Fishing line is often considered an after thought because of how much attention we all give our reels and rods, but it’s just as important.
Different lines perform differently, and some of their characteristics will affect different fishermen in different ways.
I’ve picked my three favorite lines for catfish, and I’ve created detailed reviews of each one. The reviews will cover the basic specifications of each line, and I’ll tell you what I believe each line is best for. Let’s get started.
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The Best Fishing Line For Catfishing
1. KastKing World’s Premium
monofilament Fishing Line (Top Pick)
- Low Memory
- Abrasion resistant
- Low Absorption
KastKing’s mono-filament line comes in a variety of colors and transparency levels to make it a great choice for any type of water. You can also find it in a variety of strengths. So, you can use it for just about any type of fishing.
What sets KastKing’s mono-filament apart is its low memory and abrasion resistance. Most mono-filament lines are prone to memorizing the way they were wound on your spool, and that leads to bird’s nests forming at the worst times.
Mono-filament is also known for getting torn up by rocks and other debris under the water’s surface.
KastKing’s product resists both of those forms of damage far better than other mono-filament products.
Finally, this line is one of the few mono-filament products that doesn’t absorb a lot of water. Water absorption is a huge issue with mono-filament lines. It weighs the line down, makes it weaker, and creates unnecessary slack in the line when it’s cast.
The feature that makes this line a great choice for catfish is its abrasion resistance. Catfish try to take cover under rocks and structures when they’re hooked, and those obstacles are usually the reason you lose big catfish. The line gets cut by jagged edges. The abrasion resistance on this line helps to keep that from happening as much.
- Variety of colors
- Variety of strengths
- Low absorption rate
- Abrasion resistance
- Low memory
- Low memory keeps it from tangling.
- Abrasion resistance makes it good for pulling catfish out of their holes.
- A low absorption rate keeps the line from sinking and going limp as much.
- There’s not a lot of line on the spool. If you’re using a big catfish reel, you’ll have to buy another pack to ensure you have some to re-spool with in the field.
This is a great choice for targeting catfish if you like mono-filament. It doesn’t fully remove the issues that mono-filament lines typically suffer from, but it relieves them greatly. This is the line I would use for targeting Channel catfish and younger Flatheads or Blues.
2. KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line (Best Braided Line For Catfish)
- Strong knot strength
- Low memory
- Greater abrasion resistance
- Ultra-high sensitivity & Zero stretch
Braided line has always been a good choice for big catfish, but KastKing has improved upon it drastically.
Their SuperPower line packs the same strength of conventional braided lines into a smaller package. That relieves one of the main issues with braided lines. You usually can’t get much of it on your spool.
Like other braided lines, KastKing’s SuperPower line doesn’t stretch. That provides a couple of advantages. It makes it easier for you to set the hook, and it’s a lot more sensitive. So, you can tell when a catfish is gently nibbling your bait.
Besides that, SuperPower line also holds knots betters than other lines, and it has a lower memory than most other lines. The knot strength is good for obvious reasons, but the lower memory is often underappreciated. It’ll help prevent the bird’s nests that baitcasters are known for. You still have to use your reel properly, but it makes it a lot easier to do that.
- High knot strength
- Low memory
- Zero stretch
- Small diameter
- The high knot strength ensures you won’t lose a big fish to a slipped knot.
- The smaller diameter allows you put more of it on a spool.
- The non-existent stretch makes it more sensitive and easier to hook fish.
- It doesn’t sink, and catfish often hangout near the bottom. You’ll need extra weight to pull the line down to the bottom at a decent pace.
This is a great line to use when you’re targeting big Flatheads. It’s extremely strong, and your knots will hold up to the weight of a 60-pound Flathead. However, it’s a bit expensive. So, I recommend only using it when you’re going after those monster catfish.
3. Stren Catfish
monofilament Fishing Line (Best Bulk Line)
- Strong for lifting big catfish out of their holes
- Resists abrasion from rocks and other structure
- Glows in daylight and under black light
This Stren Catfish Mono is a great line for people on a budget, and it has one pretty unique feature.
