Modern day carp fishing presents such a diverse range of scenarios that choosing the best line to use can vary hugely, and as such, there are so many different options to choose from. A lot of anglers don’t really pay much attention to their line choice, with many just choosing a line by its breaking strain. However, line can massively improve or impair your angling depending on the line you choose and the scenario you’re using it in.
Line choice can impact your ability to cast a long way, it can reduce or enhance your feeling of what the lakebed is made up of and it can also cause you to lose fish if it unsuitable for the situation you’re using it in. Some lines come with smooth coatings and low diameters to help you hit long distances, others are very thick and durable to help pull fish through weed, and then there are more specialised lines like fluorocarbons and braids.
The best carp fishing lines at a glance:
• Best Tapered Carp Fishing Mainline - Korda Longchuck Tapered Mainline - View offer on Fishing Tackle and Bait
• Best Fluorocarbon Carp Fishing Mainline - Gardner Tiger Line - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle
• Best Carp Fishing Mainline For Distance Casting - Fox Exocet Pro - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle
• Best Floater Fishing Line - ESP Synchro Surface XT - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle
With so many lines to choose from, it can be daunting for even the most seasoned angler to decide on the best line to use. But fear not, as this guide will show you some of the best available, when to use them and how to get the best from them…
The premium Gardner Insight GR60X line lends itself well to demanding fishing situations, such is
- Very strong.
- Super abrasion resistant.
- Not the best for long casting.
The Ridgemonkey Flurorocast is a new style of hybrid line between a fluorocarbon and a
- Great hybrid-style line, performs like a mono with the benefits of fluorocarbon.
- Sinks well and is practically invisible.
- Only available in 15lb and 18lb.
Best carp fishing monofilament for concealment
The low visibility green colour interspersed with the darker micro-flecks of the Avid Outline Camo
- Camo finish.
- Fantastic strength.
- Can be a bit springy to start with.
As "tough as old boots" and sinks reasonably well, the Korda Carp Line blends in with most
- Very durable.
- Great value bulk spools.
- Not as user friendly as some lines to begin with.
Fox Exocet Pro mainline has been designed to be used for distance casting. With many of the lakes
- Great for distance casting.
- Lo-viz colour blends in great with most lakebeds.
- Only available in 1000m spools.
When it comes to knowing what bottom you’re fishing over, braid really comes into its own, and the
- Very durable.
- Zero stretch offers unrivalled accuracy.
- Banned on a lot of waters.
Best fluorocarbon mainline for carp fishing
Tiger Line has had a huge following since its release by John Llewellyn a few years ago, that same
- Virtually invisible underwater.
- Outstanding sinking and abrasion resistance properties.
- Not the best casting line.
If you’re looking to punch a lead a long way or like to use a leader but they are banned on your
- Tapered profile navigates leader bans.
- Great for distance casting.
- 300m spools only, you can’t cut the line one end or you’ll loose the taper, so make sure the spool is backed correctly if needed.
In the summer, there is no better or more exciting way to catch carp than "off the top" and the
- Floats very well.
- Low diameter.
- Only really useful for surface fishing situations.
What to look for in a carp fishing line
Mainlines for carp fishing come in many colours and breaking strains as well as materials, with many of the best carp fishing lines tailored to suit a specific style of angling. Whilst many of these lines can be used as all-rounders on a variety of venues, if you want to do a more specialised style of carp fishing, such as long distance fishing or fishing in weed, it is best to choose a line that is made for the task, as it will make it far easier.
For fishing at range, the best line to use is a monofilament with a low diameter, as the thinner the line, the less friction it will produce, allowing the lead to travel as far as possible. If you can, go for a tapered mainline, as this will allow you to fish without a shockleader, which can damage the rod and are banned on many lakes. If you don’t like the tapered lines, a braided shockleader can help reduce the knot size to allow you to use your favourite line.
When fishing in weed, it is always best to use a thick diameter mainline or a braid as this prevents breakages should the fish become buried in the weed. Braid is slightly better again, as its thin diameter but high breaking strain allows it to cut through the weed. If you are an angler that wants the best line concealment available then choosing a fluorocarbon mainline is easily the best choice. This line is virtually invisible underwater and sinks quickly, straight to the bottom out of the way of any suspicious carp.
Diameter: The distance across a circle, which equates to how thick a line is. The higher the diameter the thicker the line will be.
Breaking strain: The amount of pressure that must be applied to an unknotted line before the line breaks. Therefore it doesn't mean you can only catch fish up to 10lb on 10lb line.
Abrasion resistance: The ability of a surface to resist being worn away by rubbing or friction, the better the resistance, the more it will resist being worn away.
High stretch: The amount a line will stretch varies amongst monofilaments, a higher stretch line will just simply stretch further at a given length then a low stretch.
Supple: How easily something bends and moves, the more supple the more freely an object will move.
Spool: A cylindrical device upon which the line is wound.
High knot strength: The ability to maintain strength as close to the original breaking strain after knotting the line.
Monofilament line: Monofilament fishing line (shortened to just mono) is fishing line made from a single fiber of plastic material.
Braided line: Braids are made by braiding or weaving fibers of a man-made material into a strand of line. The strand number will indicate how many fibres are woven together.
Shockleader: A length of heavier breaking strain line that is attached to your main fishing line so that it does not break during the cast.
Frequently asked questions on carp lines
What breaking strain line is best for carp?
This depends entirely on the situation you are fishing in, how big the fish are and what the snags and weed situation is like. If the lake is weed free, with fish under 20lb, then a 10lb line would be more than adequate. However, if the lake you're fishing is very weedy, regardless of the size of the fish, we would always recommend a line with a high diameter (0.35mm or more) and a good breaking strain of 18lb-plus.
Should I use a braid or monofilament for carp fishing?
If your lake allows the use of braid, it can make your fishing far more accurate. Braid, having zero stretch allows you to "feel" exactly what you're fishing over, especially important if you're only fishing a small spot or casting to showing fish and fishing for a "drop." If you're new to fishing, we would definitely advise using a mono, as braid is far less user friendly. Braid is prone to wind knots and needs a bit more care and attention compared to mono. Monofilament is a great line for 99% of angling and isn't banned anywhere, so is far more versatile than braid, however, the stretch means it's not as good at feeding back the lakebed up the rod, nor is it as durable.
Will line diameter impact the distance I can cast?
The higher the diameter, the thicker the line, the more friction it will produce through the rod rings when it is cast. If you are looking for extreme distances, using a lighter line with a shock leader will help. We would advise, however, if the fish are simply too far, do not use a line that will not be up to landing the fish.
Author Aidan Bordiuk is an enthusiastic angler who enjoys all fishing disciplines from match fishing to beach casting. He is currently occupying the position of Commercial Content Writer at Angling Times.