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In many respects, we tend to overthink fishing line selection. With modern braid and mono fishing lines, the truth is that it can be hard to go wrong.
Even a spool full of fluoro, although often not ideal, will work well enough on a baitcaster.
The confusion and doubt have arisen because of the vast selection.
We go to the tackle shop only to be accosted by walls of fishing line options, with each brand, model, color, and label promising the world.
It’s no wonder the average angler is left a little perplexed.
To add fuel to the fishing line fire, we read threads on fishing posts with anglers saying, “this line is perfect,” or “never touch that line.”
It’s also difficult not to be influenced by pros endorsing one brand or another.
With a baitcaster, the cast is critical. You want a line that facilitates a smooth, trouble-free cast.
In many respects, that’s most of them, so again, we’re left with the daunting task of deciding which is the most suitable for our baitcaster applications.
In this article, we’re going to look at 5 fishing lines that’ll do the trick on your baitcaster.
We’ll look at line selection criteria and explain some of the nuances that go into appropriate line selection.
What Type of Fishing Line is Best for Baitcasters?
When I look for fishing line, I look for low memory, high abrasion resistance, and smaller diameter construction.
All three main types of fishing line have strengths and weaknesses in these areas, so whichever one you choose, you will compromise on at least one of the key criteria.
It’s important to note that line stretch is also a factor to consider. More on stretch later. Knot strength and knot skills also come into play when selecting line type.
However, the compromise does not need to sway you; it is merely a paper compromise.
In a practical sense, the inherent performance deficits of whichever line type you choose will only rarely impact your fishing to any great extent.
We spool up with three types of lines these days. We use mono, braid, and fluoro.
Let’s look at the benefits and compromises inherent in each type. But before we do, we should understand what memory, abrasion resistance, and line diameter mean.
Line memory refers to the fishing line retaining the shape of the device on which it is/was stored.
For example, line stored on a cylinder retains a round shape causing the line to hoop.
Refers to fishing line’s ability to resist cuts, abrasion, general wear, and damage from contact with rough surfaces.
Line diameter is the thickness of the fishing line. It can vary significantly between line types.
Usually, the thicker the line, the higher the breaking strain. Importantly, anglers are looking for the strength to diameter ratio. That is greater strength with less diameter.
All fishing line stretches to some degree. And stretch, or lack thereof, has different benefits and drawbacks depending on the application.
Sometimes lots of stretch is desirable; other times, next to no stretch is desirable.
Braid will often have no discernible stretch at all. Fluoro has a moderate level of stretch, however, these days less stretch is becoming popular with fluoro.
Mono has the most stretch, and at times it can be considerable. However, there are also plenty of mono brands advertising significantly reduced stretch.
Stretch is good when game fishing and trolling. Limited stretch is good for lure fishing of all types. But that doesn’t mean stretch will ruin your lure fishing.
It’s stretch that gives line its forgiveness.
There is less trouble casting, particularly with a baitcaster, and you are less likely to pull hooks with line that has a little more stretch.
With stretch, the trade-off is sensitivity.
Many will say that braid, mono, and fluoro have variable knot strengths. This is not entirely correct.
To maximize knot strength, you will have to tie knots suited to the line type.
For example, a standard fisherman’s knot is useless on braid. Generally speaking, you will need a few knots in your arsenal if you intend to use each line type.
Top 5 Best Lines For Baitcaster in 2021
Here are the top 5 lines for baitcasting reels
1. Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line – Good All-Rounder
I have used this on a 2000 spinning reel and it’s been there, well used, for three seasons.
It was terribly expensive but I had honestly forgotten it was fluoro. It’s very supple, and I would argue quite suitable for baitcasters.
It’s an excellent fishing line. I have only used the 6 lb line, and I’d buy it again without a second thought.
I run it without a trace straight to the lure or hook, which is very convenient, if not a little risky, around the structure.
Having said that, I’ve fished it in treacherous locations that would make 4-inch steel cable tremble.
