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The 5 Best Fishing Lines of 2023

We tested fishing lines from SpiderWire, Berkley, KastKing, and more to determine the very best
Best Fishing Lines of 2023
We bought many different models to test and assess side by side in search of the best fishing lines we can recommend.
Credit: Kit Smith
By Kit Smith ⋅ Review Editor
Wednesday March 29, 2023
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

We thoroughly researched the market, bought 8 of the best fishing lines available, and rigorously tested each one side-by-side to give you the information you need to make the right purchase decision for your needs. Our experts tested the selected fishing lines in nearly every possible environment, from rivers to lakes to bays. We made detailed notes on how each performed in metrics like strength, memory, and casting. When you're angling for the big one, the fishing line is one of the most important aspects of claiming success. We hope our detailed analysis will lead you to the right fishing line for you.

Check out our comprehensive reviews of fishing rods and the best fishing reels to see which ones our anglers liked best — and don't forget a cooler to haul home your catch.

Editor's Note: We updated our fishing line review on March 29, 2023, adding metric charts, a rating table, and a value section for price comparison.

Top 8 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 8
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $15.00 List
$12.88 at Amazon
$15.00 List
$6.99 at Amazon
$9.00 List
$7.66 at Amazon
$17.00 List
$16.99 at Amazon
$13.00 List
$12.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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76
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72
71
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Pros Ultra strong, casts great, blends in with the waterVirtually invisible in water, great sensitivity, sinks fastStrong, versatile, sensitiveExcellent feel, long casting distance, small diameterAbrasion resistant, versatile
Cons Hard to break if you get a hook stuckCan't cast as far as braided linesPoor abrasion resistanceDifficult to tie knots, dye bleedsNot very sensitive, too much memory
Bottom Line If you want the strongest, most sensitive, best casting line out there, this one is for youThis model is a tester favorite for avoiding spooking the fishA time-tested line that provides the right combination of performance and priceWith a small diameter and incredible strength, this line helps keep your fishing setup lightweightA no-frills fishing line that works well as a daily driver
Rating Categories SpiderWire Stealth... Berkley Vanish Berkley Trilene XL KastKing Superpower... Berkley Trilene Big...
Strength (25%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Casting (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Memory (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Versatility (15%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
10.0
Knots (15%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
3.0
7.0
Specs SpiderWire Stealth... Berkley Vanish Berkley Trilene XL KastKing Superpower... Berkley Trilene Big...
Test Weight 20 lb 8 lb 6 lb 6 lb 10 lb
Best Use Lake, river, boat, ocean Lake, river, boat Lake, river, boat, ocean Lake, river, boat Lake, river, boat, ocean
Type Braided Fluorocarbon Monofilament Braided Monofilament
Materials Dyneema PE Microfiber Fluorocarbon Nylon Dyneema PE Microfiber Nylon


Best Overall Fishing Line


SpiderWire Stealth Blue Camo-Braid


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Strength 9.0
  • Casting 8.0
  • Memory 9.0
  • Versatility 8.0
  • Knots 8.0
Test Line Weight: 20-lb | Color: Blue Camo
REASONS TO BUY
Extremely strong
Great for casting
Blends in with the water
REASONS TO AVOID
Hard to break if you get a hook stuck

The SpiderWire Stealth Blue Camo-Braid fishing line earned top marks in our testing, boasting a perfect combo of feel, strength, and low visibility when cast in the water. The line that we tested was a 20-lb variation, but the diameter of the line was fine and felt like an 8-lb test mono line. The slender line helped us add way more line on the reel than a 20-lb mono line would allow for. And you know what else we like? This line simply cast better than others, repeatedly casting beyond the rest of the mono and braided lines with ease. Want the ability to sneak up on some fish? The uncommon blue camo color of this line camouflages spectacularly in the streams and lakes we tested it in, allowing you to be more incognito when you cast. As for the line's memory, you hardly notice it at all—which you know is a great asset if you have ever had to manage wind knots.

When considering the negatives, the only complaint we could really come up with was that the line almost has too much strength. If a lure or hook happens to get stuck, it's likely that you will lose it or have to clip the line because it's too difficult to break. The unique blue camo color might not work perfectly in all bodies of water, either, so it's worth taking into consideration what type of water you will be fishing in with this line. If you want the fishing line that is the number one all-around after weeks of testing with our experts, you'll find it with the SpiderWire Stealth.

best overall fishing line
The SpiderWire Stealth is not only one of the strongest lines we tested, but it also proved to be one of the best at casting, helping us place the lure with accuracy and precision.
Credit: Stephanie Chavez

