All You Need To Know About Fishing Line


There’s an old saying relished by fishers everywhere: “A bad day fishing beats a good day at work.” Like life, fishing has ups and downs, and if you stick with the flow and keep your cool, you’ll come out on top every time. But there are ways to improve how well your fishing goes. One of those is to find the best fishing line for your work.

fishing line

Fishing line plays a pivotal role in catching fish. It allows you to tie a knot around the bait and dangle it into the water. Even with all the advances in bait and rod technology, lines have remained fairly unchanged because they’ve done their job so well. Lines also allow you to decide the distance and depth of the bait. They put the catch’s pace into your hands—depending on how fast or slow you reel in the line, the fish’s energy and momentum are greatly affected. Fishing lines stand up to all types of trouble, anything from bad weather, rocks, and even getting tangled in other fishing lines.

Fishing line is essential to any fishing exploits. Without it, the whole operation falls apart. That’s why educating yourself on fishing lines is so important. Take the time to understand this important part of fishing. This article will discuss the background of fishing lines, what to look for, and answer some frequently asked questions.

When was fishing line invented?

Fishing itself has existed for about as long as any kind of hunting. Basic fishing techniques have helped generations of fishers catch salmon, trout, catfish, and other big fish as they dip their lines in the water.

But the fishing line itself is a recent invention, relatively speaking. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of rods and fishing lines from about 2,000 B.C. in Egypt. Other variants on the fishing rod have surfaced in China and medieval Europe. When it spread to England in the 1400s, fishers would create a braided fishing line with horsehair, though the material changed to silk over time. Silk made for a better-braided line because it could be machine produced. 

Even then, synthetic materials eventually won out as the best braid material because of their ease of use, strength, and manufacturing capabilities. It’s easier to spool a fluorocarbon line with a machine than it is with a weaker material because every single strand is built to last and has a much better composition.

What characteristics should fishing lines have?

Understanding fishing line characteristics is essential to finding the right fishing line. While there are some general guidelines here, keep in mind that your needs may change depending on which fish you want to catch. It also could change for other factors, such as fly fishing (which requires a much more flexible line) and whether you’re catching in freshwater or saltwater. Overall, the best fishing lines will be adaptable enough to these environments to allow you to fish with ease.

The first characteristic to look for is memory. Just as people can remember things that they did a while back, lines will retain the shape you leave them in. Observe the line and see whether it stays curled around the fishing reel spool or bounces back to a straight line.

As you can imagine, a line that doesn’t flatten can be problematic. Not only is it hard to get the line off the reel, but it can lead to other problems down the line. Lines with too much memory can warp over time and knot up as you use them. Make sure the line you want won’t run circles around you like headphones stuck in your pocket.

Another attribute is abrasion resistance. Abrasion resistance is the measurement of how well your line can stand up to wear and tear. The more resistance your line has, the less it breaks or tears on rocks or rough terrain. There will always be some signs of use as the line rubs against a spinning reel, of course, but not so much that it destroys the line’s structure after a few uses. Watch for line weight, as well, and find the best balance between strength and portability.

There’s also visibility to consider. The point of bait is to trick fish into believing that it’s safe to bite the line. Without this illusion, fishing is impossible. No fish would voluntarily go on a hook if it knew something…er, fishy…was going on. Try to get reflective lines that fish won’t notice when they spot your bait. Consider finding thinner lines with a smaller diameter if size becomes a concern.

Visibility is especially important when using a fly fishing line. When your line strikes the water at high speed, it makes an impact that makes the bait flashier. After all, if the bait is moving and appears to have just landed in the water, it gives the fish an illusion of motion. Monofilament lines are great at concealing their approach because they’re coated in polyvinyl chloride. This chloride helps deflect light off the monofilament line’s surface and has helped fly fishers catch big fish for years.

How much line do you need for your reel?

This is an important question because filling the line is the first step to using it. Having too much or too little fishing line on your reel can be problematic. Without enough line, you have no give and can’t rely on pulling in big fish. You also don’t have any spare line when it breaks, which can be a hassle if you’ve walked far away from your vehicle or another source of restocking. 

But too much line can have the opposite problem. With too much slack, you won’t have any resistance to put on the fish’s movements, and they’ll break off easily. The line can catch and snag, turning into a tangle of knots before it leaves the reel. Even if the line is properly coiled and well made, that doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible to tangles or misuse. The manufacturers had specific circumstances in mind for their use, after all. Keep those in mind as you apply your line to the reel.

How much is the right amount? That depends largely on the reel. In all honesty, the answer varies too much to even give a close estimate. It should be enough that you can weave the line in and out of the water with ease. Plan for enough line to fill the rod at least a few times. That way, you can be sure there’s enough in case of emergencies. Still worried about how much to use? Try using a touch less than you think and see how that goes. For beginners, it might help to limit how much you need to keep track of. That way, you have fewer things to worry about and won’t have to deal with knots, which are the worst fun-killer the world has ever known.

And in the case of fly fishing reel capacity, you’ll probably need a little more. To wave that much line back and forth requires a lot more give, meaning more line to add to the package. It becomes much harder to direct the line where you want it without risking tangles or misdirecting the string if you use too much.

The type of line you’re using will also affect how much you can store on the reel, as well. Lines with a bigger diameter will obviously need more space because even small differences make a huge impact after several dozen wraps. That doesn’t mean you should exclusively look for lines with a smaller diameter. But be aware of how much space your reel will leave you, and read instructions carefully.

What is superline fishing?

Superline fishing is when you use a special type of line build known as superline. Using high-quality Dyneema and weaving it into a gel-spun polyethylene line, you get a super-strong, super high-end line. It’s one of the strongest things available to fishers; pound for pound, it’s 15 times stronger than steel! That’s a lot of power!

Superline is ultra-thin, packing a lot more punch into every fishing outing. It weighs much less than other lines and delivers even more performance. The only thing you lose by switching is the weight. Additionally, superline’s excellent materials allow you to feel a fish’s pull right when it starts tugging. 

You’d think a heavy-hitting line would have trouble picking up little movements, but that’s not at all the case with superline. In fact, it outperforms products in a lower line weight class.

Not to mention, it floats. This may not be the optimal build for every fishing experience out there, but it’s perfect in tons of scenarios. If the big fish you’re looking for love surface-dwelling bait, a floating line comes in handy. Superline is tough, standing up for itself against vegetation, rocks, and other obstacles you find off the beaten path. The only disadvantage to superline is that some superlines’ abrasion resistance is lower than other lines. But others perform quite well and are even competitive with lesser lines, so it all depends on what you buy. If you have the money and the local availability, it may be worth giving superline a shot!