The best fishing line for crappie depends on several factors, including the fishing conditions, your rod, your reel, and your technique. As such, your ideal crappie fishing line may belong to any of the three main types; braided, monofilament, or fluorocarbon.
Today, we’re discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each type when it comes to crappie fishing and sharing our top picks in each category.
Our Pick: Best Fishing Line for Crappie
We recommend going with a braided line and a fluorocarbon leader when fishing for crappie. The braid + fluoro leader combo gives you the strength you want from braid, but the sensitivity and “invisibility” of the fluorocarbon.
Power Pro Spectra Braid is my absolute favorite braid line. It’s silky smooth for amazing casting and very durable. It’s a little bit more expensive than some other braids out there, but in my opinion, the extra cost is well worth it for the quality you get.
Similarly, Berkley Vanish is my go-to fluorocarbon for leaders. It’s designed to be invisible in the water which is perfect for those finicky crappies. You can tie the leader to the braid using an Albright or Alberto knot (or your favorite leader knot).
I know that not everyone wants to go through the effort of using a leader, so below you’ll find my favorite lines for crappie fishing. I’ve included braid, fluorocarbon, and monofilament lines in case you’ve got a preferred type. Let’s get into our best lines!
Best Braided Fishing Lines
Braided fishing lines offer anglers the highest amount of strength. Not only does this make them sturdy, but it also allows you to fit more of the line on the reel, thanks to having a narrower diameter.
Thanks to the lack of memory on braided fishing lines, you don’t need to worry about your line curling out of the reel.
Sensitivity is another one of braid-type lines’ strongest areas. The virtually non-existent stretch enables you to feel every tug on the line, so you can tell right away if a crappie has taken your lure.
This, however, poses a risk of ripping the crappie’s mouth after it bites due to hard hooking on account of the no-stretch feature. To avoid harming the paper-thin mouth of your fish, be sure to adjust your drag beforehand.
Now, let’s take a look at our favorite braided lines for crappie fishing:
SuperPower Braided Fishing Line by KastKing
Available in tests ranging from 6 pounds up to 150 pounds, the KastKing SuperPower line offers plenty of strength, sensitivity, and abrasion resistance.
You’ll feel the bite of the crappie immediately since there’s no stretch. This is particularly handy when fishing in deep water.
Unlike other types of lines, this one can endure exposure to sunlight for many hours without breaking. Made from double-knit fabric, the low-vis grey color is more suitable for catching line sensitive crappies.
- Very durable
- Comes in lower line tests
- Zero stretch
Stealth Braid Fishing Line by SpiderWire
When it comes to casting a far distance, the SpiderWire Stealth line is the best for the job. It’s available in tests as low as 10 pounds and is made out of polyethylene microfibers to boost strength.
You won’t have to worry about the line breaking in longer casts, while the high sensitivity will alert you of any biting in no time.
Thanks to its fluorocarbon coating, this line offers better sleekness and enhanced waterproofing. However, the knot strength isn’t ideal.
- Excellent sensitivity
- Doesn’t tangle
- Casts smoothly
- Knot strength
Best Monofilament Fishing Lines
Being affordable and versatile makes monofilament fishing lines very popular among anglers. This line type is good for catching crappies when you need low visibility in the water because of its transparency.
That said, monofilament lines are quite stretchy, which means their sensitivity is lower so detecting bites is more difficult. However, this stretch helps in softer hook sets that are better suited for crappie.
Monofilament lines are highly resistant to abrasions and can hold their own when fighting crappie. They’re affected by UV rays, so keep them away from the sun whenever possible.
Now, let’s take a look at our favorite monofilament lines for crappie fishing:
Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line by Berkley
Extremely resistant to abrasions, the Berkley Trilene Big Game is one of the most common fishing lines seen on fishing trips thanks to its toughness and great value for money.
This line is easy to make into knots and offers impressive shock strength that can handle more stubborn crappies. It’s also available in tests ranging from 8 pounds up to 300 pounds to give you a wide variety of choices.
