It’s time to talk about one of the most underappreciated aspects of your bass fishing rig, and that’s your line.
This is the part of your gear that gets used and abused, and truthfully, most people don’t even understand how to use the proper fishing line for bass fishing.
With all the options available, it makes it challenging to make the right choice. Luckily, I want to simplify bass fishing line for you. While there’s a dictionary worth of information, you could learn (who uses a dictionary anymore?)
With simplicity, functionality, and purpose in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best fishing line for bass in 2020 and beyond.
Our Reviews Of The Best Bass Fishing Lines
Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
It’s in the name, so you likely guessed it. Here we have a fluorocarbon line that does a great job of vanishing before the eyes of your target bass. The ultimate goal with this type of fishing line is to prevent the bass from seeing it, and this one does a great job of that.
For this reason, this works well along your favorite fly line. I recommend using it as a leader if fly fishing is your game.
Berkley is a well known and respected brand in the fishing community, so you know you’re getting the best fishing line products.
KastKing SuperPower Braided Line
Let’s get down to business and talk about the best color braided fishing line for bass fishing. The fishing line offers incredible strength, and they’ve even improved it with a smaller diameter, which makes it easier to tie knots.
With low memory, you can cast further and experience fewer wind knots. This line from KastKing also offers great abrasion resistance, as you would expect from a high-quality braided line.
Godline S Improved Braided
In some situations, whether you’re ice fishing or dealing with cold temperatures, you need a line that is geared for cold weather.
This line uses multi-strand fibers that make the fishing line extremely tight and small enough so you can easily tie knots.
Since this line is not your typical braid or mono, it offers great smoothness with a nylon feel that reduces friction and helps shed ice and frozen slush as the line works its way through the eyes.
Stren High Impact Monofilament
Bass are the fighters of the water so you need a fishing line that will handle that hard strike without breaking.
Stren High Impact line is great for handling bass and having the visibility options is great as well. I recommend keeping both high and low-vis in your tacklebox and treating it as a leader for your backing.
What Are The Different Types of Fishing Lines?
If you choose the wrong fishing line type for the situation, you’ll have reduced casting distance, more friction, and even more line breaks, resulting in lost lures (if you’re anything like me, you have “lucky” lures so you’d hate to lose them)!
Let me explain the three types of line and why you should know the difference.
Monofilament Fishing Line
Monofilament line is the most common fishing line for bass fishing for a few reasons. First, it’s usually the best for finesse style fishing, which is a lightweight fishing style used to catch smaller fish with a sharper bite. (AKA bass)
If you decide to go with monofilament, you’ll have the best fishing line for bass spinning reels. When you combine it with a spinning reel, you have a great lightweight fishing rig that works well for finesse fishing.
The main reason people turn to this line for bass fishing is that it helps offer more flexibility and comfort when casting. The lightweight line allows you to use the lure to guide your cast. It also has excellent shock absorption so you can get a nice hookset.
Bass strike quickly and hard, but they’re not afraid to swim away if you don’t react quickly enough.
Another advantage of monofilament line is that it floats on the top of the water, which makes it great for topwater lures (of course).
When to use it
If I had to give you a precise time that it’s ideal to use this type of line I would say all the time. This line is your “run of the mill” have all the time fishing line, and you would want to build from here.
My favorite thing is that you can use it with almost any type of lure. Swimbaits, crankbaits, jigs, soft plastics, and jerkbaits all work with mono as your main line.
When you’re entirely new to fishing, you’ll want to stick with monofilament 100 percent of the time until you get the hang of things. Trying to play around with different fishing lines will only complicate your fishing. There are many other variables to worry about that are more critical.
Now, while I do say to use monofilament line the majority of the time, there are some drawbacks to that. Mono offers the least abrasion resistance and moderate visibility in the water when compared to some other options. This means that you won’t be able to throw this into heavy cover because you’ll get hung up and possibly snap your line.
