Before we dive into the fishing lines, let’s establish the fact that spinning reels come in a variety of sizes.
Spinning reels have a fixed, open-faced spool that’s in line with the surf fishing rod. The spool itself is stationary and what spins is the rotor or line guide.
Now that you understand how your spinning reel works, you can understand how to pick the best fishing line for it.
Types of Fishing Lines
You should understand that fishing lines come in three variations: Monofilament (mono) is a single strand of nylon.
Second is braid (microfilament or braided) which is a set of fused or braided strands of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.
And third is fluorocarbon which is a single strand of polyvinylidene fluoride.
Each of them has its own pros and cons. And according to your style of fishing, where, and what you’ll be fishing for, one could have an advantage over the other.
The Characteristics of Fishing Lines
The line diameter refers to the width of the fishing line and is measured in inches or mm.
It affects many things, such as the friction between the line and the spool. The higher the friction, the more the distance of casting is reduced.
And while the difference isn’t that huge, it can still help if you need that extra distance.
Furthermore, line diameter has an impact on the movement of your lures in the water as it can generate water resistance against the line.
If you’re fishing for a wary type of fish, go for a smaller diameter line to eliminate any water disturbance.
Overall, a small line diameter will provide you with more line on the reel, better lure action, and improved casting ability. However, lower diameter lines tend to sink quicker.
You can choose a colorful line as a means to camouflage it as it blends easier in the water. Contrarily, you can go for more vibrant colors if you want something that helps you locate your lure in the water more efficiently.
In a lake or a place with natural vegetation, neutral colors like olives and greys would serve as camouflage.
On the other hand, red and yellow lines would give you more visibility to find your bait in the water and check on how it’s behaving.
The durability of the Line
While no line will last with you a lifetime, the way they deteriorate and lose their strength is different.
For example, braided line dulls and frays. On the other hand, fluorocarbon and mono lines breakdown under the effect of ultraviolet rays and water absorption.
So, you should make your decision depending on how long you’ll spend in the sun and if you’re going to be fishing from a boat or a place with no shade.
The Line Twist
As deterioration is inevitable, unfortunately, so is line twisting.
And while the twisting is mainly affected by the spinning reel itself, the frequency depends more on the bearings system and the line you use.
Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines are more prone to twist than braid as they’re thinner single strands.
Line Strength or Pound Test
The line strength indicates how much weight your line can pull without snapping.
You can go for lower pounds test ratings if you’re going to aim for smaller fish that don’t put up a fight such as panfish and crappie.
However, if you're going for more stubborn ones, you should get a more robust line.
Finding the perfect balance between the stretching of the line and its flexibility without breaking or affecting the hook-sets is very critical.
If you’re going to fish right beneath your boat, a line with low stretch and high sensitivity would be more convenient.
On the other hand, when you’re using top-water baits, you’ll need something that counters the strike’s shock factor. And that’s when you should choose a line with less sensitivity, and consequently more stretch.
The Line’s Memory
Try to get the lowest memory you can get as that would enhance the line and make it less likely to tangle your reel or rod.
High memory lines are prone to float and twist above water instead of sinking as the weight doesn’t hold them down.
Your style of fishing and your target type of fish will dictate the kind of line you'll need on your spinning reel.
Monofilament line is the most affordable option, and that’s why many anglers choose it.
However, it does have a lot of stretches, has noticeable spool memory and is a lot less sensitive than braided or fluorocarbon lines.
Because it’s colorless and less visible, fluorocarbon usually acts as a lead material and isn’t used to fill an entire spool. It’s the ideal choice if you’re fishing in clear water. Furthermore, it has reduced line memory and stretch than monofilament line.
Note: Some lines are only fluorocarbon-coated, which means they'll have the characteristics of monofilament rather than fluorocarbon.
Finally, braid lines are the strongest as they’re made from several strands. They have little to no stretch properties and therefore are incredibly sensitive.
However, they're more prone to break and fray in a shorter period compared to other lines. They also can't fight the effects of UV and water absorption so much.
Braided line also can’t be used for camouflage as it’s quite visible. Also, it will scare fish away if you use it for fishing in clear water.