Spinning reels are fantastic for so many reasons. They’re easy to use and beginner friendly, perfect for finesse fishing, and they enable more accurate casting and over longer distances. To make the most of their strengths, it is very important to ensure you have the best fishing line for spinning reel.
A quality line that’s strong and smooth, matches your reel capacity, offers the level of sensitivity and visibility that suit your type of fish and fishing conditions will mean improved casting, successful reeling, and a great day on the water. A poor choice of line will mean losing lures, watching fish get away, and wasting time dealing with issues such as twists and tangles. That’s a fishing day ruined.
Before you head out to the water, ensure you’re equipped with the best fishing line for your reel. Wondering what fishing line to use for your spinning reel? To help you out, we’ve reviewed the top fishing lines that have been tried and proven to perform well with spinning reels. Below are the best fishing lines for spinning reels.
How To Choose The Best Fishing Line For Spinning Reel – Buying Guide
Buying a poor fishing line for your spinning reel is a costly mistake and not just moneywise. It will also cost you your time, success, and enjoyment of your fishing trips.
So how do you know the best line for your reel, type of fish, fishing technique, and water conditions? This guide will give you the information you need to make an educated pick.
First of all, is a braid, fluorocarbon, or mono line the best fishing line for your spinning reel? Let’s take a look at the different fishing line types you can spool onto your reel and what to expect with each.
Monofilament Fishing Line
As the name suggests, monofilament fishing line or mono line is made of a single strand of nylon fiber. It is the most popular and widely used all around fishing line as it works great for all types of fishing. It is also the cheapest fishing line and the go-to for beginners and those on a budget.
So how does it perform on a spinning reel? Here are the characteristics of monofilament fishing line as a fishing line for spinning reels:
Related Review: Monofilament Line
Out of the three fishing line types, monofilament line has the highest elasticity and stretches readily. It acts like a shock absorber, stretching when weight is applied and recoiling when weight is removed. This high stretch-ability can be a good thing as well as a bad thing.
It is a good thing when fighting a large game fish as it absorbs the shock from the fight. The little tension reduces the chances of a hook tearing out of the fish’s mouth before it has set. The line has give, which allows the fish to get the bait in its mouth fully.
The downside is that the high elasticity gives mono lines poor sensitivity. It can be hard to detect when you have a bite at the end of the line.
This stretching also weakens the line and makes it prone to line breaks. You have to keep on adjusting the drag to prevent the line from breaking. You also have to replace it more often than the other lines.
High memory is a bad thing and this is the biggest frustrations when using mono line for spinning reels.
When you leave it spooled for an extended period of time, it will lose its straight shape and adapt the coiled shape it had on the spool.
When you cast, the coils make it difficult for the line to shoot through the guides smoothly. This hurts casting and retrieval and causes line issues such as twists and tangles.
Thick Line Diameter
Mono line tends to be thick and strong. This gives it a disadvantage when using it on a spinning reel. You can’t spool a lot of it because it takes a lot of space and this limits casting distance. The thick line means more friction and this affects casting negatively.
It is very important that you match the line’s pound test to the pound test your reel is rated for. If you happen to use a thicker mono, you will find your line coming off the spool while casting and you’ll have yourself a big mess to fix.
Tends to Float
When it comes to buoyancy, monofilament fishing line has a low density compared to water and tends to float on the water surface. With time it may absorb water and sink slightly, as it is slightly permeable to water. It works well for topwater fishing but not for deep water fishing.
Mono is highly transparent and works well for fishing during clear days and on clear water. The fish can barely see it and this makes it a great leader line too. However, line coloring has made it available in all kinds of colors including clear, clear blue, green as well as vibrant hues.
It has low resistance to abrasion, as it is susceptible to damage by nicks, scrapes, dents and even UV rays. Its high stretch-ability also makes it prone to fraying. Mono lines require replacement more often than the other fishing line types.
