Close this search box.

Best Color for Fishing Line: Know the Facts

Have you noticed that fishing lines come in different colors? Have you ever wondered why? If you have, you’re not alone.

We know there are various sizes and types of fishing lines, depending on the fish you’re hoping to catch. Yet, what are all the colors for? Is it a style thing, or do the colors actually make a difference when you’re out on the water?

That’s what we’re here to find out today. We’re going to talk about the best color for the fishing line, as well as a number of other useful features.

Let’s get started.

The Best Color for Fishing Line

The best color for fishing lines mainly depends on the color of the water where you’ll be fishing. It also depends on the clarity of the water.

In general, the most versatile color is green. You can use it in various types of water and fishing situations. Other circumstances, however, require different colors. 

Top Tip: Your choice of fishing line color should depend on two factors: type of water and fish species. We’ll discuss each one in detail further below

Do Fish See Fishing Lines?

Many anglers are a bit confused when it comes to choosing colored fishing lines.

The first thing that comes to our minds is whether or not it makes a difference to the fish. After all, fish can’t see the lines, can they?

Actually, they can. Fish have different ways of perceiving colors and shapes than us.

Nevertheless, they’re still able to detect fishing lines and their colors. Otherwise, what would be the point of having different colored fishing lines?

There are three basic kinds of fishing lines. Each one is used for a different purpose and comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Here’s a quick overview of each type.


Spin fishing rod with reel

Braided fishing lines are the thinnest of the three types. Yet, they can be somewhat visible in the water. This is why you have to be extra careful when choosing a line color. 

Since they’re already pretty visible, picking the wrong color would be like announcing your arrival with a bullhorn. That’s the opposite of what we want, especially if you’re going after fish that get spooked quickly.

At the same time, it’s worth mentioning that braided lines are the only fishing lines that are non-shine. They don’t reflect sunlight, which makes them more versatile.

That being said, braided lines are the most durable and reliable of all three fishing lines. They’re also longer lasting and easier to care for.

Plus, they’re great at holding up to knots and vigorous fishing circumstances. The reason is that they’re non-stretch, which means they don’t give way like other lines.


Fluorocarbon fishing lines are generally used as leader lines, particularly in saltwater. They’re more durable and can hold up to the large and mighty pull of saltwater fish.

Author Note: Fluorocarbon fishing lines are much less visible underwater than braided lines. However, if light conditions are bright, they can appear to shimmer and shine.

The good news is that they’re difficult to see from below. This makes them a great choice when hunting fish that are extra suspicious or easily scared.


Monofilament fishing lines, or mono for short, are less visible than braided lines. At the same time, they’re shiny and highly reflective.

You can find mono lines in a wide color array, including blue, green, yellow, and red. The color choice depends mainly on the depth of the water.

Be that as it may, monofilament lines are known for their endurance and strength. They’re also extremely resistant to impacts.

Does the Color of Fishing Lines Matter?

Yes, color definitely matters! We mentioned before that fish see the lines and their colors.

So, how do different colors appear to the fish, and do they make a difference when you’re fishing?

To answer these questions, you have to think about what the fishing line looks like in the water. Remember that water causes objects to refract. As a result, the line will appear different than it would on the ground.

This makes picking the wrong type of color in the water can make the line more visible.

Fish are smarter than we give them credit for. When they see a colorful line dangling in the water, they won’t stay to find out what it is. They’ll just turn and swim in the opposite direction.

Let’s take red or pink fishing lines, which is what’s recommended for deep waters.

The scientific explanation is that sunlight doesn’t stretch deep into the water. It only goes to an average of about 650 feet. As sunlight starts to diminish, red and pink hues are the first to become undetectable.

Common Fishing Line Colors and Their Uses

Braided fishing line

There’s no fit-color-fits-all option when choosing your colored lines. Think about the type of water and fish you’re aiming for, then pick the color that best suits your angling needs.

Check out some of the most common fishing line color choices. Since your pick of color depends on both water and fish types, we’ve added a few tips to help you get maximum results.

Blue Lines

Blue fishing lines, especially lighter shades of blue, are great for saltwater. You can probably guess why. When the water isn’t entirely clear, the line is pretty much the same as the color of the water.

Yet, that’s not all. Light blue lines also work great if you’re doing some medium-depth or top-water fishing.

As for which types of fish go with blue lines, there are multiple species in both fresh and saltwater. One of the most common is bass because it can’t see blue, especially in dim light conditions.

Conversely, blue lines don’t work well in transparent or murky waters. They’re not a good choice for freshwater fishing either.

Green Lines

If you want something that does a pretty good job in multiple situations, go with the green line. It blends effortlessly with many types of water conditions.

Freshwater is a good place to use green lines because it’s filled with green hues. Hence, the line will seem almost invisible once in the water.

Also, if you’re fishing for carp, which are super suspicious, it’s best to use green lines.

Author Note: Carp is one of the few species that can detect movement outside the water. Even if it sees you moving on the riverbank or in your boat, the green won’t be obvious, which will make it less wary.

Bass is another type of fish that works well with green lines. Even in freshwater, green lines tend to look more like floating shadows than actual objects.

On the other hand, if you’re fishing in clear water, whether fresh or salty, try not to use a green line.

It’ll stand out against the clarity of its surroundings. Plus, refraction will make it seem twice as big, which will definitely spook the fish.

Transparent Lines

The best place for transparent fishing lines is in clear water, primarily freshwater. They’re designed to reflect light in a similar way to how water itself reflects light.

Consequently, the line will blend with its surroundings and become almost entirely invisible. Since the fish won’t take notice, your job becomes a bit easier.

Transparent lines are a great option for fish that are known to panic or are always on high alert.

Moreover, they make a good choice for top-water and medium-depth waters fishing because the lines seem to fade into the water.

If you’re after trout, using clear lines is your best bet. They blend in perfectly with the background and the trout completely ignores it.

Yellow Lines

fishing rods with yellow line

Yellow fishing lines are best for murky water as the water reduces the line’s visibility from below. The fish won’t even know it’s there.

They’re also great for dark fishing conditions since they can be seen by anglers. This is why they’re usually the recommended choice for beginners because they’re easier to see in the water.

In addition, sometimes skilled anglers prefer seeing the line rather than relying on its tug, like when they’re night fishing. During night fishing, you’re already dealing with many variables and unknowns.

At times like this, it’s more important that you can see the line rather than worrying about whether or not the fish can spot the line.

The type of water where you should never use yellow lines is clear water.

Fish will go out of their way to avoid it. And if you’ve got smart, hungry fish on your hands, they’ll just eat the bait and steer clear of the hook and line.

One fish that isn’t easily frightened is catfish. They tend to be more cavalier and easygoing than other fish species. So, it’s less likely you’ll run into a problem with them if you use a yellow line.


Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, use our handy how-to guide to pick out the best color for fishing lines. Many people see fishing as a way to relax and unwind. They think you just flick your wrist, prop up your rod, and sit back.

Yet, there’s so much more to it than that. It can be relaxing, but it also includes lots of preparation and hard work.

Knowing a few tips and techniques, like when to use different color lines, can save you a great deal of time and energy. We hope you enjoyed this article on the best color for fishing line.

Happy Hunting


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts