Back to top

Types of Fishing Lines – Everything You Need To Know!

types of fishing lines
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.

The types of fishing lines are easier to understand than you would think by looking at the rows and rows of lines for sale at your favorite fishing store. 

Just because there are 20 rows or more of the line does not mean that they are all choices that apply to you and your type and style of fishing. 

What you prefer will be the main deciding factor, but you must learn about all the choices to have an educated starting point.

There are four primary fishing lines to choose from and a few other specialized lines that you may need to use, depending on what you are fishing for and where you plan to cast.

  • Monofilament
  • Copolymer
  • Fluorocarbon
  • Braided
  • Flyfishing
  • Steel liter

The fishing lines can be used solely or combined with leader lengths of a different type added to the hook end, such as steel leader attached to Monofilament when fishing for Pike.

The first four line types will be your main go-to lines, and the other two will be used when fishing with a unique fly pole or for fish species with rows of sharp teeth that can easily bite through the primary line types. 

Now that you know the basics let’s take a deeper look into each of them and show you what they are suitable for and what they fall short in.

1. Monofilament Line Is the Fishing Line You All Know

Monofilament, more commonly known as the Mono Fishing lineOpens in a new tab., is the type of fishing line many of you grew up using. It is an excellent option for beginning anglers and can be used for many different circumstances. 

It makes a great filler line (wrapped around the reel first), allowing you to add a leader of a different type of line on the hook side because Mono is not suited for some types of fishing.

The monofilament fishing line is so useable that it should be part of your tackle box. You can use it to fill a spool, use it for a liter off braided lineOpens in a new tab., and you can use it straight from the pole to the water. 

It is one of the easiest types to use, but it is also one of the easiest to knot up on your reel when you cast the line out and bring it in without having it tight.


  • Most inexpensive fishing line
  • It Stretches to absorb shock
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Knot friendly
  • Casts easily with little effort
  • Floats on top for baits and lures designed for the top of the water
  • Softer and more forgiving


  • Not as strong as the others
  • Breaks down over time
  • Easily knots on the spool
  • Easily forms knots in the line
  • Does not sink as well when using mid and bottom baits and lures
  • Thicker in diameter so less can be put on the spool of the reel
  • Does not cast as far as some of the others

2. Copolymer Line Is Fishing Line Designed A Step Better

The copolymer fishing line is a step above the monofilament line. It has been engineered to work better in most instances, but it has its own downfalls. 

If you want to have a line that is designed for fishing, you may want to give this type of line a try before you go for any of the other two because it is still reasonably easy to use, and it casts out without as much chance of knotting up as the regular Mono does.

Copolymer Fishing line is basically Mono with an attitude. It is produced by stringing more than one type of line into one, which removes most of the bad aspects of monofilament lines. 

It can be damaged from time and sun, so it must be changed out at least once a year, twice if you fish year-round. 

The price difference may be worth it to you, so you need to check out one of these lines and judge yourself.


  • Lower stretching amounts than Mono
  • Maintains high shock strength
  • Low memory on the spool
  • Easy to cast
  • Knot friendly
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Stronger than Mono


  • Costs more than Monofilament
  • Less chance to unwind or knot up when casting than Monofilament
  • Does not float on top of the water
  • Breaks down over time

3. Fluorocarbon Is a New and Improved

Fluorocarbon fishing line is a new innovative technological fishing line that was often used for saltwater applications only.

 It makes an excellent leader tied to one of the other line types because it is virtually invisible in any water. 

As the engineers continue to improve upon the tightly packed materials formed into the line, freshwater anglers have also been using it.

Fluorocarbon fishing line is like the Rolls Royce of fishing. It is the highest-line brand designed for advanced fishermen and fisherwomen. 

It is a type of line you should use once you have complete control over your pole because it is costly to replace if you knot it up while casting the line.


  • Virtually invisible underwater
  • Super abrasive resistant
  • Has a long life
  • High shock strength
  • It feels good when the line is struck by a fish
  • Sinks fast, so great for jigs and bottom fishing
  • Stretching under extreme conditions when needed


  • Expensive
  • Not any stronger than Mono or Copoly
  • It can be hard to tie specific knots
  • Does not float
  • High memory from the spool
  • Tangled and knots easily

4. Braided Fishing Line Is the Best In Most Instances

The braided lineOpens in a new tab. has become one of the most popular fishing lines because it can be used in saltwater and freshwater fishing applications. 

It is rugged and lightweight and can pull your lure through heaving growth by cutting through it. 

This is why it has become one of the best lines to use when bass fishing or fishing for big fish in heavy underwater plants or algae.

The braided line is one of the best on the market, but since it is so hard to knot to a hook or swivel, you will need to make sure you pull your knots extra tight. The line is common to lose when a fish takes the hook. 

This is why many anglers use it as their mainline and then add one of the other three on end as a leader, which can also help it float and become more invisible when in the water.


  • Smaller diameter than the others
  • Floats on the top of the water
  • Offers great sensitivity when struck by a fish
  • Low line Memory
  • Does not stretch
  • Doesn’t break easily
  • Casts very easily and can go farther than the other three


  • Extremely visible in the water
  • Not knot friendly
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to cut
  • Hard to get off a snag
  • The line can cut through the spool and eyes
  • Does not stretch

5. Flyfishing Is for Specialized Fishing Needs

Flyfishing line is one of the specialty fishing lines you may run into if you are a flyfishing angler. All you need to do with this type is grab one and go because you will always have a leader tied to the hook. 

The fact is, though, that there is much more to it than that. You must match the line to the pole you are using and the environment in which you will be fishing.

  • Must be rated for saltwater if fishing in that environment
  • Must be rated for freshwater if fishing in that environment
  • Must be rated for tropical weather if fishing in such temperatures
  • Must be rated for cold water if fishing in freshwater locations
  • The pound rating has to match the pound rating of the pole
  • The type of the line must match the type of fly you are using

The bottom line is that the flyfishing line must match the pole you are using and be the proper type for the water and the conditions you throw a fly into. 

If the fly is designed to float on top, your line and leader must be floatable. If running nymphs along the bottom, the line will need to be one that sinks. 

If the line matches your needs, you will be fighting your rod the entire time you are out fishing.

6. Steel Leader Fishing Line Is for The Teeth

If you have been fishing for Pike, Shark, or Barracuda, you know how easy it is for them to bite through your line. The only way to prevent this is by using some steel leader on the end of the line you have on your pole. 

The steel leader will go between the hook and the line, giving you a bite-proof end that will bring the teeth-filled predators directly to you.

From there, it will be up to you to ensure you do not get a biteOpens in a new tab. from them. The steel leader is only used in this application because it is stiff and hard to control. 

It is not a good addition to any other type of fishing. 

There are a couple of leader sizes, which go along with the size of fish that you plan to catch. 

Match the steel leader with the fish, and the rest of the line should hold up as long as it is the right type and strength for the job.


The four main fishing line types have specific uses, but they can all be used in any environment and water as long as you match the line to them. 

Every angler has their own theories on what works best and why. 

They learned how to fish on a particular type of line with unique fishing lures and baits. You have probably had excellent luck with your old-school setups.

Fishing companies worldwide have made great strides in their designs’ innovative technology and knowledge. 

Engineering the best possible line for every circumstance is what they do, so follow their lead and advice and take your fishing game to the next level.

Zaldy G.

I love feeling the cool ocean spray every time I hit the beach with a rod and a bucket of bait. I love the thrill of feeling bites on my line whenever I hook a big one. And I especially love the pride that comes with cooking a fresh catch and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for stopping by. Let's go catch some fish!

Recent Posts