It is important to understand the different types of fishing line because there are acceptable environments for each of the fishing line types. Catching different species of fish might depend on the type and weight capacity of line you are using, so this is an important component of your fishing success. While the types of reels can be important to the fishing line types you use on them, lighter line offers some advantages over heavier line, when it comes to catching fish that are easily spooked. On the other hand, you need to carefully consider the fishing line types you use to land bigger fish, so spooling your carp rod combo or ocean reel with heavier line weights makes more sense.
Keeping your fishing line in optimal shape is important because inferior line quality leads to breakage, knotting problems and casting problems. If your line is too visible, you will scare off some types of fish, but most fishing rods and reels will make recommendations of line weight, for normal conditions. There are some fishing line types that will sink faster, cast further and stretch more. While monofilament fishing line is probably the most common, braided superlines or fluorocarbon lines might work better in tougher fishing conditions, especially when going after bigger species of fish or when fishing where sharp rocks or heavy brush exist.
Water conditions can dictate fishing line types because you want to use less conspicuous fluorocarbon line or a good quality monofilament in clear waters, but if there are lots of rocks and weeds, consider some of the “superlines” that offer more strength. When considering test weights, keep in mind you can land fish that are twice the weight of the test, in many cases. For example, eight pound test line might be able to land a fish that is sixteen pounds, depending on the conditions.
The best rule is to use line weight that is capable of landing the average sizes of fish you will be catching, but use the lightest weight possible, without risking the loss of a fish. Since good quality lines might be able to stretch further, without breaking, you need to avoid the discount and generic brands, or you might lose too many fish over a couple dollars.
If you choose a line weight that is too heavy, you might have problems casting, the fish will see the line and you might not be able to get a good hook-set because of too much slack in the line, since heavier line is more rigid. On the other hand, if you are going carp fishing or cat fishing, you should expect heavier line to offer the best results and these bottom feeding fish don’t use sight to find their food as much as bass, trout and panfish, so line visibility isn’t as important.
When selecting from the fishing line types, the general guideline is to get the best quality line, in a test weight that is suitable for the type of fishing you will be doing. There may be recommendations made by the rod and reel manufacturers and beginners might want to stick with these average recommendations, until they become more familiar with the choices that are available.