For many of us, if not all of us, the spinning reel was the gateway to fishing when we were kids.
It was easy to use, and you didn’t have to worry about bird nesting your reel on a long cast.
These days we use a spinning reel combo alongside our baitcasting setup for bass. The baitcaster is used to punch through thick grass and mats, and the spinning reel combo is for a more finesse approach.
If you’re just starting out, once you buy your spinning reel, the next step is to get some fishing line.
So what is the best bass fishing line for spinning reels?
Looking for the best fishing line depends on the angler. I know, not the answer you’re looking for but hear us out.
There are many types of fishing line available, and there are a few factors you should consider, such as:
How much are you willing to spend?
What type of water are you going to cover the most?
What type of lures are you going to use?
In this post, we’ll go over the three main types of fishing lines for your spinning reel when bass fishing. We’ll also go over the pros and cons of each line and tips on how to save money when buying fishing lines for spinning reels.
|Recommended Pound Test Line
|High pressured lakes, open water or rocky bottom
|Thick, heavy cover.
The Best Line For Spinning Reel
The three main types of fishing lines you can use are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid. We’re not going to get into brands here, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Monofilament fishing line has been the standard for many years. It’s cheap, easy to handle, and you can find it in any tackle shop.
The main advantages of monofilament:
- Low cost
- Good knot strength
- Easy to cast
Monofilament is the way to go if you’re looking for the cheapest line for your spinning reel. You can find a decent monofilament line for around $10.
Good Knot Strength
Monofilament has good knot strength, so you don’t have to worry about your knot slipping or breaking.
Easy To Cast
Monofilament is easy to cast because it has less memory than fluorocarbon. Memory is the ability of the line to retain its shape. The less memory a line has, the better it will cast.
Monofilament stretches, which is an advantage when using lures that require a lot of action, such as plastic worms, swimbaits, crankbaits, etc.
The stretch in the line acts as a shock absorber, so you’re less likely to break your line or tear your hook out the mouth on the hookset. However, this can also be a downfall when trying to set the hook after a long cast.
The main disadvantages of monofilament:
- Not as sensitive as other lines
- Can kink and coil
- Wears down faster
- Absorbs water
Not As Sensitive As Other Lines
Monofilament is not as sensitive as fluorocarbon or braid. The sensitivity of a fishing line is important so that you can feel the bite or the bottom of the lake with your rod.
Less sensitivity means you might miss out on setting the hook from not feeling the bite.
This is because monofilament has more stretch and a thicker diameter than the other two types.
Can Kink And Coil
Monofilament can kink and coil, which can affect your casting ability. This can be due to leaving your reel in direct sunlight, which will cause your mono line to hold its coiled form on the reel.
If your monofilament line has been exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time, it’s better to save the headache and just re-spool your reel with new line.
Wears Down Faster
Monofilament will lose its strength when exposed to UV rays and saltwater. So even if it’s the cheapest option, you’ll likely have to re-spool your reel with new monofilament if you plan on fishing a lot.
Monofilament line also absorbs water, making it heavier and sink faster, and will also reduce its abrasion-resistance properties due to this.
Fluorocarbon fishing line is the newer player on the block and has become increasingly popular in the last few years.
The main advantage of fluorocarbon is:
- Less visible underwater
- More abrasion-resistant than mono
- Does not absorb water
Fluorocarbon line is the most invisible of the three, but to a certain extent. Although less visible, it is not completely invisible like what most will say, even if it’s 100% fluorocarbon.
This is because fluorocarbon has a higher refractive index than water, so it will still reflect light and be visible to fish. So the good news is that it’s not as visible as monofilament, so you’ll still have an advantage when using it.
More Abrasion-Resistant Than Mono
Fluorocarbon is more abrasion-resistant than monofilament and braid when fishing around rocks and boulders.
Fluorocarbon has a higher density than monofilament, so it’s less likely to be damaged when rubbing against rocks or other underwater obstacles.
And braid will fray due to the low resistance to abrasion over sharp rocks.
