What is the Best Line for Surf Fishing? 

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Once upon a time, anglers didn’t need to pay any attention to the type of saltwater fishing line they were using. It was an easy choice, mono was the only option, but then fluorocarbon made an appearance offering improved resistance to abrasion and lower visibility.

A few years later braided lines started appearing which really shook things up and allowed for far more options. Over the years technical innovations have improved all the fishing line types available to us, but braided lines have probably seen the biggest improvement. I

n this article, we’re going to take a look at each of the line types: Monofilament, Fluorocarbon and Braided lines, discuss their pros and cons and their unique properties.

So, what is the best line for surf fishing? The answer is braided lines. Braided fishing lines have very little stretch, low visibility, high strength to thickness ratio and low memory. 

Best Choice
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line -...
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line
Seaguar Blue Label 25 Yards Fluorocarbon...
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KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line -...
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line
Seaguar Blue Label 25 Yards Fluorocarbon...
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421 Reviews
450 Reviews
Price
from $14.99
from $5.22
from $7.99
Best Choice
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line -...
Title
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line -...
Rating
Customer Reviews
2,688 Reviews
Price
from $14.99
Check Deals
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line
Title
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line
Rating
Customer Reviews
421 Reviews
Price
from $5.22
Check Deals
Seaguar Blue Label 25 Yards Fluorocarbon...
Title
Seaguar Blue Label 25 Yards Fluorocarbon...
Rating
Customer Reviews
450 Reviews
Price
from $7.99
Check Deals

For more details as to why we think this is the case and what makes braided lines stand out read on.

Best Line for Surf Fishing

Monofilament Saltwater Fishing Line

Sale
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line
421 Reviews
Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line
  • Shock Resistant For Fighting Line-Punishing Gamefish
  • Saltwater Tough For All Coastal And Offshore Fishing

Pros: One of the biggest selling points of mono or copolymer fishing lines is that they are cheap to buy. If you’re using new line, it cast very well, it’s easy to knot with and the knots hold well. The line also has a certain amount of stretch, which in some circumstances can be beneficial. For example, the stretch will work in your favor if you’re topwater fishing, where predatory fish tend to slam your bait, in these circumstances the stretch can help set the hook. Mono is also more resistant to abrasion when compared to braid or fluorocarbon. So, if your line gets caught on an underwater snag, you’re less likely to lose the fish when using Mono.

Cons: Mono is not without its pitfalls. The fishing line can be incredibly stretchy, with some types stretching up to 30% when under load. This inherent stretchiness can make it challenging to feel light bites and you may not feel them at all. Additionally, maneuvering a hooked fish away from obstructions or locations that could cause a snagging risk is difficult with a stretchy line.

Perhaps the biggest drawback with monofilament is its memory. With time, mono will end up taking on the shape of the spool, this causes the line to loop and create friction as it passes through the rods guides. The increased friction will cause decreased casting distances and can increase the likelihood of tangles and knots forming. This behavior is especially apparent during colder periods.

Lastly, monofilament will degrade if exposed the sunlight over time, weakening the line and increasing the chances of breakages and snapping due to shocks.

Take Aways

Modern-day mono is almost certainly an improvement over previous decades. The latest iterations of the line are less prone to stretching and memory, they resist abrasion better than any other line and they are stronger and thinner than anything gone before.

If you know how to work with monofilament and you are aware of its inherent strengths and weaknesses, it offers an inexpensive way to get great value. It’s especially well-suited to new anglers, as it’s forgiving, cheap to buy and it’s easy to use. Once you’ve developed your touch as an angler, consider moving onto Fluorocarbon or Braid.

Fluorocarbon Saltwater Fishing Line

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Seaguar Blue Label 25 Yards Fluorocarbon...
450 Reviews
Seaguar Blue Label 25 Yards Fluorocarbon...
  • 100 Fluorocarbon Leader
  • DSF - Double Structure Fluorocarbon

Pros: One of the biggest advantages of fluorocarbon is that it boasts a refractive index which closely resembles that of water, in practical terms this means that once it’s submerged in water it’s incredibly difficult to spot. Fluorocarbon is also extremely tough and resists abrasion very well, this means in many situations where snags and underwater structures could cause a problem, fluorocarbon offers distinct advantages.

Line stretch is still present, but its much improved over monofilament, you can expect between 5 and 10 % line stretch. Additionally, fluorocarbon will not float, it’s spool memory is minimal and it isn’t broken down by Ultra Violet rays as quickly as monofilament is, meaning it’s shelf and use life is extended.

Cons: Not all brands of fluorocarbon are created equally, so you may need to shop around to find a decent brand with a proven history. The line is somewhat stiffer than monofilament, which can make working with it challenging at times, knots may slip if not secured correctly. We’ve seen people use a spot of super glue to secure fluorocarbon knots securely. Additionally, as the line sinks quickly, it’s not best suited for lures that play across the surface of the water.

