Best Line for Surf Fishing: How to Choose the Right One for Your Next Adventure
Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
I know that choosing the right line for surf fishing is crucial for a successful day on the water. With so many options available, such as braided, monofilament, and fluorocarbon lines, it can be challenging to decide which one is best. As a matter of fact, factors like abrasion resistance and casting distance must also be taken into account. In this guide, I’ll share my expertise on the best line for surf fishing, exploring the pros and cons of each type and helping you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.
In my search for the perfect surf fishing line, I’ve discovered there are various factors to consider, including the type of line, water conditions, and the species of fish you’re targeting. The three most common types of fishing lines are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided, each with its unique features and advantages. Monofilament is a popular choice for surf fishing due to its single-strand construction and versatility, while braided lines offer strength, low stretch, and excellent castability.
Considering water conditions is crucial when selecting the ideal fishing line. Fluorocarbon lines tend to work well in clear water, as they are almost invisible under water, which helps avoid spooking fish. On the other hand, braided lines are better suited for muddy or stained water, providing better visibility and longer casting distances.
Make sure you check out what I’ve shared below – there’s an informative video about the different types of fishing lines, as well as three additional videos on how to tie popular fishing line knots.
Types of Fishing Lines
When it comes to surf fishing lines, monofilament, also known as mono, is a popular choice for many anglers. Mono is made from a single strand of nylon material, which gives it a relatively high degree of stretch and flexibility. This can be beneficial for surf fishing, as the stretchiness allows for good shock absorption when casting and fighting fish in turbulent seas. Additionally, monofilament is typically more affordable than other line types, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
Some downsides of monofilament include its larger diameter compared to braided lines or fluorocarbon, which can impact casting distance, and it tends to degrade over time due to exposure to sunlight or saltwater.
Braided line is my go-to choice when surf fishing, as its construction consists of multiple strands of materials braided together, resulting in increased strength and minimal stretch. This means that, compared to monofilament, it offers improved sensitivity and better casting distance, both of which are important factors in surf fishing.
Another advantage of braided lines is their slender diameter, which allows for more line capacity on the reel, as well as better cutting through waves and water currents. Some popular braided lines for surf fishing include KastKing SuperPower, Power Pro Spectra Fiber, and Sufix 832 Advanced Superline.
However, it’s worth noting that braided line can be more visible to fish due to its thicker construction, and it’s generally more expensive than monofilament options.
Fluorocarbon, a line made from carbon-based materials, boasts low visibility in water and is more resistant to abrasion compared to monofilament and braided lines, making it a popular choice for leader material in surf fishing rig setups. Its low stretch properties also provide enhanced sensitivity and improved hook-setting ability.
Since fluorocarbon is more expensive and has a stiffer feel compared to other fishing lines, it’s relatively rare for anglers to use it as their main line when surf fishing. However, products like KastKing FluoroKote and Yo-Zuri Hybrid have gained popularity in recent years due to their blend of fluorocarbon and monofilament properties.
In summary, monofilament, braided, and fluorocarbon lines each have their unique characteristics, advantages, and drawbacks when it comes to surf fishing. As an angler, it’s essential for me to carefully consider these factors when deciding which type of fishing line will best suit my specific surf fishing needs and preferences.
Check out Salt Strong’s Fishing Line 101 video, where they dive into the basics of fishing line, discuss the purpose of a leader line, and share which fishing lines work best in different situations.
Key Factors for Choosing the Best Line
When surf fishing, it’s essential to consider the visibility of the line. I tend to look for lines with low visibility, as they’re less likely to be noticed by the fish. Fluorocarbon lines are generally less visible in water compared to monofilament or braided lines, allowing for a more stealthy approach when targeting wary fish.
Buoyancy is another crucial factor to take into account. Some lines, like monofilament, tend to float, while others, like fluorocarbon, have a higher density, causing them to sink in the water. When surf fishing, I opt for a line with the right level of buoyancy based on my specific fishing technique and target species.
The stretch of a fishing line impacts its sensitivity, hook-setting power, and overall performance. Monofilament lines tend to have a higher stretch compared to fluorocarbon and braided lines. I find that lines with low stretch offer better sensitivity and hook-setting ability, which can be advantageous in surf fishing, especially when targeting larger fish.
Surf fishing can be tough on fishing lines due to the constant exposure to saltwater, sand, and rocks, so durability is a key factor. Braided lines, for example, have high abrasion resistance and are generally more durable than monofilament or fluorocarbon lines. I choose a line that offers high durability while still meeting my other requirements for visibility, buoyancy, and stretch.
When surf fishing, casting distance can significantly impact my ability to reach fish holding further out in the water. Braided lines tend to be thinner compared to monofilament or fluorocarbon lines with the same pound test, allowing for longer casts. However, monofilament lines are more versatile and can still provide decent casting distances in certain situations.
Knot strength is essential when surf fishing, as a weak knot could result in losing a fish or getting snagged on structure. I like to consider the knot strength of various types of lines: braided lines are known to have excellent knot strength, while fluorocarbon lines may require special attention to ensure a secure knot. Monofilament lines can have good knot strength, but this will vary depending on the specific product and knot used.