Knot strength is one of the strengths of using monofilament fishing lines on spinning reels. It ties strong knots and its structure has a bite that ensures the knots hold well even when fighting big fish.
Braided Fishing Line
Braided fishing line is constructed of synthetic fibers like Gore, Dacron, Dyneema, and Spectra. Its structure is composed of several strands that are then woven together very tightly. A few braided lines, such as the Berkley FireLine Superline reviewed above, are thermally fused.
This construction makes braided lines smooth, round, and incredibly strong. Out of the three fishing line types, braided line lasts the longest. It resists abrasion, rot, and UV damage extremely well. It is very expensive but its superior features and performance make it worth the money.
Braid is the best fishing line for spinning reels and the go to if you want to maximize your reel’s line capacity, casting performance, and eliminate the much dreaded line twists. It offers the best results when finesse fishing with lighter lures.
If your spinning reel is designed to accommodate braided line on its own, all you have to do is spool it directly. If not, it’s advisable to add a mono line as backing for the best performance. Braid is thin and slick and can slip when spooling creating issues. Adding an anchor prevents this slippage.
Here are the characteristics that make braided line the best fishing line for spinning reels:
Low Stretch-ability, High Tension, and High sensitivity
Braid has near zero stretch-ability. It’s a high tension line and the transfer of energy from the reel all the way to the lure is excellent. This gives it excellent sensitivity and feel so it is easy to detect even the lightest of bites and know when you have a hard hook set. This feel makes it perfect for finesse fishing.
The high tension combined with the incredible strength braided lines have make them ideal for hauling large catches from tight cover. It is also great when fishing from a fishing kayak or boat.
However, this can also work against you if you set the hook too early or too hard. With a strong and hard fighting fish, the high tension and lack of stretch can rip the hook right out of the fish’s mouth.
Almost Zero Memory
Its lack of memory ( it may have a little, temporary memory due to the coatings on its surface) is what makes braid less vulnerable to developing line twists.
No matter how long you leave it spooled, it retains its suppleness and straight shape and won’t acquire a coiled shape like monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.
When you cast with it, it will smoothly fly off the reel enabling you to cast longer and farther without having to deal with line twists.
Thin Line Diameter
Due to the way braided is constructed, it usually has a super-thin diameter while packing a lot of strength. Braid is stronger than mono or fluoro of the same diameter.
It takes little space on the spool and you can spool a huge amount of it to enable you to cast farther.
When casting, it flies through the guide smoothly resulting in accurate and long distance casts.
The thin braided line meets little resistance on the surface of water so it sinks readily. The ease of sinking is also helped by the fibrous strands absorbing water. The minimal disturbance it causes on water makes it perfect for taking lures underwater without making the fish wary.
Braid is normally a highly visible line to both you and the fish. It is great if you want to be able to see the line and monitor what is happening to it. The not so good is that the fish will also see it and might be wary.
The good news is that braided lines are now colored and available in different colors such as dark green, white, beige, or yellow. However, colored braids tend to fade and lose its coloring over time.
Another solution to the visibility issue is to pair it with a fluorocarbon leader to make it more difficult for the fish to notice the line while still allowing you to see it clearly.
Braided fishing line isn’t immune to abrasions but its strength and structure give it better resistance to scrapes, nicks, and bumps. It’s the most durable fishing line type and lasts the longest on the spool before it needs replacement.
Its major weakness is that it tends to fray and lose its round shape gradually when dragged over abrasive objects. This creates casting issues and the line becomes weak and prone to line breaks. If you notice this problem, it’s time to re-spool or remove the weakened part.
Its slick, slippery surface makes knotting tricky. The knot won’t hold properly and tend to fail under pressure which can lead to lost opportunities on the water.
Manufacturers of braided lines are applying special coatings on braided line to improve their knot strength. Most of the braided lines reviewed above have improved knot tying properties.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Fluorocarbon fishing line looks a lot like monofilament line. However, 100% fluorocarbon line is unique, with superior properties to mono. The only downside is that there aren’t many options available.
