What Is Copolymer Fishing Line? (And Why You Want To Use It)

What Is Copolymer Fishing Line? (And When You Want To Use It)

If you're ready to re-spool your reel and hit the lake, you might want to think twice before winding up the time-tested mono-filament line that you're probably used to. 

There's a more advanced option available, and while it's not great for everything, there are plenty of reasons for you to consider it. Today, we're talking about copolymer fishing line. 

What Is Copolymer Fishing Line?


Copolymer line is basically a more advanced version of mono-filament line. However, it's made from two types of nylon polymers, and mono line is made from one. 

The combination of two polymers pretty much gets rid of all of the quirks that mono-filament line has. It's stronger, less likely to tangle, and way more resistant to abrasion. 

It's best to look at it as a solid cross between braided line and mono line, and it has a couple characteristics of fluorocarbon. However, it doesn't have nearly as many drawbacks as those lines do. We'll get into the details in the following sections. 

One thing that I think you should know is that it's not cheap. Copolymer line can easily cost as much as the top fluorocarbon and braided line brands, and it usually has to be replaced just as quickly as cheap mono-filament line. 

That's not to say that it's not worth its price, but you should expect to pay top dollar for such an advanced and beneficial type of line. 

When You Should Use Copolymer Line?

You can use copolymer in pretty much any type of fishing situation. It combines a lot of the benefits of every other type of line, and it doesn't have much holding it back. 

The one exception I would make to that is when you're fishing with top water lures. Copolymer sinks very quickly when it hits the water, and that can throw off the action of your Booyah frogs, poppers, and other top water lures. You're better off using braided line or something similar for that application. 

However, it's great for bass fishing with suspending jerkbaits and swimbaits, and it will perform just as well with other lures that work under the water's surface. My favorite time to use it is when I'm targeting monster-sized bass with lures that swim deeply. 

It's also a good idea to use copolymer line if you're targeting something that requires a hard hook set. This is because other lines tend to stretch a bit too much, and that wastes a lot of the force that you put behind your rod when you're setting your hook. 

Copolymer vs Monofilament


While copolymer line is similar to mono-filament line, there are several characteristics that set the two apart from one another. 

It Sinks


First, mono-filament doesn't sink very well. It will eventually sink because it absorbs water pretty quickly, but it doesn't do it on its own. In contrast, copolymer line will sink as soon as it hits the water, and it doesn't absorb water while it sinks. 

It's Hard To See


Mono-filament is also fairly easy for fish to see. This is due to impurities in the line, and while people have been successfully fishing with it for decades, it still lowers your chance of using lures successfully. 

Copolymer doesn't have that problem. It's nearly as transparent as fluorocarbon. Manufacturers have to put a lot more time and energy into removing impurities from the line's polymers before creating their products, and that extra attention to detail makes it nearly invisible in the water.

It Has Very Little Memory

Memory is a huge problem when you use mono-filament. Mono-filament line tends to conform to the shape of your reel over time, and that leads to it coming off in a sort of spiral when you cast. That can lead to it tangling, breaking easily, or losing its casting distance. 

Copolymer line has almost no memory. So, you won't have to replace it due to it becoming twisted and gnarled like you would mono-filament. 

It's Stronger


Finally, copolymer is a lot stronger than mono-filament. You can find mono-filament line that can handle a lot of weight, but it's usually absurdly thick, and you can't get a lot of it on your spool. 

That extra strength helps its durability, too. It doesn't get weaker when you put knots in it, and debris in the water has a much harder time damaging it. 

Pros and Cons Of Copolymer Fishing Line

No type of fishing line is 100 percent perfect. Copolymer gets pretty close to perfection, but it does have a couple of flaws. You can decide if it's still worth using by comparing the pros and cons in this list.

Pros:

  • It's very strong, and it can rival braided line in most reasonable circumstances.
  • Its sinking ability makes it great for fishing beneath the surface with swimbaits and jerkbaits.
  • Knots don't tend to damage it as much as they do most other lines. That means that, unlike with fluorocarbon line, you won't have to master new knots to keep it from flying off when you cast.
  • Its low-stretch nature makes it easier for you to set hooks and land fish.
  • While it's not quite as transparent as fluorocarbon, it comes pretty close.

Cons:

  • It costs a lot more than mono-filament, and the added benefits aren't necessary for some lighter forms of fishing.
  • While its sinking ability is great for most lures and live baits, it makes it difficult to use top water baits like frogs and poppers.
  • Its nylon construction means that you'll have to replace it just as often as mono-filament due to sun damage. You won't have to worry about tangles as much, but UV rays still tear it up.
  • Sometimes you just don't need a fancy line. If you're targeting something like Bluegill from the bank, you're better off using mono-filament. Save your expensive copolymer line for more demanding fish.

Final Thoughts

Copolymer line is gaining a lot of traction with anglers, and that's for a very good reason. Copolymer line is better than traditional mono-filament in nearly every way, and it can compete with braided and fluorocarbon line in most situations. 

However, it's not perfect. If you're into using frogs, poppers, and similar lures, you'll want to use something else. You might want to save it for more difficult fish, too. It's not a cheap line.

You Might Also Like...

I wanted to wrap up this post by sharing a few of my favorite copolymer fishing lines with you. As of right now, my top go-to copolymer line is the P-line CXX Copolymer fishing line.  I've found that the CXX is extremely resistant to abrasion and casts very well with a nice silky smooth release from the reel. You can check all of them out below. 

About the Author

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure. I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!