The diameter of a fishing line affects casting distance, visibility, and overall performance. Thinner lines tend to cast further and are less visible to fish. In surf fishing, I prefer a line with a thinner diameter, as it allows me to achieve greater casting distances and reduces the chance of fish noticing my line in the water.
Lastly, the price of a surf fishing line is a factor to consider. I want a quality line without breaking the bank. I weigh the cost of the line against its performance and durability, as well as my specific fishing needs. Often, a higher-priced line provides better overall performance, but there are still affordable options that perform well in surf fishing situations.
Recommended Lines for Surf Fishing
When it comes to monofilament lines for surf fishing, I recommend the Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Custom Spool and the Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line. Both of these lines have excellent properties, making them suitable for surf fishing conditions.
Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Custom Spool:
- High strength and abrasion resistance
- Good knot strength
- Excellent versatility for various target species
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line:
- Shock resistant for controlled stretch
- High tensile strength for line durability
- Suitable for various saltwater conditions
Best Braided Line
For braided lines, I recommend the KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line, Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line, and Sufix 832 Advanced Superline. These lines offer a combination of high strength, durability, and sensitivity to ensure smooth, efficient surf fishing experience.
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line:
- Low memory for easy handling and casting
- Strong knot strength with improved abrasion resistance
- Excellent sensitivity due to low stretch
Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line:
- Unique body technology for smooth, round profile
- High strength-to-diameter ratio
- Enhanced casting distance and accuracy
Sufix 832 Advanced Superline:
- 8 fiber construction (7 Dyneema + 1 GORE fiber) for improved strength and durability
- Water-repellent and abrasion-resistant
- Enhanced casting distance and accuracy with reduced line vibration
Although fluorocarbon isn’t as commonly used for surf fishing, my top pick for a fluorocarbon line is the KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line. This line combines the advantages of a fluorocarbon leader with the mainline features of copolymer, making for an excellent option when seeking invisibility and abrasion resistance.
KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line:
- Low visibility for stealthy fishing
- Superior abrasion resistance due to fluorocarbon coating
- Good knot strength with high tensile strength
While these lines are my recommendations, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and the specific conditions you’ll be fishing in to find the best line for your surf fishing needs.
Popular Surf Fishing Line Brands
Trilene Big Game
I find the Trilene Big Game monofilament line by Berkley to be a popular choice among surf fishing enthusiasts. Known for its strength and durability, this line allows for longer casts and can withstand harsh conditions. The line also offers exceptional knot strength and low memory to reduce line twisting. It’s available in multiple colors and pound test ranges, giving me more options to match my target species.
Power Pro Spectra Fiber
Another well-known brand is the Power Pro Spectra Fiber braided fishing line. With its thin diameter and high strength, I can benefit from increased casting distance and sensitivity. This line also has a high resistance to abrasion which is ideal for surf fishing environments. It comes in various colors and test pound ranges, making it suitable for different fishing scenarios.
The Sufix 832 is a popular braided fishing line that I’ve found to have superior strength, thin diameter, and low stretch. It is constructed with 8 fibers, 7 Dyneema and 1 GORE fiber, resulting in increased abrasion resistance and sensitivity. The line is available in various colors and pound tests, providing suitable options for different surf fishing conditions.
Stren Original is another monofilament fishing line that I’ve noted to be reliable in the surf fishing community. With its superior knot and tensile strength, this line offers good abrasion resistance and sensitivity. It also features low memory which helps to reduce line twists and coils. It comes in multiple colors and pound tests to suit different situations.
KastKing Superpower is a rising leader in the braided line market. Its braided fishing line stands out due to its high strength-to-diameter ratio, allowing for further casts and increased sensitivity. Its low memory reduces the chances of wind knots and provides better manageability while fishing. KastKing Superpower is available in a range of colors and pound tests, providing variety for different surf fishing needs.
Seaguar is a reputable producer of fluorocarbon fishing lines. While not as common for surf fishing, some anglers find success with these lines due to their low visibility and abrasion resistance. Seaguar’s selection of fluorocarbon lines offers various pound tests and diameters, allowing me to tailor my line choice to the specific targets and conditions in surf fishing.
Berkley Trilene is another established brand offering monofilament and fluorocarbon lines. Trilene lines are known for their strength, abrasion resistance, and knot-holding capabilities. They are available in various colors and pound tests, giving me a wide range of options to suit the many different surf fishing situations I encounter.
Line Selection for Various Fish Species
When targeting striped bass, I prefer using braided lines such as KastKing SuperPower or Sufix 832 Advanced Superline. These offer high sensitivity and low stretch, which is essential for detecting subtle bites. A fluorocarbon leader, like KastKing FluoroKote, can provide abrasion resistance and low visibility when combined with the braided line.
For flounder, I choose a monofilament line, like Berkley Trilene Big Game or Stren High Impact. These lines provide enough stretch to absorb the sudden movements of flounder without breaking. A 20 to 30-pound test line works well, depending on the size of the fish I’m targeting.
