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What Is the Best Fishing Line for Bluegill? (Mono, Braid, FC)

What Is the Best Fishing Line for Bluegill? (Mono, Braid, FC)

There are so many types of lines out there, and choosing the right one for your bluegill fishing can be quite challenging, especially for beginners.

To help you make the best and most informed decision possible, I wrote this helpful guide on the best fishing lines for bluegills. 

You can use both a monofilament, braid, and fluorocarbon mainline when fishing for bluegills. Mono and fluorocarbon lines are best used when fishing in clear water conditions, while braid is a solid choice for dark or stained water. 

Keep reading if you want to find out when and why you should use a braided, mono, or fluorocarbon mainline for bluegill!

QUICK SUMMARY: This article includes recommendations for the best fishing lines for bluegill. If you’re in a hurry to get to the water, you can check them out on Amazon right now! They are the KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament, Suffix 832 Braid, and Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

What Type of Line Is Best for Bluegill Fishing?

a panfish angler holding a huge bluegill caught with a 6 pound mono mainline
Courtesy of Dan Spengler

Generally speaking, you can use both a monofilament, braid, or fluorocarbon mainline when fishing for bluegill. You can certainly catch fish with any of them!

However, there are specific differences between these three types of lines, and depending on the type of water, your fishing method, and the kind of fishing spot you’re targeting, each line has certain advantages or disadvantages over the other types.

For instance, are you targeting heavy cover and rough structure? Are you fishing in gin-clear or muddy water?

And what about your type of bait or lure? Are you throwing micro jigs or casting out a slip bobber rig with small live baits?

All this will determine what type of line you’ll use!

Again, all lines can catch you those gills! It’s not really about that! But adjusting and improving your tackle can make you a better fisherman and catch you more and perhaps bigger fish.

So in what situations should you use a mono, braid, or fluorocarbon mainline for bluegills?

When Should You Use Mono?

Monofilament is still the most commonly used type of fishing line, and for many bluegill anglers, it remains their number one line choice.

In my opinion, a monofilament mainline works best when targeting bluegills with natural baits on the slip bobber.

The hook set is essential for this fishing method, and as mono has some stretch to it and hence can absorb some of that power you put into setting that hook, it’s a superior choice of line for smaller fish like panfish.

No matter how hard you strike, the mono line will most likely prevent you from ripping that hook right out of the fish’s mouth.

Additionally, mono has absolute superiority when it comes to abrasion resistance, making it an excellent choice when fishing close to rough or sharp structure.

Mono can also be used when casting smaller lures like inline spinners or crankbaits. But as it won’t let you cast as far as braid, I’d argue against mono when spinning for gills!

PRO TIP: A thin, clear mono line is suitable for both clear and stained water types, as transparent, thin-diameter monofilament has very low visibility underwater.

When Should You Use Braid?

That brings us to braid lines. Thin braids are quickly gaining popularity among panfish anglers, as they have several really unique features that can do wonders for you on the water.

The most popular of them is probably the braid’s low to no stretch. The sensitivity of braid is excellent and will give you a great feel and 100% control over your lure action.

Especially on days when the bluegills are finicky and super careful, using a braided mainline can turn those cautious nibbles into hooked fish.

You feel every little contact, no matter how careful it may be! Trust me on this! I’ve been reluctant to use braid for many years, but once I tried it out, I really felt the difference!

So, whether it’s fishing with smaller lures like cranks, spinners, or spoons or when throwing micro-jigs, braid has got you covered!

PRO TIP: Braid also casts extremely far, making it an even better choice when fishing with super-light micro-jigs.

On the other hand, braid lines are often fairly visible underwater, which can be a significant disadvantage when fishing for hard-to-gills in crystal clear water!

Panfish aren’t known to be very line shy, but targeting them with a well-visible braid in high-visibility conditions often spells disaster, especially if you fish for them in the shallows.

Furthermore, braid has a fairly poor abrasion resistance. So fishing with braid close to or over rough features is a big no-no!

When Should You Use Fluorocarbon?

A fluoro mainline is an excellent middle-way solution between mono and braid!

It’s basically 100% invisible underwater, has low stretch, and great sensitivity, combining some of the best features of mono and braid lines.

In other words, fluorocarbon is a top pick for fishing smaller lures and jigs in gin-clear water!

It’s great for casting longer distances and works great for vertical jigging as well.

However, fluoro lines often sink, which makes them a poor choice for top or shallow water presentations, or live bait rigs on the slip bobber.

But fluorocarbon can be a superb choice when fishing in open, deep water! That’s probably where this type of line makes the most sense if you ask me.

Best Monofilament Fishing Line for Bluegill

KastKing isn’t just known for its decent budget reels, as this brand has also developed highly qualitative fishing tackle. The KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament Line is a perfect example of that. 

This is an extremely popular mono line, especially among panfish anglers! It’s very durable, of excellent quality, and very decently priced.