Take Aways

Fluorocarbon is frequently used as leader material when surf casting, which it’s particularly well suited for. Due to its unique refractive index which closely mimics that of water, it becomes near invisibly once submerged, which is a great feature when fishing in clear waters and fussy fish. As it’s also resistant to abrasion and not as stretchy as monofilament, it’s perfectly well suited for use in leader line. Overall we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend fluorocarbon for surf fishing, it offers boasts several unique features and is a great choice for anyone looking to move away from mono.

Braided Saltwater Fishing Line – Best Choice

KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line -...
2,688 Reviews
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line -...
  • STRONG KNOT STRENGTH - dynamically incorporated strands in KastKing SuperPower Braided Lines allow you to easily tie a more solid knot; you can even tie an improved clinch knot. The special...
  • LOW MEMORY - helps you achieve a better, farther casts, less chance of wind knots

Pros: Braided lines are made from synthetic fibers wound and intertwined into a rope-like structure. This structure allows for braided lines to provide significant strength while maintaining a small diameter. Not only does this mean the lines are harder to spot in the water, but they are easier to cast and provide greater amounts of sensitivity to the angler due to very little stretch.

Even if you happen to snag your lure or hook on an underwater obstacle, braided lines are so strong that it’s not uncommon for hooks to be snapped or straightened out rather than the line breaking. They are excellent for fishing in areas with heavy cover or weeds, offering the opportunity for fisherman to move fish out of cover with sheer force.

Additionally, braided lines offer a significantly longer shelf life when compared to monofilament or fluorocarbon lines, and do not hold any spool memory. As braided lines are significantly stronger than other line types, the option of choosing a much thinner line diameter while still providing enough strength is an option.

Cons: The strength of braided lines is also one of its disadvantages if you snag on something it can be very difficult to break. I’ve seen rods and reels break before the line does. This strength can also place more pressure and wear and tear on the rest of your gear, as shocks and pressure is directly applied to your gear rather than the line snapping.

Despite their diameter, they can be spotted in more easily in clear waters, but this is not often an issue when surf fishing. When tying braided lines it’s important to be careful and leave a small tag to prevent line slippage, specialist knots can be used which are better suited for braided lines to help avoid this issue.

Take Aways

Our biggest concern with braided lines is the potential for knot slippage. However, if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and their recommended knots, then knot strength should not be an issue. Your normal favorite knot may not be the best choice for braided lines.

The hallmark lack of stretch inherent in all braided lines will make sure you’re aware of every movement taking place with your lure or bait, which means you’re going to be able to react quickly and set a hook if required.

As braided lines are thinner, slicker and supple, they can achieve much greater casting distances as well as increased spool capacity. However, braids tend to be less effective at resisting abrasion when compared to monofilament or fluorocarbon.

Surf Fishing Line FAQ

What’s the best time to go surf fishing?

The best time of the day would be between 9 to 10 am and in the evening for about one hour before dusk. This is because according to the feeding habits of fish, they are usually out looking for food during these times.

How to tie line to line for surf fishing?

The best way to do it would be using the Albright knot method. This method is used to tie two lines of different types or don’t have the same thickness. To use this approach, take one line, and form a loop then pass the other line through that loop. Wrap it around the loop and itself too for about ten times then pass it back through the loop. Now, lubricate it and pull the formed knot and trim its ends.

How many yards of line do I need for surf fishing?

The number of yards you need really depends on the locations you will be fishing from and how far you want to go.
If you have a quality lure, use your gear accordingly and have excellent skills, you should only need 80 to 90 yards using a conventional cast. This should be enough for you to go beyond breaking waves. However, you would be forced to move up and down on the beach to get a place close to the break zone.

What line weight do I need for surf fishing?

The line weight you require depends on several factors like the species of fish you are going to fish where you are going to fish and your fishing plan.
For instance, if you are a bass angler, you can use a fishing line that has an 8-12-pound test, but you could also use a 6-pound one depending on the bass’ size.
If you are targeting big game fish such as musky and pike, consider using a pound test line that’s quite higher to help you when you catch fish whose size range from 15 to 40 pounds.

What is the best test line to use surf fishing with a topwater lure?

A good example of a topwater bait that would work perfectly with monofilament line is poppers and walk the dog because it floats. It could be the best choice when going for a topwater lure as it stretches more compared to the fluorocarbon, which is a great, especially when dealing with some reaction baits. Monofilament lines offer an extra stretch which provides allows the bait to get in the mouth of the fish better.

What color monofilament fishing line for surf?

The Pink Monofilament would be the best choice. It is one of the most popular colors in fishing, especially in South Florida because it is easily visible and improves the chances of getting a strike.

Which is better, floating or sinking surf fishing line?

The sinking line is definitely a game changer and better as it helps you catch fish even if it’s deep in the water.

Why do you need a leader with a braided line surf fishing?