Shark fishing requires strong and durable line, so I opt for a heavy braided line, such as Power Pro Spectra Fiber or Reaction Tackle High Performance Braided. These lines have superior strength and resist abrasion, which is crucial when battling sharks with sharp teeth.
Bluefish have powerful jaws and razor-sharp teeth, so I recommend using a strong monofilament or fluorocarbon leader to prevent them from cutting through the line. A braided line like Sufix 832 or KastKing SuperPower works well for the main line due to its sensitivity and strength.
When targeting redfish, I opt for a braided line, such as Power Pro Spectra Fiber or Sufix 832 Advanced Superline. A fluorocarbon leader is also essential, as it provides invisibility and abrasion resistance in the often murky waters where redfish are found.
For pompano, I choose a light line like 10 to 15-pound test monofilament, such as Stren Original or Berkley Trilene Big Game. These lines provide enough stretch to absorb the energetic runs of pompano without compromising sensitivity.
When fishing for mackerel, I recommend using a light braided line, like KastKing SuperPower or Sufix 832 Advanced Superline. These lines offer excellent sensitivity, allowing me to detect the fast, aggressive strikes mackerel are known for. A fluorocarbon leader adds invisibility and durability, especially when fishing around rocks and other structures.
Tarpon are powerful fighters, so I choose a strong braided line, such as Power Pro Spectra Fiber or Sufix 832 Advanced Superline, paired with a heavy fluorocarbon leader. This combination provides the strength and abrasion resistance necessary to withstand the acrobatic leaps and powerful runs tarpon are known for.
Surf Fishing Gear and Techniques
Surf Fishing Rods
When it comes to surf fishing, selecting the right rod is crucial. I prefer a 2-piece, 12-foot composite rod with a rating of 6-12 kg, as it offers the perfect balance of strength, flexibility, and reach for casting long distances from the shore. Surf fishing rods also come in lighter versions for targeting smaller species and heavier versions for larger ones.
Surf Fishing Reels
My choice of reel greatly depends on the type of fishing line I want to use. If using a braided line, I lean towards a spinning reel as it handles the braid better. For monofilament lines, a conventional reel is often more suitable. Reel durability is a vital aspect to consider, as surf and sand can take a toll on the equipment. Regular maintenance of the reel will ensure its longevity.
Strong and reliable knots are a key factor in surf fishing success, as waves and strong currents can put a lot of force on the line. Here are some common knots used in surf fishing:
- Palomar Knot: A simple, strong knot suitable for connecting hooks, swivels, and lures to the line.
- Uni Knot: Adaptable and sturdy knot for connecting the line to various terminal tackle and splicing lines.
- Albright Knot: Ideal for joining lines of different diameters and materials, such as braid to mono leaders.
In surf fishing, casting distance is essential, and I always aim to maximize it to reach fish feeding far from the shore. There are several techniques to consider when surf casting:
- Overhead Cast: A classic technique for long-distance casting that involves swinging the rod overhead and releasing the line at a precise angle.
- Pendulum Cast: A more advanced technique that swings the weight in a semi-circular motion before releasing, translating into a farther cast.
- Off-the-Ground Cast: Useful when there isn’t enough room to perform an overhead cast, and involves low ground level swing before releasing the line.
Fish Finder Rig
The fish finder rig is one of my favorite setups for surf fishing. The key components of this rig are:
- Barrel Swivel: Connects the mainline to the leader, helping to reduce line twist.
- Egg Sinker: Allows the line to slip through it, so fish can pick up the bait without feeling resistance.
- Leader: Strong and abrasion-resistant material, such as fluorocarbon or monofilament, which connects the swivel to the hook.
- Hook: Linked to the leader with a loop or a small snap, which allows for easy bait changes.
This rig provides a natural presentation of the bait and works well for a variety of species that inhabit the surf zone.
There are three main types of fishing lines: monofilament, braided line, and fluorocarbon. When choosing the best line, factors such as visibility, buoyancy, stretch, durability, casting distance, knot strength, line diameter, and price are important.
In this article, I laid out the best lines for surf fishing, recommended lines for various fish species, popular surf fishing line brands, and surf fishing gear and provided helpful techniques including selecting surf fishing rods, reels, knot tying, and surf casting.
- Monofilament, braided line, and fluorocarbon are the three main types of fishing lines.
- Key factors for choosing the best line include visibility, buoyancy, stretch, durability, casting distance, knot strength, line diameter, and price.
- Recommended lines for surf fishing include Trilene Big Game, Power Pro Spectra Fiber, and Sufix 832.
- The best lines for specific fish species, such as striped bass, flounder, sharks, bluefish, redfish, pompano, mackerel, and tarpon, can vary.
- Popular surf fishing line brands include Trilene, Power Pro, Sufix, Stren, KastKing, and Seaguar.
- Surf fishing gear and techniques include surf fishing rods, reels, knot tying, and surf casting.