A lot of people don’t realize that when your using a baitcaster it is actually the rod that throws the bait not you. This is all about the line for your baitcaster but please check out our guide on the best rods for baitcasting to make sure your set up for success.
If you are brand new to baitcasting I recommend going with a braided line to learn with. The braided line will help prevent your backlash from being as severe as it would be with a monofilament line. If you are brand new to baitcasting or just want a refresher check out our how to baitcast like a pro guide.
One trick I like to employ is making a fluorocarbon leader when I am using a braided line. This is especially true if I am fishing in an area with a lot of rough surfaces. The end of my line tends to take the most abuse and having the abrasion resistant fluoro can be a real trip saver.
We have all been in that situation where you ask yourself if you have spent more time fishing or fixing your line. A little bit of preparation can save you time out on the water.
The four types of fishing line for a baitcaster reel
1.Braided line for baitcaster
I am including braided line first because I think it is the best line for a beginner baitcaster to use. It is more expensive but a new angler will spend less of his time worrying about how to untangle his line.
It is harder to tie the knot with a braided line. You may need to use a palomar knot when you can get away with any old knot with a mono line. The people over at saltstrong.com have a great guide on how to tie a palomar if you need to brush up.
What we like about braided lines for baitcasting
- Much thinner line. A 20 pound braided line will often be similar thickness to a 6 pound monofilament line.
- Abrasion Resistant – Highly Dependent on individual braided line.
- Highly sensitive line – With very little stretch you will feel every fish.
- It floats! – Great when you are using topwater lures and baits.
- Survives Vegetation – Don’t let a fish dive into the reeds for cover. This line wont break when mono would live your fish with a hook in its mouth.
What we don’t like about braided line for baitcasting
- Cost – Each spool cost quite a bit more but can actually save you money over time.
- Difficult to tie knots – Braided line is slippery. Avoid cutting the line close to where you tied it to prevent it from working lose.
- Can destroy old or weak poles – The eye holes for some poles were designed to only work with monofilament and will fail over time as the braided line actually “saws” through the eye hole.
2.Monofilament line for baitcasters
Monofilament is the fishing line your grandfather likely used and it is still the most popular fishing line for baitcasters today. That is likely due to its low cost and widespread availability.
Most people start out using a baitcaster with monofilament line. It has a lot of stretch which can make it harder to determine when a fish has struck your line.
What we like about monofilament line for baitcasters
- Cost – Monofilament is the clear low cost leader when it comes to line for baitcasters.
- Ease of use – Monofilament is often considered the beginners line since it is easy to handle and tie knots with.
What we don’t like about monofilament line for baitcasters
- Line twist! – line twist will really slow you down when your on the water and it is a problem you wont have with braided line.
- Thickness – The Thickness of monofilament line prevents you from going after the bait fish that like to swim a little deeper. You literally cant fit enough of the stuff on your reel!
3. Fluorocarbon line for baitcasting rigs.
Fluorocarbon line is similar to monofilament line in that they both are extruded as one strand of line. It is also similar in thickness as monofilament. That is where the similarities end.
Fluorocarbon has the best feel of all of the types of line and is almost invisible to the fish . It is also the most abrasion resistant of all of the lines we have gone over so far.
When Fluorocarbon first hit the market it was similar to braided line when it came to difficulty handling it and tying knots with it. The new stuff on the market has neither of these problems and is very similar in handling to monofilament.
What we like about using fluorocarbon fishing line when your baitcasting.
- Lack of visibility – When you have jumpy fish you need a line they cant see. This is it.
- Strength – If you know you are going to be in the weeds all day ditch the mono and go with fluoro.
- Sensitivity – The best feeling in the world is when your baitcasting pays off with a big strike. With fluoro line you will feel it and know its a fish.
4. Hybrid Line for baitcaster reels
Hybrid line is a catch all category that includes more and more fishing line every year. There is a line here for all of your baitcaster needs that are not covered with the first 3 types of line.
