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Updated: Nov 9, 2022

I have done a lot of seminars over the years, and I am presented with a wide variety of questions. Oftentimes, the same questions get asked in a wide variety of different ways. However, there is one question that has not been asked a lot over the years until recently, and that is “Does the color of my braided line affect catch rate?” The simple answer in my opinion is a hard no. Why do I feel this way? There are very few simple reasons.

The first, as a surf fisherman you should be using a clear leader material attached to your fishing lure with a leader length of at least 36”. This clear leader material and its length are very important because you want your line to be invisible to the fish, and accordingly, you want to keep your visible line a good distance from your bait or lure. The fish will be focused on the closest food source, and how you present that food source, meaning how natural you make it appear, should be your focus on and not the line to which your leader is attached. If your lure or bait presentation does not look authentic to the fish, you can be sure your fishing will not be productive.

Another reason for my “hard no” is that, over time, a lot of braided lines, regardless of manufacture and color, will fade due to contact with saltwater, and exposure to sunlight and other elements. For instance, I use the moss green color braid from two high end companies-not because I was concerned with color but because of my confidence in the lines’ quality and durability. At the time I started using these brands, I only could get that color at local tackle shops. However, even these higher end brands faded into different colors as I moved through the season. However, I didn’t see any change in my ability to catch fish consistently. It should also be noted that I alternate between several different rod/reel combos, and each spool of line is likely to be at a different stage of use throughout the season. So, I experience different levels of color fade. It is also common for me to use a variety of colors throughout the season and over the years, and I have seen some of my guide-clients and other colleagues I fish with use other brands of line with other colors (blue, yellow etc.) The bottom line (ok pun intended) is that I have never seen a difference in their ability to catch fish due to the color of their line.

So what’s the “line on line” for surf fishing? To catch fish consistently, get out there, research your spots, know your tides, study the best moon cycles for the areas you are fishing, study your bait patterns, and when you are tying on just the right bait, always make sure to make it look authentic using clear leader at a length of at least 36”. The only concern you should have with the line is its ability to remain durable and reliable. Remember, that line and your knot form your only connection to the fish. Once that connection is compromised, the fish is gone. Make sure your line and your leader material are in great shape throughout the season. Check them often for abrasion before every trip. You should also trim a little off before each outing especially if you have been fishing hard rocky structures or boulder fields. Lastly, if you’re questioning your line’s ability at any time during the season, change it! It could be the difference between landing and losing that fish of a lifetime. Live the Passion! Tightlines! features a monthly surfcasting blog from Bernie Hoyt , a NYS Certified Fishing Guide with 35 years of experience fishing the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast, and now he has a podcast HOOKED ON SURF FISHING WITH BERNIE BASS where he offers listeners the latest in gear reviews and techniques for the surf fishing scene. You can also follow Bernie on the radio Saturday morning and Sunday evening on 1390WRIV AM. Contact Bernie for details on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services.


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