Does Fishing Line Color Matter In Salt Water?


Does Fishing Line Color Matter In Salt Water?

Fishing at sea presents many challenges you won’t usually face when angling from the shore. You have to take everything, including the kitchen zinc, to be prepared. The color of your fishing line is critical when fishing in clear streams but does fishing line color matter in saltwater?

Fishing line color does not matter in saltwater. The best choice would be a blue, green, or clear braided line in very clear water. In darker seawater or when night fishing, you can select any color fishing line. Clear fluorocarbon is the overall best choice for saltwater.

The better line to use in very clear saltwater would be a clear monofilament. A braided line used in very clear water might make the fish a little apprehensive, especially gamefish with sharp eyesight. When the bait is correct and the fish are hungry, the line color is the least of their concern. We can explore different line colors for saltwater further;

Does Fishing Line Color Matter In Salt Water?

Which Color Fishing Lines Are Best In Clear Salt Water?

Fishing line manufacturers often ask professional anglers to try and test out new lines, new colors, and strengths. The magnificent waters of the Florida Keys are the perfect place to execute such tests.

Most Visible Line Colors In Clear Salt Water

In the underwater testing trails in the Florida Keys, the most visible lines at 40 feet were;

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Pink – not neon
  • Yellow
  • Neon Green
  • Black
  • Brown

Least Visible Line Colors In Clear Salt Water

In the underwater testing trails in the Florida Keys, the least visible lines at 40 feet were;

  • Clear
  • White
  • Light Blue
  • Aqua Marine
  • Light Green
  • Pink fluorocarbon

Not many saltwater fishing waters are as clear as the Florida Keys or parts of the Mediterranean, so will the same line colors be as effective in darker water? Why are brightly colored fishing lines manufactured if they might diminish the chances of success?

The answer is simple – the brightly colored lines allow the anglers to watch it and any movement and don’t impact strike ratios. For example, the pink fluorocarbon line may seem like the worst possible choice in clear water; however, the manufacturers say it is almost entirely invisible at depth.

Other neon color lines like green or yellow are a favorite with anglers who want to spot their lines. This gives them an edge when they need to watch for bites in darker waters. It is quickly spotted either at depth or on the surface.

Does Fishing Line Color Matter In Salt Water?

Which Color Lines Are Best For Inshore Fishing?

Inshore saltwater fishing or fishing standing on the beach, in the estuary, wading in or from the rocks might cause you to choose a different color line. The best line colors for this type of fishing will be;

  • Clear
  • Bronze
  • Dark Green

The reason for choosing these darker colors is that the substrate is muddy, and there are seagrasses and oyster or shell deposits on the bottom. These help to camouflage the line very well. The dark lines will become darker toward the bottom and will not scare or alert the fish.

Clear fluorocarbon will always be the ‘go-to’ line since it blends in with any water condition. It becomes invisible under the seawater whether the water is clear or darker blue. It is incredibly successful in very clear waters where fish on alert will not see it.

It is to be noted that aggressive fish and hungry fish will not pay much attention to the color of the line you are casting or trawling. High visibility or neon yellow helps watch your line for early bite detection when there is a lot of activity. 

What Does Green Fishing Line Do In Saltwater?

Saltwater, like most freshwater bodies, has a combination of blue and green hues in the spectrum. Because fish have such incredible eyesight, it has been noted that most saltwater fish can see certain shades of green fishing line up to 100 feet below the surface.

The flash that the line gives off to some fish will attract them out of curiosity while scaring off more skittish types. This will not matter if a hungry fish is about to strike the bait or lure, but some fish are clever and patient, and you’ll come to know which is which in no time.

Which Pound Lines Are Best For Saltwater Use?

Regardless of the color line you prefer, you should always ensure the pound test is sufficient. On average, you should have at least a 20 lb. line seeing as most commonly caught fish like the smaller tuna, red rums, or stripers weigh in under 20 pounds.

However, if you are after larger species, you need a minimum 35-pound line upwards with a good shock leader line with ample breaking strength.

 

Can Saltwater Fish See Braided Line?

Because fish have such excellent eyesight, especially in saltwater, you will not want to use braided lines. Both prey and predatory fish can see braided lines very well. If you don’t have a choice but to use the braided line, try to match the line color as best as possible to the watercolor. The best color braided lines to use would be;

  • White
  • Blue
  • Green

Do You Need A Leader With Braided Line?

It is a great idea to permanently attach a monofilament leader-line to the end of the braided line and then attach your bait or lure. The length of the leader should be sufficient so that the fish will not see the braided line.

Monofilament leader lines tend to become invisible in the saltwater. This puts fish at ease when chasing bait or a lure and will guarantee a strike.

Does Fishing Line Color Matter In Salt Water?

What Colors Do Fish See Best?

The best colors to use to attract saltwater fish to your lure and hook would be similar to what they usually would eat. Sometimes an exaggerated lure in terms of size and color can attract a trophy fish. Best bait colors to use in saltwater;

  • Black and Silver
  • Black and red
  • Anything with Chartreuse
  • Neon yellow and flash
  • Green, flash, and white
  • Silver and orange.

Conclusion

The color of your fishing line in saltwater will not make you lose a strike or a trophy fish in general; it is, however, a great idea to try and use matching colors whenever possible. Anything that can give you an edge when fishing is going to help, and if a flash of color can scare a wary fish then choosing a line that wont do that cant hurt!

Marc

Hi I am Marc, when I am not in a classroom teaching you will find me, or more likely not find me, on a boat, trekking through the woods, sitting by a river or pier hoping for tight lines or a straight shot. I have been teaching Outdoor skills, fishing, archery, shooting, Kayaking, Climbing and more for over 30 years. Its about time I shared some of that with you all.

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