How To Choose The Right Fishing Line Color

If you're relatively new to going fishing, it can be incredibly overwhelming just trying to get started and figure out what color fishing line to use.  Forget about the advanced styles of fishing, or selecting the right type of bait to use, or which fancy fishing pole is going to give you the best odds of catching a fish - something so simple as fishing line comes with an insane amount of options to choose from.

If you’re relatively new to going fishing, it can be incredibly overwhelming just trying to get started and figure out what color fishing line to use.  Forget about the advanced styles of fishing, or selecting the right type of bait to use, or which fancy fishing pole is going to give you the best odds of catching a fish – something so simple as fishing line comes with an insane amount of options to choose from.

I’ll never forget the first time I wanted to take my son fishing, we went to the local sporting goods store to pick up some fishing line, fully expecting to just head down the fishing aisle and grab a spool – yet when we got there I was absolutely overwhelmed by the different options and we wound up spending about 45 minutes there trying to figure out the pros and cons of each one before making the selection.  

Needless to say, that was not a fun way to start our first fishing trip together so hopefully, this resource right here will help you make that decision of how to choose the right fishing line color a little easier in your life going forward.

There are three main things you need to consider when selecting fishing line, and that’s the type, the weight, and the color.  For right now we’re going to tackle this one step at a time and go over the different colors of fishing line and help you figure out which one is the right choice.

Choosing The Right Fishing Line Color

Let’s get one thing clear right from the start – if you’re planning on taking a quick little trip with the family to go fishing and don’t anticipate reeling in a trophy fish, choosing the right fishing line color doesn’t matter all that much.  For the most part, if you stick with clear line you should have no issues at least getting some nibbles and having some fun with it.  

With that being said, if you plan on going fishing more than once in a blue moon, it will be very helpful to learn your fishing line colors and which one is best used in which situation.  Each one of them has a very specific purpose, so let’s go through them one by one and we’ll help you learn which color fishing line to use for each situation.

Clear Fishing Line

One of the simplest and most basic colors, this is going to be your swiss army knife approach to going fishing. Your every day generic clear monofilament fishing line is a good choice for most applications since it’s fairly invisible underwater.  If you don’t plan on going fishing all that often, stick with a basic clear monofilament fishing line like Stren.

A special mention has to go to Fluorocarbon fishing line here.  While technically most people would argue that Fluorocarbon fishing line is still clear, because of its filament type, it actually is going to be even more invisible underwater than a standard clear monofilament fishing line.  Since Fluorocarbon fishing line is nearly invisible, it’s a great choice for pretty much any water and will be especially helpful in very clear water, as the nearly invisible line will be that much harder for easily frightened fish to see.

Yellow Fishing Line

Yellow fishing line, or sometimes even a bright neon green color often marked ‘high-visibility’ is most often used to help spot movement on your fishing line, especially when you’re using a bobber.  Because the yellow fishing line is so bright, it’s a very special use only type of line.  

The bright colored line does make it very easy to see for you, but also that much easier to see for fish as well, so typically the only times you’re really going to choose a yellow fishing line is in muddy water.  It’s going to be a trade-off for you, either way, go here since using this type of high visibility fishing line will make it easier for you to notice activity on your bobber, it’s also going to make it that much more visible to your fish if the water is clear enough.

If you are going to use a yellow fishing line, we recommend Sufix Elite.

Green Fishing Line

Green fishing line is a great choice for you depending on the color of the water you are fishing in.  Most bodies of water tend to have a green tint to them, so using a green tinted fishing line will help it to be that much more invisible to the fish and blend into the surrounding water, much like camouflage.

If the water you are fishing in is too clear though, the green fishing line will be more easily spotted by approaching fish, so much like yellow fishing line, green has it’s time and place, although in our opinion will be a bit more versatile than yellow.  We’d recommend using Trilene if you’re going to go green.

Blue Fishing Line

Much like green fishing line, the primary benefit to choosing a blue fishing line is going to be blending into the water you’re fishing in, so if you plan on going fishing in water that’s more blue in color than green, of course you’d want to select the blue fishing line to blend in.

Believe it or not, even though most people tend to think water is blue, there’s more often than not going to be a higher percentage of green tinting to the water, so for most cases we’d recommend the green fishing line over the blue, but if you do decide to choose blue fishing line, go for this smoke blue Stren line.

Red Fishing Line

Of all the colors of fishing line, red is probably the most debated color.  Red lines are said to become totally invisible underwater, and that’s mostly based on studies that show how red objects lost their color first underwater. The debate part comes because most people who scuba dive say that red objects under water appear black, and so instead of being invisible those red fishing lines may instead appear black and a stark contrast to the surrounding water color.

You’re also going to have plenty of people tell you that red fishing line works better because the red color looks like blood, which is a common marketing message used by companies who make red colored hooks and claim they get a higher percentage of bites.  Choosing red fishing line is probably not something you’ll do unless you’re pretty serious into fishing and want to test out the theories for yourself.  If you do decide to give it a try, we’d suggest this Cajun red fishing line.

Fishing Line Color Choices

As I said in the beginning, choosing the right color fishing line is something that will be very beneficial to you if you plan on going fishing often and want to give yourself the best odds at reeling in a fish.  You can most certainly still get lucky using just about any fishing line and reel in that big one you’ve been chasing, but knowing which color fishing line to use and when will be very helpful in increasing your odds of success!

You may also get superstitious about your color if you wind up catching a keeper with a red fishing line and then always stick with that.  At the end of the day, choosing the right color fishing line is mostly a tactic to help you better blend in with the water and catch more fish, but either way, so long as you’re still fishing it’s pretty hard to complain!

Jim Sabellico

Author: Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico is the founder of TakeMeCamping.org, and an avid outdoors fan who loves traveling the world with his family, cooking over an open campfire and all things outdoorsy. When Jim isn't camping, he's running his marketing agency J. Louis.

Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico is the founder of TakeMeCamping.org, and an avid outdoors fan who loves traveling the world with his family, cooking over an open campfire and all things outdoorsy. When Jim isn't camping, he's running his marketing agency J. Louis.

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