How to Choose the Right Fishing Line

Live to Fish offers a wide variety of fishing line for all of your freshwater, saltwater, and ice fishing needs. Choose from industry standards like monofilament, braided line or even specialty products like lead core trolling line. Not sure what you want or which fishing line is right for you? Don’t worry – we’ll provide all the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.

Monofilament Fishing Line

Monofilament Line

Let’s start with monofilament line. Monofilament is made from a single fiber of nylon. It is some of the least expensive line on the market and it comes in a variety of colors and tensile strengths (labeled as ‘pound test’ on the package or spool). This line can stretch to absorb shocks and it stays neat on the spool. It is also abrasion-resistant with a uniform cross section that knots easily.

While monofilament is a tried and true fishing line type, some important setbacks of monofilament should also be noted. This line has a strong ‘memory’ tendency, which means that it’s more likely to hold the shape of the spool when cast. Also, monofilament is not as strong as braided line, either (we’ll cover braided line next). Lastly, exposure to sunlight breaks down the nylon construction of monofilament over time, so you’ll be looking at replacing your line at least once a year.

If you do decide to purchase some monofilament line, Live to Fish carries up to 100 pound test line in an assortment of colors including clear, pink, and varying shades of blue and green. Fishermen often choose our clear or blue mono line because fish have a hard time seeing these colors once the line is submerged.

Braided Fishing Line

braided-lineBraided line is just as popular as monofilament line but twice as strong. This often means that you’ll get more line per spool than you will with a mono line that is rated with the same tensile strength. Braided line is often made of woven or braided fibers of different materials like Dacron, Spectra, or dyneema to create a single strand of fishing line. Dacron is the same material that water bottles are made from. Dyneema and Spectra are very strong abrasion-resistant fibers.

Due to its extraordinary strength, braided line is the first choice for deep sea fishing. It sinks faster, casts farther, and trolls deeper. It doesn’t stretch, it doesn’t have a memory, and it does not break down in sunlight. This means that you can use braided line year-after-year without need for replacement.

Before you settle on braided line as your miracle option, there are a few setbacks that you should be aware of. First, this fishing line is very slippery, so you must be able to tie a knot that can hold with low friction. As mentioned before, braided line is very strong, so it can only be cut with clippers or extra sharp scissors. Lastly, while braided line comes in an assortment of colors, it doesn’t blend into the water like monofilament can, so fish may be able to see the line in exceptionally clear water conditions.

Regardless, if you feel like braided line is right for you, Live to Fish carries white, yellow, camouflage, vermillion red, green, and marine blue options in ratings up to 100 pound test. Many of these colors come in hi-vis and low-vis varieties.

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

fluorocarbon-line.jpgIf monofilament and braided line aren’t for you, fluorocarbon line is always an option. This fishing line is generally used as leader material because it is invisible underwater and abrasion resistant. Fluorocarbon line is great for fly fishing or for going after fish that are easily spooked by visible fishing line.


Like all other fishing lines, fluorocarbon line isn’t perfect. First, not all fluorocarbon lines are made from 100% fluorocarbon. This line is also prone to memory problems.
If you are interested in reading about fluorocarbon in freshwater fishing applications, check out this article by Nick Ruiz from Bass Resource, a site dedicated to bass fishing resources. Live to Fish offers fluorocarbon line in tests up to 20 pounds.

Fishing-Type Specific Lines

If you’re looking for fishing line that is specific to a certain type of fishing, we offer fly line, ice line, and Tuf-Line Lead Core Trolling Line, which is a type of specialty line.

Fly Fishing Line
Fly Fishing LineFly line is used for, well, fly fishing. In addition to being identified by tensile strength, fly line is identified by the weight of the line. The line weight is then matched with the heaviness of the fly rod. Live to Fish carries fly line in clear, white, chartreuse, and yellow with line tests up to 30 pounds. The yellow line comes in different hues depending on your fly fishing needs.


Ice Fishing line
Ice Fishing LineIce line is strong enough to withstand the cold, harsh conditions that come with sticking your line into freezing water. Ice fishing line is available in braided and monofilament varieties. The ice fishing line at Live to Fish is braided and black in color with 25 and 35-pound test options.


Lead Core Trolling Line
lead-core-trolling-lineFinally, Lead Core Trolling Line from Tuf-Line is a specialty line option. It has a lead core and the color changes every ten yards to allow fishermen to measure depth. A lead core trolling line is the main line for heavy trolling applications where reaching a certain depth is important. It is a high density line that sinks relatively quickly, resulting in less line being used. However, these lines are very thick compared to their braided counterparts and often require a reel that can handle a larger spool. The trolling lines from Live to Fish can handle up to 36-pound test.

Fishing Leaders

Fishing LeaderWhile these can’t be exactly classified as standalone fishing lines, fishing leaders are especially important when working with braided and some specialty fishing lines. A leader is a short length of line that connects to the main line on one end and the hook or lure on the other end. Leaders are designed to improve your chances of hooking a fish and keeping it without having to cast and waste all of your line. While leader line is available, a leader can be made from any line material—including stronger versions of the line that you are already using.

Some Final Advice

While there are many fishing line options to choose from, it is important to pay special attention to your line’s tensile strength or the point at which it finally breaks. For example, a 10-pound test line is going to break once it exceeds 10 pounds of pressure. You also want to be careful to choose a line that can handle the workload. Things as simple as knotting your line while attaching a hook can cause damage.

Do you have a favorite line that’s your go-to on the water? Want to share tips for extending the life of your line? Leave a comment or get in touch with the Live to Fish crew.

3 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Fishing Line

  1. Hey thanks Jason, we’ve done our best to bring up the many pros and cons associated with each type of fishing line that we offer on I hope this post helps you make a more informed purchase come the next time you need to buy some fishing line.


  2. Hey, great post! I am a fishing blogger myself. I am familiar with mono, braided, fluorocarbon and fly fishing line. However, the trolling line is new to me and you have provided some great information.
    Thanks for sharing!


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