Does Fishing Line Color Matter?

There are many types of fishing lines, and choosing the right line is harder than it seems. If you’ve been looking for fishing lines recently, you’ve likely discovered that they come in different colors.

But does fishing line color matter? The color of the fishing line matter to both the fish and the angler. The idea behind fishing lines is to make them visible to the angler but invisible to the fish. Weather, light, and water clarity affect how fish interpret color, so pack different colors of fishing lines in your tackle box. 

Whether you’re into freshwater or surf fishing, the color of the fishing line is essential for the success of the fishing trip. Keep reading to learn why fishing line color matters and how to pick the best fishing line color.

Do Fish See a Colored Fishing Line?

Fish can see a colored fishing line. But how much the line’s color affects the fish’s behavior is still debatable. 

For some line-wary and careful fish species, such as trout, the fishing line’s color may act as a deterrent. These careful fish won’t bite the lure if they see the line’s color. 

If you’re targeting bass, trout, or other fish species, primarily sight hunters, consider fishing with a low-visibility fishing line. But the fishing line’s color isn’t as important if you’re sea fishing or angling in murky water. 

Certain fish species, such as catfish and carp, mainly rely on their sense of smell to locate food. When targeting these species, the line’s color isn’t of utmost importance, and you can choose whatever line you’d like. 

What Color Line Is Best for Fishing?

Fishing lines come in many colors. The most commonly used line colors are clear, green, yellow, and orange because they contrast against the water and can be easily seen by an angler, even from long distances. But you can choose a fishing line in almost any color. 

What color line is best for fishing depends on the species of fish you’re trying to catch and the environment you’re fishing in. The most common line color for general fishing is clear. A clear fishing line is harder for fish to see, it can be used in different environments and is very durable. 

The great thing about clear fishing lines is that they can be attached to a braided fishing line and serve as a leader. A 6 feet-clear fluorocarbon leader will hide the color of a braided line, reducing the chance of fish getting spooked by the line’s color. 

Choose a clear line if you’re trying to catch bass or other freshwater fish species with good vision. These fish can’t easily spot a clean-colored fishing line, as opposed to a green one, which increases your chances of landing a fish.

On the other hand, if you’re targeting species like bluegill or sunfish, which rely heavily on touch to feed, an orange or yellow line might be a better choice. These brightly colored lines contrast well against dark-colored bait and are still visible in low-light conditions, so you can track the line as it moves and spot as the fish bites the lure. 

How Do I Know What Fishing Line to Use?

How Do I Know What Fishing Line to Use

There are three types of fishing lines – fluorocarbon, monofilament, and braided fishing lines. Each type of line comes in different colors and has its benefits. Here are the different kinds of fishing lines and when you should be using them:


The fluorocarbon fishing line is marketed as the most invisible fishing line on the market. This line has the same light refraction properties as water, making it invisible to fish and suitable for all water clarities.

Pink Fluorocarbon

Although hard to believe, pink fluorocarbon loses its color in the water and becomes clear to the fish. Besides the slight pink tinge, pink fluorocarbon acts the same as regular fluorocarbon and is suitable for clear waters and bright and sunny conditions. 


Monofilament is the most popular fishing line and comes in many different colors. Monofilament lines are marketed as either being easier for fishermen to see above water or harder for fish to see underwater. 

High visibility yellow monofilament line is visible to fish and is a suitable choice for anglers who prefer to watch their lines to identify the bite. Red, clear, and green monofilament lines blend in the water or become invisible, making them suitable for anglers targeting line-wary species.

Braided Line

A braided fishing line is a popular choice among anglers, but this line remains visible to fish. Thin diameter, strength, and a long cast make a braided line ideal for fishing in areas with heavy cover or muddy water conditions. 

How to Pick the Right Fishing Line?

With so many choices, it’s hard to pick the right fishing line for you. Here are some factors you need to consider:


Consider the conditions you prefer to fish in. Freshwater tends to be very clear, especially on a sunny day, increasing visibility. On the other hand, current, tide, and heavy rain result in murky water, decreasing visibility.

Time of Day

When picking the line color, consider the time of the day you plan to go fishing. If you’re fishing during the day, select a line color that remains invisible to fish. But if you fish during the night, choose a high visibility line to see it easily in low light conditions. 


The fishing line comes in many different colors, but choosing the right line color isn’t as easy as it seems. There are many things anglers need to consider when picking out the best line color for the upcoming fishing trip. 

To find the right fishing line color for you, consider the type of water you’ll be fishing in, the species of fish you’ll target, weather conditions, water clarity, and your personal preferences.