Best for Sneaking Up on Fish


Berkley Vanish


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Strength 7.0
  • Casting 8.0
  • Memory 8.0
  • Versatility 6.0
  • Knots 9.0
Test Line Weight: 8-lb | Color: Clear
REASONS TO BUY
Nearly invisible in the water
Excellent sensitivity
Sinks fast
REASONS TO AVOID
Casting distance

It's difficult to land a trophy fish if you've spooked them all into hiding. That's precisely where the Berkley Vanish excels. When in the water, it was seemingly invisible, solidly living up to its name in our tests. Another nice feature is its impressive sensitivity. It allowed us to detect even the smallest bites and set the hook when a fish took the bait. It also features relatively low memory for a fluorocarbon line, which was a plus when casting, and it had the unique ability to sink faster than the other lines—something we appreciated when trying to drop a lure close to where a fish had just jumped.

The only real complaint we had about this line is its casting distance. While it beat out many of the monofilament lines we tested, it couldn't keep up with the braided ones in our tests. Overall though, if you want a nearly invisible line with great sensitivity and strength, the Berkley Vanish line is for you.

fishing line - best for sneaking up on fish
Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon was hard to beat when it came to sneaking up on unsuspecting fish. The line was nearly invisible in the water, and provided excellent sensitivity.
Credit: Kit Smith

Best Bang for Your Buck


Berkley Trilene XL


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Strength 7.0
  • Casting 7.0
  • Memory 8.0
  • Versatility 6.0
  • Knots 9.0
Test Line Weight: 6-lb | Color: Low-Vis Green
REASONS TO BUY
Strong
Versatile
Sensitive
REASONS TO AVOID
Abrasion resistance

If you want the right combination of versatility, strength, and sensitivity at a low price, look no further than the time-tested Berkley Trilene XL. While this line lacks some of the fancy features found on the lines above, it makes up for it with quality and versatility. It had reasonably low memory for a monofilament line, which helped it resist kinks for better casting. Speaking of that, this was the best mono line when it came to casting performance. It ran smoothly through the guides on multiple rods and helped us place the bait right where we wanted it. It was also a very versatile fishing line, working equally as well in fresh and saltwater.

One of our few gripes about the Trilene XL was its abrasion resistance. While better than some of the other mono lines, it was still reasonably easy to break the line if ran over some rocks a few times. This meant we lost a few lures to the rocky lakeshore and riverbed. But if that minor flaw isn't a big deal for you, we recommend picking up the Berkley Trilene XL at a low price for a great product.

fishing line - best bang for your buck
The Berkley Trilene XL is surprisingly strong, casts well, and proved great for all types of fishing.
Credit: Stephanie Chavez


Best for Small Reels


KastKing Superpower Braided


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Strength 8.0
  • Casting 8.0
  • Memory 9.0
  • Versatility 6.0
  • Knots 3.0
Test Line Weight: 6-lb | Color: Low Viz Grey
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptional feel
Impressive casting distance
Small diameter
REASONS TO AVOID
Tying knots
Die bleeds

When it came to feel, KastKing SuperPower Braided line was about as sensitive as any line we've ever used. It consistently let us know when a fish was biting and helped us quickly set the hook as soon as they took the bait. It also gave us impressive casting distance and was respectable when it came to abrasion resistance. And being that it's a braided line, its diameter was far smaller than a similar mono line, meaning we could fit a lot of line on a small reel. This was especially beneficial when hiking out to a secret spot and wanting to bring the smallest and lightest gear possible.

The only downsides? For one, if you've ever tied a knot with braided line, you know how hard it can be. This line was no different and might even be more difficult than other braided lines. There was also the small issue of the die coming off on your hands when spooling it. Not a big deal, but not desirable, either. All in all, if you want a fishing line that will give you incredible feel, check out the KastKing SuperPower Braided.

fishing line - best for small reels
If you're looking to up your casting game, the KastKing SuperPower Braided line will more than do the job. It consistently helped us cast farther and more accurately than other lines, and it offered excellent sensitivity.
Credit: Stephanie Chavez

Best for Everyday Fishing


Berkley Trilene Big Game


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Strength 8.0
  • Casting 6.0
  • Memory 5.0
  • Versatility 10.0
  • Knots 7.0
Test Line Weight: 10-lb | Color: Clear
REASONS TO BUY
Abrasion resistant
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Low sensitivity
Lots of memory

If you need a no-frills fishing line that gets the job done in nearly any environment, look no further than the Berkley Trilene Big Game. It's wonderfully durable, resisting abrasion well. This was proven many times when we got a lure stuck in some rocks, and the line was nearly impossible to break even after scraping over the rocks many times. This line was also great for different fishing styles, whether it be casting with a lure or just dropping a hook with a worm on it. It was also one of the best when it came to knot strength. Once we tied a knot, we were confident it would hold.