It’s always a good idea to use a leader on your braided line when fishing because it makes your braided line much stronger hence preventing it from breaking easily.

How long does surf fishing monofilament line last?

The monofilament line has what’s called a shelf life in that even if you don’t use it, it will still go bad. However, it lasts for about two to three years.

Is surf fishing during high and low tides good?

During high and low tides are probably the worst times to do surf fishing. Why? When the water reaches low or high tides, the water movement becomes very little, and when there is less movement, the fish are most likely not feeding.

Which is the best surf fishing rod length for beginners?

A standard length for a newbie should be around 7 feet. This size allows you as an amateur to have balance when it comes to accuracy and casting distance as you continue to perfect your skill with time.

Is surf fishing at night productive?

Fishing at night can increase your chances of catching a good amount of fish, especially if you do it along the shore as the fish are likely to be found there feeding.

What size rod do I need for surf fishing?

You can do basic surf fishing with a rod between 7 and 18 feet long. Make sure that it has an extended butt section and a conventional casting reel.

Which lures are best for surf fishing?

There are many different lures that you can use to have a productive surf fishing like plugs, spoons, and plastics.

Where can I get surf fishing lures?

You can purchase any lure you want at any local bait, and tackle shop, fishing tackle expositions, surf fishing catalogs, and you can also order one online from tackle retailers.

What types of bait are used in surf fishing?

Limpets, lugworm, mussels, squid, mackerel, squid, and peeler crab are the common baits used in surf fishing.

What’s a shock leader in surf fishing?

It is a stronger line that is usually attached to a mainline to help in absorbing the shock from a powerful cast.

What’s sea interpretation when surf fishing?

Seas interpretation refers to the casting of baits at specific points where there is a high probability of catching more fish compared to others. It depends on the understanding of the different factors that dictate the presence of fish and their number at a particular place and time.

Does surf fishing have any dangers?

A lot of surf fishing is done in rough surf conditions. Strong overflows and powerful waves can lead to severe injuries or even death if not done with lots of care.

How can you stay safe when surf fishing?

Scouting of the fishing areas when there are low tide conditions can help greatly. It can help because it enables you to try and see if there are any sudden drop-offs or other dangerous situations that could cause harm. Anyone who uses waders when fishing should ensure he puts a wader belt on. Why? It helps in keeping the waders from being filled with water in case one falls in the surf. Also, a wader belt should be worn anytime a fisherman is walking places with shells underfoot or slippery rocks.

What species of fish can one catch when surf fishing?

There is a wide variety of fish species that can be caught from the surf and shore. The striped bass is one of the highly valued species in the United States east coast. It can be fished from the shore and its weight ranges from about 40 lbs to 78.5 lbs, which is a world record. Other species caught using surf fishing are the black drum, redfish, bluefish, flounder, blackfish, albacore tuna, bonito, and weakfish. It is also possible to target sharks if one is an expert angler.

Can I go with my four-wheel drive to surf fish?

Most areas allow four-wheel drive vehicles in the beach because it will enable a fisher to scout better and fish a more extensive stretch in the shoreline. However, one is required to have a permit from the local authorities to do so.

Can one go surf fishing when it’s raining?

Overcast and rainy days can reduce your baits’ shadow hence making it more appealing. However, finish when it’s rainy can increase the risk of getting struck.

What gear do I need when surf fishing?

For you to have a successful and safe surf fishing, ensure you have a cast net, tape measure, knife, first aid kit, sunglasses, sunscreen, spool of line and a spare one too, surf fishing rigs, pliers, umbrella, fishing rod and most importantly, your fishing license.

Which areas should you look out for to catch more fish when surf fishing?

The areas with shells and coarse sand on the beach are usually near deeper holes that hold a lot of fish. Therefore, ensure you look around the beach to see if you can spot any of these areas as they will increase your chance of landing on more fish.

What are outflows in surf fishing?

They are breaks found in the sand bar and are where fish come to feed inside the surf. Fish can feed on either side of the outflow so you should cast on both sides.

Does the color of the lure matter when surf fishing?

Topwater fishing and night fishing are the two fishing situations that can require special color considerations. Most experts who fish during the night use dark blue or black lures. The theory is, these two colors give a better and distinct profile when they are silhouetted against a light background in the water surface. A dark lure is more visible for the bass to see at night, which then makes catching it easy. Therefore, the color of the lure matters, especially when surf fishing at night.

Conclusion

Any angler interested in surf fishing has a range of lines available to them, with each type offering a range of advantages and disadvantages. Monofilament is cheap, readily available and abrasion resistant. Fluorocarbon is near invisible when submerged, is less stretchy and resist abrasion. Braided line is fantastically strong, light, and can be cast for miles, but it doesn’t resist abrasion as well as the other two line types.

Given all the pros and cons of the line types, we think a braided fishing line is the best choice for surf fishing and should be at the top of your fishing list if you want to get in some serious surf fishing.

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