One of the fundamental aspects of fishing with a baitcasting reel is the type of line you’re using. While veteran anglers know which fishing lines and leaders to use for their baitcasters, many less experienced folks aren’t sure which one to go with.
The Short Answer
In a rush? No need to worry. Here’s the best fishing line for baitcasters:
Power Pro’s Microline is the best baitcasting braided line on the market, both for its thin diameter and industry-standard strength. You won’t have any trouble casting this line far into the water, because despite how thin the line is, it’s weight allows for accurate presentations on the water.
One of the problems with many braided lines has to do with the durability of the material. When your line scrapes against the lake’s floor or jagged rocks, the material tends to fray. However, this fishing line’s special coating and design mean you won’t have to replace your line after only a couple of fishing trips.
Another reason we love this fishing line for baitcasters is because of the convenient packaging. The built-in line cutter makes setting up your baitcaster a breeze.
Other Great Fishing Line for Baitcasters
Veteran anglers often complain about monofilament fishing lines. Still, Berkley’s Trilene line resists the damage associated with UV rays and regular wear and tear. Once a monofilament line stretches, it begins to lose strength. However, the monofilament material of Berkley’s line resists damage even from the most robust fish.
With a wide variety of poundage and line length, you can customize your order to best suit your environment. There are also 3 different color options–green, clear, and solar–that help conceal your line regardless of the water’s visibility. Unlike a braided baitcasting line, this monofilament line doesn’t stand out in the water.
However, if you’re planning to catch larger game fish, then you’ll need a thicker line that makes more commotion in the water. This means that any smaller fish will swim away after they perceive the line, but this might not pose a challenge if you only want to snag larger fish.
For our money, it doesn’t get any better than the Berkley Trilene XL Mono. This line is durable and extremely smooth. It lends itself to no hassle casting, with very little backlashing (when casted properly).
It has very little line “memory”, so you can usually use and store the line on your reel for months without it needing to be replaced. It also has great sensitivity and very high strength. This gives it a lot of versatility, and allows you to fish a wide variety of lures and baits.
One of the things that people like most about the Trilene XL is it’s ability to “punch above its weight.” You’ll find lots of people that are able to hook and land larger fish on a smaller test (i.e. 8 pound fish on a 4 pound line).
All in all, an incredible choice for your baitcasting line for bass (and all other fish). We recommend the 10, 12, or 14 pound test.
We’ve included two baitcasting lines made from Seaguar. The red label ranked higher because of the advantage it provides you in the water. This is the best fluorocarbon baitcasting line to hold knots, even in the roughest conditions. Furthermore, the coating ensures you won’t lose most of your fishing line in the first couple of months after buying it.
Fish won’t see your fishing line in the water, since fluorocarbon is an excellent material for catching skittish fish. When it comes to casting, this is one of the smoothest materials available for baitcasting reels. Finally, you won’t have any troubling reeling in your catch using Seaguar’s red label product with high tensile strength.
Seaguar’s fishing line is the best fluorocarbon fishing line on the market. At 15-pounds of strength, this is an excellent option as a leader when you connect it to a monofilament or braided fishing line. Regardless, this line works great in clear water because the fish will never see your fishing line.
Braided lines make for great casting, especially when compared to mono and fluoro fishing lines. However, baitcasting lines from Seaguar’s are always soft to the touch and comfortable to cast effectively.
But you don’t take our word for it. Check out the high praise from Amazon customer ‘ifishinxs’ from Utah:
“I have fished this line extensively in Bass Tournaments and for trout fishing, soft and hard water. This line is as good as it gets. I just smile when I see a bad review. Line tangles, wind knots, and low knot strength…Learn to load line on a spinning reel the right way, guys. Use a good fluorocarbon knot that is easy to tie. Palomar comes to mind. Even an improved clinch knot works fine..Albright knot to braid for a short top shot. There is a reason the pros are all going to it. It catches more fish.”
Stren sells a great monofilament fishing line that comes in 3 great colors:
- Blue: blends in on the surface and becomes transparent once it’s submerged.
- Transparent: is ideal for when the water is unusually clear.
