Ancient hieroglyphics depict Egyptians fishing with rod and line. In the fourth century, Chinese used silk fishing line. In the 1940s, my great grandfather tied catgut leaders.

When DuPont invented Dacron in 1950 and nylon four years later, fishing entered a new era opening millions of ways to target thousands of species of fish. Today, fluorocarbon and braided lines make it easier to hook and land a fish.

The best fishing line for kayak anglers

1. Daiwa J-Braid x4

$10.99 | daiwa.com

Photo: Ric Burnley
Tighten up. | Photo: Ric Burnley

Braided line, as the name says, is made of thin fibers twisted and wrapped together, like braiding hair, to make a single line. Four carrier lines use four strands of fiber for a thinner and rounder fishing line. This allows anglers to pack more line on their reel without the line burying itself on the spool, perfect for deep-water fishing.

Daiwa’s new J-Braid 4X uses Dyneema fibers to improve knot retention and strength. Four carrier line is popular with folks who fish around vegetation where the rounded line will cut through grass and weeds.

2. Rio InTouch Perception

$99 | rioproducts.com

Photo: Ric Burnley
Dance party. | Photo: Ric Burnley

Fly anglers geek out on line performance; they can talk for hours about the advantages of one line over another. Rio’s InTouch Perception gives these guys plenty to talk about. Intouch Perception is specifically designed to be highly sensitivity. The line is color coded to mark distance for accurate casts.

A sensitive fly line also improves pick up and timing as the angler feels every stage of the cast. The MaxCast coating is hydrophobic to keep the line dry allowing it to float on the surface and leave the water silently. There’s no argument InTouch Perception is one of the best floating fly lines, it comes in six weights so there’s still plenty to talk about.

3. Sufix NanoBraid

$16.99 | rapala.com

Photo: Ric Burnley
Hang on tight. | Photo: Ric Burnley

Looking for the thinnest, most sensitive fishing line for finesse fishing? Take a look at Sufix NanoBraid. Dyneema fibers are tightly woven from a wide angle to create a line that is three-times as strong as other nanobraids. The Wide Angle Braiding Technology tightly packs the fibers for better knot strength and longer casts while remaining silky smooth to pass silently through the rod guides. The process also makes NanoBraid extremely sensitive to feel the lightest bite on a drop shot or Ned rig.

4. Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon

$12.49 | seaguar.com

Photo: Ric Burnley
I sea nothing better. | Photo: Ric Burnley

Unlike monofilament, fluorocarbon fishing line has the same light refraction as water making it virtually invisible to the fish. Fluorocarbon is stiffer than monofilament and more abrasion resistant. Seaguar’s Blue Label is made with Double Structure process that combines a stiffer, center and softer exterior. The combination improves knot strength while maintaining sensitivity. Blue Label is best for tying leaders and terminal rigs when targeting sharp-sighted fish in clear water.

5. Ande Back Country

$7.49 | andemonofilament.com

Photo: Ric Burnley
We all get by with a little help from our friends. |Photo: Ric Burnley

With over 2000 current IGFA World Records caught on Ande monofilament, anglers feel confident when they spool up with this classic. Back Country is Ande’s softest monofilament, perfect for light tackle and long casts. Monofilament has less memory than fluorocarbon, so it doesn’t loop when it leaves the spool. Big game anglers prefer monofilament because the stretch allows a fish to surge and jump without breaking the line or pulling the hook. Mono improves knot strength and doesn’t tangle as easily as braided line. With so many super lines on the market, there is still a place for classic monofilament in the tackle box.

6. PowerPro Maxcuatro

$28.99 | powerpro.com

Photo: Ric Burnley
Meet me in the middle. |Photo: Ric Burnley

Thinner line increases casting distance by decreasing wind resistance. Braided lines cast farther because they are significantly thinner than similar-strength monofilament. For example, 45-pound-test braided line would have the same diameter as six-pound monofilament. PowerPro Maxcuatro is 25 percent thinner than their eight-carrier braided line for longer casting distance.

The new line, winner of Best Fishing Line at ICAST, is constructed of Honeywell Spectra HT fibers that are 15-times stronger than steel. As anglers go farther and deeper to catch fish, they are realizing the advantages of four-carrier braided line.

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