Does Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Absorb Water?
Fluorocarbon fishing line does not absorb water, but its density makes this line sink to the bottom. This is an advantage when trying to get your lures or baits down to the bottom, where the bass are suspended.
The main disadvantage of fluorocarbon is:
- More expensive than monofilament
Is Fluorocarbon Line Expensive?
Fluorocarbon costs more than monofilament because of the process used to make it and the materials used.
Fluorocarbon is made by extruding fluoropolymer resin into a tube and then drawing the tube through a series of dies. This process is called “fluorination,” making the line more durable and resistant to UV rays.
They have better sensitivity, are more abrasion-resistant, and sink faster than monofilament.
It lasts longer than monofilament because it’s more resistant to UV and salt damage.
You really get what you pay for.
Is Fluorocarbon Stiffer Than Mono?
This makes fluorocarbon hard to manage because it has a lot of line memory.
What does that mean? Line memory is the term used to describe a line that wants to stay in its coils and not come off the spool easily.
This can cause issues when casting because your fluorocarbon line will want to keep its coiled shape, making it hard to cast smoothly.
Fluorocarbon is also more brittle than monofilament. We’ve rigged a worm Texas rig style for bass on a fluoro leader to our braid with a Tungsten bullet weight.
Tungsten is one of the hardest materials, so if you don’t peg your weight in place, it will bump right up against your knot and break off.
We’ve had this happen to us many times until we finally researched the cause online.
And that was it.
The third and final type of fishing line is braid. Braid comes in many different colors and made from multiple strands of woven Dyneema, Spectra, etc.
The lack of stretch also means that you have to be more careful when setting the hook so that you don’t pull the lure out of the fish’s mouth.
Tension on the line must be increased gradually when using fluorocarbon, so it can take
Braid fishing line is made from multiple strands of synthetic fibers. It is strong, thin, and has no line memory.
The main advantage of braid is:
- Has a thin diameter but strong
- Does not coil
- Cuts through grass when fishing in heavy cover
- Lasts a long time
- Floats, which are great for topwater lures
- Casts further
Is Braid Stronger Than Mono and Fluorocarbon Fishing Line?
Yes. Braid line is stronger than monofilament and fluorocarbon line. It also handles line twists better than mono or fluoro.
Braid is made from multiple strands of synthetic fibers that are woven together. This makes it stronger than monofilament or fluorocarbon because there are more strands holding it together.
Does Braided Fishing Line Have Memory?
No, braid line does not have memory. This means that it will not coil up on your spool as monofilament or fluorocarbon line can.
This is because braid is made from multiple strands of synthetic fibers woven together. There is no single strand that wants to coil up by itself.
Does Braided Line Work Well In Heavy Cover?
Yes. Braided line is very strong, and when fished in thick grass, you can cut through the grass easily without getting hung up.
Does Braided Fishing Line Deteriorate?
A quality brand fishing line for braid can last you many years. However, braid is more susceptible to fraying than mono or fluoro. So we advised not to go full braid when fishing near rocky areas.
Does Braided Line Float?
Yes, braid line floats, which makes it great for topwater action. However, we recommend adding a short fluorocarbon leader to minimize line visibility.
Is Braided Fishing Line Good For Casting?
Yes, you can cast much further with braided line because it has no stretch. It is also very thin, which means there is less drag on the line when casting.
The main disadvantages of braid are:
- It can be more difficult to handle
- It can also fray easier than other lines if not used properly
- Most Visible For Fish
Harder To Handle
Because braided line is limp and has no memory, it’s slightly more difficult to handle than the other two line types.
However, with no line memory, the sensitivity is great to feel when bass is biting, and braid comes in many highly visible colors to see your line better and get your hook set on time.
And because it floats, many anglers will keep a controlled slack of line floating on the water. So when the bass inhales your bait and runs with it, you can see the wake in water caused by the slack line tightening.
Can Fray In Certain Conditions
Although braided line is the strongest of the three line types, it does fray if you’re fishing around jagged rocks and boulders.