When I have been foul hooked beyond redemption, I recall having to work quite hard to snap the line.
Considering it was only 6 pound, I remember being very surprised at the strength every time it happened.
Especially considering it must have been rubbing against some pretty gnarly structure.
Be careful with knots. Even in the 6 pound test, the knots require special attention.
However, a standard locked fisherman’s knot will deliver all the knot strength you need.
- Great abrasion resistance
- Supple for fluoro
- Low memory
- Care required with knots
2. Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Line – A Popular Line & Great Value
If you’re looking for value and strength, it’s hard to look past Trilene. It doesn’t really advertise bells and whistles, and I kind of like that.
It’s a good honest line that’s inexpensive and will peel off your baitcaster with limited fuss. A good workhorse that doesn’t cost the earth is pretty rare in fishing these days. And I like the price point.
There are plenty of anglers who will swear by the Trilene. I wouldn’t go that far; it’s pretty ordinary.
However, the reason it gets a look in is that it performs well on baitcasters. Or, more to the point, in my experience, it has performed well on my baitcasters.
Trilene keeps things in perspective. With a baitcaster and a tackle box full of expensive lures, one tends to overthink their fishing line.
We also overspend. Trilene reminds me that I don’t need to spend 60 bucks on the latest 12 strand braid.
If you’re old school, want reliability and a hint of old-school familiarity, go with the Trilene. There’s plenty that do.
- Accessible Quality
- No frills, but a strong performer on baitcasters
- No Frills
3. SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate Mono – Best Mono For Your Baitcaster
This is a strong, supple mono designed to work on baitcasters. It’s particularly strong with only 15% stretch, which makes it perfect for lure fishing.
The limited stretch ensures a level of sensitivity not usually seen in mono lines. It’s excellent for hook setting yet has a little bit of forgiveness for the over-zealous strike.
- Unprecedented 15% Stretch For Incredible Sensitivity And Hook Setting Power
- Unique Package With Thin Profile - Less Weight! Less Waste!
- Thin Diameter Allows Exceptional Bait Action And High Line Capacity
- Excellent Knot And Shock Strength - Even When Wet
Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The significant feature, however, is the small diameter. For those looking for a stacked spool with plenty of line for the battle, the Ultracast is a great mono choice.
It’s a great price relative to performance, and there’s a good range of test weights starting at 4 pounds through to 20.
In my experience, having used more fishing line brands than I could ever name, Ultracast has performance qualities that I notice.
There are plenty of fishing line nerds out there, and I’m not one of them.
I don’t really notice any of the nuanced performance attributes, or at least I never used to until I had to review them.
But the performance of the Ultracast stands out for me. And it’s not one feature in particular.
Do you ever find yourself fishing a particular line, saying to yourself, “I really like this line…” Ultracast is that line for me.
- Excellent all-round performance
- Superior strength
- Excellent diameter to strength ratio. Small diameters
- Supple, with great knot strength
- Bigger value-based spools would be useful for larger, round baitcasters
4. Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid – EXCELLENT GO-TO OPTION
Mr. Reliable. I’ve used plenty of this line, and I’ve returned to it many times. I’m not sure I know the value of the 7 Dyneema fibers and the 1 Gore fibers, but this line feels great.
There’s not much science in me saying – it feels great, I know. But there’s a lot to be said for it. I’ve had great results with the heavier class, particularly with abrasion resistance.
It casts beautifully, slipping through the guides, yet the knots are very reliable.
It may fade a little quicker than other lines. However, the latest advertising says the color retention has been improved. It’s not an issue for me at all.
It’s strong, robust, zips off my baitcaster with a great sound. I’ve wrestled logs and the sea bed plenty of times to test its strength, and it stands up to the snag test.
If I’m to recommend an application, I’ll point anglers toward anything where the structure will be tough on line.
I like it for chasing larger bridge monsters and fishing the piers. While great on smaller reels, I prefer it on 400 size low-profile baitcasters or round baitcasters.
For those looking to tackle a larger class of fish from tricky land-based locations, I’ve found the Sufix 832 a very successful option.
