Want to Catch More Crappie? Best Fishing Line for Crappie Explained and Reviewed

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit

Crappie anglers know that “papermouths” demand a light hookset. And to help, they often choose ultralight rods for their sensitivity and finesse, pairing this gear with carefully selected line. But not every angler opts for ultralight, and if you fish crappie with anything stouter, line choice becomes even more important.

Which line is the best for crappie? You can search the internet, but opinions vary.

Some fishermen stick with options like tried-and-true mono. Others tout the sensitivity of braid or the low visibility of fluorocarbon. Good answers are hard to come by. And when you add the sometimes misleading effects of advertising–well, it can leave your head spinning!

But whether you’re a crappie expert or new to the sport, you need the best advice you can get. We’d like to help, so keep reading!

Below, we discuss what we look for when selecting our line for crappie–and explain why. We also review some of our favorites, helping you make an informed decision.

Here’s a quick glance of the best fishing line for crappie on the market today:

ImageLineTypeWeightsColors
Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 200 Yard Fishing Line (12-Pound)Seaguar InvizxFluorocarbon4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25Clear
Spiderwire SCS15G-125 Braided Stealth Superline, Moss Green, 15 Pound, 125 YardsSpiderWire StealthBraid6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 250High-Vis Yellow, Moss Green, Blue Camo, Camo, Pink, and Translucent
Suffix 832 Braid 20 lb Low-Vis Green 150 yardsSufix 832Braid6, 8, 13, 18, 20, 26, 30, 39, 50, 63, 79, 86, 99Camo, Coastal Camo, Ghost, Low-Vis Green, Neon Lime, High-Vis Yellow, and Multi-Color
Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing LineSunline Super FC SniperFluorocarbon5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20Clear
Stren OriginalStren OriginalMonofilament4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, 25, 30Clear, Clear Blue Fluorescent, Hi-Vis Gold, Low-Vis Green
McCoy Fishing Line, Mean Green, 250-Yard/25-PoundMcCoy Mean GreenMonofilament2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25, 30Mean Green, Clear Blue Fluorescent, and Xtra Clear

A Quick Guide to Line Choice: Our Recommendations

There’s no “best” line for crappie, but the best choice for you depends on your tackle, technique, and the conditions you’re fishing in. It’s a question of weighing strengths against weaknesses, and we recommend you do your homework.

Tackle

Ultralight rods

Ultralight rods bend like whips, providing plenty of cushion on hooksets. As a result, they’re generally more forgiving of line choice than other options for crappie.

If you’re fishing a quality ultralight rod like a St. Croix, you can afford to run braid as your main line, even without a cushioning leader. This setup will provide you with excellent sensitivity and awesome casting, though it will sacrifice knot strength and low-visibility. Where visibility is an issue, you’ll need to tie on a mono or fluoro leader.

Nylon monofilament and fluorocarbon are great choices as well. Mono will offer you the most cushion, excellent knot integrity, easy handling, great casting, and near invisibility. For its part, fluorocarbon is more sensitive than mono, and if you follow our line recommendations below, it’s roughly as good in terms of everything else.

In short, ultralight rods are going to give you the widest range of choices.

Light/medium-light rods

Not every angler likes ultralight, and plenty of fishermen can’t afford a dedicated crappie rod. If you prefer a more powerful rod, or that’s the rod you’ve got, you’ll need to be more careful about line choice.

If you need to use braid to provide long-casting sensitivity, we recommend that you use a monofilament leader to help provide the ‘give’ to avoid tearing your hooks free from “papermouths.” It’s cheaper than fluoro, and no less durable.

Fluorocarbon is another choice for leader material, but be aware that it’s more expensive, more difficult to tie properly, generally less robust at the knot, and in practice, no more invisible than quality mono.

Spinning reels

Be aware that most spinning reels don’t like fluorocarbon–and that’s doubly true for ultralight reels. That’s because fluoro is generally stiffer than either mono or braid, retaining memory of the spool and being prone to slip over the end, causing plenty of headaches.

The fluorocarbons we review below are exceptions, and they should be trouble-free on spinning tackle. But if you want to play it safe, choose mono or braid.

