How to Choose Fishing Line Color


Different colors of fishing line are used in different water conditions. Anglers take into account what each color of line will look like underwater, and many also have preferences regarding what the line color looks like above the water. It is relatively easy to choose a fishing line color for a variety of environments.

  • Plan exactly where the fishing line will be used and what kind of fish it will be used to catch. Different colors of line work best depending on the fishing spot, so the first step to choosing a fishing line color is to know or research the spot to find out what type of fish live there and the color of the water.

  • Find a local store or online store with a selection of fishing line colors. Choose a store that offers multiple colors and line diameters so that there will definitely be a line that works well in the future fishing spot. Some online stores with a large selection of fishing line are Dick's Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops.

  • Choose a color that will be invisible to fish. Fish are less likely to go for a bait attached to a visible fishing line. Green line blends in well with greenish waters, brown line with muddy waters and clear line in clear waters. Low-visibility lines work well in many conditions, but are difficult to see above the water. Fish will almost always have a difficult time seeing a translucent line with a blue tint. Golden or yellow line stands out underwater except in low light conditions.

  • Consider above-water visibility. Though it is important to choose a line that fish will not see, many fishermen prefer a line they can see above the water so that they can see exactly where the line drops into the water and if the line starts moving (a bite?) Blue-tinted line is often easier for the angler to see in sunlight than clear line, and both are relatively invisible underwater in clear conditions. Golden or yellow lines are the easiest colors to see above water in any light conditions, but are visible underwater in bright daylight.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't know the water and lighting conditions choose clear or low-visibility lines, since these adapt best to different water colors.
  • Anglers who hang multiple poles off a boat or dock to fish might want to choose a bright yellow or golden line, since the good above-water visibility of these colors makes it easy to watch multiple poles at once.

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  • Photo Credit fishing reel image by Brett Mulcahy from rafting,whitewater,river,colorado river,eagle,colo image by Earl Robbins from
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