Characteristics of Fishing Line

I never thought very much about what kind of fishing line I was using until I lost a few of my favorite crankbaits that I used for largemouth and then realized I was putting the cart before the horse so to speak and that was just as important as the lures I was using, the fishing line has a performance level and is just as important. What are the Characteristics of a fishing line?

Fishing lines generally resemble a long, ultra-thin rope, with important attributes including length, material, weight, & thickness. Other factors relevant to certain fishing environments include:
Breaking strength,
Knot strength,
UV resistance
Abrasion resistance

Most fishing lines won’t dissolve in water and that can make for strong fishing lines, but it can be a hazard to the environment. Take the time to rid of any kind of fishing line that can tangle up turtles, fish, or other animals along our shorelines.

Characteristics of Fishing Line


  • Memory: When you pull a line off your spool, does it hang straight or curl up? That’s memory. Line with a lot of memory tends to kink or knot as you reel in. It also messes with your presentation and makes it harder to cast far.
  • Stretch: Stretchy line keeps tension better as you fight a fish. It also takes some of the punch out of big head shakes. However, stretch gives you less precision and feedback, and makes setting the hook tougher.
  • Shock Strength: Another advantage of having some stretch is that your line is less likely to snap under sudden pressure. This is shock or impact strength, and it stops hard-hitting fish from breaking you off.
  • Abrasion Resistance: Ever get cut off by rocks while fishing? You need gear with more abrasion resistance. All modern line is pretty abrasion-resistant, but more high-end materials tend to handle scratches better.
  • Buoyancy: Some line floats in the water, some sink. They’re both useful in different situations. Floating or buoyant line is great for topwater fishing. Sinking line stays taut in the water, giving you more precision at depth.
  • Visibility: If a fish sees your line, it can get spooked and put off biting. To avoid this, people usually use low-visibility lines in clear water. You can also use colored lines to match the depth and shade of water you’re fishing.



Monofilament is made from nylon and is one long continuous filament, very thin fibers made from material similar to Kevlar braided together to form a line that is basically round in cross-section. Monofilament” is a fancy way of saying “single thread.” That’s exactly what this is, a single piece of plastic, usually nylon, that’s stretched out and set into a thin tube. Mono has been around since the ’30s. It may not be high-tech, but it’s a reliable “jack of all trades” and is still the most popular line out there. Monofilament is perfect for beginners.

  • Cheap and easy to use.
  • Stretches
  • It casts smoothly and holds knots better than most lines.
  • Mono also has relatively low memory and is easy to pick out if it backlashes or “bird’s nests.” If you do have to cut it out, it’s recyclable


Fluorocarbon line:

is made in the same way as a monofilament line, but from much denser material. It’s in the same family as the products that will keep your pan sticking and keep your freezer cold (freon). Fluoro first appeared on the market in the ’70s. Back then, it was so stiff and difficult to manage that it was only sold as a leader material.

Fluorocarbon fishing line disappears in water, very strong and abrasion resistant Fluorocarbon is one of the best fishing lines for making a leader.  Besides being nearly invisible Fluorocarbon is abrasion-resistant.

Stiffer than monofilament, higher cost, more difficult to tie knots

  • Casts and handles as well, or better, than the very best monofilaments
  • Low stretch and invisible even after weeks or months of use
  • A long-lasting, durable line that will work for a variety of species


How long does Fishing Line last?

Monofilament line has an average how life of 2-3 yrs
Fluorocarbon lines can last 5-7 yrs
Braided line can last up to 10 yrs +

Spooled mono & fluoro lines become brittle over time & weaken when exposed to saltwater, heat, & UV rays ……………………………… Read more



Does Fishing Line Color Matter?

Yes-salt & freshwater absorb different wavelengths of light at certain depths. Longer waves like red are first to be absorbed, then orange & yellow. Fishing lines use those colors along with Clear, Green, or Blue to blend in the backdrop where fish live, giving fish less chance of seeing the line .…………………………………………….. Read more


Braided line:

Braid is made with anywhere from four to 16 strands. Fewer strands can deliver more abrasion resistance, while a higher-strand braid is thinner. It’s built to last and is the strongest line pound for pound by miles. Braid has no memory, letting it flow freely without kinking. It also has no stretch. This gives you complete precision with the trade-off of lower shock strength.

When it backlashes, it creates such a mean mess that you often need to cut it out and you can’t recycle it. Oh, and it’s the most expensive line of the bunch. great for working weeds and heavy vegetation Braid is perfect if you’re fishing in low-visibility waters or need a lot of line on your spool. Deep dropping and precision jigging are common uses. Braid fishing line is made with anywhere from four to 16 strands. Fewer strands mean less abrasion, while a higher-strand braid is thinner. Either way, it’s built to last and is the strongest

  • Strongest fishing line pound for pound
  • Braid has no memory
  • Flow freely with no kinking.
  • It also has no stretch
  • Last for Years


What are the Components of a Fly line?

A fly fishing line isn’t one piece of monofilament or braided line kept on one spool, like a standard fishing line.

It includes several different pieces:

  • the leader
  • the tippet
  • the fly line
  • the Backing .………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Read more



JimGalloway Author/Editor

Reference: Outdoor Life-How to Pick the Right Kind of Fishing Line



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