TOP 9 Best Fishing Lines for Catfish | 2021 Reviews & FAQs


It’s safe to say that fishing line is important. It’s your only link with the fish. So, it needs to be good.

If you want to ensure a consistent catch rate, you are going to need the best fishing line for catfish.

In this article I am going to tell you what they are, describe the different features of many types of line and give you some great examples.

Read on to find out more.

Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.

TOP 9 Best Fishing Lines for Catfish 2021

Hercules Super Cast 8 Strands Braided Line

Braid can be expensive, so doesn’t it make sense to go for something that offers you a lot of line for your money?

This braid offers exactly that. You’ll get 300 meters on a single spool.

But it isn’t just about quantity, it’s about quality. Fortunately, this braid has it in abundance.

The bright color aids in visibility. The line itself has next to no stretch, transmitting bites directly to your fingertips…

And the best bit?

It is super strong. 8 woven strands ensure that it is durable and abrasion-resistant. Just what you need when fishing amongst features.

Reward: The best budget braid for catfish

Pros

  • Easy to see.
  • Super strong and great value.

Cons

  • The bright color is nice when it is new, however with mud and use, it can look a little ‘tired’ after a while.

Takeaway

If you need a lot of braid, but don’t have deep pockets then this is an ideal choice. You’ll get strength and durability in one affordable package.

KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line

If you are looking for a good mid-ranged braid you are in the right place.

This low memory braid will cut down on tangles and due to its really fine diameter you’ll fit a lot on your spool.

How much?

Well over 500 yards. That’s good, really good!

The line is coated to allow it to slip through the rings of your rod with ease, aiding in casting distance. It’s finish also means you can tie a really strong knot.

Reward: The best braided fishing line for catfish

Pros

  • High visibility color.
  • Thinner diameter means more line on a spool and increased casting distance.

Cons

  • The color can tend to fade on this line with repeated use over time.

Takeaway

Another quality offering. With great abrasion resistance and the ability to tie rock solid knots, this braid could be a great investment.

Mason Big Cat Catfish Braided Fishing Line

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This line might not be ideal for your spool, but if you are after huge catfish then you are going to want to tie really strong leaders.

This is the answer, and here’s why.

The tan color will become practically invisible in the water, winning you more bites from cautious fish.

A single spool will offer you around 150 yards, more than enough to tie leaders for months.

The line is waterproof too, stopping the line from degrading over time.

Reward: The best braided line for tying leaders

Pros

  • Low visibility when submerged.
  • Highly durable and strong, perfect for leaders.

Cons

  • This line might be a little thick to use as a mainline and based on the cost per spool there are much cheaper options.

Takeaway

What’s at the end of your main line is important, and it pays not to neglect this. By using a strong leader material such as this you can give yourself a better chance of success.

If you were to pair this with other line such as a high-quality braid, you’d have the perfect combination.

Stren Catfish Monofilament Fishing Line

Often, you’ll be catfishing at night and will need a line you can see.

This is it.

The line is bright in daytime and glows at night making perfect for all times of the day. It is super tough and durable.

What makes it so good?

Mono has a little stretch meaning that it acts as a great shock absorber when a big fish takes violently.

It will glide effortlessly over rocks and underwater obstructions which are just the areas where big catfish like to pull your bait.

Oh, and it’s made in the USA!

Reward: The best budget mono for catfish

Pros

  • Highly visible making it ideal for low light conditions and night fishing.
  • Really great anti-tangle properties.

Cons

  • The line can tend to have a little memory until it beds in and is used a few times.

Takeaway

Mono has been a firm favorite for years. When lines come as good as this, you can easily see why. If you want a budget mono then this may be the line for you.

Berkley Trilene Big Cat Fishing Line

Berkley are a trusted brand when it comes to terminal tackle. This solar green line is premium quality at a really affordable price.

You’ll get 200 yards on a single spool.

What’s not to love?

The line features ‘controlled stretch’ technology meaning that you’ll be able to fight the fish with confidence. It is ultra-abrasion resistant, so good for fishing over rough ground.

The reduced line diameter also means that you will gain in casting distance.

This is another example of a quality product made in the USA.

Reward: The best all-around monofilament fishing line for catfish

Pros

  • High visibility eye-catching color.
  • Great abrasion resistance from a trusted brand.

Cons

  • I wish they had made the spool 300 yards and this would have been perfect for bigger reels.

Takeaway

If you are looking for a solid all-around performer with a number of applications then this is it. You won’t be disappointed and this should work really well for catfish.

Zebco Cajun Smooth Cast Fishing Line

Now this looks a little different. But I like it.