Fishing through rocks will eventually fray your line, so many bass fishermen will add a couple of feet of either a mono or fluoro leader to help.
Is Braided Line Expensive?
Yes, braided line is more expensive than monofilament and typically around the same price range as fluorocarbon.
With that said, you’re really getting your money’s worth in terms of strength to diameter and longer lifespan.
Can Bass See Braided Line?
Yes, bass can see braided line since it’s more visible than monofilament and fluorocarbon. However, it’s one of the drawbacks of using braid line that can easily be solved by using a leader.
A common setup is to have a 3-4 foot fluorocarbon leader tied to the braided mainline. This makes your presentation more stealthy and less likely to be spooked by the line.
Which Line To Use: Mono vs. Fluoro vs. Braid
Now that we’ve gone over the three main fishing lines let’s talk about what type of water you’ll be fishing in the most.
Open Water Fishing
If you’re fishing in open water, such as a lake, reservoir, or river, then monofilament or fluorocarbon would be a good choice since you wouldn’t need braid to cut through heavy weeds when pulling the bass out.
Braid will be a better choice if you’re fishing in heavy covers, such as brush, weeds, or trees. You will save a lot of headaches from getting your line snapped using mono or fluoro as your main line in thick cover.
Line Selection And Lure Types
Now that we’ve gone over the three main types of fishing lines and what type of water you’ll be fishing in, let’s talk about what type of lures you’ll use.
If you’re going to be using:
- small lures
- such as worms
- small crankbaits
Then monofilament or fluorocarbon would be a good choice because these lines sink and will get you lure to down faster in the strike zone.
If you’re using large lures, such as swimbaits or topwater lures, then braid would be a better choice.
If you’re using larger crankbaits and swimbaits, braid will allow you to cast out further and gives you the best sensitivity to feel every bite from long distance.
And because it has zero stretch, setting the hook 80 feet away will be much easier with braid.
Using braid as your mainline is best for topwater lures because of its buoyancy. It allows the lure to flow freely, whereas full mono or fluorocarbon can risk the nose of the topwater lure to sink a little, giving it an abnormal presentation to bass.
Now that we’ve gone over the three main types of fishing lines, what type of water you’ll be fishing in most, and what type of lures you’ll be using, let’s talk about how much you’re willing to spend.
Money Saving Tips From The Pros
Like most hobbies, things can add up and get expensive.
And it’s no different when you’re getting into fishing.
Here are some tips to help you save some money when spooling your line:
Backspooling With Mono Before Your Braided Or Fluorocarbon Line
Backspooling your reel with monofilament first will allow you to save more of your braided or fluorocarbon line for later use.
Buy the cheapest monofilament line you can find and add about 40-60 yards of monofilament, depending on your reel size.
Next, attach braid or fluorocarbon to and fill the rest of your spoon.
If you’re attaching a braid, use the FG knot or Alberto knot as your connection knot.
If you’re attaching fluorocarbon, use the double unit knot as your connection knot.
So now you should have leftover braid and fluoro to re-spool later down the road.
Monofilament is the cheapest option and can be found at any tackle shop. Fluorocarbon is more expensive but is becoming more common. Braid is the most expensive option but worth it if you’re using large lures or fishing in heavy cover.
Buy your line in bulk if you can. You can usually find good deals online if you buy them in larger quantities.
Check the clearance aisle at your local tackle shop. You can often find good deals on fishing line that’s been discontinued.
Ask your friends or family if they have any extra lines that they don’t need. For example, by asking around, you might be surprised at how much line you can get for free.
Finding the right line for your spinning reel when bass fishing requires a little thought process on where you’ll mostly fish and the type of water conditions. Spinning reels can take lighter lines than baitcasting reels, which will help improve the lure’s movement in the water.
For bass, we suggest using no less than 6-8lb test of either fluoro or mono as your main line. And for braid, stick to 15lb test as your main line and 8lb test leader of either monofilament or fluorocarbon. Tight lines!