When fishing for catfish you will almost always be using some form of bait rig or another.
Between the 3 most common species of catfish, the sizes and weights can vary considerably depending on the time of year and the location in which you are fishing.
The best line for catfish is a line that is suitable for the size of the fish that you will be targeting on a regular basis.
Match your line to your rod, reel, and rig for best results
You really do not need to spool up 80 lbs braid just because someone says it is better/stronger than mono.
|AT A GLANCE:|
|1. Our Top Pick: Berkley Big Cat Monofilament|
|2. Best Overall: Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braid|
|3. Best Value: Trilene Big Game Monofilament|
Braid has its uses but fishing for the average size channel cat is not one of them. It is also suffering from wind knotting issues when compared to mono.
15 lbs mono is more than sufficient for smaller cats and 30 lbs is good enough for fish in the 50 lbs range providing you have your drag set correctly.
Table of Contents
Best Fishing Line for Catfish 2023/2022
1. Trilene Big Game Monofilament
Trilene Big Game mono is one of the most popular mono’s ever made.
It’s very high quality, available in large spools and is exceptional value for money.
If also comes in a range of colors so if you are looking for a high visibility line the bright green is a great choice.
A big spool of 15 lbs just last several years and many reel re-spools.
2. Berkley Big Cat Monofilament
If you are hunting trophy cats then Berkey’s Big Cat line is an excellent choice.
It’s not that easy to find and when it’s available I tend to stockpile it! Designed to be lower stretch than most monofilaments it is also very abrasion-resistant.
It comes in a fluorescent green that is easy to see in strong sunlight or when night fishing.
3. Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braid
If you are hell bent on using braid the Power Pro is one of the better options.
It slices through weed with ease and is a good choice if you are fishing in and around thick weed beds or lilies.
Always use a fluorocarbon leader when fishing with a braid as it will tear and hold up better to knocks and scrapes.
Catfish Fishing Line
Mono is hands down the best line to use for catfish. It knots well, is abrasion resistant, is cheap, has some in-built stretch to it, and is less prone to wind knots than braid.
What Pound Line for Catfish?
For smaller cats 12 to 15 lbs are sufficient and for larger catfish 30 lbs should be more than enough.
Most anglers try to match the breaking strain of the line to the weight of the fish they are targeting. But; you can use a much lighter line once you have your drag setting set correctly.
High-breaking strain-rated lines above 50lbs are really going to kill any sensitivity that you have in your rod so you may well miss some softer bites.
What type of fishing line for catfish?
The monofilament fishing line is the best type of line to use for catfish. It’s comparatively cheap, available everywhere, and is much easier to tie than braid.
Braid really excels if you are frog fishing for bass in and around heavy weed cover as it slices through the weed easily. It also allows for a super quick hook-set as it has significantly less stretch than mono.
These attributes are not required for a catfish line. The best catfish rods will usually have a heavy power rating and a more moderate action.
Monofilament will usually perform quite well once a setup like that and braid is better suited to rods that have a faster action.
Some of the largest catfish have been caught on nothing fancier than 20 lbs monofilament with a simple bait rig.
I am in favor of keeping things as simple as possible when fishing for catfish. Mono is much easier to deal with than braid.
It is simpler to tie knots with and is considerably more abrasion-resistant than braid.
Braid is low stretch and can be a bit of a pain to tie knots with unless you know what you are doing.
It also spools well onto a catfish spinning reel and will not get bedded in like a braid which is usually half the diameter of mono.
My personal preference is to use a colored monofilament so that you can see exactly where your line is once cast. Catfish love dirty water and more often than not they find your bait purely based on smell and not by sight.
When running multiple rods from the shore you need to see exactly where is rods line is pointed. Clear lines in muddy waters can make this near impossible.
Make sure that you spool enough lines onto your reel and that the reel is the correct size for setup. Being caught short-lined with a big catfish is not a scenario you ever want to get into.