Recommended. Pretty reasonable price point for braid, but still expensive
- Excellent features across the board
- Great Casting Qualities
- Excellent Abrasion Resistance
- Expensive, yes. But I feel it is worth it
5. KastKing SuperPower – Best Braid On A Budget
One of the great turn-offs for choosing braided fishing line is the price. We spend a heck of a lot of money on braid and we rarely get much of a break from manufacturers.
KastKing are well known for offering affordable fishing gear, and true to brand they offer an affordable braid that I, and many other anglers, find performs well above its low price point.
The bottom line (no pun intended) is SuperPower delivers everything you want in a braid. Diameters are small. The strength to diameter ratio is as good as any.
There’s no stretch to speak of so the sensitivity is excellent. So too is hook setting.
For those less developed with knot tying, SuperPower offers a little relief as the line construction delivers better knot integrity.
The range is fantastic, offering 6 pound through to 80 pound. I like a line you can spool to all of your reels, as it offers consistency and predictability.
There’s a great color range, ensuring a greater likelihood of matching color to application.
There are high vis and low vis options.
Again, in an effort to provide a complete range and convenience, there are several spool sizes starting at 327 yards to 1097 yards.
Just be aware not all test weights are available in all spool sizes.
SuperPower is an excellent option for anglers on a budget. It’s also an option when the price is a concern.
This is a good performer on any baitcaster and worthy of a test session at the very least.
- Excellent features across the board
- Excellent range spool sizes and line classes
- Great Casting Qualities
- Excellent Abrasion Resistance
- Small diameters
- Highly affordable
- No cons to speak of
The Pros and Cons of Monofilament (mono) Fishing Line
Mono is the most widely used fishing line amidst the ranks of average anglers. It’s been with us for decades and is highly effective on baitcasters.
Many will argue it’s a must for baitcaster beginners, and I agree. I would also add that the forgiveness of mono makes it ideal for testing the limits of a new baitcaster.
Mono has plenty of stretch, is forgiving, and is highly abrasion-resistant, depending on the brand.
Mono diameters can be a little on the thick side, so if you desire plenty of yardage, mono may be a compromise.
Keep in mind that there are mono lines that offer better strength to diameter ratios.
Mono is great to cast with baitcasters, however, the memory issue can be a problem.
Mono has a memory like an elephant – plenty of it. If you’re aware of it, it should never be a problem.
Even without using warm water wet-down techniques, line memory awareness will mitigate casting problems.
Mono is great for all types of fishing. While it doesn’t have the sensitivity of braid, it’s still great for lure fishing.
If I get a birds nest, (and I do, and I will – doesn’t matter how experienced you are), mono is far easier to manage than braid.
Particularly the bad, evil nests that make you want to give up fishing forever.
I’m just as happy fishing mono on my baitcasters as I am braids. What little I lose in sensitivity, I get in forgiveness at the strike and super-easy knots for fast rig changes.
What’s more, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than any other line on the market, with mid-priced lines offering outstanding quality.
The Pros and Cons of Braided Fishing Line
The huge rise in lure fishing over the last two decades has contributed to the rise and popularity of braided lines.
For fishing with lures, braids are awesome. The main feature is their sensitivity.
You feel everything your lure is doing, from a passing weed, a small undulation on the river bed, to the faintest of inquiries from half-interested fish.
Good braids have no real discernible stretch. This is the reason you can feel everything. Technically, there is a minuscule amount of stretch, but none that you will ever feel when fishing.
Braids also have the best strength to diameter ratio. If you want a full spool of 20 pound on you 200 size baitcaster, use braid.
You’ll pack on twice as much braid as you will the equivalent strength of mono or fluoro.
Braid has reasonable to good abrasion resistance. If I’m fishing somewhere really gnarly, however, I tend to go for the thickness of mono or fluoro.
Quite often a decent length of leader will be enough to mitigate issues with gnarly snags, so I’ll use braid anyway.
