Can Fish See Braided Line? (And The Best Color To Use)

Braided line has a bunch of benefits, but a lot of people don’t use it because it’s visible in the water. There are different colors to pick from, but does that really make a difference?

Fish can see braided line and that’s why you always want to use a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader. Matching the line color with the water you’re fishing in is also a good idea to limit your presentation’s visibility.

As long as you’re using a clear mono or fluoro as your leader, you should have no issues with fish getting spooked. If you want to be absolutely sure, we’ll talk about what line colors to use in different situations.

Is Braided Line Visible In The Water

Can Fish See Braided Line

I’ve been using braided line for a while now and it’s definitely more visible than mono and fluoro. I don’t use braid for its visibility and that’s why I always attach a clear leader.

I was actually pretty surprised when I did the testing. I learned that all colors weren’t created equal, and different colors performed better in different colors of water.

Green was very noticeable when it was in clearer water but it worked really well in stained conditions. White and blue were almost invisible in clear water but you could easily see them in stained water.

Colors like red and yellow were visible in pretty much all situations. I wouldn’t want to use these colors for jigging and trolling, but they might be the right choice for casting and retrieving.

Line Colors To Avoid

If you’re using a long leader then the color of your braid won’t matter. That being said, I always avoid using yellow or red for trolling and jigging. It’ll work, but I like getting all the help I can get.

You can see in the video, the yellow and red are super noticeable in all water conditions. You can see it clearly in dirty and clear water and the fish will be able to see it too.

Some people want to be able to see their line from the boat or shore and yellow/red would be the easiest. I don’t really care about that and have no trouble at all seeing white, blue, or green. These are the three colors I always use and they’ll do a great job in all conditions.

Why Use Yellow Fishing Line

I have used yellow line before, and it does work well at times. I’ve used it on my trolling reel and was still able to catch fish.

The best time to use a yellow fishing line is when you’re casting from shore or on a boat. The bright color is easily seen and that’s beneficial because you’ll always know where your lure is.

Maybe you’ve fly-fished before or seen it on TV. Most of the time they’ll use a bright-colored line like yellow, green, or orange. You can easily see it and you won’t lose your fly. The exact same thing goes for using a brighter braided line.

Best Color Braided Fishing Line To Use

Like I said before, the color I use will all depend on the water I’m in. The only downside to using braid would be that one color works well in one type of water but is visible in another. That’s why I normally use a leader so I don’t have to keep changing the line.

The best color to use when you’re fishing with braid is white, blue, or green. Both white and blue work really well in clearer water while a darker green works in stained or muddy water.

ColorWhen To Use
WhiteClear Water
BlueClear Water
GreenStaind Water
YellowCast & Retrieve
RedCast & Retrieve

What was kind of surprising was that there were a few times when fluorocarbon was more visible than braid. Braid is a flat color while fluoro is shiny, so there were a few times when light bounced off the fluoro and you could see it pretty well.

If I’m fishing in super clear blue water then I’ll use a white or blue line. These two colors were almost invisible in that type of water and would be tough for the fish to see.

The yellow and red stuck out like a sore thumb which was kind of expected. Dark green was also pretty noticeable and wouldn’t be something I’d want to use (unless I had a leader).

If I’m fishing in super muddy water then I’ll toss on the dark green. It was almost completely invisible in that kind of water and there’s no way fish would see it.

Yellow and red were still easily seen and so were white and blue. It’s a bit of an inconvenience but if you want to catch the most fish you’ll have to adapt.

If the fish are hungry enough I do think they’ll bite any type of line. I’ve still been able to catch them when I know they could see the line or weight at the end of my line. It’ll make more of a difference when fishing is slow and they become a lot pickier with what they eat.

What you should also consider is what lure color you’re using. Just like with line, having the right color for the type of water can make a difference. Read our article on the best lure and flasher colors for each type of water.

Why I Use Braided Line

I’ve been using braid for a number of years now and almost always use it as my main fishing line. I like using it because I think it casts better than standard line and it’s much stronger and lasts 3-4 times longer. It’s also more sensitive so I can toss it on a cheaper rod and it’ll work great.

I’ll sometimes use straight braid but most of the time I’ll use a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. Braided line floats so I’ll use a fluoro leader if I need my lure to sink.

I almost always use Sufix 832 braided line. It’s a lot thinner than normal line so you can use a much heavier lb test line and you’ll be fine. I normally use 10-20 lbs but you can go higher.

If you’re fishing in super dense areas with a lot of cover (grass, weeds, trees, etc) you can go straight braid because you’ll most likely get snagged and need to yank on it pretty hard. Braid will take that without breaking. You can also use certain colors in certain conditions and be completely fine.

Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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