Ultralight spinning reels are becoming increasingly popular across the UK and America.
They offer excellent performance at a low price point and also allow anglers to fish longer without having to worry about breaking their lines or losing them.
Spinning reels are a type of baitcasting reel that uses a spool to wind in a length of fishing line. The spool rotates around a central axis, allowing the fisherman to cast out the line.
So you’ve made the choice to use an ultralight spinning rod, now the question is which line is best to use on an ultralight spinning reel?
More importantly, which lines can you trust to give you the best possible experience when fishing with an ultralight?
In this article we will explore not only the different types of fishing line, but the benefits and disadvantages of each one.
Braided Fishing Line
Braided Line is known as such due to the fused or ‘braided’ strands of polyethylene that make up the line
Braided line is ideal for fishing heavy water as the braid can easily cut through vegetation like lily pads, hydrilla, water hyacinths etc.
This means your fish won’t get tangled and will be much easier to land.
Some other benefits are the toughness and durability that braided line has, it can hold up for longer periods of time and hold knots for longer too.
There are some downsides to braided fishing line; it is often more expensive than other reels on the market.
It is also usually quite heavy, so can put more stress on reel parts, rods and line guides, causing premature wear and even breakage.
It is also important to remember that you will need to loosen your drag in order to effectively hook and land a fish as the braid does not stretch.
Microfilament Fishing Line
Microfilament line is a type of braided line that fuses ultra high molecular weight polyethylene together to create a fishing line that is very thin and has a high strength-to-weight ratio.
It’s great for casting light jigs and lures, as well as small flies and soft plastics. Microfilament fishing line is usually used with smaller spinning reels, such as the Shimano SST series.
Microfilament line is UV resistant and does not absorb water or change characteristics from wet to dry.
The downside to microfilament fishing line is that it doesn’t have much stretch. This means that if you lose your lure, it won’t be able to get back up again.
However, if you do manage to retrieve it, the line will be extremely taut and difficult to handle.
It also means that you might lose some sensitivity on the line, making it harder to detect when you’ve caught something.
Fiberglass Fishing Line
Fiberglass fishing line is made from glass fibers mixed together with resin. It offers a lot of flexibility and can withstand heavy loads.
It’s ideal for larger spinning reels such as the Shimano STX and XTX series.
The main benefit of fiberglass fishing line is its durability. If you drop your lure into deep water, then pull it out, the line should still be intact.
But even though it’s strong, it does tend to break easily when it gets caught on something.
Flyline/Monofilament Fishing Line
Flyline is a term used by fly fishers to describe any kind of nylon monofilament fishing line.
Flylines come in various weights and diameters, depending on what size hooks you want to use.
Flyline is suitable for all kinds of fishing, including saltwater, freshwater and ice fishing. It’s also great for tying knots and making loops. You can buy flyline in a variety of colors, too.
The main advantage of using flyline is that it’s easy to tie knots with. And since it’s so flexible, it makes it easier to make loops and figure eight casts.
Monofilament line also tends to be fairly cheap and is an ideal line for beginners as it particularly easy to handle.
Monofilament line is often thought of as old technology these days, though it was extremely popular in the 1980’s, other materials, like fluorocarbon, have since become just as popular.
This is for a number of reasons; monofilament absorbs water and so its properties change from dry to wet frequently.
It also deteriorates under UV exposure, meaning that the line will definitely wear down over time.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Fluorocarbon fishing line is a relatively new material. It’s a combination of fluorocarbon polymer and carbon black.
Fluorocarbon is great for fishing large baits like minnows and salmon eggs.
It is very sensitive, as the line is made from harder material, it transmits a greater level of vibration, letting you know sooner that there’s something caught on the line.
Fluorocarbon is also very tough and therefore is more abrasion resistant than other lines, like monofilament.
However, it is the hardness of the line that makes it prone to cracking.
Another great thing about fluorocarbon line is it has extremely low visibility, as it does not refract light as significantly as other lines, making it harder for fish to detect.
It’s also good for trolling, especially for big game species like walleye and bass.
There are some drawbacks to this line, it often causes knot failure. This is where the knot slips or loosens.
Anglers will sometimes wet the knot in an attempt to keep it tight but this is often in vain as fluorocarbon is so rigid that the angle imposed on the line by various knots will weaken the line, regardless of if it’s wet or not.
The main drawback of fluorocarbon is that it’ll burn your hands if you touch it after being exposed to sunlight.
Tungsten Fishing Line
Tungsten fishing line is a brand name for steel wire. It’s mainly used for fishing large baits and live baitfish. Tungsten fishing line is commonly found in commercial angling tackle.
The main advantage to using tungsten fishing line is that it’d be more durable than regular aluminum or brass wire. It’ll last longer and won’t corrode over time.
However, there are some downsides to using tungsten. First off, it’s expensive. Second, it’s heavier than other materials. Third, it isn’t as flexible as other lines.
Copolymer Fishing Line
Copolymer is essentially an improved version of monofilament as it’s made in the same way but with two materials instead of one.
This allows the manufacturer to refine their recipe and tailor the line’s characteristics to certain uses.
Copolymer has a lower stretch ratio, meaning the line gives you more precision and feedback and ultimately makes setting the hook easier.
Tying knots and casting are a breeze as the line is much stronger than other types and allows for greater shock strength.
The toughness of the line also means that it is more abrasion resistant.
Copolymer is usually quite expensive and is not UV resistant as it is mostly made from nylon, so will get damaged by the sun and heat fairly quickly.
The Best Line For You
Ultimately, the best line to use will depend on a number of factors, the type of bait you’re using, the kind of fish you’re looking to hook, the setting you’re fishing in.
These are all really important when considering which line to purchase.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and durable line that will allow for easy handling and is good for beginner, it makes sense to go for flyline/monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line as it provides a more smooth fishing experience and is more sensitive, making it easier to tell when you have hooked a fish on the line.
On the other hand, if you want a line that will give you greater flexibility and allows for more complex techniques, you would be better off with tungsten or braided line.
These lines tend to be more expensive but would suit a more experienced angler.