A very common question among beginner anglers is whether fish can see fishing line and whether the color of the line matters. This is a key question to ask newcomers because visible fishing line can potentially spook fish. Below, I’ll provide my response to the question, «Can fish see fishing line?»

Fishing lines come in various types, such as fluorocarbon, monofilament, and braided material, and they are available in different colors.

It takes time and practice for anglers to truly understand which type or color of fishing line is suitable for a particular fishing situation.


Here is some essential information about fishing lines, their colors, and what fish can see to assist you in your angling adventures. Armed with this knowledge, you can apply it in practice for a more successful fishing experience.

There are primarily three types of fishing lines, but they have subcategories.

Monofilament or Regular Fishing Line

Monofilament lines are known to be the most popular and frequently used fishing lines in the angling industry. They are budget-friendly, available in various colors, and are difficult for fish to identify or detect underwater. I will explain the different colors and the advantages of using these lines.

Red Fishing Line

It is believed that red colors become invisible underwater, effectively making them unnoticed by fish or anglers beneath the water’s surface. Studies have shown that red objects tend to lose their color underwater or may even appear black. This is why they make a good choice as the main line for bottom rigs.

However, there is some confusion regarding the use of red color, as some argue that it actually affects fish strikes because it resembles blood and tends to attract their attention. Red hooks, for example, are quite popular among anglers as they sometimes have a real impact on hooksets.

Yellow Fishing Line

Yellow fishing lines offer a compromise to anglers. They are excellent for visibility above the water’s surface, making it easy for anglers to detect their line and observe fish strikes. Fish strikes can also be easily identified with the help of the yellow color.

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However, the downside is that the yellow color is highly visible to both anglers and fish. But when the right bait is used, fish tend to focus more on the bait and less on the line. Yellow fishing lines are popular among spin anglers and those who prefer fishing during low-light conditions.

Blue and Transparent Fishing Lines

These options are suitable for anglers who want something that will go unnoticed by fish. With completely transparent lines, anglers may find it slightly challenging to work with, so many opt for transparent blue lines. They remain inconspicuous to fish but are visible above the water, making handling and fishing more manageable.

Green Fishing Line

Green fishing lines can be a good choice for anglers who have difficulty using transparent lines but still want something that won’t be visible to fish in greenish waters. Since most water bodies have a greenish tint, these lines blend in more easily with the water. However, they are more noticeable than transparent lines when used in clear water.

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

In the world of fishing, «fluorocarbon» typically refers to polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) lines. These lines are usually denser and heavier than monofilament lines of the same thickness, allowing them to withstand higher loads. However, thickness is not the only factor; these lines also offer low visibility, durability, and minimal stretching.

Many anglers prefer fluorocarbon lines for their low visibility. Fluorocarbon lines have the same refractive index as water, making them appear as if they are part of the aquatic environment, which makes them hard for fish to detect.

Fluorocarbon lines are also highly sensitive. Due to their densely packed molecular structure, fluorocarbons transmit more energy than monofilaments. This allows anglers to be more aware of subtle strikes at the other end of the line.

Additionally, fluorocarbon lines sink faster than monofilament lines, reducing sag and curvature between the lure and the rod. They are also more UV-resistant than nylon monofilament, ensuring their durability over time.

One advantage is that these lines do not absorb water, maintaining their performance both above and below the water’s surface.

Pink Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Pink fluorocarbon lines are very similar to regular fluorocarbon, but manufacturers believe that adding a touch of pink makes it easier to work with. It is thought that pink hinders detection underwater while remaining visible above the water. This follows the same theory as red monofilament; red and pink colors seem to lose their hue when submerged.

Braided Fishing Line

Using braided fishing line for catching fish has numerous advantages, but unfortunately, they are not invisible to fish. Almost all braided lines are detectable in the water, but they offer benefits like high tensile strength and minimal stretch.


There are too many factors to consider when choosing the right fishing line for yourself. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. While fluorocarbon is suitable for many situations due to its near-invisibility underwater, in many cases, anglers opt for braided lines due to their strength.

So, the question of whether fish can see the line may become less of a concern as you gain experience, and how you interpret the provided information will ultimately influence your fishing results.