Do Braided Lines Spook Fish? What Fish and Can’t See

Braided lines are popular for their many benefits. However, their most problematic drawback is their visibility underwater, which can reduce your chance of getting more catches.

So, do braided lines spook fish? Braided lines can spook fish. They are the most visible line, especially in clear water, so fish are more likely to be wary of them. However, if you’re using a clear line like monofilament or fluorocarbon as your leader, you won’t have any issues with fish getting spooked.

Continue reading to learn more about what fish can actually see and why color makes a difference when it comes to choosing a braided line.

How Can Fish See?

a close up of fish eyes to show why do braided lines spook fish

It’s important to consider how most fish’s vision works since it plays a huge role in their ability to survive and can factor greatly in how you can catch them.

Research shows that a fish’s vision could be almost comparable to a human’s and might even be more advanced.

Like humans, Fish retinas contain both cones for color vision as well as rods for black and white vision.

During the day, fish mainly use cones for vision. While at night, they rely more on the rods, which provide them with higher light sensitivity and more resolution.

This process of switching between using cones instead of rods (and then back again) may take two hours. A predatory fish whose eyes are able to adjust more quickly than the eyes of a forage fish will have the most advantage during dawn and dusk, that’s part of the reason why these times often provide the best fishing.

Can Fish See Colors?

Many fish species have a well-developed color vision. That means they can see and distinguish a range of colors underwater.

The range of colors fish can see varies depending on light conditions and water clarity.

In clear water where light penetration is good, most fish can see in more detail and in a wider range of colors.

In turbid or colored water where light penetration is low, it’s less likely that fish can see well. In this type of environment, their vision isn’t the most useful, so they become more dependent on other senses like smell and taste for navigation and locating food.

Does the Color of Fishing Line Matter?   

Color does matter when it comes to fishing lines.

It is recommended to choose a line color that blends well with the water so it can be as hard as possible for fish to see

There are several color options available for each type of line. So, it’s good to keep in mind that the color line you choose varies depending on the environment where you are fishing or if you want to be able to see your line underwater.

For fluorocarbon lines, there are only two color options – clear and pink. The difference in visibility between a clear and pink fluorocarbon line isn’t that important.

  • In most conditions, clear fluorocarbon lines are the least visible and most reliable because they have almost the same refractive index as water making them almost invisible.
  • While with a pink fluorocarbon line, the color disappears entirely at certain depths of water.

You can check my picks for this year’s best fluorocarbon lines here that suit every budget.

Monofilament lines on the other hand come in a number of different colors, each more suitable for different water conditions.

  • Clear lines are best to use for clear water or for any condition. That is because the clear color has low visibility no matter what the conditions of the water are.
  • Blue lines are also known as clear blue or fluorescent blend the best in offshore waters. It’s a good option because they’re visible for anglers above water and almost invisible underwater. As the line sinks deeper, the blue line will become white.
  • Yellow lines are suitable for muddy or murky waters. They are also a good option for anglers who want a line they can easily see above and below the water
  • Green lines are the most suitable for water with vegetation or weed in it because the water will have a green tint that will allow the line to blend well with it.
  • Red lines are suitable for deep-sea fishing because it becomes more invisible as it goes deeper.

You can check my picks for the best monofilament lines for the money here.

What Line Color Is Best for a Braided Line?

To put it simply, there is no certain color of the braided line that has proved to be better for fishing. Braided lines are opaque, so pretty much any color you choose will be visible to fish under the water. But that shouldn’t prevent anglers from keeping color in mind when choosing a braided line.

Like monofilament lines, it’s recommended to choose a line color that blends with water to make it as unnoticeable as possible.

  • White and blue blend best in clear water.
  • Yellow and Green blend best in colored or muddy water.

To overcome the braided line’s visibility issue, many anglers opt to attach fluorocarbon leaders to their braided lines. This way they can get the benefits of braided lines like strength and casting accuracy, as well as, the invisibility of fluorocarbon.

How to Choose a Braided Line?

There are characteristics other than visibility to consider when it comes to choosing a braided line such as its

  • Breaking strain – braided line has a high breaking strain because of their small diameter
  • Durability – it can last much longer than other lines because it’s more resistant to damage
  • Elasticity – it has no stretching capabilities which makes it more sensitive and allows for higher casting accuracy
  • Memory – it has no memory making it less prone to tangling
  • Cost – it’s more expensive than other types and its cost can vary depending on the quality of the brand.

But, perhaps the most important characteristic to consider is the construction of the braid or the number of strands that make up the braid.

Braided lines are made up of several strands of fiber woven together in bundles to make a single line. The most common constructions are compositions of 4 or 8 bundles of fiber.

Let’s look at this quick comparison between the two compositions:

Four-Strand LineEight-Strand Line
This line gives the most strength because of its rough finish.The line gives better casting accuracy and further casting distance.
The fewer number of strands gives it higher abrasion resistance.It has a smoother finish, making it quieter when passing through the rod guides.
It’s tougher and more durableIt’s can be more expensive

Related Questions

Can Fish See Braided Line?

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

Is 1-lb braid stronger than 10lb mono?

Yes, a 1-lb braid is stronger than a 10lb mono. That is because braided lines have a smaller diameter than monofilament lines. The smaller the diameter of a line is, the higher its breaking strain.

How to Use a Braided Line with a Spinning Reel?

You can use a braided line with a spinning reel by spooling your reel with a suitable backing. The most effective way to do this is by securing tape on the spool or by using a monofilament line.

Helpful Resources 

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