This line comes in fluorescent-orange, and you can choose between 10 and 20-pound variants. The line may be orange, but it also glows in the dark. That’s great for those midnight trips to the catfish hole.
However, you can get stronger line in a thinner diameter if you go with braid. So, you should consider that before you jump on this one.
This line’s main strength is its inexpensive cost per yard. The 20-pound variant comes on a big spool with 270 yards of line wound on it. That’s plenty of line to spool river rods or large drum-style baitcasters.
- Glows in the dark
- Fluorescent orange
- Strong for mono-filament
- You get a lot of it for the same price as a small amount of KastKing Premium.
- The glow feature makes it great for night fishing.
- It’s plenty strong enough to haul in decent catfish.
- I wouldn’t use it for very large species. However, the average person is probably catching fish within the 15-30 pound range, and this is fine for that.
This wouldn’t be my go-to line for Flatheads or other large species, but it’s a great option for smaller catfish. It comes in large amounts, and it’s cheap. So, you can save your high-end line for tougher fish, and you can use this for fish that don’t put up much of a fight.
How To Choose The Right Fishing Line For Catfish
Targeting catfish isn’t as technical as targeting bass or tarpon. You typically only need to worry about three things:
- The strength of your setup compared to the strength of your target.
- The sensitivity of your setup.
- The drag that your reel can generate.
Besides your line’s strength and sensitivity ratings, you really just have to pick one based on personal preference. Different lines behave differently, and each fisherman will have their own preferred way to use them.
Here are the ways each line impacts your experience while fishing for catfish.
Mono-filament is typically the cheaper option. So, it’s accessible for fishermen with any type of budget. It’s also what most fishermen are used to. Your first rod was probably spooled with mono-filament line.
It’s cheap, effective, and easy to use. There’s not much more you can ask for when you’re sitting on the bank with a couple of cold ones.
However, it does have a few drawbacks that you should consider. Catfish can get pretty big, and your trusty spool of 8-pound line will snap the second a 60-pound Flathead jumps on it.
Mono-filament line that’s strong enough to handle those monster fish typically has to be pretty thick. That means that you can’t fit much of it onto your spool, and it doesn’t blend into the water as well.
It also takes on water pretty quickly. As it absorbs more and more water, it becomes less sensitive, and it can weaken.
You also have to worry about it stretching after you use it for a while. The stretching won’t be that noticeable when you first spool it, but as it keeps getting stretched, your line will go limp faster, and it’ll become weaker.
Don’t let those disadvantages persuade you not to use it, though. Before I started getting really into fishing for big fish, I could keep the same line on my reel for far more than a year, and I didn’t start noticing performance issues until I started targeting giant fish. It’s a great budget option, and it’s great for saving your expensive line for the fish that actually fight back.
Braided line is my go-to type of line for big fish. It’s extremely strong, and it doesn’t stretch. It also comes in thinner diameters than mono-filament of the same strength.
There aren’t many downsides to using braided line, but two of them stick out to me the most:
- It doesn’t sink.
- It’s expensive.
Braided line will not sink when you cast it. You could take a piece of line, throw it on the water, and it would just float around like a buoy. To get it to sink to decent depths, you have to weigh it down a bit.
That’s not a huge drawback, but sometimes it throws me off when I’m switching from mono-filament.
Its price can also be an issue. Since it’s more difficult to produce, it can often cost two or three times as much as a really good spool of mono-filament. If you’re just starting your fishing journey, that high price can be a bit daunting.
Luckily, it lasts a long time, and it’s an investment that you won’t regret. I recommend keeping the rod you use for big catfish spooled with braided line, and use a cheaper line for other fish species that don’t require that much strength.
The type of line you choose is entirely up to you. Each one can be used to catch large catfish, and neither type is objectively better than the other. However, you do need to pick one that is made by a reputable manufacturer, and you need to pick the variation that matches what you’ll be going after.
The three options I listed here will satisfy any fisherman trying to target catfish, and I highly recommend that you start with one of these three.
- Low Memory
- Abrasion resistant
- Low Absorption