fishing Line

Ande Premium Monofilament Fishing Line

Ande Monofilament

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Narrower-than-average

What We Don't Like
  • As with all mono lines, you’ll need to swap in new line more regularly

Mono lines rank as the most popular fishing line for all the right reasons: They’re inexpensive and reliable, and often come with lots of line per spool. And the Ande Premium Monofilament is no exception. The medium-soft line has a narrower diameter than your standard mono line, which lets you track deeper and with less drag, and allows you to cast further than wider lines. But it still retains solid tensile and knot strength, with low memory to reduce tangles. The 20-pound option is available here.

Line Weight: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 125, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 400 pounds | Length: 2,285 yards | Spool Size: N/A | Line Colors: Clear, green, pink

Best Fluorocarbon: Seaguar Blue Label Big Game Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Seaguar Blue Label Big Game Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Seaguar

What We Like
  • Highly performant leader

  • Good knot strength

  • Low-vis

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • You’ll need to pair this leader with a main fishing line

Seaguar invented the fluorocarbon line, so it stands to reason that their Fluoro Premium Big Game line ranks high with open-ocean anglers. This leader boasts a narrower-than-average diameter than other big-game fishing lines, with a top-of-the-line knot and tensile strength. But it feels soft, with nominal memory, and appears practically invisible between the lure and the mainline.

Line Weight: 100, 130, 150, 170, and 200 pounds | Lengths: 25 and 50 yards | Line Color: Clear

Best Copolymer: McCoy Premium Co-Polymer Fishing Line

McCoy Premium Co-Polymer Fishing Line-Xtra Clear

Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Responsive

What We Don't Like
  • Some may want a more forgiving line

McCoy’s Premium Co-Polymer Fishing Line-Xtra Clear stands shoulders above other co-poly lines thanks to a proprietary blend of nylon resins infused with the brand’s Penesil Saturation Process, which delivers longer, smoother casts, remarkably good abrasion resistance, no spool memory, and reliable knot and tensile strength. Minimal stretch lets you drive the hook, and the reduced water absorption adds both durability and longer shelf life.

Line Weight: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, and 25 pounds | Lengths: 250 and 3,000 yards | Line Colors: Clear, also available in green and clear/fluorescent blue

Best Braided: Seaguar TactX Braid & Fluoro Kit

Seaguar TactX Braid & Fluoro Kit

Cabela's

What We Like
  • Strong, solid camo

  • Available for fresh and saltwater

What We Don't Like
  • Lowest pound test is a still-sort-of-high 10 pounds

Constructed of four strands, the Seaguar Tactz braided line has been engineered to maintain its round shape and to stay firm to reduce rod tip wrapping and wind knots. The all-around braided line casts smoothly, fights abrasion, and delivers overall strength along with a pebble texture that improves durability while simultaneously cutting through vegetation. Each of the earth-tone brands have been heat-set to retain their colors, and blend together to create a natural camo that matches the underwater topography. It’s also available for both fresh and saltwater.

Line Weight: 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80 | Length: 150 yards | Line Color: Camo

Best Floating Fly Line: Rio Elite Rio Gold Slick Cast Fly Line

Rio Elite Rio Gold Slick Cast Fly Line

Amazon

What We Like
  • Beautifully engineered to improve your angling performance

  • Able to create smooth, precision casting for a variety of fly sizes and styles

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The Elite Rio Gold line illustrates how complex a fishing line can be—in a very good way, that is. It has a tapered design that provides reliable loop stability at distance, along with a front taper engineered to present flies ranging from #2 to #22, with a long head and a back taper that provides complete control, from the cast to the hook set. Rio uses its low-stretch ConnectCore Plus tech to provide smooth control and layers of sensitivity to bolster strike detection, subtle line manipulation, and faster hook sets. A proprietary coating amps the durability and cuts down significantly on line friction.

Line Weight: 4 to 8 pounds | Length: 30 yards | Line Color: Moss/gold/gray

Best Sinking Fly Line: Orvis PRO Depth Charge 3D Fly Line

Orvis PRO Depth Charge 3D Fly Line

Orvis

What We Like
  • The triple density construction makes it sink quickly and amps durability

  • Construction aids in energy transfer from line to leader

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The Orvis PRO Depth Charge 3D Fly Line uses the brand’s Depth Charge design to help your flies sink like a rock and stay in close contact with the floor, with a 30-foot front head, a 1-foot translation section that slopes into a 20-foot body, and another 39 feet of running line. An enhanced welded loop makes it easy to attach a leader, and the construct promotes efficient energy transfer to the leader to improve turnover. The line has also been treated with AST Plus, which makes the line eight times slicker than standard fly lines, to improve casting and performance while easily shedding dirt and oils to extend its shelf life. It cuts through currents smoothly and works well in deep, still water.

Line Weight: 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 450, and 550 grams | Length: 90 feet | Line Colors: Head colors vary by grain measurements (mist green, yellow, orange, surf, green, white, and red), all with dark green/dark gray back sections

Best Saltwater Fly Line: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Big Water Taper Fly Line

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Big Water Taper Fly Line

Bass Pro

What We Like
  • Engineered to deliver the optimal in big game fly fishing

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in the 100-pound test

Built on Scientific Anglers’ first 100-pound monofilament core, the Amplitude Big Water Taper claims to be the world’s strongest fly line, capable of handling the largest of gamefish. Specifically built for tropical environments, it uses AST Plus slickness tech that adds durability and drastically improves shooting ability, casting further than any other lines in the company’s product line. The floating texture on the tapered tip assures the line stays on the water’s surface, while hemispherical divots like those found on golf balls make for easier casting, higher floating rate, and more durability without the distracting feel of other textured lines.