Want to know something cool?

This line is invisible under the water. Although red on the surface, as it sinks the water filters out red wavelengths, so it exactly matches the color of the water.

Aside from being low visibility, it performs well as a line. The 300-yard spool is long enough to fully fill even the biggest multiplier reel. And it has just enough stretch to allow you to pressure the fish without breaking the line.

Reward: The best monofilament line for catfish

Pros

  • Really clever technology makes the line invisible underwater.
  • Abrasion-resistant and strong.

Cons

  • The red color might leave some traditional anglers a little skeptical.

Takeaway

A good line at a really low price point. It’s a good fishing line for catfish. Simple.

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

Whilst we are on the subject of visibility it pays to look at fluorocarbons.

Here’s a great example.

This line has a low refractive index, meaning it blends perfectly with the water. It has low stretch but is highly flexible making it absolutely ideal.

For a given strength of line, the diameter is reduced, allowing you to fit more on your spool or even go for a higher breaking strain.

The line is denser so it sinks quicker. Perfect for reaching those holed up big cats.

…and there’s more.

Due to its low stretch, you get great bite detection and sensitivity

Reward: The best fluorocarbon fishing line for catfish

Pros

  • Low stretch.
  • Low visibility.

Cons

  • It may be a little stiff, if you overfill your spool it may have a tendency to spring off.

Takeaway

I love fluorocarbon, it offers the best compromise between braid and mono. When it is as good as this, you’ve got a great choice for catfishing.

Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

I’ve already talked about how great Berkley are.

I’ll keep it simple.

This line works. It is specially coated to increase casting ease and distance. An improved formula offers 20% more strength than other fluorocarbon lines.

And get this…

Depending on how much you fish, you can buy one spool of 350 yards, or really push the boat out and get a 2000 yard spool. All the line you will ever need.

Reward: The best premium fluorocarbon fishing line for catfish

Pros

  • Invisibility in the water.
  • 20% stronger than other lines of the same diameter.

Cons

  • Fluoro can be a little tricky to work with, this is no exception.

Takeaway

If you are looking for the best line for catching catfish, you will have found it with this choice. Strong, stretchy and low abrasion. What more could you want?

Trilene Fluorocarbon Professional Grade Line

As the name suggests this isn’t for amateurs. Trilene offers great reliability far in excess of its reasonable price point.

Why is it so good?

This line offers low memory which is normally the downfall of fluoro lines. You want the best catfish line? Well, this might just be it.

It is low stretch; this means superior casting power and bite detection.

The spool isn’t huge, but as you’ll be experiencing less breakages this shouldn’t be an issue.

Clear line means that the fish won’t be able to see it, increasing your chances of a bite.

Reward: The best professional line for catfish

Pros

  • Low stretch, increased casting distance.
  • Low abrasion meaning less breakages.

Cons

  • Another perfect contender… if only you got slightly more on a spool this would have been perfect.

Takeaway

The choice of professionals is never going to be a bad option. If you have the budget then this would be a sensible choice.

Buying Guide to the Best Lines for Caching Catfish

By now you’ll have gathered that there are a lot of lines to choose from, but which is the best line for catching catfish?

I’m going to look at some common properties that go into the best lines and then we can apply what we have learned to each type of line.

catfish caught while fishing spinning rod

Consider Strength

First and foremost, your fishing line should be strong enough for the task in hand. It can have all of the features, but if it breaks during the cast or at the first sign of a bite then it will be useless.

What strength do I need?

For catfishing, you are best choosing a line that is somewhere between 20-30lbs breaking strain. This offers an excellent compromise between strength and bulk.

Remember the main reason that we don’t use really thick line is because we are limited to how much we can fit on a spool.

The line does some of the work, but it is also down to the rod and the reel to absorb some of the shock. If you want to see some of the best catfish rods and reels, head on over to my guide, there’s lots of choices!

Consider Visibility and Color

When catfishing this area is not quite as vital as for some other species. This is because catfish hunt largely by smell. If you’ve used catfish baits already, you’ll know that some really stink!

I’ve got a guide to some of the best catfishing baits for ponds, it would be great to see you there.

Bait aside, it pays not to take chances and catfish will still shy away if they can see a line. In terms of visibility, the best line to use is fluorocarbon or mono.

Want to know why?

They have a low refractive index this means that when they are submerged they turn clear and very difficult to see. This makes them ideal in applications where you really don’t want your line to be seen.

Is fluoro the only choice?

Not at all. You’ll see from my suggestions above that lines such as the Zebco Cajun line offer great low visibility properties without being clear.

