When heading down to the river (or lake, or sea..) for the day, you’ve always got to make a decision on what color fishing line to take with you.
And it goes without saying that the most useful colored fishing line is the one that the fish can’t see!
If your choice is between Green Fishing Line vs Clear Line, which one should you take with you? Which fishing line is the least visible in the water?
Well let me tell you that as you get older it can be hard to tell any different colored fishing lines apart. Both Clear and Green line will become invisible to you!
(Let’s hope that works the same for the fish!)
But there are a few tips that you should keep in mind when choosing whether to spool up the clear fishing line or the green line.
When Should I Use Green Fishing Line vs Clear Line?
There’s a pretty straightforward answer to this one, so try not to laugh at me (or yourself!) when you read this next bit.
You should let the water color dictate what color fishing line you are going to use.
Green Fishing Line goes best when you are fishing in water that has a Green tint. Think water bodies that are a bit murky or somewhere with a lot of aquatic plants growing in the water.
If you’ve got stained water with vegetation a plenty then you probably should be using green line.
Clear Fishing Line is best used when you are in a lake or river that is nice and clear. Fresh flowing streams, crystal clear lakes and even the ocean on a good day are examples of places where you would want to be using clear fishing line.
If you’ve got a clear day with 40 foot of visibility in the water you probably should be using clear line.
Murky Dark Water = Green Fishing Line
Clean and Clear Water = Clear Fishing Line
Simple enough. But what about the fish? Can they even see different colored fishing lines?
Can Trout See Green Fishing Line?
Of all the fish I’ve chased I have always found Trout to be the most sensitive fish to changes in line colors.
In terms of choosing green fishing line vs clear line, I get far more trout biting when I use clear line!
Not only are Trout picky about line color, but they seem to react differently to changes in fishing line size too. The smaller line I use the more trout I catch.
If you don’t believe me then give it a try for yourself. Spool up some #6 Green Line and spend a day on the water. Then try some #4 Green Line. Switch it up and have a cast with some #4 Clear Line on your reel and then have a crack fishing with #2 Clear line.
I always catch more trout when fishing with #2 Clear fishing line.
So in my experience, trout can absolutely see green fishing line! And they can see large size fishing line too.
The smaller the line and the clearer the color, the more chance you have of catching a trout.
But be careful when going too small if there’s bigger fish around as your line is more likely to snap!
Is Green Fishing Line Good for Bass?
Now Bass are not as sensitive to line color as Trout, but that doesn’t mean that your choice of line color doesn’t matter.
Every choice you make as a fisherman matters! From you choice of rod to what jigs you use on the day.
If you are using spinnerbaits for bass then keep in mind that these are fished at quite a pace. The retrieve is quick to keep that baby moving! So line color will matter less compared with when you are fishing with worms or other jigs that sit around in the water for a longer period of time.
The longer you give a bass to spot your line the more likely they are to see it!
And although I haven’t been able to run the same tests using different line sizes for Bass as I have with Trout, I would find it strange for one fish to be sensitive to line color and for it to have zero affect on another.
It’s definitely a factor in play here, but I let the water color make the decision for me here.
If you’re chasing bass with spinnerbait in a place with vegetation in the water, green fishing line is a good bet to get some bites. If you’re in gin clear water and using live bait, you can probably go with a better line color than green.
The Last Cast
Although those of us who are getting on a bit might not be able to see the different colors of fishing lines, the fish certainly can – especially Trout!
Even if you have your own strong personal opinions about which fishing line color is the best, remember that the different colored lines are only available in the shops because folks keep buying them.
If they didn’t catch any fish, they wouldn’t keep getting made!
Some people like to use different colored lines as an indication of what line weights they have spooled up.
- Green Line is 8lb line
- Clear line is 10lb line
- Fluorescent line is 12lb line
That might make things easy for the fisherman but it’s not much of a scientific approach as far as catching fish are concerned. It’s not my preferred way to choose line color. But as with everything in fishing, do what works for you.
There’s an old saying that applies here. You don’t change horses in midstream.
If you find yourself catching more fish with green fishing line vs clear line, then keep doing what you’re doing.
Because you’re obviously doing something right!
Do you have a preference on fishing line color that you want to share with us?
Let me know down below in the comments.