best casting braided line
best casting braided line

Best Fishing Line For Catfish Reviewed

It’s a thrilling experience to tie into a giant catfish, so you want to make sure the line you have on your reel is strong enough for the heat.

You don’t need to have great sensitivity when hunting for big blues in murky waters. However, you will be able to appreciate incredible shock strength, knot integrity, and unbeatable abrasion resistance.

Are you still not convinced? Continue reading!

You’ll find a detailed, fact-based analysis on mono vs. braid as well as reviews about some of the top lines for catfish.

Monofilament Line for Catfish

  • Trilene Big Game –Best Monofilament Catfish
  • Stren Original
  • Sufix Siege

Braided Line for Catfish

  • Power Pro –Catfish: Best Braid
  • Sufix 832
  • Daiwa J-Braid x8

Similar: Catfish Hooks Best

The Best Fishing Line for Catfish: Reviewed

Monofilament Line for Catfish

Trilene Big Game -Best Monofilament Catfish

Berkley Trilene Big Game, Green, 30 Pound Test-1760 Yard

 

Specifications
Pros
Cons
Weights8, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40. 50. 60. 80. 100. 130
Colors: Clear, GreenSolar Collector, Steel Blue
  • Amazing composite blank
  • Outstanding guides
  • Casts and loads well
  • Excellent handle
  • Great sense of sensitivity
  • N/A
Summary

Trilene Big Game is my favorite mono for catfishing. It’s strong, durable, resistant to abrasion, and easy to tie. Also, available in weights that pull just like a chain.

Big Game will not disappoint, whether you are spooling a 15-pound test for dinner and an 80-pound test to win trophies. This line is strong and durable, making it ideal for tough fights of any weight. In the heavier weights, it can also be used as a shock leader for braid.

There is a good option for almost any situation. However, the odds are heavily in favor of the big boys.

Trilene Big Game has one thing I don’t love. It’s a fact that the high-visibility option doesn’t offer as much contrast to Hi-Vis Gold or Neon Tangerine. However, Solar Collector is easy to see even in low light conditions. And when fishing for trophy cats there’s almost no doubt that one is on the line, it’s very obvious!

It ties well and holds tightly, even when it is larger than you would expect. This is essential for large fish and I would trust that the Big Game’s heavyweights will outperform braids similar in strength.

Stren Original

Stren Original

 

Specifications
Pros
Cons
Weights4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20, 25, 30,
Colors: Clear, Clear Blue FluorescentHi-Vis goldLow-Vis Green
  • Hi-vis colors in a great range
  • Amazing resistance to abrasion
  • It is easy to tie and holds well.
  • Excellent shock strength
  • Not available for heavy-weights
Summary

Although Stren Original isn’t high-tech, it’s a very, very good line that can be used to catch catfish below 60 pounds. It’s not available in the trophy-ready weights, but most people can get a 30-pound test on a rod for catfish and a well-set drag.

When you are after catfish, casting and sensitivity don’t matter much. However, Stren’s original has a relatively low memory, which allows it to cast well. You’ll be amazed at its shock strength and sensitiveness.

Stren Original shines for me when abrasion is an issue. And, if you don’t fish for heavyweights, it makes a great leader material for braid. Although it can withstand a beating, it is still worth the effort to cut and style between large fish.

SaltStrong confirmed Stren’s resistance to abrasion. In a four-way head-to-head comparison, Stren Original was the most resilient when abrasion was an issue.

This line is very strong and ties well. This is a big plus for me.

It is available in Hi-Vis Gold which I consider my favorite choice for catfishing.

Sufix Siege

 

Sufix Siege 330-Yards Spool Size Fishing Line (Tangerine, 20-Pound)

Specifications
Pros
Cons
Weights4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20, 25, 30,
Colors: Clear, Camo, Neon TangerineSmoke Green
  • Hi-vis colors in a great range
  • Amazing resistance to abrasion
  • It is easy to tie and holds well.
  • Excellent shock strength
  • Not available for heavy-weights
Summary

Sufix Siege, a great alternative for Stren Original, is an excellent choice for anglers looking to catch record-breaking cats.

