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Is blue fishing line good or bad?

As an avid angler, choosing the right fishing line color can make all the difference in your success out on the water. Blue fishing line is a popular choice for many fishermen, but is it the best option? In this in-depth guide, we’ll examine the pros and cons of blue fishing line to help you decide if it’s good or bad for your needs.

The Visibility Factor

One of the key factors to consider with any fishing line is the visibility. How easy is it for fish to see the line in the water? Blue colored line is often marketed as being nearly invisible once it’s in the water. The idea is that it will blend in with the water itself and be harder for fish to detect.

There is some truth to this claim when compared to other brighter colored options like yellow or green. However, many experts argue that no line is completely invisible underwater. Once the sun hits the line at the right angle, the blue color will be detectable to fish.

That being said, blue is less visible than many other colors. So if low visibility is your main concern, blue line is a good option to consider.

Strength and Durability

In addition to visibility, you also need fishing line that is strong, abrasion-resistant, and durable enough to handle the species you are targeting. Blue colored line is available in various pound test strengths and materials including monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines.

There is no inherent advantage or disadvantage to blue itself when it comes to strength and durability. You can find blue line in 6 lb test up to 80 lb test and beyond. The important factor is choosing the right strength and abrasion resistance for the type of fishing you do, not the color.

Many anglers utilize different types of lines for different purposes. Heavier and more durable blue braided line for crankbaits and bottom fishing. Lighter blue monofilament line for casting lures. And near invisible blue fluorocarbon leader for finicky fish. The color itself does not affect the integrity and durability of the line.

Absorption of Light

An interesting quality of blue fishing line is that it tends to absorb light and convert it to heat more readily than other colors. This can cause the line to weaken and deteriorate faster over time. Especially on hot, sunny days when the line is exposed to more intense light.

Other darker colors like black and dark green share this tendency to absorb light and heat up. So blue is not necessarily worse than other options in this regard. But it is something to be aware of when spooling up with blue line for the long term.

Contrast Against Various Backgrounds

Background Blue Line Contrast
Open blue water Low contrast
Murky green water High contrast
Near vegetation Moderate contrast
Over sandy bottom Moderate contrast

The amount of contrast blue line shows against different underwater backgrounds is worth examining. As the table above shows, blue tends to blend in well with open blue water where there is not much debris or vegetation.

However, it stands out sharply against murky green water. And has moderate contrast against underwater vegetation and sandy/rocky bottoms. So the amount of contrast depends greatly on the specific fishing conditions.

Ease of Tracking Above Water

Being able to closely track your line as it leaves the rod tip is an important factor for many anglers. Against the backdrop of trees, clouds, and sky above the water, blue line can sometimes be more difficult to track than brighter colors like yellow or white.

However, this also depends greatly on the exact shade of blue. Dark or deep ocean blue blends into the background more than lighter sky blue shades. So when choosing blue line for visibility above the water, lighter shades are preferable.

Preferences of Different Fish Species

Certain fish species seem to be more wary of blue fishing line than others. Bluegill and crappie, for example, tend to be more spooked by blue line than trout, walleye, or catfish based on many angler observations.

So you may want to avoid blue line when targeting particularly line shy species. But it likely makes little difference to less sensitive fish.

Here is a table summarizing the preferences of some popular gamefish when it comes to blue colored line:

Species Preference for Blue Line
Trout Neutral
Bass Slightly negative
Walleye Neutral
Catfish Neutral
Panfish (bluegill, crappie) Very negative

Optimizing Blue Line for Visibility

If you do opt to go with blue fishing line, there are a few strategies you can use to optimize the visibility:

  • Use lighter sky blue shades instead of dark ocean blue
  • Spool on fresh line often to avoid discoloration
  • Stick to low-stretch monofilament or fluorocarbon lines
  • Check for nicks and re-spool periodically
  • Use a smaller diameter line to reduce visibility

Taking these steps will help maximize the low-vis qualities of blue fishing line and minimize some of the visibility drawbacks.

Best Uses for Blue Fishing Line

Based on its unique properties, here are some of the best applications for blue colored fishing line:

  • Fishing open water reservoirs and lakes – blue blends well here
  • Deep sea fishing where water is blue
  • Using as a backing line underneath a braided main line
  • Pairing with neutral-colored lures and baits
  • Fishing under overcast or low-light conditions
  • When targeting less line-shy species like walleye and catfish

In these situations, the low visibility and subtle appearance of blue line work nicely and can be an advantage.

Worst Uses for Blue Line

Here are some examples where blue line may not be the best choice:

  • Extremely clear water conditions
  • Bright, sunny days
  • Fishing around heavy cover and vegetation
  • Targeting panfish and trout
  • Using blue main line with blue braided backing (too much blue)

In these cases, the visibility and contrast of blue line against the backgrounds can make it easier for fish to see and avoid.


So in summary, is blue fishing line good or bad? The answer depends greatly on the specific fishing situation. Under the right conditions, blue line can be an excellent low visibility option. But in other cases, it stands out and creates contrast that can spook fish.

Many anglers use blue line in clear open water where it blends in well. But shy fish and heavy cover call for other colors. It’s best to experiment and see what works for your needs. Plus vary line color when fishing different spots and conditions.

While no line is completely invisible, blue does have visibility advantages over other colors in some cases. But it also has some drawbacks like absorbing heat and difficulty tracking. Take both the pros and cons into account when choosing blue line.

Ultimately every angler needs to assess the unique factors of their local fisheries and fishing style. Mixing line colors and types is often the best approach to adapt to changing situations. Blue fishing line has its time and place. But it’s not necessarily the universal top choice.

If optimized properly, blue can be a stealthy and effective line color. But it also has some inherent tradeoffs. Weigh the benefits and downsides carefully to decide if blue line is right for your needs and fishing waters.