Most fishing lines composed of fluorocarbon are just mono line with a fluoro coating. Fully fluorocarbon lines are a lot more expensive than mono lines but not as costly as braid.
Here are the characteristics of fluorocarbon fishing lines for spinning reels
Related Review: Fluorocarbon Line
Fluorocarbon fishing lines stretch more than braid but not as much as mono lines. This gives them a medium level sensitivity and tension.
The greatest weakness fluoro lines have is that they take their spool shape readily and develop coils, twists, and tangles which hurts their castability. They also tend to become slinky and these properties can make them a little difficult to manage.
To reduce these issues, it’s essential to stay on top of the line by being on the lookout for twists and taking the time to tighten the line every now and then.
The line diameter of fluorocarbon lines is thick compared to braid but not as thick as that of mono lines. You can spool a larger amount of line and cast farther than you can with mono.
Fluorocarbon lines are dense and sink readily when they come into contact with water. This makes them ideal for deep water fishing but not for topwater baiting.
A fluoro line is very hard to see underneath the water. This is because its refractive index is almost the same as that of water. Fish can’t see it easily and this makes it a top choice for fishing in clear water. It’s also popular as a leader line.
High Abrasion Resistance
High quality fluorocarbon lines feature a thick coating, which gives them excellent abrasion resistance. They’re also chemically unreactive and this means they aren’t easy to corrode.
Now let’s go over the characteristics that affect how good a fishing line is for a spinning reel. These are the factors to consider when choosing a fishing line.
How elastic a fishing line is will affect its performance on a spinning reel. It affects the line’s sensitivity and how easy you’ll be able to detect action.
The higher the elasticity level of a fishing line, the more stretchable it is and the less sensitive it is. Some level of stretch in a fishing line is desirable, as it absorbs the shock when fighting large fish enabling you to generate a hard hook set where a line with a high tension would have ripped the hook out of the fish’s mouth.
A line with good shock resistance also withstands breakage well when a fish hits at high speed such as when trolling. However, the added stress the line takes makes it deteriorate faster and require replacements often.
The lower the elasticity level of a line, the less stretch-able it is and the more sensitive it is. You can feel every fish bite and even tell what’s happening to your lure in the water. Such a line also has a high tension and the energy transfer from the lure, through the line and to your rod tip is superb. You can easily read bottom structures.
With an extremely sensitive line, you have to be careful when finesse fishing with a spinning reel, to ensure you don’t set the hook too early on a fish before it has taken your lure completely.
Braided line has near zero stretch and is extremely sensitive to bites. Monofilament line is the most stretchable and flexible. Fluoro-carbon falls in between the two.
When it comes to choosing the best fishing line for your spinning reel, you want the one with zero or the least memory. The memory of a fishing line refers to its tendency to acquire the coiled shape it is usually in when spooled.
A line with a lot of memory retains the loops it develops when spooled. If you don’t use the reel often and store it for a long time, the line will develop a coiled shape. On your next fishing excursion using the line, you’re going to encounter line twists and tangles when you try to cast which will reduce your casting accuracy and distance.
A line with zero memory remains straight even after being spooled for a long time. There won’t be friction between the line and guides, which means no twists and you can enjoy smooth casting and cast farther.
Braid has near zero memory. The little it has is due to the coating on top and it goes away quickly. Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines have high memory and are susceptible to developing line twists when casting.
If you have a line with memory issues, you can try and make it more manageable by using a quality line conditioner to keep it smooth.
The best fishing lines for spinning reels have a thin diameter without sacrificing strength. Thick diameter lines don’t perform well with spinning reels.
First of all, a small diameter means you can spool a large amount of line to get the most out of your spinning reel’s casting capacity.
A thin diameter produces less friction on the water, cuts through and sinks faster and is able to take lures deep into the water without spooking the fish. This makes super-thin lines the best for flipping, pitching, and fishing with bigger crankbaits.
