Can Fish See the Fishing Line?

A very common question among the new anglers is whether fish can see the fishing line and if the color of the line is important. It is a key question to ask, as a visible line could make the fish line shy. They may quickly become aware of the situation that is to come and prepare for it.

There are lines of many types like fluorocarbon, monofilament, and even braided material, which comes in multi-colors. And it takes time and practice for an angler to truly understand which type or color of line is correct for which situation and water.

Here is some basic information regarding lines, line colors, and what fishes can see to help you out with your fishing adventures and make them as successful as possible.

There are mainly three types of lines; they do, however, have sub categories.


These are known to be the most popular and commonly used lines in the fishing industry, as they come in varied colors and are hard to identify or detect for the fish under the water. I will be going over all the colors and the benefits of using those lines.

  • Red Lines

Red lines are said to disappear under the water, which actually makes the undetectable for the fish or the anglers above the water. Research has found that red objects, for some reason, lose their color under the water or may even become black. This is why they are such a good option as a line.

There are, however, some confusion regarding the color red, as many say that it actually influences the fishes to bite as it looks like blood and tends to catch their eyes more. Red hooks, for example, are very popular among fishers, as it brings more of an impact.

  • Yellow Lines

Yellow lines bring about a trade-off for the anglers; these are really good for them as the lines can easily be detected above the surface of the water. This enables the anglers to follow their line. Not only that, but bites of the fish can also be easily identified by using the yellow line

The downside to this is, however, as it is so easily visible for the fishers, it is also easy for the fish to see. But if the proper lure is used, then the fish will be less concerned about the line and more about the bait presented to them.

These are, however, a good option for the dirty watch as they can easily blend in, which is much harder in the clear water.

  • Clear or Blue Lines

They are good options for anglers who want to get something that would go unnoticed by the fish.

The absolute clear ones are a bit more difficult to work with for the anglers, so many opt for the clear blue ones as they go undetected by the fish, but can be seen from above the water, making it easier to work with and to catch the fish.

  • Green Line

Green lines may be a good option for the anglers who have difficulties using the clear ones, but still want something that will not be visible to the fish.

As most water bodies have some form of a green tint to it, these lines have an easier time blending in with the water. These, however, are more visible than the clear ones when used in clear water.


Fluorocarbon fishing line

In the fishing world, the word fluorocarbon is linked with polyvinylidene difluoride. These lines are usually more dense and heavier than the monofilament.

Not only line weight, these two have a difference in their visibility, durability, and how much it stretches. All the factors make a huge significance when you are out to use the items in the water.

There are many reasons why fluorocarbon fishing line is preferred by anglers, especially for trout fishing, one of the reasons being its low visibility. Fluorocarbon lines have the same reflectivity as the water, and those become a part of the water bodies, making them hard to detect and see for the fish.

The lines are also very sensitive. As the molecules are packed in together, more energy is transmitted in fluorocarbons then monos. This allows the anglers to be more aware of the little bites at the other end of the line.

These lines also sink faster than mono, which results in to have less slack and bow between the lure and the rod.

Fluorocarbons are known to be a much tougher material than nylon, and unlike nylon, it does not become weaker with time because of the UV ray of the sun. This makes it long-lasting and durable than monofilament.

Its ability to not retain water is also something that works in its advantage, making it waterproof. Most monos and superlines tend to absorb water. So, this line will work and feel the same below water as it does above. This means the sensitivity, toughness, and the handling will not change.

  • Pink Fluorocarbon

These are much like the normal fluorocarbon, but manufacturers believe that it is easier to work with if a bit of pink tint is added to the line. It is believed that pink makes it harder to detect.

The same theory used for the red monofilaments is applied here; the reds and pinks seem to lose their color when they are under the water.

Even though there are many points that work in favor of the fluorocarbons, there are, however, some flaws too. For one, they are much harder to manage than any other type of line. That is because they have more memory.

But more and more is being put into it and manufacturers are able to make is more workable than before. Fluorocarbon is not best for its shock strength, meaning that the line is not able to absorb sudden impacts that take place under the water.

Now there are obviously trade-offs that all the lines have, and the angler must take all these into consideration before they choose the one they would like to work with.

Braided Lines

Braided fishing line

Using a braided line to catch fish as numerous advantages, but these, unfortunately, are not invisible or undetected by the fish. As these lines are thicker, the chances are that the fish will be able to see it.

But the lines being thick is the reason behind this strength. And this makes a very good option to use in muddy or dirty waters.

Now, if you are one who still wants to make use of it in the clear waters, then what you should do is use a leader of the fluorocarbon connected by an Alberto knot. This way, you will still have the invisibility and the strength of the lines.


There are far too many options that come to play when choosing the right line for yourself.

All these lines tend to come with their own advantages and benefit. While the fluorocarbon is the best for many situations as they become invisible under the water. But in many of the cases, choosing the braided lines would be of greater use because of its strength.

With all the information provided regarding which the fish can see the most, you as an angler have to determine what your main concern is. Whether being invisible and undetected are your main concerns, or would you like to focus on other matters.

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