The visibility of mono isn’t too bad as long as you’re fishing the right color for the conditions. I suggest always going with a clear mono line because it offers the most versatility, and you don’t have to overthink about the conditions you’re dealing with each day.
Monofilament line has a few bonuses as well. Mono typically has a smaller diameter than the others, which means it won’t sink as fast as fluorocarbon or braided fishing line. It makes it a great line for topwaters because you can present them more properly without dragging them down with the line.
If visibility is your number one issue, I would suggest a monofilament fluorocarbon combination.
The next type of fishing line you’ll hear about is fluorocarbon. This line is polyvinylidene fluoride, and it’s denser than monofilament. This point means that the line will sink faster than mono, so you need to be careful where you fish it and how you present it to the bass.
That said, fluorocarbon has a wide assortment of advantages to monofilament. First, it’s more optically dense, which means it doesn’t reflect light as much as mono. As a result, you have a line that is virtually invisible in the water.
When you have a fishing line that the bass can’t see, you have yourself a bass on the hook. Due to the low visibility of the line, you’ll see fluorocarbon used as a leader in many fishing applications.
Another bonus of fluorocarbon line is the fact that it offers much better abrasion resistance compared to monofilament. The fishing line is more dense and sturdy, so you can fish heavy cover and have an easier time hiding it when you do.
When to use it
I recommend using a fluorocarbon leader in almost all situations, especially in clear water. You don’t need to spool your entire reel full of expensive fluorocarbon line that may never even leave the reel. You’ll want to fill your reel almost entirely with monofilament and then tie off a few yards of fluoro at the end for the reduced visibility and increased strength.
One other thing worth mentioning is that the fluorocarbon line is neutrally buoyant, which means it will sink more than mono or braided line. Because of this, you wouldn’t want to fish topwater lures using this type of line because it will mess up your presentation. While you’re trying to create the right action on the lure, the line will continually pull it underwater.
If you’re looking for improved abrasion resistance and you’re fishing more open clear water those are the times I would suggest using fluorocarbon line over monofilament.
BRAIDED Fishing LINE
The granddaddy of all fishing lines is braided lines. Here we strands of line woven together to a taut and small diameter. The end result is a strong fishing line with no flexibility at all. These lines are highly abrasion-resistant, and they do not break no matter what you do.
The good news is, braided lines will maintain their shape even after being spooled on the reel for a while. The main downside, as you likely could’ve guessed, is the price.
Braided line is the most expensive because it uses the most material, and it offers the highest level of abrasion resistance for your buck.
When to use it
Since we’re talking about bass here, I don’t often use braided line. Even for inshore situations where I might bag a big bass, I would still use monofilament line each time.
When you use braid, you lose a lot of the sensitivity you need to catch bass. This style of fishing really relies on technique and “feel.”
You also lose that low visibility line monofilament offers. Bass are smart, but they’re also skitzy, and they will not bite something they don’t trust. If you’re trying to bag a big one you can go for braided fishing line, otherwise stick to the thin stuff.
Many bass anglers suggest using braided lines when you’re fishing around heavy cover, heavy grass, or with topwaters braided resists line twisting much better with spinning reels than the other two options. You can wind it tighter, which lowers the chances of experiencing any digging. Plus, I find that braided line gives you better casting distance and accuracy with the cast as well.
What Pound Test Should You Use
Many people understand the types of lines and their purposes, but it gets a little more complicated when you’re trying to choose the right size line for the fish you’re trying to catch. There are a few things you want to keep in mind here.
First, you still need to think about the type of line you’re using. If you’re using a monofilament line, you’re getting a lot more flexibility than you would with braided, which means that the bass will pull a little on the line before you feel the pressure. It also means that your fishing line will snap and break much easier than it would with braided fishing line.
Typically, if you’re fishing finesse styles and using light topwater lures or fishing around the weeds, I would suggest using a 6-12 pound test and a spinning rod and reel combo. This rig is ideal for finesse fishing, and it serves you the best if you aren’t trying to bring home any trophy fish.
