Can Fish See Braided Line? Does It Scare Them?

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As a beginner angler, something that might be causing you a bit of confusion is what type of fishing line you should use. Between monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided fishing line, it can get quite confusing. Braided fishing line is very popular mainly due to its strength and zero line memory. However, it does have some problems. You might be wondering, can fish see braided line?

Yes, in most situations fish will be able to see braided line. This is especially true during the daytime. However, whether or not fish will be able to see braided line is going to depend on how thick the line is, the color of the line, as well as the water, and weather conditions. 

yellow braided fishing line

Contents

Does Braided Line Scare Fish?

The biggest issue that people seem to have with braided fishing line is that it can indeed scared fish.

Unfortunately, braided fishing line is quite visible. For this reason, many fishermen opt not to use braided line for finesse fishing situations.

If braided line is used for finesse fishing situations, it is often very thin in diameter, it is camouflaged to match the color of the water, and a fluorocarbon leader may even be used to hide the braided line.

With that being said, high visibility is definitely an issue. That braided line suffers from.

In Clear Water

If it’s a sunny day and you are fishing in very clear waters, then you probably don’t want to use braided line, or if you do, you want to use a fluorocarbon leader because fish can see braids in clear water.

Although some people do still use braided fishing line in clear water.

Those people will match the color of the line to the water in order to reduce its overall visibility.

In other words, if you want to use braided line in clear waters, then you want to use one that is as low-vis as possible.

At Night

With all of that being said, braided fishing line is ideal to use during the night.

Generally speaking, if you are fishing in muddy waters or during the night, then line visibility is not going to be much of an issue.

That water is already going to be very dark, so fish aren’t going to see a braided line.

Remember, fish don’t have the best eyesight, so seeing a braided line in pitch black water is not going to be easy for them.

Of course, you don’t want to use fluorescent braided lines. Something like a red or yellow line during the night, because fish may still be able to see that, but a dark or mostly transparent braided line should be just fine. 


What Braided Line Colors Should I Avoid Using?

pink braided fishing line

OK, first and foremost, one color of braided line that you want to avoid using is anything fluorescent.

Yes, there is such a thing as fluorescent fishing line, which literally glows in the dark, so you can easily see it.

While this is great because you can see it, it’s not ideal because fish from far and wide can also see it and will therefore scare them away. Simply put, florescent fishing line is more of a gimmick than anything else.

Fluorescent fishing line aside, two colors that you do really need to avoid using in all situations are red and yellow braided fishing line.

Sure, red and yellow fishing line is very easy to see, so you always know exactly where it’s going, but it is also extremely visible.

It is shown that fish can see both red and yellow braided fishing line and virtually all conditions, and yes, this even includes the night.

However, what you also need to know is that what color of braided fishing line you use depends on the exact situation, mainly the water clarity and color.

In other words, you want to avoid using any kind of braided fishing line color that does not match the water as closely as possible.

Therefore, this is not a black and white answer, because what kind of braided fishing line you use depends on where you are fishing.

What Color Braided Line Should I Use?

As mentioned above, the color of braided fishing line that you should use really depends on the exact situation, mainly the water quality and clarity.

For instance, if you are fishing in clear water, the two best colors of braided fishing line to use are white and blue.

White and blue braided fishing lines are nearly invisible in clear water and fish will have the hardest time seeing both of them.

However, if the water is stained, then both blue and white braided fishing line are very easy for fish to see.

If you are fishing in stained water, then you want to use green braided fishing line, because the color of the line will match the stain color of the water.

Going back to the red and yellow fishing lines, the only time these are really used or is for simple cast and retrieve fishing, particularly when you want to be able to see your line.

Fly fishermen often use green, yellow, and orange lines so they don’t lose their flies, but make no mistake about it because fish can still see that line.


4 Benefits Of Using Braided Line

OK, so braided fishing line is not ideal because it is so highly visible, then why exactly do people use it?

Folks, there are three main benefits to using braided fishing lines, so let’s take a quick look.

1. It’s Very Strong

One of the biggest benefits that you get with using braided fishing line is the fact that it is very strong, perhaps the strongest of all fishing lines.

For one, it has a very good strength to size ratio, which means that it does not have to be very thick in order to be strong, and this means that you can fit a whole lot of it onto your reel.

Moreover, braided fishing line is well known for having amazing impact resistance, so that when a fish is fighting you, it’s not going to snap.

On that same note, braided fishing line also has amazing abrasion resistance, so if it scrapes against rocks and underwater obstacles, it’s not going to break right away.

2. It Casts Very Well

Another big benefit that you get with using braided fishing line is the fact that it casts much further than monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines.

For one, as we will discuss below, braided fishing line does not have line memory, which means that it doesn’t tangle up.

If the fishing line is not tangled up, then it can much more easily come off the reel and will travel much further in the air when you cast your rod

Yet another reason why braided fishing line casts so well is because it’s much softer than other types of fishing lines, and this increased softness allows for added distance.

If you are going for casting distance, then braided line is definitely a good option to consider.

3. It Has Zero Line Memory

As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of braided fishing line is the fact that it has zero line memory.

This means that you can leave it on a reel for as long as you want, and it won’t get that spirally and twisted shape. Of course, this means that it casts much better and it also retrieves much better.

Moreover, this is also beneficial because it means that braided fishing line does not tangle on easily.

Having fishing line that knots itself and twists and turns into various shapes while you’re fishing is definitely not ideal.

Not only can this make it very hard to retrieve your lure, and possibly a fish on the end of that lure, but it also leads to tangled fishing gear and a lot of time spent cutting and re-tying line. 

4. It Has No Stretch

The other huge benefit of braided fishing line is the fact that it does not stretch.

Now for some other types of fishing line not being able to stretch could be a problem because it leads to the line snapping much easier when a fish is fighting you.

However, braided fishing line is more than strong enough to combat this issue without much problem.

The good thing about braided fishing line not stretching is the fact that it is very easy to feel nibbles.

Every single nibble and impact at the line takes is transferred right to your hands, thus making it much easier to detect when fish are around. 


When Should You Not Use Braided Fishing Line?

There are two specific situations where you really don’t want to use braided fishing line, and this is because of its thin and lightweight build.

Now we did say that braided fishing line is ideal for long distance casting, but there is a bit of a caveat here and this is if there is a lot of wind.

Because braided fishing line is so thin and lightweight, wind can easily blow it around and cause it to tangle or to just go somewhere where you didn’t want it to go.

The second situation is exactly the same, except it is underwatered or in other words, you do not want to use braided fishing line when there are strong water currents as the currents will really push your line around and may cause it to tangle.

Moreover, if you’re fishing in very clear water, even if you’re using blue or white braided fishing line, some fish may still be able to see it, and therefore you want to strongly consider using a fluorocarbon leader.

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Conclusion

The bottom line here is that braided fishing line is a great type of line to use due to its high strength, abrasion resistance, relatively small size compared to its strength, as well as the fact that it has no stretch or line memory.

However, of course its visibility is a big issue, so if you plan on using braided fishing line, make sure to match the color of it to the type of water you are fishing in.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.