The larger the diameter of the line, the more space it takes on the spool and the smaller the amount you can spool. This limits your casting distance. Using a large diameter line on a spinning reel also increases the amount of friction hurting casting distance farther. Sometimes a thick line will jump off the reel spool when casting creating backlashes.
However, there are instances where you may prefer a larger diameter because of the added strength it gives you to fight large fish.
When it comes to line diameter, braid is the winner as it has the smallest diameter to test LB ratio. This is one of the reasons braid is such a popular fishing line for spinning reels. Mono line is usually thick and strong.
It is also important that you choose a line size that suits the size of your reel. Make sure the line’s weight and yards match the capacity of your spinning reel.
How buoyant a fishing line is refers to its tendency to float or sink when on the water surface. The level of buoyancy you need will depend on the fishing techniques you employ.
Fluorocarbon fishing line is very dense and sinks readily. This makes it the ideal line for deepwater techniques.
Monofilament fishing lines have a low density and tend to float. They are great for topwater lures and floating baits.
Braided lines sink readily because of their thin diameter that meets little resistance on the water surface plus the little fibers that make up braid absorb water fast. They’re good for delivering lures deep into the water.
The level of visibility you need in a line will depend on the water conditions you’re fishing in and what your personal preference is.
You will want a highly visible line if you want to be able to see where the line is, how it is behaving and be able to notice if a fish takes the bait. For example, when fishing the piers.
You will want an invisible line when fishing in clear water or going after smart fish that can become wary of your line.
Braid is the most visible on water. You can see it clearly and the fish can see it too, which can make them wary.
Fluorocarbon line has the highest invisibility and suits clear water fishing. It is also often used as a leader line with braid. Monofilament is also usually invisible.
Most of the fishing lines are colored and offer several color options. Neutral colors such as olives and grays blend in with the water and natural vegetation so they don’t spook the fish.
Highly visible colors such as reds, yellows, and neons make it possible to see your line clearly and monitor the action so you know what is happening.
The best fishing line for spinning reel should be very smooth and round and have the ability to stay that way for a long time.
However, the spinning technique is hard on fishing line due to the pressure applied at the guides and the friction where knots are tied. The line is also constantly exposed to salt water, dust, sand, and other destructive elements. Frequent yanking by fish weaken the line farther making it prone to developing twists, tangles, or breaking suddenly.
This is why abrasion resistance is a very important feature in fishing lines for spinning reels.
If you often drag your line against heavily abrasive structures line rocks, shell beds, and boulders, you need the strongest and toughest line with excellent abrasion resistance to go through all this and come out intact and abrasion free.
100% fluorocarbon fishing lines have very strong abrasion resistance. Monofilament lines are susceptible to scrapes, nicks, and dents and easily weakened. Braided lines are also susceptible to abrasions but to their construction using hundreds of small fibers, it takes a lot of abuse to cause significant damage.
Knots are necessary when fishing but they’re usually weak points on a fishing line. Hard fighting fish and hard hook sets can cause the line to break at the knotted point.
The best fishing line for spinning reel should be strong and make it easy to tie knots and produce strong knots that hold well.
Monofilament lines usually produce the strongest knots. Due to its smooth surface, braided line is usually the worst at knot tying.
However, manufacturers are applying special coatings on braided lines to improve their knot strength.
Q: Why Type of Fishing line should I put on my spinning reel?
The type of fishing line you should put on your spinning reel will depend on the type of fish species you’re going after, the type of fishing you’ll be doing, and the water conditions you’ll be fishing in. Ultimately, your reel capacity will determine what weight of fishing line to use. Here are some tips to help you decide on the best line to put on your reel.