On the other side of the token, if you’re really trolling along the heavy cover and trying to bring something home to make your family proud, then you’ll want to step up your game to a baitcasting rod and reel with at least 18 pound test monofilament or 30 pound test braided line.
Keep in mind the impact that this might have on your fishing, though, especially if you don’t have experience with lines of this size.
What Color Line Should You Use
The color of the fishing line depends a lot on the conditions. If you’re fishing around a lot of vegetation and the water has a lot of algae on the top, you might want to go with a green-tinted monofilament line.
Always remember that braided will show itself in the water more than any other line, and fluorocarbon has the lowest visibility. The only time when line visibility becomes a real problem is with hardcore finesse style angling like light topwater, frogs, and fly fishing. If you’re using a standard size clear monofilament line, you’re less likely to worry about the bass seeing it.
Some bass anglers prefer to go with a blue fluorocarbon or monofilament because it’s visible from above the water but not from beneath. I’ve honestly never found it necessary to get this involved in the thought process of choosing a line color, but some anglers really believe it makes a difference. If you’re taking my advice, go with clear all the time, and if you’re using braided try to pick something that matches your surroundings.
How Does Fishing Line Type Impact Setting The Hook
Believe it or not, the type of fishing line you use does impact how well you’ll be able to set your hook. When you use a monofilament line, the flexibility and stretch that is built into the line makes it more challenging to get a good hookset because you won’t feel it right away. The bass will be able to nibble and nip on your line before you even know what’s happening.
Even when you do figure out that you have a fish biting your lure, it will still take a bit longer to set the hook, and it won’t set as hard because your reaction is delayed by the flex in the fishing line.
Braided line has a higher tensile strength, which means it has zero stretch when you go to set the hook. There’s a significant advantage here because you’ll not only feel the nibble faster and easier because of the reduced flex, but you’ll have an easier time getting a faster and harder hookset when you jerk the rod.
Fluorocarbon reacts similar to the way that braided does. It has a higher tensile strength, which means it has zero stretch and you’re less likely to miss a bite. While these two options have their pros, they have cons as well. Their lack of flexibility means you need to pay attention to your drag settings because if you don’t give them enough room to work the lure, you’ll end up snapping your line or losing the fish.
UNDERSTANDING THE TERMINOLOGY
Continuing on in our bass fishing line guide, there are a few terms you’ll want to know before you start shopping around.
Pound Test – The pound test refers to the amount of weight the line can hold before it breaks. You’ll use this phrase most frequently when shopping for line.
Diameter – The fishing line diameter relates to the pound test. The higher the pound test, the larger the diameter. As a result, braided line has the largest diameter, so it also has the largest pound test.
Abrasion Resistance – There aren’t any specific ratings for abrasion resistance, but if you understand the three types of lines we discussed previously, you’ll know which lines offer the best abrasion resistance.
Line Memory – When you spool a reel and you leave the line on there, it sometimes takes the shape of the spool. Think of when you sleep in the same spot on your mattress for a long time. The best fishing line for bass fishing will have no memory, so it will bounce back even after being spooled for months.
Line Stretch – Here, we’re referring to the amount of flexibility and elasticity the line has. Monofilament has the most amount of line stretch, and braided has the least. Line stretch is good for finesse style fishing.
Let’s take a second to recap here. Bass anglers trying to decide which line to choose for the best fishing in lakes and ponds, I would 100 percent recommend choosing the KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament Line.
If you’re trying to be a bit more stealthy by adding a leader to your line, go for the Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Fishing Line.
Finally, if you’re one of the many anglers looking towards surf fishing for snapper or grouper, you’ll want to use the KastKing SuperPower Braided Line.
Now you’ve got a few choices for the best fishing line for bass. Now, quit wasting valuable fishing time! Happy Angling!