Sufix is a high-visibility color that’s very popular. Neon Tangerine, which looks like a stain on the white shirt, makes it an attractive choice for low-light situations.

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Siege is extruded, wound to prevent memory, it’s very limp, making casting and handling easy. It ties easily and, like Stren Original’s, the knots are almost as strong as your mainline. It’s very reassuring and I don’t feel intimidated when I attach this Sufix to my catfish reel.

Siege is tough to beat in terms of abrasion resistance. However, the Stren is hard to beat here.

Braid

Power Pro -Catfish: Best Braid

POWER PRO Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line, Hi-Vis Yellow, 150YD/15LB

Specifications
Pros
Cons
Weights3, 5, 8, 10, 15, 30, 40, 50 and 65.
Colors: Vermillion Red, Moss Green, and WhiteHigh-Vis Yellow
Strands4 or 6
MaterialSpectra with resin infusion
  • Strong
  • This allows for a lot of lines on your spool
  • Cast well
  • Hi-vis colors in a great range
  • You will need to use heavier lines if your knot strength is low.
  • Poor abrasion resistance
  • You will need to be a shock leader
Summary

Power Pro’s wide weight range makes it popular in fresh and saltwater. It also has its own tech that produces a tough and very smooth braid. It can also be tested in amazing ways to compensate for the weaknesses of the braid.

As with all braids, you can expect great tensile strength per diameter, but low shock strength, weak knots, and low abrasion resistance.

These issues can be mitigated by doubling the number of tests you use. If you are spooling 15-pound mono, consider switching to a 30-pound Power Pro. This is possible because of the wide range of heavyweights in this lineup.

This should increase knot strength to the desired level, but it is best to use a mono-shock leader.

High-Vis Yellow is a great choice in low-light conditions. It’s easy to track your line at sunset.

Sufix 832

Suffix 832 Braid 20 lb Low-Vis Green 150 yards

 

Specifications
Pros
Cons
Weights6, 8, 13, 18, 20, 26, 29, 39, 50, 53, 63. 79. 86. 99
Colors: Camo, Coastal Camo, Ghost, Low-Vis Green, Neon Lime, High-Vis YellowMulti-Color.
Strands8
Material Dyneema plus a GORE fiber
  • Strong
  • This allows for a lot of lines on your spool
  • Cast well
  • Hi-vis colors in a great range
  • You will need to use heavier lines if your knot strength is low.
  • Poor abrasion resistance
  • You will need to be a shock leader
Summary

Sufix 832 is a popular choice for anglers and braid lovers. Sufix 832 is strong, lightweight, and extremely sensitive. It’s probably the best line I have ever used for fishing bass.

Is it good for catfish?

I would say no and give the nod for mono.

Sufix uses fiber from GORE, the company behind Gore-Tex! This fiber is then braided with seven Dyneema Fibers to form a cohesive whole. Sufix claims this increases strength, casting, and abrasion resistance. One feel will show that it is a very smooth and round braid.

Sufix 832 is a great casting line. It doesn’t shed any tiny particles onto your reel or feel stiff in the hands, unlike other braids with a thick coating.

Casting isn’t a big deal for most catfish anglers. Strength without knot integrity doesn’t necessarily mean much.

To compensate, I suggest using a heavier Sufix 832 line than the fish weight. A minimum of 30-pounds is recommended to allow for 15-pound knots. You’ll still find it to be extremely thin and can cast well.

Even with the heaviest option, you still get approximately 45 pounds of knot integrity. This is a great deal, but not enough to challenge heavy Trilene Big Game weights.

To prevent the braid from separating, I would use a monofilament shock lead. Braid can’t withstand abrasion, even at heavyweights.