Most hybrid lines used when baitcasting are a combination of a fluoro line and a mono line. It combines some of the best characteristics of both lines while remaining relatively cheap when compared to the fluoro. If you really want to fish with fluoro but cant swing the budget for the more expensive line you might want to think about finding the right hybrid to fit your budget and your fishing needs.
Best monofilament lines for baitcasters reviewed!
1.Trilene Sensation mono line
The Trilene Sensation is my favorite mono when I am using any baitcaster. For a mono it really does feel like some of the fluoros on the market.
The thing that will interrupt me having a good time is when I keep getting false hits or if I am missing strikes because I have a line that has no feeling to it. When you are fishing you want to be able to really become part of the water your in. If you cant feel what is happening at the end of your line it is not the same experience.
The abrasion resistance of this line is really good as well. It is at the higher end of the best monofilament lines on the market. The bright orange color option seems to be the favorite for maximum visibility in the water. For some fishing this will be the worst line but in the right situation its great.
I really like this line for beginner baitcasters. Pros might get away with a line that you cant feel anything on but the rest of us need a little help.
What we love about Trilene sensation
- Feel of this line – There is a reason they named it sensation. Every finesse fisherman as well as beginner will really appreciate this.
- Lack of memory – For a mono this has a surprising lack of memory which leads to cleaner casting.
- Orange Color for sight line fishing – If you need to see where you line is at all times the orange color they offer is outstanding.
What we wish it had
- Better abrasion resistance – They claim this is strong but it just doesent compare to some of the fluro’s and braided lines when you will be baitcasting over rocks, reeds, and debris.
- That’s it – For a mono with this much feel in this price range we really cant ask for much else.
2. Kast Kings Monofilament Line
Kast Kings mono line is one of the newer monofilaments on the market that has really made a splash. For the price point there is no comparison on the market. With 0 name recognition they had to put together a great line at a great price and they did it. There have been a few complaints about the color of the line bleeding. Some mono line has come where half is one color and half is almost clear with the dye leaked out all over. I am not sure what causes this but it must be pretty rare since they sale a ton of this stuff and you do not see many baitcasters bring it up.
What we love about Kast Kings Mono line when baitcasting
- Smaller Diameter – Kast Kings has the smallest diameter line of any mono we have tested for the pound rating. This allows more line on your reel and you can run a larger size line without scaring away the fish.
- Sensitivity of line – While not as responsive as the Trilene sensation it performs much better than a traditional mono line if you are using a baitcaster
- Abrasion Resistant – Out of all of the monos we have tested this is the best abrasion resistant line we have found.
What could use some improvement
- It requires a palomar knot – This line is more slippery than most mono lines you will use when baitcasting and if you use a traditional knot you could easily lose a big one. Guide to tying a palomar knot
Best Fluorocarbon lines for baitcastin
1.Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon
The Berkley Vanish line of Fluorocarbon was a natural fit as the first baitcaster fluoro I’m recommending. That’s because it was actually the first Fluoro that was available to baitcasters. Before its introduction fluoro was mainly used as leaders to regular line. With the introduction of Berkley Vanish the baitcasting masses got access to this super abrasion resistant near invisible line. Fluoro is harder to tie knot with than mono for sure and some of the other fluoros on the market can make casting your line more difficult.
What we love about Berkley Fluoro
- Abrasion Resistance – This is the main draw of fluoro line over mono. Your line can sometimes last you all day without breaking!
- Underwater Clarity – Fluoro line is great for being near invisible underwater. The fish wont spook if they don’t see the line!
- Sensitivity – Fluoro in general is great for sensitivity since the molecules are packed so tightly together. You don’t lose the “feel” at the end of the line as the action travels down the line.
What could be improved to make berkley fluoro better for baitcasters?
- Line Memory – The line memory with this line can make knot tying a bit of a challenge as well as making casting with a baitcaster feel a little bit wonky.