Although it had many upsides, there were some downsides to consider. This line had the most stretch of all the lines tested. This diminished its feel quite a bit, so we missed more than a few bites, and trying to set the hook was a problem several times. It also has a fair bit of memory, so expect to have some issue if you leave this on the reel for an extended period. Overall, this line was great for a range of styles and techniques. So, if you need a line that can handle the rigors of everyday fishing, you might want to give the Berkley Trilene Big Game a try.

fishing line - the berkley trilene big game proved to be one of the most versatile...
The Berkley Trilene Big Game proved to be one of the most versatile fishing lines. It was equally adept at fresh and saltwater fishing, and when it came to strength, this was one of the strongest mono lines we tested.
Credit: Stephanie Chavez

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
85
SpiderWire Stealth Blue Camo-Braid
spiderwire stealth blue camo-braid fishing line
$15
Editors' Choice Award
76
Berkley Vanish
berkley vanish fishing line
$15
Editors' Choice Award
74
Berkley Trilene XL
berkley trilene xl fishing line
$9
Best Buy Award
72
KastKing Superpower Braided
kastking superpower braided fishing line
$17
Top Pick Award
71
Berkley Trilene Big Game
berkley trilene big game fishing line
$13
Top Pick Award
67
KastKing FluoroKote
kastking fluorokote fishing line
$9
67
Stren High Impact
stren high impact fishing line
$13
67
Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided
power pro spectra fiber braided fishing line
$18

fishing line - one of dozens of fish caught while field-testing these fishing lines.
One of dozens of fish caught while field-testing these fishing lines.
Credit: Stephanie Chavez

Why You Should Trust Us


Testing took place in streams and lakes around Mammoth Lakes, California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the coast of Southern California. To get a range of testing environments, we also fished from shorelines and boat decks. We wrangled several fishing buddies to head out on the water with us to give feedback on each product, and in the process, dozens of fish were hooked, landed, and released. This helped us get a lot of experience with each line. We gained insight through intentional in-the-field testing to get a feel for the sensitivity, as well as the versatility and memory. Once we understood each line's advantages, we compared them in side-by-side real-world use to tease out the differences. Our field testing, combined with side-by-side inspections and comparisons, both informed our overall assessments.

Our lead reviewer, Kit Smith, is a life-long angler. He's fished streams, lakes, oceans, and bays for over three decades. Kit's initial fishing experiences include catching halibut and salmon in the San Francisco Bay and alpine stream and lake fishing in the Central Sierra. Later, he moved to Colorado to attend college, where he continued to perfect his angling craft. Kit spends a lot of his free time fishing and reading about fishing gear to stay up to date on the latest products and trends in the world of angling.

With its traditional mono construction, the Stren High Impact...
With its traditional mono construction, the Stren High Impact Monofilament line may not be flashy, but it makes up for it with strength, quality, and versatility.
We invited friends and angling experts to join us on fishing trips...
We invited friends and angling experts to join us on fishing trips to learn from their experiences with these products, too.
Lead tester Kit Smith ready to land another fish while field testing.
Lead tester Kit Smith ready to land another fish while field testing.

Analysis and Test Results


During field testing, the five metrics that we assessed for each fishing line are Strength, Memory, Casting, Versatility, and Knots. Below, we'll discuss the importance of each, as well as which lines stood out among the competition.


Value


We don't take price into consideration during our product testing, but we certainly consider it after all is said and done. We loved the Berkley products for their great price-to-performance ratio, particularly the Berkley Trilene XL, which offers strength, sensitivity, and versatility for a low price.

fishing line - when it came to strength, the spiderwire stealth blue camo-braid was...
When it came to strength, the SpiderWire Stealth Blue Camo-Braid was the clear winner. It was by far the toughest line we tested, proving to have great abrasion resistance and fighting power.
Credit: Kit Smith

Strength


A line's strength is a crucial component to consider and can mean the difference between reeling in a trophy fish and coming up empty. If it's not strong enough, the line will likely break when it matters most. But strength doesn't only mean how much weight a line can handle; it also indicates how tough the line is when it comes to abrasion. Abrasion can happen against rocks, the side of a boat, or even the guides of your rod.