High-Vis Yellow, a great low-light option, is easy to track and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Daiwa J-Braid x8

Suffix 832 Braid 20 lb Low-Vis Green 150 yards

 

Specifications
Pros
Cons
Weights6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40, respectively.Colors: Dark GreenChartreuseMulti-Color, White, or a combination of both
Strands8
MaterialDyneema
  • Strong
  • This allows for a lot of lines on your spool
  • Cast well
  • Hi-vis colors in a great range
  • You will need to use heavier lines if your knot strength is low.
  • Poor abrasion resistance
  • You will need to be a shock leader
  • The coating may crack or become sticky under high heat.
Summary

Daiwa’s J-Braid x8 braid is a great choice if you are after catfish. It’s also available in very heavy testing.

J-Braid 8 is strong and can be made from eight Dyneema strands. You should be careful when choosing your color as not all options are available for every weight. It can be used in many situations due to the wide range of available tests.

J-Braid 8 is very smooth and casts extremely well. However, this is not usually a concern for catfishermen.

J-Braid has a strong structure and is available in heavier weights than Sufix 832. This is important as knot integrity and abrasion resistance will both issue. Therefore, I recommend that you run twice the tensile strength required to get the knot strength you desire.

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Chartreuse is a great color choice for low-light conditions, and I have no complaints.

You will need to use a mono-shock leader with JBraid as the shock strength will be below.

Some anglers also complain that the coating can flake or become sticky in extreme heat. However, most anglers did not experience any of these problems.

Our Picks: Trilene Big Game Mono & Power Pro Braid

Catfish require strong lines so it is no surprise that two of our top picks have really heavy-weight lines.

Trilene Big Game is my strongest and toughest mono fish. It has exceptional shock strength, incredible knot integrity, and a high visibility color option.

Big Game will not disappoint, no matter if you are looking for average channel cats or a bruiser’s blues.

If you have to braid your hair, Power Pro is my choice.

You can use heavier-weight lines to increase its abrasion resistance, and strengthen the knot integrity. This means that Power Pro can still be packed on your spool, but you can mitigate the worst braid problems.

I would recommend using a mono-shock leader with any braid. Trilene Big Game is a great choice for this role.

Our top picks for best catfish bait!

Catfish Line Basics

Monofilament

As its name implies, nylon monofilament is made up of one strand (or filament) of tough nylon. It is a popular choice for catfish anglers. Let’s take a closer look at its strengths, as well as its weaknesses.

Pros

Shock force –Your line will be put under extreme stress when a large fish strikes your line or changes direction quickly. While rods with proper drag settings and rods that are well-designed can absorb some of the strain, your line still takes a lot of abuse.

Mono offers quite a bit of stretch–properly called “elasticity”–allowing it to act as a shock absorber in its own right and reducing the chance of a sudden break-off. Berkeley claims monofilament can stretch up to 25%. Rapala says it can stretch up to 28%.

Secure your knotsMono ties well and holds the knots really well.

Plain-Jane monofilaments like Trilene XL, which holds to 97% of its tensile strengths, outperform braid in knot strength. TackleTour’s tests of various top-braided super lines revealed a 49% average knot strength.

This is a huge difference and you will be able to tell the difference if you have ever lost a leader or knot while braiding.

Abrasion resistance –Nylon is a tough material and can withstand impacts with sharp rocks, stumps, and other hazards when it is formed as a single round strand.

Cons

Stretch can weaken hooksets –This stretch means that you have to be careful when you set your hook. This is worse the more you have a line in play!

Braid

Braided lines are made of spun polyethylene fibers which are then woven into one strand. Manufacturers have two options for fiber: Dyneema and Spectra. The only difference is in the way they are processed. However, braided lines can vary in the number of fibers they weave together. They can range from three to eight. To reduce water absorption, increase handling and casting, and provide greater resistance against abrasion, many super lines of high quality are coated.

Many catfish anglers swear on braid. If you don’t want to start an argument about it, suggest they switch to mono!

Braid is a great choice for catfish, especially when you know its strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

Tensile strength –Braid is the best!

This allows anglers to use heavier monofilament lines or fill their spools with more lines. A 20-pound Sufix Performance Braid is the same size as a 6-pound monofilament.

Strong hooksets –Many anglers think braid cannot stretch. However, this is not true. Contrary to mono which can stretch up to 28 percent, the braid will usually stretch between 1 and 8 percent.