Technique

Jigging

If you’re after crappie with a jig, especially in deeper water, nylon monofilament and fluorocarbon aren’t going to be great choices. Both feature too much memory, and will likely cause your jig to twirl and dance in a way that is most definitely not attractive to crappie.

If you’re fishing ultralight, we recommend braid, either with a mono leader or on its own depending on water conditions. If you’re fishing anything heavier, we recommend braid with a long leader, maybe as much as six to ten feet. That’ll help provide the cushion you need for your hookset.

Treble-hooked lures

Pretty much any choice will work here with ultralight tackle, but as you step up in power, look toward mono for shock strength and give. If you don’t have an ultralight setup, and you need to run braid for the casting distance it offers, we recommend a longer leader.

Nymphing

If you’re fishing crappie with techniques that demand a high-vis line to see strikes, or if your eyes aren’t quite what they used to be, nylon mono is the way to go. It’s usually offered in high-vis colors like gold, orange, and shades of neon.

Some braids are also offered in contrasting hues.

Night fishing

If you like to fish at night, we recommend mono. Many brands offer monofilament that fluoresces under blacklight, making line handling and tying a snap in the dark.

Trolling and spider rigging

Line choice can be complicated if you troll or spider rig. If you need high-visibility, mono is often the best choice. But if you’re concerned about snags, heavier braid might be a better option.

Corks

If you use a cork attached to a leader to fish live bait or jigs, and find that you’re losing too many corks when you get snagged, a heavier-weight braid between your rod and the cork can be the answer. In that case, you’ll probably want to move up in rod power to light or medium-light from ultralight, and still run mono from your cork to your terminal tackle.

Conditions

When you need long casts

If you need to cast a country mile, you have two choices: light braid or nylon monofilament. Avoid fluorocarbon in this case, as it’s generally inferior in casting distance to either of the alternatives.

When abrasion is a problem

Shockingly, monofilament is often the most abrasion resistant choice, beating out both braid and fluorocarbon. Braid is generally the weakest of the three in this category, and we recommend avoiding it where you think you’ll be rubbing your line against piers, piling, stumps, or rocks.

Some anglers still choose braid, but they step up weight to increase line diameter. We’re not convinced that this is as effective as it sounds, and we’ll be conducting some tests soon to get a definitive answer!

Clear water

In clear water, low-vis line is key. As a result, if you must use braid, you’ll need a leader. Otherwise, we recommend mono or fluorocarbon.

Stained or muddy water

In murky water, your choices of line expand to include running braid with no leader. Just be sure to match your line color to your particular needs, and your choice to the rod and reel you’re fishing.

Line Weights

This can be a contentious topic, especially for braid enthusiasts who insist that one of the advantages of braided superline is its tiny diameter for test. They’ll then run much heavier braid that’s a comparable diameter to much weaker mono or fluoro.

Let’s consider this carefully.

There are some circumstances in which running a heavier-weight braid makes sense, for instance, when you’re losing corks to snags. But in most situations, line heavier than six pounds is overkill, and it just robs you of longer casting distances.

Yes, professional anglers will spool up high-test line in order to muscle bass into their boats no matter what. But we’re not convinced that the average fisherman needs to follow suit. Indeed, what makes sense in a tournament isn’t always a good idea on a weekend fishing trip.

Cappie are a blast to catch, but they just don’t get that big! And while the world record is about five pounds for both black and white, usual weights are about ½ to 1 ½ pounds!

For that reason, and for most techniques, there’s simply no reason to run line heavier than eight pounds, and we think four and six are usually the best choices.

Best Fishing Line For Crappie Reviewed

Seaguar Invizx

Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 200 Yard Fishing Line (12-Pound)
Amazon 

Type: Fluorocarbon

Weights: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25

Colors: Clear

Seaguar Invizx demonstrates the future of fluorocarbon as main line. It’s simply outstanding: clear, sensitive, and amazingly strong at the knot. You’ll pay a premium for this excellence, but this is among the very best fluorocarbons available.

Indeed, where Invizx shines is handling and knot strength, areas that are not usually the best features of fluoro. It’s supple, tangle-free, and admirably limp, and unlike most of its ilk, works well on spinning reels. On ultralight tackle, it probably won’t perform on par with braid or mono, but it’s among the best handling fluoros on the market.