- Green: works great in environments with excessive algae growth, such as on Lake Erie.
Suppose you decide to use a fluorocarbon leader. In that case, this is the monofilament for you because the material holds knots better than the competition. Even though this isn’t a braided line, it still provides enough strength to reel in larger fish, due to the high tensile strength.
While most monofilament fishing lines stretch out when pulled hard enough, Stren’s fishing line boasts a controlled stretch that helps your baitcasting line last longer. Another aspect of the monofilament material is the coating, which helps reduce abrasions that eventually cause your fishing line to snap at the worst time.
This braided baitcasting line from PowerPro is one of the best options on the market. This line benefits from using a monofilament line in terms of its superior ability to hold knots and lures. Meanwhile, there’s virtually no stretch in this line, which means you’ll feel almost every strike against your fishing lure no matter the size.
You also aren’t struck with a one size fits all option, because PowerPro’s spectra fiber line offers options from 5 pounds of strength test to 100 pounds of tensile strength.
This is an excellent option for anyone teaching their kids to fish with a baitcaster because this is one of the more accessible lines to maneuver for novice anglers.
Just because this product comes in last on our doesn’t mean this is a high-quality baitcasting line. This braided line won’t budge when an aggressive fish pulls hard on your line, which means you’ll have an excellent feel for whenever a fish strikes your baitcasting line.
Reaction Tackle created their fishing line with a high-quality coating that will reduce your fishing line’s abrasion. A common issue with braided lines is they fray after repeated use. Still, Reaction Tackle’s line withstands damage from the sun and rocks and branches.
What To Look for In Your Fishing Lines for Baitcasters
As compared to spinning reels, baitcasters have some built in advantages. Typically you can be much more accurate with a baitcaster reel, allowing you to negotiate technical areas with more rocks or vegetation. Baitcasters also generally lend a little bit more distance to your casting potential, because the line is coming out straighter, and not in a circular motion (especially if you’re fishing with lures).
On the flip side although, baitcasting reels are also subject to a nasty little thing called “backlash.” This is what happens when your lure has already hit the water, but your thumb is still on the button, so it’s still coming out of the reel. This creates a really messy “bird’s nest” of fishing line that can be a major headache (if not altogether impossible) to sort out.
Having the right fishing line can go a long way to helping you cast further, improve accuracy, and avoid backlash.
Here’s what you need to know:
Best Fishing Line Type: Monofilament
Though people fish all 3 kinds of fishing line with baitcasters, we’ve found that the best fishing line for a bass baitcaster is monofilament. Due to its lack of line resistance, and optimal weight, monofilament fishing line is much less prone to backlash and bird’s nesting.
Monofilament Baitcaster Fishing Lines
Mono fishing lines are the cheapest of the 3 general types of baitcasting lines. When you cast, the monofilament lines have a lot of forgiveness in terms of stretch. This means you won’t risk the line snapping or pulling the hook out from a fish while you’re reeling it in.
However, the excess stretch means you’ll lose out on the sensitivity familiar with braided lines. This fact shouldn’t necessarily turn you off from monofilament fishing lines, though, because you can work around the material’s lack of sensitivity.
Yet, suppose you’re planning to keep your materials stored away for months on end. In that case, the monofilament material develops line “memory” to the reel. This presents some challenges when it comes to casting accuracy. The aerodynamics of rings creates a different fishing experience than a new mono line.
Braided Baitcaster Fishing Lines
Braided line can also be fished through a baitcaster, but is more likely to develop line resistance.
As you can guess, companies manufacture braided lines by mechanically weaving many strands into a single fishing line. Braided lines are then coating in a material that ensures durability. One benefit of using a braided line is that you’ll have great sensitivity when a fish strikes your lure.
You’ll also tell whether your line is bumping across the floor of the lake, ocean, or river. However, you’ll need to pay attention to your line’s condition, since every baitcasting line frays over time. The price difference often has to do with how long until the fishing line eventually frays.
Remember, you can combine fishing lines made of different materials.