A lot of catfishing takes place at night. If you can’t see your line you are going to struggle, so a colored line might actually be the best option.

You’ll see from my suggestions above that many of the catfishing lines are colored, it’s not a bad thing. If you are still wary then consider using a colored mainline with a clear leader.

You can see an example of colored line in this video below.

Consider Stretch

Stretch and strength are not necessarily the same thing. Two equal lines might break at the same weight, but often harder lines will break sooner if given a sharp tug.

So why use a stiff line at all?

The reason that you might want a less stretchy line is that bite detection is much better. If you are lure fishing then it allows you to be in better contact with your lure. If there is too much ‘bounce’ on the line then you may ‘bump’ fish off.

Although that said if you’ve chosen the best hook then this is less likely to happen. Pay a visit to my guide to the best hooks to use for catfish to see what I mean.

Diameter strength and breaking strain all share a complex space together and the results can be surprising. If you take a look at this video, you’ll see that often the stretch of a line has as much to do with when it breaks as the actual weight. Give it a watch, it’s really interesting to see!

When to Use Different Types of Line

OK, ultimately there is no right and wrong and a lot of it boils down to personal preference.

However, I’ll give you a few rules of thumb.

Monofilament Line for Catfish

Mono is by far the most popular choice.

Why?

Because it really works. It’s stretchy, cheap, and is pretty low visibility. Mono is a compromise between all of the other types of fishing line. Its stretch is where it excels. If you are just starting out then mono would be the ideal choice.

Braided Line for Catfish

Braid is a little more specialized. The reasons are numerous.

There is no stretch in braid whatsoever. In one sense this is nice, however, it does mean that it is very unforgiving. If you get a tangle in braid, then you are more than likely going to have to cut your line and start over.

Braid is also a little bit weird in that you will need to learn a few other knots than you may be used to. Oh, and normal scissors don’t work. If you want to cut braid, you’ll need special braid cutters. You can often find these on a good pair of fishing pliers, check my guide to see some great examples.

Finally, braid is rather visible in the water. If you are fishing in clear conditions then it may be worth considering a different line or using a leader.

Fluorocarbon Line for Catfish

For the money, this is my personal favorite. It offers decent stretch, is easy to work with and is really low visibility which can only increase your chance of catching.

Any downsides?

Fluoro can be a little stiff, and for tying knots it is a little difficult to work with. But that is about the only downside I can think of.

amateur angler holds the catfish

FAQs

What line should I use for catfishing?

If you want to play it safe then mono is probably the best line for catching catfish. It acts as ‘suspension’ which is useful when handling big hard fighting catfish. If you have enough room on your spool then it makes a pretty solid choice.

If you are fishing in a weedy area then braid might be a good choice. It works perfectly to slice through stalks of weeds. It isn’t so good in rocky areas as it tends to fray quite easily.

What is the best pound test line for catfish?

This depends in part on the size of the species you intend to catch. As a good average, I like to fish with 20lb test as a minimum. If I am going to go after bigger species then I might just bump it all the way up to 50lb. This is where braid starts to become useful, as I would struggle to get enough 50lb mono on my spool.

If you are looking to hunt trophy fish, then maybe 30lb mono would be an ideal choice.

Do you need a leader for Catfish?

Chances are that you will need a leader. There are a few reasons for this.

Such as?

First, especially if you are bait fishing, you are probably going to be casting a heavy weight. To avoid the line being overstressed you can tie a ‘shock leader’. This is a section of really heavy line that takes the force of the cast.

Want to know how thick a shock leader should be?

A great rule of thumb is to multiply the weight you are casting by 10. That’s the strength of line to use on a shock leader. So, a 6oz weight requires 60lb shock leader.

You will also find that a catfish have very abrasive mouths which will wear the line near the hook. By adding a leader, you can be assured that the line won’t wear through before the fish is landed.

The final reason for adding a leader is to increase your chances by reducing visibility. This is especially true if you have decided to use braid as your main line. By using braid and maybe a fluorocarbon leader you get the best of all worlds.

What do I mean?

You get all the great properties of braid, such as no stretch and increased feel, but you get the anti-visibility features of fluorocarbon too. Making it a perfect match.

As I have already said, you will need to a few special knots to tie braid. Here is a quick video of how to do it.

Summary

There are a great many lines to choose from but whether you opt for mono, fluoro or braid you should now have a really clear picture as to what goes into choosing the best fishing lines for catfish.

There is a little trial and error involved, so try and few and find what works for you.

Which line suits your local spot the best?

Let me know in the comments below.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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