Its knot strength is simply unbeatable, solving a common problem for fluoro. With a well-tied Palomar, your line will give before the knots go–an incredible display of strength. Seaguar must be doing some real magic behind the scenes, because this is better than even the best nylon monofilaments!

It’s also very sensitive, and if you need low-vis ‘feel,’ this is among your best options.

The Invizx stays clear during use, and we have no issues with the coating being shed.

If this line has a weakness, it’s poor abrasion resistance. Like all fluoros, we recommend you keep this out of the rough stuff.

Pros:

  • Good casting
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Awesome knot strength!
  • Low-vis

Cons:

  • Poor abrasion resistance
  • No high-vis options
  • Expensive

SpiderWire Stealth

Spiderwire SCS15G-125 Braided Stealth Superline, Moss Green, 15 Pound, 125 Yards
Amazon 

Type: Braid

Weights: 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 250

Colors: High-Vis Yellow, Moss Green, Blue Camo, Camo, Pink, and Translucent

Strands: multiple braided yarns

Material: Dyneema treated with fluoropolymer

SpiderWire Stealth is spectacular braided line that’s available in an extensive range of weights and colors.

Ron Kiegl describes SpiderWire Stealth’s composition: “To make Dyneema fiber into fishing line, you start with almost invisible strands of fiber with diameters measuring only microns – this is comparable to the width of a fine human hair. Then you take all these tiny filaments and bundle them together to make a multi-strand yarn. Next, a number of these multi-strand yarns, 4, 6, 8, or as many as 12 or 16 yarns, are braided together to make a strong, durable structure with the flexibility and strength required.”

After this, it’s coated with fluoropolymer to improve its roundness, smoothness, waterproofing, and abrasion resistance.

The result is a very strong, very slick line that casts exceptionally well. And because line stretch is minimal on braid, it’s extremely sensitive. But be aware that braided line typically displays poor knot strength. If this worries you, we recommend you look to Stren, McCoy Mean Green, or Seaguar Invizx.

For braid, its color choices are pretty good, and there are quite a few options for different conditions and needs. Unfortunately, SpiderWire Stealth tends to fade pretty quickly in the water.

We like this line’s performance overall, and if we’re running braid on an ultralight, we would gladly reach for it.

Pros:

  • Exceptional casting
  • Very sensitive
  • Good color choices

Cons:

  • Weak knot strength
  • Poor colorfastness
  • Not low-vis

Sufix 832

Suffix 832 Braid 20 lb Low-Vis Green 150 yards
Amazon 

Type: Braid

Weights: 6, 8, 13, 18, 20, 26, 30, 39, 50, 63, 79, 86, 99

Colors: Camo, Coastal Camo, Ghost, Low-Vis Green, Neon Lime, High-Vis Yellow, and Multi-Color.

Strands: 8

Material: Dyneema plus a GORE fiber

Sufix 832 has won an almost cult-like following in the fishing community, and we appreciate why. Colorfast, strong, and long-casting, it’s our favorite braid.

Sufix is all about high-tech. Their unique approach–using a fiber developed by GORE that’s braided together with seven Dyneema fibers–improves strength, casting, and abrasion resistance. If you feel this line with your fingers, you can confirm that it’s round and smooth, and a few casts will win you over!

Indeed, casting is superb with this line, and unlike many braids with a heavy coating, Sufix 832 doesn’t shed tiny particles all over your gear, bleed onto your reel, or feel stiff in your hands.

Available in a wide range of weights and colors, there’s something for everyone and nearly every technique. As is to be expected with all braided line, you should anticipate some fading–though Sufix 832 is among the most colorfast braids we tried.

It does have a drawback that’s common to all braids: weak knot strength. In rigorous testing, Sufix 832 started experiencing knot failure at about half its rated test. That’s just the nature of braid, and something to consider.

