What Fishing Line Sinks?

Not all fishing lines are made in the same way. This causes some types of lines to sink and others to float. 

To increase their chances of landing a fish, anglers must learn what fishing lines sink and what lines float.

So, what fishing line sinks? Monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines sink, while braided fishing line floats. Of the two types of sinking lines, the fluorocarbon fishing line sinks faster in freshwater and saltwater. The fluorocarbon line has a higher average density than water, which increases the line’s sinking rate.

There’s a lot to learn about why some fishing lines sink while some lines float. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the sinking rate of different types of fishing lines.

Why Does My Fishing Line Sink?

To understand why your fishing line sinks, you first need to understand some basic physics. The term buoyancy describes whether a fishing line will sink or float. 

Objects or fishing lines with higher buoyancy tend to float. Fishing lines or objects with lower buoyancy tend to sink. 

In the presence of gravity, all liquids and gases exert an upward force, known as the buoyant force, on objects submerged in them. Buoyancy results from differences in pressure applied on the opposite sides of an object submerged in fluid. 

A fishing line sinks when the line’s weight is higher than the upward force. On the other hand, a fishing line will float when the line’s weight is lower than the upward force.

Lower buoyancy increases a fishing line’s ability to sink, while higher buoyancy increases a line’s ability to float. 

A fishing line’s buoyancy mainly depends on the water’s and the fishing line’s density. When a fishing line has a higher density than water, the fishing line will sink. But a fishing line will float if it has a lower density than water. 

The water’s density varies and depends on the water’s salt content. Objects and fishing lines tend to float better in saltwater than in freshwater because saltwater has a higher density.

What Fishing Lines Sinks?

What Fishing Lines Sinks

Both monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines sink. Of the three most commonly used types of line, only braided fishing lines float. Knowing the fishing line’s buoyancy and sink rate is important for fishing and can improve your catching rates.

Let’s take a look at the two sinking fishing lines:

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

The fluorocarbon fishing line is popular among anglers, and many use it as a leader line when fishing. This is mainly because fluorocarbon lines sink in the water, helping with bait presentation. 

Fluorocarbon fishing line has an average density of 0.063 pounds per square inch. The fluorocarbon’s average density is 78% heavier than freshwater and 74% heavier than saltwater. 

The fluorocarbon fishing line will sink in both freshwater and saltwater because the line has a higher density than the water. 

Monofilament Fishing Line

Although many anglers use monofilament fishing lines, there is much confusion about whether a monofilament line will sink or float in the water. Monofilament fishing line has a large diameter, and its manageable stretch makes it suitable for panfish and bass presentations.

Monofilament fishing line has an average density of 0.0415 pounds per square inch. Monofilament has a 15% heavier density than freshwater and a 12% heavier density than salt water. 

Because it has a higher density, the monofilament fishing line will sink in freshwater and saltwater conditions.

What Fishing Line Sinks Faster?

Fluorocarbon fishing line sinks faster than monofilament fishing line. The average density of the monofilament fishing line is higher than the average density of the fluorocarbon fishing line, resulting in a faster sink rate per second.

For example, a 30-pound test monofilament line has a sink rate of 5 seconds, while a 30-pound fluorocarbon test line has a sink rate of 2.1 seconds. A 20-pound monofilament fishing line has a 5.5 seconds sink rate, while a 60-pound fluorocarbon fishing line has a sink rate of 1.3 seconds.

Why Is My Fishing Line Not Sinking?

Your fishing line won’t sink if it has a lower density than the water. If this is the case, your fishing line will remain floating on the water’s surface.

Braided fishing lines have a lower density than water, which causes them to float. If you’re fishing with a braided fishing line, this could be why your fishing line isn’t sinking. 

Monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines have a higher density than water, meaning they’ll sink a few seconds after they touch the water’s surface. 

How Do I Get My Fishing Line to Sink?

There are a few ways you can get your fishing line to sink. Dip the rod tip under the water and give the reel handle a couple of quick turns, to sink the line between the rod tip and the water. 

Another thing you could try is to drop the new fishing line in a bowl filled with dilute washing liquid so it spins in the water while you wind it on the reel. This will help the line sink by removing the new line shine and also make loading the line on the reel easier.

Alternatively, apply line sinking fluid straight on the spool while fishing or you can squirt dilute washing-up liquid. Every third or fourth time you reel in, you can spool the line across the liquid and get it to sink again. 


Fluorocarbon and monofilament fishing lines sink because they have a higher average density than water. A braided fishing line has a lower density than water which causes it to float. 

Understanding what fishing line sinks in the water and which one floats can improve your chances of landing a fish. The line’s sinking rate depends on several factors, including the line’s density and diameter and the water’s density. 

Knowing how fast a fishing line will sink can help you calculate how long it will take for your bait to sink to the depth you need to catch a fish.