People use a thicker monofilament as backing before they connect a braided line. Monofilament works excellent as a backing because of the high friction allows for various knots to hold tight in place. It can also help when casting with a baitcasting reel if you need a little bit more resistance to avoid backlash.
The Best Bass Baitcaster Line Weight: 10+
One of the important things to realize about baitcast reels is that they were not designed for light line. A larger diameter, heavier line, will come out of the reel more easily and true. Especially for bass.
We recommend that you use 10 pound line and above. If you’re a beginner, 17 is ideal. Even if you are fishing for smaller, lighter bass, this added line weight will have a truer release, and give you an easier time fighting backlash.
Clear, Transparent Line is Best for Most Situations
You’ll want to choose the color of your line based on the kind of water where you fish. The most versatile color is a clear monofilament line. Still, the diameter to strength ratio can make catching larger fish a challenge.
In any clear water, you’ll most likely want a clear mono fishing line. But for muddier, yellow waters, a monofilament line with a yellow tinge will work well. When the water becomes less transparent, such as places with algae and dirty water, you can start to employ braided lines.
However, with braided fishing lines, color plays an important role. Depending on whether you’re fishing in a lake, river, or ocean, you’ll want to purchase a braided line with a color that compliments those conditions.
What’s the difference between fishing line for baitcasters and line for spinning reels?
Baitcasting reels are normally fished with thicker, heavier lines than their spincasting counterparts. With a thicker diameter, baitcaster fishing lines handle larger fish with ease. This durability also means you can take rougher conditions, especially when it comes to casting and reeling in your fishing line.
However, spincasting lines make for a better tool when you’re fishing for smaller gamefish. It’s easier to cast your line in smaller bodies of water with a spincasting reel. Ultimately, baitcasting lines work best for experienced anglers. It takes more experience to effectively launch and reel with a baitcasting line.
When should I use a baitcaster?
If you’re a novice to fishing, you’ll learn the fundamentals better with a traditional spincast reels. For beginners just learning the sport of fishing, the baitcaster takes longer to master than old-school spincasting fishing outfits. This learning curve has to do with the difficulties in proper casting and feeling. Many beginners suffer from their line bunching in the baitcaster.
Baitcasters work best for anglers looking to catch larger fish, such as big game fishing that requires more durability and distance. You’ll especially want to use a baitcaster when the barometric pressure indicates or the weather turns harsh.
As the winds whip back and forth, the more robust line of a baitcaster helps you fight through the elements; that way, you can still accurately cast your fishing line. Veteran anglers also swear by baitcasters due to their lightweight nature, making all the difference if you’re fishing for long periods.
How expensive are the best fishing lines for baitcasting reels?
The price of your fishing line depends on the material, poundage, and length. Monofilament is the cheapest line, but it’s not as sensitive and stretches. When monofilament stretches, it doesn’t pull back to its original strength. Over time, fighting with hooked fish and damage from UV rays will diminish the quality of your line.
Braided lines are more expensive because they cost more to make. However, braided lines don’t budge, providing enough sensitivity to feel light strikes. The price for braided lines also depending on how much strain it can take without snapping. Braided lines with more poundage cost more because they require more materials.
And a given drawback of a thicker line means you’ll have a more challenging time casting because thicker lines have more memory. The friction makes unspooling harder.
Most Expensive: Fluoro
The most expensive lines are fluorocarbon lines. Because of this, people often use these lines as leaders (tying them to mono or braided fishing line).
What kind of line is best for fish with teeth?
Braided lines won’t work well with any fish with teeth, such as pike. When they tear away, you might risk it tearing the line and losing your fish. To combat this, many people utilize heavy-duty leaders such as fluorocarbon and stiff wire.
Power Pro’s spectra fiber braided line is the best product available on the market today. Veteran anglers love the heavyweight lines, despite how thin the line is, which means less friction when you cast at longer distances.
Another advantage of the thin line is your lure will have more water action, luring in even the more skittish fish. The fishing line’s narrow diameter also means your line won’t cause as much commotion on the water, since a thinner diameter produces less water resistance.
Looking for another type of fishing line? Check out our recommendations for the best: