Best Fishing Line for Spinning Reels: Braid, Mono, and Fluorocarbon
More anglers are realizing the benefits of spinning tackle, from wind-bucking castings to bomb-proof durability to small ultralights to heavy surf-casting models, and everything in between.
Spinners can handle any job, regardless of the size of the quarry, and are tough enough to fight sharks and marlin.
As we have discussed, there is a spinning reel that suits every situation and species. I consider spinning reels the most flexible.
However, to get the best out of your reel, it is important to choose the right line. We have the answers to all your questions about the best lines for spinning reels.
Below is a detailed guide that explains the pros and cons of each option as well as reviews for some of our top picks.
Here’s a quick look at the best fishing line to use with spinning reels.
- Sufix 832 –Best Braided Line to Spin Reels
- Power Pro
- Stren Original –Best Monofilament Line for Spinning Reels
- Trilene Big Game
- Seaguar Invizx – Best Fluorocarbon Line for Spinning Reels
- Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon
Reviewed: Best Fishing Line for Spinning Reels
Sufix 832 –Best Braided Line to Spin Reels
Colors:Camo, Coastal Camo and Ghost.
Material Dyneema plus a GORE fiber
Sufix 832 is a great choice if you are looking for maximum sensitivity, long casts and incredible strength. It is also the most colorfast braid, making it less visible to line-shy fish.
While all braid is strong in diameter, Sufix 832 is unique because of its superior casting and colorfastness. Sufix 832 is incredibly smooth and round right out of the box. This quality will help explain its casting performance.
This is a great example of high-end engineering and materials.
Sufix uses a GORE fiber to design this line. The space-age material is then woven with seven Dyneema fibres to form a cohesive whole. Sufix claims this increases strength and resistance to abrasion, and it definitely helps the braid slip under your rod’s eyes.
Casting is easy with this line. It doesn’t leave tiny particles on your reel or bleed onto it.
Suffix has low-visibility options for fish that are not accustomed to being seen. These include the blues of Coastal Camo or the muted browns from Camo. Ghost and Low Vis Green are also great options. Sufix is the best choice for all conditions, as there are many high-visibility options available for crappie anglers.
You should expect some fading, as with all braided lines. However, it is less than with other brands.
- Castings of exceptional quality
- Excellent colorfastness
- Great color options
- There are no super-heavy weight lines
Colors:Vermillion Red, Moss Green and White.
Strands4 or 6
Material Spectra with resin infusion
Power Pro is a great choice if you fish for big fish often. This heavyweight contender has proven to be a top choice for anglers who fish for tarpon and bass tournaments.
Suffix 832 does not offer any line that is heavier than 99 pounds. Power Pro offers lines up to 150, 200 and 250 pounds. These can be very useful numbers for serious fights against real monsters. However, spinning tackle is far superior to conventional reels and deep sea rods.
Power Pro’s incredible strength is due to Spectra fibers that have been infused with proprietary resins. These resins improve the braid’s shape and abrasion resistance. This line is also very flexible, making it possible to throw lures a mile.
Power Pro can sometimes be too loud through the guides, which is a downside to this coating. This is not a problem in our books, especially when we see our lures landing where they want.
Why then do we award Sufix 832 the top spot?
You can choose from a variety of colors and they are color-fast.
Power Pro may be the best game for 100-pound test fish, but it only offers four colors. This makes braid more visible to line-shy fish. You can tie-on mono or fluorocarbon leaders, which I do often in clear water with any braid, but I would have to say that the Sufix is the best for 99 percent of my fishing applications.
- Castings of exceptional quality
- Excellent colorfastness
- Large range of line weights
- There are not many colors to choose from
Stren Original –Best Monofilament Line for Spinning Reels
Colors: Clear, Clear Blue Fluorescent Clear, Hi-Vis Gold and Low-Vis Green
Stren Original, a high-quality nylon monofilament has been around for decades and has proven its value time after time on the water. Even though it might seem tempting to choose a more expensive, higher-tech line than Stren Original, this would be a disservice.
Stren Original is ideal for many fishing applications. It offers a winning combination shock strength, knot integrity and slick castability.
We found that Stren Original was extremely resistant to abrasions, crushing braids with similar weights and dimensions and equaling tough fluorocarbons like Seaguar InvizX.
Nylon is easy-to-color and it comes in clear. Stren Original is great to use with clear water and line-shy fish.
It is also very limp, which allows for great castings. This mono is tough and has great knot integrity. It also has a higher level of sensitivity than you might imagine. Light strikes, while not as strong as braid, aren’t going be a problem if you’re spooling Stren.
Stren Original is a great option. When abrasion resistance and shock strength are critical, Stren Original is at its best. I love the fact that my knots will hold their shape like handcuffs.
- Very low memory
- Excellent casting
- There are many options for night fishing
- Available in high-visibility versions
- Amazing resistance to abrasion
- It’s easy to tie
- Sensitivity is a virtue
- Not available for heavy weight
Colors: Clear, Green, Solar Collector, Steel Blue
Trilene Big Game increases mono test strength and delivers heavy-weight performance comparable to Sufix 832.
Big Game is the best choice for large fish and ugly fights near submerged debris.
Trilene Big Game is a braid that offers a much higher shock strength and abrasion resistance than braid. It also has knot integrity that only the best lines could dream of.
Big Game’s color scheme is dominated by low-visibility options, which have been proven effective on fish that are line-shy. Clear water is not a good choice for fluorocarbons, and this is especially true when you look at the entire picture.
It’s very strong and easy to tie, even for heavy weights. This is a characteristic that even fluorocarbons can’t match. In nasty fights, a strong knot will make the difference between landing a fish and nothing.
Heavy weights of Big Game are the best when it comes to abrasion resistance. It doesn’t matter if you have to use a leader or this mono on its own, I choose it whenever I fish for large fish in areas with rocks or pilings.
- Very low memory
- Excellent casting
- Superb abrasion resistance
- It’s easy to tie
- Sensitivity average
- Lights not available
Seaguar InvizX –Best Fluorocarbon to Use in Spinning Reels
Seaguar InvisX may be the best line for clear water. It can offer near-perfect visibility. This can be a big difference for fish that are sensitive to pressure and line-shy fish.
InvizX is the most visible fluorocarbon. However, casting and knot strength are two of their strengths. Spinning reels will struggle with fluorocarbons’ memory, that’s an undisputed fact. However InvizX is the best in limp casting and low-memory casting.
This is the best fluorocarbon I have ever tested and it’s what I recommend for spinning tackle.
Its knot strength is unbeatable for slick as-greased-ice fluorocarbon. A Palomar tied well can cause the main line to give before it lets go. This is a very fast and hard law of fishing. This is more than any nylon monofilament, so Seaguar must be working some magic!
It is also more sensitive than Stren Original, especially when your line gets slack. This makes it an excellent choice to use for finesse applications such as drop-shot rigs or Carolina- or Texas-rigged Worms.
InvisX would be my choice if I was to choose a fluorocarbon mainline for my spinning reels.
- Amazing casting
- Excellent sensitivity
- Amazing knot strength
- Remains clear
- Heavy weights not available
- It’s expensive!
Tips for choosing the best line for spinning reels
Spinning Tackle: Special Concerns
They have a fixed spool which makes them great for bucking wind. I use spinning reels for everything from casting from a blustery beach to fishing for crappie, or for surfcasting when it’s not clear.
However, there are two downsides to this fixed spool.
The first is that as your diameter increases, friction against the lip will increase, which can result in lower efficiency relative to a baitcasting rod. This is not a problem in my experience. However, if long casts are required, keep your diameter low and use braid whenever possible.
The rod and guides should be perpendicular to that fixed spool. Your line will be forced into tight circles by resting on the spool. The stiffer the line is, the better it will retain this shape as you cast.
The coiling loops cause friction against the guides and reduce casting distance.
This is something you should keep in mind when choosing line for your spinning tackle. High memory options such as most fluorocarbons won’t cast nearly as well as standard mono and braid.
Braided line is woven from a variety of Dyneema or Spectra polyethylene fibers. Sometimes, it may also include other materials like GORE. The manufacturer can add coatings to improve water resistance, handling and abrasion resistance.
It is extremely strong in diameter and allows you to spool on a lot of line, or increase your strength significantly over mono or fluorocarbon. It is also very limp, with almost no memory. This allows for excellent casting performance.
Braid is perfect for finesse techniques and hard hooksets, as Dyneema and Spectra are not fond of stretching. Contrary to mono which can stretch up to 25%, braid has a 1%-8% stretch.
The benefits of braid are: high sensitivity, low memory, excellent hooksets and almost no sensitivity–these are some of the many advantages that spinning reel lovers should be aware.
However, braid also has its weaknesses and they are worth understanding.
Braid doesn’t stretch so it has poor shock resistance. It can not absorb shock force and can instead break off well below its rated test strength. Fish that love to leap and shake lures will find it easier to break off because there is no stretch.
Dyneema, Spectra, and other slick materials make it difficult for them to be bound. Braid often exhibits poor knot integrity and is usually only half its rated strength. TackleTour’s tests showed that braid strength averaged just 49%.
This means that your line will experience knot failure after a 20-pound test.
When you think about abrasion, braid can also be very weak.
We tested braid with mono fluorocarbon and mono using wet lines, and included mono of equal diameter. The results showed that braid had a much lower abrasion rate than its competitors.
Experts are in agreement with us. Experts agree with us. They allow water to penetrate a sealed surface if they separate, which can happen when something sharp scratches it. They can become damaged by water if they are opened up. We can assure you that big fish will escape from those stressors.
Dyneema, Spectra, and other dyes are difficult to color. Clear braid is not an option. Clear water and braids of heavy weight will cause fish to be unable to see your lines.
- Super strong for diameter
- Very limp, casts well
- Ultra sensitive
- Excellent hooksets
- Low shock strength
- Poor knot strength
- Very poor resistance to abrasion
- Clear water is highly visible
Braid: Our Assessment
Braid has a lot to offer when it comes to spinning tackle.
It casts very well and its slim diameters are a testament to the spinning reel’s strengths. You’ll notice the difference on windy days when you use it side-by-side alongside casting tackle. Wind-blown knots should not be an issue for most people.
Braid is also extremely sensitive and has hard hooksets. This makes it great for single-hooked applications and deep jigging.
Knot integrity can be a problem so you will want to use heavier test line to increase strength. You will only achieve about half the line’s test strength at the knot. So make sure you run line that is about 2X your strength.
Dyneema or Spectra cannot be made transparent so braid is not a good option for crystal clear water unless your leader is monocarbon or fluorocarbon.
For fishing on rocks, pilings or oyster shells, I suggest skipping braid. This braid is too fragile to withstand that much pressure, and even a slight touch of contact can cause severe damage.
Switch to monocarbon or fluorocarbon for abrasion resistance.
Nylon mono is the most common choice for older men, so it’s not a smart decision to abandon this tried option for more voluminous lines.
Our tests showed that mono is far more resilient than you might think. It’s as abrasion-resistant and as strong as fluorocarbon. The added advantage of mono being able to stretch under load makes it easy to return to its original length. Fluorocarbon won’t and this deformation weakens it quite a bit.
Mono can also stretch, sometimes stretching up to 25% of its length.
This is both good and bad.
It is good because the stretch gives off superior shock strength. The mono’s essentially glue the hook to the lure, making it difficult for bass and marlin to throw lures.
It’s not good if you require sensitivity or hard-hooksets. For single-hooked lures you will immediately notice a difference.
Mono is the best choice for treble-hooked applications. Mono is a great choice for topwater, especially considering its tendency to float.
Bobby Lane says mono is great for fishing certain treble-hooked lures such as diving and lipless crankbaits. Mono’s flexibility is a benefit. This makes it harder for bass to throw the lures in a fight. It’s also useful when the water is cold or the bass are finicky. You need them to hold the lure just a moment longer in order to hook them.
Mono knots exceptionally well and easily beats braid and fluorocarbon in this metric. TackleTour, for example, tested the strength of mono average like Trilene XL’s knots and found it to be exceptional. Line that was 10 pounds in weight held 9.7 lbs at the knot.
Mono can have memory problems, but it’s not like braid. It’s not like fluorocarbon and mono casts very well.
Mono is available in almost any color, as well as several types of clear. This makes it an excellent choice for fishing when line visibility is critical.
- Excellent shock strength
- Superior knot strength
- Cast well
- Low visibility
- Poor hooksets using single hooks
- Sensitivity is low
Mono. Our Assessment
Mono is a great choice for many situations, more than you might think.
Mono’s superior shock strength is a big advantage when fighting large fish. Mono will be able to handle the stress when a 30-pound pike decides to run for it.
Mono ties well and has rock-solid knot integrity. This gives me confidence when I am faced with tough knot battles.
It’s available in many low-visibility colors. This is great for clear water.
It’s not perfect. Hooksets that have too much stretch can become weaker. Mono isn’t the best choice for sensitive techniques.
Overall, I recommend mono as the best option. If mono isn’t working, you can switch to braid or fluorocarbon.
Fluorocarbon is a staple in my tackle box. I believe it should be in yours. Fluorocarbon can be thought of as a braid substitute for crystal-clear water.
Fluoro is made of polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF), which is a thermoplastic that is both denser and harder than nylon. This creates interesting properties that anglers often overlook.
Fluorocarbon’s main selling point is its ability to be less visible than mono. However, scientists insist that fluorocarbon IS NOT invisible in water.
It’s just not clear to me, but tests such as this give the edge to fluorocarbon.
It’s almost as invisible as mono in practice. You may have different mileage, but fluorocarbon has a much lower visibility than braid. When you can see the bottom of the pipe like your back, fluorocarbon starts to make sense.
Fluorocarbon sinks are not like lead-core lines.
Fluoro sinks at a rate that is twice or three times as fast as mono.
It is great for clear, deep water, but not for topwater applications. Your lure shouldn’t be dragged under the line. When the water is clear, it can be used as a crankbait for deep diving.
Here’s the problem: fluorocarbon’s dense makes it more sensitive than mono. I would reach for fluoro when finesse techniques that use a single hook are being used.
It is also quite tough and I have tested it to see if it can withstand abrasions.
However, fluorocarbon’s downsides should not be overlooked.
It’s not as strong as braid, and it’s easier to use than braid.
TackleTour found that knot failure occurred in high-end fluorocarbons at 63.5 percent of the tested tensile strengths. This means that knot failure for a 20-pound fluorocarbon will occur at 12.7 pounds of force.
InvizX is an exception, which is why it’s our top-pick for spinning tackle.
The second is that fluorocarbon’s additional density can pose a problem. Fluorocarbon is more elastic than mono but requires more force to cause that stretch. It will stretch under load but not to its original length. Some of this stretch is permanent (5 %)–yielding stronger line).
Fluorocarbon’s density also makes it less flexible, which can lead to more memory than other fluorocarbons and a decrease in casting performance. This is a major issue for spinning reels and InvizX is my choice.
- Very low visibility
- Sinks faster than mono
- Mono is more sensitive than single
- Poor knot strength
- Poor casting
- Deformation under force
Our Fluorocarbon Assessment
Most fluorocarbon lines are too memory-hungry for spinning tackle. Seaguar InvizX is my favorite.
Fluorocarbon’s strength is not casting distance. It’s low-visibility, high sensitivity, and low visibility. Fluorocarbon can be used to replace braids in water as clear as a swimming-pool.
InvizX excels in knot integrity unlike many of its rivals. This makes me feel quite confident in a hard fight. However, the problem with deformation still worries me.
In situations that require sensitivity and visibility, I don’t think I would use fluorocarbon. I’m more comfortable using braid with a strong mono-leader.
We hope this article helped you narrow down your options and help you choose the best lines for you when fishing with spinning tackle.
We’d love to hear about it if it has.
Leave a comment below