Pros:

  • Exceptional casting
  • Good colorfastness
  • Good color choices
  • Very sensitive

Cons:

  • Poor knot strength
  • Not exceptionally abrasion resistant
  • Not low-vis

Sunline Super FC Sniper

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Amazon 

Type: Fluorocarbon

Weights: 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20

Colors: Clear

Sunline Super FC Sniper features a triple resin coating for improved limpness, handling, and abrasion resistance, and the result is superior casting for fluorocarbon. We’re not sure if it’s as good as comparable mono or braid, but it’s very, very close. In fact, this line is limp enough that we’d run it on a spinning reel!

In use, Sunline’s FC Sniper shows great abrasion resistance and excellent sensitivity. As a trade-off between mono and braid, FC Sniper has a lot to offer when you need ‘feel’ and low visibility without sacrificing casting distance.

If it has a weakness, it’s that its knot strength just isn’t as awesome as Seaguar Invizx, Stren, or McCoy Mean Green. That’s just a simple fact, and something to keep in mind.

Pros:

  • Great abrasion resistance
  • Good casting
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Low-vis

Cons:

  • Poor knot strength
  • Expensive
  • No high-vis options

Stren Original

Stren Original
Amazon 

Type: Nylon Monofilament

Weights: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, 25, 30

Colors: Clear, Clear Blue Fluorescent, Hi-Vis Gold, Low-Vis Green

Stren Original might have been the first line you ever tied, and for many anglers, its packaging will bring back memories of childhood. But as line tech has improved, more than a few have shelved the Stren for fluorocarbon and braid. Nevertheless, a fair-minded assessment suggests you might want to rethink that!

Available in both low- and high-vis options, as well as fluorescent for night fishing, there’s a color for nearly any condition. Clear and Low-Vis Green are always solid choices, and with Hi-Vis Gold for nymphing or aging eyes, Stren has its bases covered.

Mono is generally tough stuff, superior to both braid and fluorocarbon when it comes to abrasion resistance. It makes excellent, inexpensive leader material, and Stren Original is among the toughest of the monos on the market. If you need long casting and a bit of cushion in your hookset, or your fishing around stumps, rocks, and pilings, we’d give this line a very serious look.

Stren’s line is pretty limp, leading to amazing casts, and it ties easily–as you’d expect.

Its sensitivity was something of another surprise top us. We find that Stren is pretty good at detecting light strikes, even with a lot of line in the water. While it’s not going to offer slack-line sensitivity to rival fluorocarbon or the feel of braid, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Pros:

  • Very low memory
  • Excellent casting
  • Night fishing options available
  • High-visibility options available
  • Outstanding abrasion resistance
  • Easy to tie
  • Adequate sensitivity
  • Inexpensive

McCoy Mean Green

McCoy Fishing Line, Mean Green, 250-Yard/25-Pound
Amazon 

Type: Nylon Monofilament

Weights: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25, 30

Colors: Mean Green, Clear Blue Fluorescent, and Xtra Clear

McCoy’s Mean Green is a copolymer monofilament that combines all the strengths you’d expect from mono, avoiding many of its weaknesses. As a result, it makes an excellent all-around choice for crappie.

Don’t let its name fool you: while this line is available in Mean Green, it’s also offered in Clear Blue Fluorescent and Xtra Clear. That Clear Blue is designed to glow in blacklight, making it an exceptional choice for night fishing. Mean Green does an admirable job disappearing into water that’s stained or murky, and we like Xtra Clear when we can see the bottom.

McCoy’s Mean Green is also extremely limp, especially in the lower tests you’ll be using. As a result, it has almost no memory, allowing it to cast like a dream. Is it as good as braid? We’re not sure.

Of course, it knots easily, too, and provides plenty of knot strength. Where that’s a concern, we’d recommend this over braided line.

Abrasion resistance is excellent, and we wouldn’t be afraid to run Mean Green where we expect a lot of contact with stumps or other underwater objects.

Pros:

  • Very low memory
  • Excellent casting
  • Night fishing options available
  • Low-vis options available
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • Easy to tie
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Not a lot of color options
  • Not as sensitive as braid or fluoro
  • No high-vis options

Final Thoughts

As we’ve said before, there’s no ‘best’ line for crappie, so look for the ideal choice for your specific needs. Any and all of our favorites will work well if you understand how and when to use them and assess their strengths and weaknesses carefully.

What do you think about our recommendations? And what’s your experience been choosing line for crappie?

We’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit

Leave a Comment