Monofilament Fishing line
Because of its tendency to float and thick diameter that limits the amount of it you can spool, mono line suits topwater fishing techniques and baits such as walking the dog, hopping a frog, Texas-rigged soft plastics, jigs, swimbaits, among others. A 2-4 lb strength suits freshwater fishing for small fish like trout. A higher 6-10 lb test suits inshore and pier fishing for salmon and other larger fish.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Because of its tendency to sink, invisibility, and strong abrasion resistant, fluorocarbon fishing line is suitable for clearwater, deepwater, hard cover, and finesse fishing, flipping, and pitching. It works well with shaky head, jigs, tubes, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, swimbaits, drop shot, tubes, crankbaits, among others.
Braided Fishing Line
Braid is strong, ultra-thin and you can spool a lot of it, corrosion resistant, abrasion resistant, sinks readily and is highly visible. It works best when finesse and hard cover fishing, flipping, and pitching with frogs, buzzbaits, jigs, Texas-rigs, flipping jigs, and more. A 30-130 lb braid strength suits offshore fishing for the big ones such as sharks, Marlin, large tuna, and kingfish.
Check Your Reel Capacity
First of all, it’s important to remember that spinning reels are generally designed for finesse fishing techniques using lighter lures and baits. Thicker and heavier pound test lines can be difficult to cast using a spinning reel.
Spinning reels work best with 6 – 12 lb monofilament or fluorocarbon lines because these have a thicker diameter. 10 to 30 lb braid is good and you can go beyond the 30-pound test if you’re going offshore fishing for large game fish.
The pound test of your should be just about the same as the weight of your target fish so it can withstand the fight without breaking. The line should also have the yard length you’ll need for the type of fishing you’ll be doing.
Ultimately, the pound test and yards of line to put in your spinning reel will be determined by the capacity indicated on your reel. It’s very important not to exceed the recommended diameter and size so as to avoid casting issues.
Q: How to Test the Strength of Fishing Line?
The pound test strength of a fishing line indicates the number of pounds the line can hold before it breaks. If you would like to verify for yourself whether a particular fishing line really can handle its pound rating, here is a simple exercise you can undertake to test the strength of the fishing line.
You’ll a vise need a vise, a round metal pipe, heavy duty tape and a hook.
- Wrap the metal pipe with two or three layers of tape and secure it in a vise.
- Cut a 6- to 8-foot piece of the fishing line whose strength you wish to test
- Wrap it around the pipe several times so that it doesn’t slip when force is applied
- Tie a hook onto the end of the fishing line
- Hook the end of the line onto an object of similar weight as the listed pound test of the line.
- Lift the object into the air using the metal pipe and shake it using the same amount of force you would on a fish. Repeat this with higher weights until the line finally breaks.
The heaviest weight you were able to lift just before the line broke is your line’s breaking strength.
Globo Surf Overview
The fishing line is the most critical link between you and the fish you’re engaging. When fishing with a spinning reel, it is very important to ensure you have the right fishing line to enhance your casting and retrieval performance. It should match your reel size and suit your target fish species, fishing style and the water conditions you’ll be fishing in.
When it comes to the best fishing line type for spinning reels, braid wins because of its incredible strength, thin diameter, non-existent memory, great sensitivity, and durability. Mono and fluorocarbon lines also have their strengths and are good for some fishing situations and for going after small and medium size fish.
As for the specific brand and model, the fishing lines reviewed above are all good with spinning reels. They are top rated and have the features desired by spinning anglers: strength, great castability, sensitivity, knot strength, low memory, resistance to abrasion, and even more. We are confident that you will be pleased with their performance on the water. Check them out, try one or two and you’ll soon have a favorite go-to fishing line for your spinning reel. Other fishing related articles, fishing pliers, fishing backpacks, fishing waders, tackle boxes and fish fillet knives.
Whether you decide to go with a mono, fluoro or braid, ensure you get the right line capacity for your reel. Even with the best fishing lines for spinning reels, choosing the wrong lb test and yard length will create problems for you and you don’t want that. With the best fishing line for your fishing reel, you’ll catch more fish successfully and your time on the water will be that much more enjoyable.
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Your turn! What fishing line do you use with your spinning reel? What has been your experience with it? Share with us in the comments below