As is common with most monofilament lines, the line will have a fair amount of memory. Line memory is when the line stays in the shape of your reel causing it to “curl” as it comes off the spool. A lot of times you’ll have line that seems to want to jump off the spool which you’ll need to keep an eye on. This is common of most monofilament lines but can be helped by using a line relaxer.
- Very tough
- Moves smoothly across guides
- Easy to knot
- Increased memory
High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line by Stren
From the renowned brand Stren, the High Impact line is the go-to option if you’re low on budget but need something that’ll withstand the toughest of conditions. While crappie don’t usually put up a hard fight, it pays off to use a line that you can trust.
This monofilament line is one of the clearest we’ve encountered, which is suitable for low visibility crappie fishing. And of course, its super affordable which is a big plus.
- Outstanding low visibility
- High durability
- Low price
- Prone to tangling, especially if you’re a beginner
Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines
Fluorocarbon fishing lines are practically invisible, which means that crappie won’t be able to spot them, increasing your chances of scoring a catch.
This type of line is a middle ground between braided and monofilament in terms of stretchiness. It also possesses less memory than monofilament lines, so curling out of the reel is less likely.
What’s more, fluorocarbon lines are exceptionally resistant to abrasions which makes them great for use as a leader. That being said, fluorocarbon lines tend to be slightly more expensive than their monofilament counterparts.
Now, let’s take a look at our favorite fluorocarbon lines for crappie fishing:
Vanish Fluorocarbon Fishing Line by Berkley
Berkley’s Vanish fishing line is simply incredible against abrasion and friction. Its durability has been improved while its strength underwater remains intact thanks to the non-absorbing quality of the line’s material.
This line also reflects light in the same spectrum as water, turning it 100% translucent in water. Not to mention, it sinks quickly and offers great flexibility.
- 100% clear underwater
- Relatively pricey
What to Consider before Choosing a Fishing Line for Crappie
There are about a dozen points to consider when shopping for a fishing line, here are a few of the most important ones:
- Width — less width means less visibility, stronger knots, faster sink rate, and more line on the reel. Braided lines are superior in this aspect.
- Strength — you don’t need lots of strength to tackle a crappie, something between 4 and 10 pound test should be enough.
- Stretch — higher stretch means less sensitivity to bites, while lower stretch helps you detect bites easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
What pound test line should I use for crappie fishing?
In most cases, you will want to use something in the 4 lb to 8 lb test range. This will vary slightly depending on the conditions and type of fishing you are doing, but as a general rule of thumb, I’d suggest using the lightest test line you can while still being able to fish effectively.
Can crappie see fishing line?
Yes, crappie can likely see fishing line under the right conditions. A lot of line visibility is dependent on water clarity. In muddy or murky water, it’s much harder for crappie to see the line. In deep clear water like some of the great lakes, seeing the line is much easier.
That being said, it’s unclear whether or not line visibility has an impact on crappie catch rates. Some people use high visibility line to detect strikes better and don’t have any issues. Others rely on fluoro leaders to “hide” their line. Ultimately, our suggestion is to find a happy medium that works for you. There are pros and cons to each type of line, and it’s up to you to find the mix that puts more fish in your boat!
What color fishing line is best for crappie?
Most people agree that any high vis line is the best for crappie. High vis line allows you to detect even the slightest of strikes because the line sticks out like a sore thumb on the water.
The downside to high vis line is that some people feel like the fish can see the line and it decreases your strike rate. Tying on a fluorocarbon leader can eliminate this concern as it’s nearly invisible once in the water.
Although not as popular, some people use straight non-high vis braid with no leader, in which case any gray, green, or brown line would be best.
As you can tell by now, the best fishing line for crappie depends on what type of rig you’re using, your skill level, the conditions you’re fishing in, and your budget. There is no one right answer for every situation, but I hope that the information above helps highlight what options are available to you. Whether it’s a braided, monofilament, or fluorocarbon line, we hope our guide helps you catch more crappie. Tight lines!