Some of its features that make it a perfect pick for bluegill fishing include:

  • super low memory (for easy handling and casting)
  • extreme abrasion resistance (even at a low pound test)
  • superior clarity (making it almost invisible underwater)
  • low absorption (allowing for quick and precise retrieval of any lure)

Given its fantastic price, it’s hard to find a better mono line out there! 

You can take a closer look at the KastKing World’s Premium Monofilament Line on Amazon here

What Pound Test Mono Is Best for Bluegill?

In most situations, a 6-pound monofilament mainline is the perfect pick for bluegill.

When fishing in clear water and/or in the shallows, you can downgrade that to a 4-pound test to make your line even less visible.

Personally, I wouldn’t risk a 2-pound test, as this is just a little too weak for my taste! Even when it comes to panfish! You never know what monster you might hook up to!

KastKing’s mono is so incredibly strong and thin that you don’t have to go that low!

On the other hand, you can totally up your line strength to an 8-pound test when fishing near or in heavy cover! Again, the fish will see little of your line, but you’ll most likely keep your end tackle when getting snagged!

Best Braided Fishing Line for Bluegill

I only use two braid brands; Power Pro and Suffix. When it comes to bluegills, I recommend using the Suffix 832, as it’s a little thinner than the Power Pro.

The Suffix 832 Advanced Superline Braid is exactly what its name suggests; an advanced super braid of the finest quality! 

Braids of such high quality do cost a little more than other line types, but if braid is your preferred choice of mainline, the Suffix is the perfect pick.

It’s ultra-thin, super strong, and has virtually no stretch at all. It’s a highly sensitive line that will give you complete control over your lure. 

Thanks to its low diameter, it also casts really far and smoothly, which is a huge advantage when fishing with light and tiny lures like micro-jigs. 

Again, its only drawback is that it is pretty visible in clear water, also due to its moss-green color. So it’s really not a suitable line choice for clear water conditions.

But when fishing with micro lures in stained and deeper water, nothing beats the Suffix 832!

You can check out the amazing Suffix 832 Braid on Amazon right here

What Pound Test Braid Is Best for Bluegill?

When fishing for bluegill with a braid, most anglers will choose a 6-pound test.

This line strength is optimal for fishing stained or dark open and deep water.

When targeting areas with heavy cover and plenty of snags, you can up that to a 10-pound test without a problem!

As I’ve mentioned, the Suffix is extremely thin (as an example: the 20-lb test compares to a 6-pound test mono diameter), and you’re fishing in low-vis conditions, it doesn’t really matter that much anyways!

Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Line for Bluegill

Last, we’ll cover the best fluoro mainline for bluegill fishing. One of the best FC lines out there is undoubtedly the Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon.

This amazingly strong and durable line will land you plenty of fish!

As previously mentioned, fluorocarbon combines the best features of both mono and braid, and as this line is extremely sensitive and has low stretch, it’s the perfect choice when jigging for gills in gin-clear water.

If the water was stained, you’d, of course, use braid for jigging, but as visibility can be a crucial factor, fluorocarbon wins the race big time here!

And don’t be afraid of using an FC mainline! The thicker diameters can take some getting used to, but a thin-diameter fluorocarbon mainline is usually very easily handled.

You can find the Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon on Amazon here

What Pound Test Fluorocarbon Is Best for Bluegill?

The line strength recommendations for fluorocarbon basically follow those of monofilament, meaning a 6-pound test for all general purposes.

You don’t really have to go lower than that because Berkley’s fluorocarbon can virtually not get any more invisible than it already is.

If you’re targeting areas with a lot of snags and rough structure, though, you should certainly use an 8 or even a 10-pound test instead! The fish won’t mind, but you’ll be fishing that much saver!

Are Bluegills Line Shy?

a US angler with a nice bluegill on a clear water lake
Courtesy of Dan Spengler

This is a very common and much-debated question; are bluegill line shy? Most anglers will tell you that panfish generally aren’t all that line shy, and that is absolutely true if we’re talking stained or muddy water, or low light conditions!

However, in clear water lakes and rivers, the fish can often get spooked by a too-visible underwater line.

Using a low-vis mainline makes a lot of sense if you’re fishing in such conditions.

Because bluegills, like all other fish, can be extremely finicky in high visibility conditions like that.

Should You Use a Leader for Bluegill?

a happy panfish angler on his boat holding a giant bluegill caught with an fc leader
Courtesy of Dan Spengler

The answer to this last question depends entirely on the type of mainline you’re using.

When fishing with clear mono or fluorocarbon mainlines, there is really no need for a fluorocarbon leader if you ask me.

Your mainline will be thin and invisible enough for your end tackle, and you can run it down to your lure or hook without worry!

Unless, of course, you’re, for some reason, using a higher-pound test!

A 15-pound mono mainline, for example, can have some visibility in the water, and here, using a somewhat thinner and less visible fluorocarbon leader would make perfect sense.

The same reason applies to a braided mainline. As mentioned above, braid is much more visible underwater, so you should always use a fluorocarbon leader of at least a couple of feet when using this type of mainline.

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Featured image courtesy of Dan Spengler