Does Fishing Line Color Matter

Does Fishing Line Color Matter?

Buying a new fishing line sounds like a simple task.

But it can turn out to be a rather challenging one for most fishers, especially if you are just starting out.

Firstly, there’s an assortment of fishing lines to choose from.

And then there’s the never-ending confusion about whether or not fish can see color, and if a particular fishing line color helps you catch more fish than its alternatives.

Fishing is a fun-filled activity and ought to be enjoyed as such.

Things such as choosing a fishing line color shouldn’t keep you at it for hours, or affect your overall fishing experience by compromising the total catch for the day.

Whether you are new to fishing or in the market for a new fishing line, the following guide is sure to come in handy.

Here, we provide detailed answers to the most frequently asked questions about fishing lines.

Let’s begin with the most basic question:

Does Fishing Line Color Matter?

different line colors

Well, the answer to this question depends on the main factor motivating you to go fishing in the first place.

Are you buying angling equipment to teach your young ones how to fish?

Do you go fishing once in a blue moon when you feel like taking an outdoorsy trip with your friends or family members?

Do you go fishing mainly to relax and unwind rather than bring home a trophy catch?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the color of the fishing line shouldn’t be of any primary importance to you.

Since you aren’t much concerned with the technicalities involved in baiting and reeling, and catching a lot of fish isn’t your primary objective, you can choose any fishing line color since they all serve the same main purpose anyway.

Usually, it’s best to go for a clear fishing line since it is suitable for all types of fish and water alike.

You can expect to reel in quite a few fishes and enjoy the activity as you wanted.

However, if you are into fishing for commercial or sports purposes, or are trying to make the most of your time by bringing home a considerable catch at the end of the day, it’s best to know the impact that fishing line color can have on the end results.

For this, you might have to see things from a fish’s perspective. This means answering the million-dollar question:

Do Fish Actually See Line Color?

three rods with different color lines

The question has long been debated over, and although fish have been around for 450 million years, unfortunately, there’s no definite answer to whether or not fish can see color the way we do.

However, there’s sound evidence that certain species of fish can see certain colors clearly.

For instance, the largemouth bass is observed to respond to the colors red and green.

According to research, it can not only see these colors well, but also make decisions with high selectivity based on what it sees.

But if we are to discuss the matter from a general point of view, then perhaps it best to look at it from a different angle.

It goes without saying that as an angler, your main aim is to lure the fish into the hook – i.e. you want to fool them into the trap by making the whole set up as lifelike as possible.

Sure, using live bait can do the trick, but that’s only half the part.

If fish can see the long line that the bait is dangling from, they are likely to scurry away.

You might be thinking, ‘wait, but fish don’t have the brains to know that there’s a person at the other end of the line trying to catch them’, right?

Well, technically they do have a brain. Although they cannot realize the threat instantly, the interesting thing to note is that fish can ‘learn’ over time.

Put simply, when an area becomes overfished during peak seasons, fish can be quick to identify the trap if they notice a long line attached to their potential food.

Even if you aren’t fishing in an area populated by fellow fishers, a prominent fishing line can scare the fish away regardless of whether or not they see it for its actual color.

What Is the Best Color for the Fishing Line?

The simplest answer would be: whatever is the least visible given the waters you are fishing in.

To give you a better idea of the properties and intended use of different types of fishing lines based on their color, let’s go through all of them one-by-one.

Clear Fishing Line

clear fishing line

As mentioned earlier, a clear fishing line is a truly versatile fishing line suitable for use in a variety of conditions.

It is pretty much the one-size-fits-all or rather one-color-fits-all solution to successful fishing.

A generic monofilament fishing line is almost invisible underwater, and thus, perfect for catching fish that would otherwise be frightened easily.

Yellow Fishing Line

yellow color

A yellow fishing line is considered a high-visibility fishing line that is ideal for beginners or anyone else who normally faces difficulty in spotting movement on the line.

It is sometimes sold in a neon-green shade as well.

However, keep in mind that the bright color that is visible to you also means that it will be visible underwater.

Therefore, yellow lines are best reserved for fishing in muddy waters because they help you keep a vigilant eye on the bobber while staying hidden from the eyes of your prey.

Green Fishing Line

green fishing line

Green fishing lines are viewed as the next best alternative to clear fishing lines.

This is because these multi-purpose lines are suitable for use in most water bodies.

Be it fresh or salty water, as long as there is a tint of blue-green hue, you can rely on green fishing lines to blend in seamlessly.

They might not be good for fishing in crystal-clear waters, but it is still a far better option than its brightly colored counterparts.

Blue Fishing Line

blue fishing line

Blue fishing lines have pretty much the same properties as green fishing lines.

In fact, the blue and green fishing lines are often used interchangeably because they offer the same benefits.

They camouflage well in water bodies with a blue or blue-green tint without compromising your own vision on the line.

Red Fishing Line

two red fishing lines

Red fishing lines are usually used because they are easy to spot above water.

This makes them the ideal choice in terms of convenience when fishing in murky water.

As for their visibility underwater, expert anglers have contradicting views.

Some say that red fishing lines look like blood underwater, which in turn, can lead to a higher number of bites.

However, others believe that this theory is only applicable when fishing in waters deeper than 15 ft.

This is because the lack of light makes the line appear darker than it actually is.

For water bodies between 5 and 10 ft deep, the bright red line is visible as is and thus, can scare fish away.

Pink Fishing Line

pink coloured fishing line

In most cases, pink fishing lines are hard to detect underwater.

While several expert anglers don’t agree with this statement, divers usually support such claims.

They believe that light pink blends in with the surrounding water at depths greater than 10 ft and therefore, cannot frighten your prey.

What About Night Fishing?

As far as the best line color for night fishing is concerned, bass anglers recommend using a clear, fluorocarbon line.

Although bass normally loses its ability to distinguish between colors during the night, it’s safer to steer clear of fishing lines featuring red and green colors.

Why Are Fishing Bobbers Red and White?

fishing bobbers in different colours

Anyone who’s wondering whether fishing line color matters is sure to ponder upon the characteristic red and white hues of the bobber too.

However, the reason why bobbers are normally red and white has more to do with the visibility for the angler rather than the visibility for the fish.

Being on the opposite ends of the color spectrum, red and white provide the highest contrast than any other color combination.

This ensures that the bobber can be seen effortlessly regardless of the clarity of water and other factors such as overcast or the glare from sunlight.


Does the fishing line color matter?

The answer predominantly lies in your main objective behind deciding to go fishing. Fishing line color matters if it matters to you.

If you want to ensure a 100% success rate in luring the fish to your bait, you need to select a line color by factoring in aspects like the clarity and depth of water, type of fish, and even the time you fishing to begin with.

However, other factors such as the diameter of the line, its weight, and of course, the type of bait used itself all play a part in determining how easily the fish fall for the bait.

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Roy Ericson

Roy Ericson started fishing when he was just a boy, like many of us did. He spent far too much time on the piers not being able to catch anything, until his uncle brought him deep sea fishing, out to the lakes of Michigan, where he lived, and to the various ponds in neighboring states. He’s been all over, caught over 400 different species of fish, and doesn’t believe you should embellish your stories. He’s just here to teach you about his absolute favorite thing in the world: fishing.