When it comes to maximum strength, the SpiderWire Stealth Blue Camo-Braid and the Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon take the top spots. While the 20-lb SpiderWire line we tested takes the cake for the toughest fishing line, proving to be nearly impossible to break, the Berkley Trilene Big Game also ranks high in this category. Of course, strength can come at a cost, as we found out when getting a hook or lured snagged in some rocks. You'll most likely have to cut the line and probably lose your lure if either of these gets stuck.

fishing line - the strength of a line can mean the difference between bringing home...
The strength of a line can mean the difference between bringing home dinner and coming up empty. Braided lines usually excel in this category, but there was one mono line that performed admirably. The Berkley Trilene Big Game was as tough as they come.
Credit: Kit Smith

Casting


When you're trying to drop your bait in a specific spot or get a lure to where a fish just jumped, casting distance and control is critical. There were some standouts based on this metric. The Berkley Trilene XL gave us impressive casting distance and accuracy on several different rods, especially for a mono line.


The true king of casting in our tests, though, is the SpiderWire Stealth. With a special coating and braided construction, this line made us look like pros every time we sent a lure flying. Of course, as one of the most expensive lines we purchased, we learned that casting performance comes at a cost.

fishing line - as the best-casting monofilament line we tested, the berkley trilene...
As the best-casting monofilament line we tested, the Berkley Trilene XL consistently helped us drop a lure exactly where we wanted it.
Credit: Stephanie Chavez

Memory


This might be one of the most overlooked aspects of fishing line. Memory is a line's tendency to take on the spool's shape. The more it takes on this shape, the more memory it's said to have—and a lot of memory is not something you want your line to exhibit. In general, monofilament lines tend to have more memory, and braided lines tend to have less. This category's standout is the KastKing SuperPower Braided, with little to no memory even when left on the reel for extended periods.


With its classic monofilament construction, the Berkley Trilene XL also proved strong in this metric. While mono line is not typically known for having low memory, this one was impressive and showed only a little memory even after being on the spool for several weeks. The KastKing FluoroKote fits the low memory bill, too. It never spiraled off the reel and made for smooth casts every time. The Stren High Impact, on the other hand, had way too much memory, which caused its casting distance to decrease quite a bit.

If you want a line that has little to no memory, the KastKing...
If you want a line that has little to no memory, the KastKing SuperPower Braided line is your best bet. It never spiraled off the spool and was straight as an arrow even after weeks on the reel.
The Berkley Trilene XL proved to have very little memory, even after...
The Berkley Trilene XL proved to have very little memory, even after being left on the reel for a few weeks.
Even after weeks on the reel, these lines showed very little memory.

Versatility


Having a line that can handle whatever fish you hook is certainly a desirable trait in a fishing line, but not all lines are created equal. Some lines are better suited for lakes, some for oceans.


The Berkley Trilene Big Game is the clear winner here. With its equally great performance in both fresh and saltwater and its ability to be used for many different fishing styles, this model is very versatile.

fishing line - if you want a line that can do it all, the berkley trilene big game...
If you want a line that can do it all, the Berkley Trilene Big Game is for you. It performs equally well in fresh and saltwater.
Credit: Kit Smith

In contrast, while it's a high-quality product, the Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon is really only made for one type of fishing (freshwater). Because of that, it didn't score highly in the versatility metric, despite excelling in its niche.

fishing line - while it excelled in its intended environment (freshwater), the...
While it excelled in its intended environment (freshwater), the Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon didn't score high in the versatility metric.
Credit: Kit Smith

Knots


With as many knots as you'll tie on a fishing trip, we think this is an important metric to include when assessing lines. Traditional mono lines are the clear winners here, which wasn't a surprise since monofilament lines are almost always easier to tie than braided ones.

fishing line - while most braided lines can be extremely difficult to tie knots...
While most braided lines can be extremely difficult to tie knots with, the SpiderWire Stealth let us connect swivels and hooks with relative ease.
Credit: Kit Smith

There was one braided line that did an admirable job in this category, however. The SpiderWire Stealth was much easier to tie than any other braided lines in our line-up and provided excellent knot strength.


One of the best lines tested was the Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon. It made tying many knots a simple task, including the ever-popular Clinch and Uni knot. But many of the mono lines were just as easy to tie, including the Berkley Trilene Big Game and the Stren High Impact Monofilament. If you get easily frustrated with a line that's hard to tie, you'll want to consider one of these fishing lines.

fishing line - even with its stiffer fluorocarbon construction, the berkley vanish...
Even with its stiffer fluorocarbon construction, the Berkley Vanish line made tying knots quick and easy.
Credit: Kit Smith

Conclusion


Fishing line is an essential piece of angling equipment, despite being frequently overlooked. But the right line could make or break (literally) your fishing outing. Before making a purchase decision, it's crucial to consider the type of fishing you prefer. Are you looking to fish off the bottom with bait, or are you staying near the surface with a lure? Whatever it is, we were sure to include a diversity of lines in our review so you could find one that suits your needs. We hope our research, tests, and analyses help you identify which product will best suit your needs. Now get out there, drop a line, and bring back a fish brag about.

Kit Smith


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