Braid is awesome for casting. The slippery coating makes it fly off your spool and through the guides with far less friction than mono and fluoro.
However, bird nests can be an issue. If you get a birds nest, braids seem to tangle worse than any other line.
Good knot skills and knowledge are required to ensure you get full join strength with braids. Which knot to use for particular applications ensures you avoid heartbreak.
The lack of stretch takes some getting used to. Aggressive strikes, usually successful with mono, may well pull the hooks from your target’s mouth.
While braid requires some new skills for the beginner, it’s an awesome line type, strong and long-lasting.
While the up-front cost can take your breath away at times, performance and durability deliver value for money.
The Pros and Cons of Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
For me, Fluorocarbon is essential leader material. It hit the market and quickly took off as its strength, abrasion resistance, and invisibility were an ideal feature in a leader.
In the early days, it was very thick, and knots were very difficult to tie.
Over the past couple of decades, the technology has been refined and much of the stiffness has been taken out of fluoro so it’s now become an option for spooling up.
It’s my personal opinion that there seems to be little benefit relative to the price point. It has less stretch than mono but more stretch than braid.
While this provides a good balance of sensitivity and shock resistance, I still can’t see any higher relative performance than the other line types.
It doesn’t absorb water, it sinks, it laughs at UV rays giving it a very long working life, and it has good abrasion resistance.
In that regard, fishing nasty gnarly snags in clear water, working cranks that you need to dive make it an ideal fishing line.
Fluoro is less supple than the other two fishing lines. That’s why I generally avoid spooling up a baitcaster with it. Plenty do, but I prefer others.
Knot tying is critical, particularly with heavier test weights. As it’s not so supple, it’s more difficult to get full knot strength.
Fishing line choice can be very subjective.
In my opinion, Fluoro is an awesome leader material, and I’ll leave it at that.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Importance of Line Color?
In terms of line color, you want a high line visibility, so you can see it, or a low line visibility, so the fish cannot see it.
Perhaps a blend of the two is something we seek. There is also multicolor line that helps us gauge depth.
Each brand has line colors rated for visibility. The best way to determine what color is for what purpose is to check the manufacturer specifications on the box.
If you’re fishing clear water and want invisibility, you should use fluoro or braid with a long fluoro leader.
What is the Importance of Line Test?
Line test, or line class, is probably the most important consideration. Line test is the breaking strain of the fishing line.
The larger the fish you hunt, the stronger the line you need. Test weights start at 2 pounds, going through tight increments above and beyond 100 pounds.
What is the Importance of Line Longevity?
Longevity is purely about value for money. Lines that don’t last will cost you more over the longer term as you must replace them more regularly.
Mono needs replacement more often than any other line. It’s highly susceptible to UV degradation. Both fluoro and braids can last for several seasons.
Is Mono or Braid Better for Baitcasters?
Both Mono and Braid are excellent for baitcasters. It’s about personal preference and application.
Mono is probably better for beginners that are new to baitcasters and when testing out a new baitcaster.
Can you use Fluorocarbon Line on a Baitcasting Reel?
The short answer is yes, you can use fluorocarbon line on a baitcasting reel.
However, the argument could go on for days.
The latest model fluoros will work pretty well on baitcasters as they have become very supple.
I prefer mono or braid on baitcasters. There are plenty of anglers who would share my preference.
How Much Line Should be on a Baitcaster?
Always ensure the spool is full. You get the best performance from your baitcaster when it’s full.
It will still perform well as you reduce the amount of line, but there will come a point where casting is compromised.
That point is triggered by several reel and user-specific variables.
The Baitcaster Fishing Line Wrap
Fishing line is so often a matter of personal preference. Despite all the science that goes into it, we often choose based on feel and advertising, then discard based on failure.
Whether it’s our failure or genuine line failure is difficult to determine.
All the lines above will work nicely in most applications. Better performance can be achieved by matching line qualities to application and geography.
I already use the Sunline Fluoro, Love the Sufix, but today’s prize goes to the SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate Mono.