This is very little in the real world. The result is that you pull on your hook as if it were attached to you by a steel cable, rather than a line. The difference will be more noticeable the longer you have a line.

Cons

Low shock strength these hooksets are temporary and the braid cannot absorb shock. Even strong braids can be ripped by a sudden force, as they can’t withstand the load.

Some anglers can overcome this weakness by using heavier braids, but it comes at a cost.

Monofilament shock leaders are recommended whenever a braid is used as your mainline. You’ll be able to land more big cats with it helping to cushion any sudden shocks.

Weak knots –Dyneema, Spectra, and other slick materials are not able to bind very well on their own. All braided lines have poor knot strength. Even after changing knots to non-slip versions, extra stresses at bends can cause braid problems.

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As I said, knot strength should be in the 50% range of the braid’s tensile strength.

Poor abrasion resistance you have probably seen or heard advertising copy touting braid’s abrasion resistance. Even the manufacturers know this is just hype. Berkley explained that superlines are not as resistant to abrasion due to their extremely thin diameter.

Others agree. Other experts agree. 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.

This is the real world. You can only overcome it by braiding heavier hair than you need. Even then, you will still need to inspect your braid for damage signs–a little fuzz here and there.

Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon (or monofilament) is made of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). It is essentially a type of thermoplastic and it is both denser and harder than nylon. In theory, this makes fluorocarbon–diameter for diameter–more abrasion resistant than standard mono. It also increases its sink rate and sensitivity.

Fluorocarbon lines of high quality are multi-layered and have a strong core for strength. The coatings are often applied to enhance abrasion resistance and improve casting performance.

Fluorocarbon mainline is used by some bass anglers, but it’s not recommended for catfishing. It’s expensive and difficult to cast and tie. This line is best used for leader material. Heavy mono, however, is just as good and less expensive.

What does this mean for you?

Mono is probably better for catfish than braid.

This is an argument starter. We can also see how running thick braid can make up for some of its shortcomings. Mono is more flexible, cheaper, and easier to use than braid.

Braid will offer hooksets that are more difficult, however.

What to Consider when choosing a line for catfishing

Tensile strength

Catfishing requires a strong line, regardless of whether you are fishing for channel cats to fry a fish or for trophy blue flatheads.

The monofilament line should weigh between 10-20 pounds for channels cats. This depends on how large the fish are. I would string heavier fish where they are larger or where I might tie into blueheads or flatheads.

A 15# line is a great choice and I use it most often when I go to the river for a relaxing evening of fishing.

For blues and flatheads, I take it up a notch by running 20- to 30-pound tests pretty frequently.

The sky is the limit when it comes to real trophies. The pound test is the best for the fish you are after.

To increase knot strength and abrasion resistance, I would double the minimum braid lengths.

Absorption of shock

Mono is my choice for catfish, but it’s the best.

If you do decide to run braid, always use a monofilament shock leader. This will make your line withstand the strain of a large fish.

Knot strength

This is crucial to me.

It doesn’t matter how strong or weak your line, if a knot won’t hold it will fall apart.

Mono is a good choice because a properly tied knot will work. Braid will require some modification to hold it together, and even then, the knot strength won’t be very impressive.

This can be countered by running heavier braid. As you increase your line’s tensile strength, it will make the knot more resilient.

Be aware, though: that can lead to the death of your guides!

It is important to learn how to tie the correct knot for each line. We discuss our favorite knots in this article.

Abrasion resistance

You should be aware of abrasion resistance if you fish in areas with lots of debris, such as logs and rocks.

Mono is the king here.

Color

Catfishing is done in low-light conditions. Clearwater isn’t usually a problem.

High-visibility colors can be used to enhance line visibility. These colors allow you to clearly see your lines and track what’s going on.

These hi-vis options are generally recommended by me, and I have highlighted them in every product on our shortlist.

Last Thoughts

No matter which side you are on in the mono-vs.-braid battle, a smart decision about the line you choose can mean the difference between “fishing” and “catching.”

You can be certain that any product on our shortlist will do the job if yours is.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with us, whether we helped you pick or changed your mind.

Leave a comment below

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.