Line Weight: 100 pounds | Length: 105 feet | Line Color: Black sighter, surf blue running line, and sand head

Final Verdict

Boasting all the advantages of a colored line paired with a clear line that fish won’t see, the Berkley Vanish Transition (view at Amazon) fluorocarbon line comes in bright, easy-to-see crimson red or gold, along with the tech that makes the line turn invisible when it’s underwater. It provides modest stretch to help fight stubborn, hard-striking fish and carries nominal memory for months of confident casting.

But if you prefer a simple, inexpensive mono line, go with the Ande Premium (view at Amazon). The medium-soft line has a narrower diameter than other monos, so you can track deeper and encounter less drag, but still retains the tensile and knot strength that makes mono lines one of the most popular options.

And if fly fishing is your approach of choice, we highly recommend the Rio Elite Rio Gold floating line (view at Amazon). If you're looking for a way to up your fly fishing game—casting and approach included—before spending hundreds of dollars on a new rod and reel, try placing a high-end line on your current rig.

What to Look for in Fishing Lines

Line Weight

The line weight, measured in pounds (or grams, sometimes, in fly fishing), indicates the max weight the line can hold. In selecting a line weight, ID the max weight of your target fish species, and then add another ten pounds (on average), which will create a buffer to handle aggressive fish who tend to fight, or if the fish hits at full throttle. Additionally, consider where you're most likely to be fishing. If in still water, like lakes or reservoirs, you might not need to over-estimate the pounds your line can handle. But if you're in moving water, like rivers or the ocean, consider you'll not only be fighting your fish but also currents.

Line Length

This is the total length of the line on the spool, typically measured in either yards or feet. Some brands offer a variety of lengths, while others are fixed. Expect longer lines for saltwater fishing compared to freshwater fly-fishing, while lines like leaders are intentionally short and should be paired with other high-performance lines. Most mono lines also come in really long lengths—upwards of 2,000 yards—so you can re-spool a new line without having to buy another one.

Line Color

Fishing line colors run the gamut, from nearly-invisible see-through mono and copolymer that won’t be noticed by fish, to colors that are highly visible or that rely on patterns to blend in with the mossy waters of a river or lake. High-vis yellow lines make it easier for you to track longer casts and notice bites, while pink and red hues afford above-water visibility while practically disappearing under the waves. Camo or deep green lines, meanwhile,  let them blend in with the other features on and in the water. Consider what sort of fish you'll be hunting and the colors and clarity of the water in which you'll be fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How often should I switch my fishing line?

    For most anglers, you should swap out your lines once or twice a year. But the type of line—and where you store it—will also influence when a line should be swapped out. Mono lines are susceptible to damage from UV, so they should be stored in a dark place—and the lines are also less abrasive-resistant than others, which means you may need to replace mono lines more frequently. Co-poly lines are UV-resistant and come with a higher resistance to abrasion, which lengthens their shelf life.

    Braided lines aren’t as resistant to abrasion damage, but they do resist the impacts of UV and the use of higher-end materials boast a longer shelf life than mono or co-poly lines. Fluorocarbon lines can last longer than mono or co-poly lines. Anglers who prefer to fish in the ocean should also factor in the damaging impacts of saltwater on the line. Always inspect your line and look out for fraying, abrasion damage, a loss of stretch, or the influence of too much memory to know if you should swap lines before heading out.

  • Is mono or braided line better?

    Better is slightly a misleading characteristic when it comes to deciding between monofilament and braided lines. The former is the most common and the most versatile, consisting of one piece of plastic that’s stretched and spooled.

    These lines boast less memory and lots of stretch and are a good choice for novice anglers because of their simplicity and low cost.  Braided lines can range from anywhere from four to 16 different individual strands of lines that have been woven (or “braided”) together.

    This improves the line’s durability, cuts down on memory and stretch, ideal for the smaller game but perhaps not the best for big game fishing. Braided lines prove to be more durable than mono, and are better suited for deepwater fishing because they’re both thinner and heavier than mono. You also get a better feel on braided lines, however, their opaque design makes it easier to fish to spot the lines.

  • What's the difference between copolymer and fluorocarbon?

    As implied by its name, copolymer typically uses two materials to improve the drawbacks of monofilament lines, providing less stretch and almost no memory (which lets the line hang straight).

    Fluorocarbon is a step up, taking a traditional copolymer line and then coating it with fluorocarbon, which makes the line easier to cast, stronger than copolymer, and makes the line practically invisible underwater, though you do sacrifice some sensitivity and abrasion-resistance.

  • What color fishing line is best?

    From clear to green to pink, fishing lines come in a variety of colors. Clear—or transparent—lines make it very difficult for fish to notice the line, but make it a bit tougher to track casting and notice hits. Even with those modest drawbacks, that’s the most common option. Those who are looking to track longer casts should consider brighter lines like yellow, which is easy to notice and works well underwater in muddy conditions.

    Pink and red hues, meanwhile, provide solid tracking and become practically invisible to the fish. Green or camo lines work well in muddier waters or when fishing in lakes and rivers, where they blend in with mossy contours. Go with the line that best suits your target fishing style based on those key considerations.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Borchelt has been testing, rating, and reviewing outdoor and travel products for decades. In preparing this article, all the key considerations were taken into account, including durability, stretch, memory, abrasion resistance, tensile and knot strength, and value-to-price. Reviews by verified customers as well as pro anglers were also consulted.

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