Best Line For Crankbaits: Top Picks for Mono, Fluoro and Braid

Learn why mono is best choice of line for crankbait fishing in some cases and how a mono leader with braid is a great set up for throwing cranks

The type of line you should use for crankbait fishing is a question in which you will most likely receive differing answers. Still, there are reasons to use certain types of lines over others when fishing with crankbaits, and the type of line can vary depending on the situation.

In this post, we will take a look at the best line to use for crankbaits in the majority of cases, and we will also explain instances where other line types might be your best option.

Crankbaits are a popular lure choice for a very wide range of species all over the world. Bass fishing, walleye fishing, musky fishing, pike fishing, you name it (see here for our favorite crankbaits). While the type of fishing may dictate the type of line you fish with, there is a particular line that will rise above the rest for most species.

Line choice for crankbaits: mono, fluoro, or braid?

If you only had one type of line to choose for crankbait fishing, monofilament is most likely your best bet.

Crankbaits have small treble hooks, and the stretch that monofilament provides will help when setting the hook, as the other common line types of fluorocarbon and braid have little to no stretch, and there is a higher potential for you to set the hook and rip the hooks out of the fishes mouth if it is lightly hooked.

Coupled with a fiberglass crankbait rod or rod with a significant amount of flex, you can drastically increase your hooking percentage when fishing with crankbaits.

While fishing crankbaits with other types of line is certainly possible and can be just as effective, monofilament simply has more advantages when fishing with crankbaits compared to other line types.

Monofilament line for crankbaits

Monofilament fishing line floats, and if you are fishing with shallow running crankbaits, this can be pretty advantageous. The floating aspect of monofilament can even help when fishing around weeds and branches, as it actually helps prevent lures from snagging up to a small extent.

A monofilament line can also be very advantageous if you are crankbait fishing with suspended crankbaits. Since the line has some buoyancy, it will help keep the suspended crankbait in the desired strike zone for a longer period of time, whereas fluorocarbon can cause the bait to sink faster instead of slowly rising.

The price of most monofilament fishing is also much lower than the other types of line commonly used, and this is a big deal for some anglers, such as anglers who might need to spool up several rods and reels for trolling.

One of the downsides of the monofilament line is the buoyancy, and while this depends on the situation, it can negate a crankbait from reaching its full depth rating and could keep you above the strike zone or structure you are fishing.

Monofilament lines are also easy to work with and do not have the memory issues associated with fluorocarbon lines, and the high potential for knotting and backlashing that is common with braid.


  • Cheap
  • Slightly buoyant
  • Stretching nature can be advantageous to crankbait fishing


  • Can prevent maximum cranking depth
  • It does not have the Tensile strength of other lines
  • Stretch can be a con instead of a pro in some situations, like far distance casting.
Best Line For Baitcasters
Best Line For Baitcasters
Best Line For Baitcasters
Our Score

Berkley’s Trilene XL has been the pinnacle and standard for Berkley for a very long time.

It excels at casting and gives an extremely smooth cast.

It’s pretty strong, incredibly versatile, and is superb at avoiding kinks and tying good knots.

Fluorocarbon line for crankbaits

Fluorocarbon fishing line covers a broad family of compounds which include carbon, chlorine, and fluorine chemicals to produce the fishing line itself.

Like monofilament lines, fluorocarbon line is manufactured by extruding the fluorocarbon materials into a single strand, but unlike mono, the molecules that make up the Fluorocarbon line are more densely packed together making the line heavier and stronger than monofilament type fishing line.

Fluorocarbon is desired if you are fishing deeper water and want your crankbaits to get to the maximum depth due to the fluorocarbon lines’ sinking characteristics.

Fluorocarbon fishing line also has very little stretch when compared to monofilament fishing line, and this means that your hook up rates will be significantly higher during long-casting situations, as the more line that is out, the less effective hooksets will be, and if you are fishing with monofilament and long distances this can be a massive disadvantage.

Fluorocarbon fishing line is also virtually invisible underwater, and if you are fishing very clear bodies of water, particularly those that have high fishing pressure, fluorocarbon and the stealth it provides will more than likely be your best option.


  • Invisible to fish
  • Very low stretch
  • Higher tensile strength than monofilament lines


  • Sinks
  • Less stretch can be a detriment in some cases
  • More expensive than monofilament lines
Sunline FC Sniper Fluorocarbon
Sunline FC Sniper Fluorocarbon
Sunline FC Sniper Fluorocarbon
Our Score

Sunline Super FC Sniper is a high-performance fluorocarbon line that can be used in a wide variety of Trout fishing situations.

It features triple resin coatings giving anglers greater ease of use, as well as giving it extra flexibility and limpness, these attributes make it closer to monofilament, and overall has lower memory and better casting properties when compared to other fluorocarbon lines on the market.

The coatings also help by making the line abrasion resistant, giving the angler more confidence when fishing places with brush or timber.

This line is almost comparable to monofilament lines, giving the angler the best of both worlds, this is definitely a line to try for trout fishing.

The braided line for crankbaits

Braided fishing line is known for being incredibly strong. Braided fishing lines are constructed from materials such as Dacron spectra or Dyneema fibers which are tightly woven in various methods to create an incredibly strong and abrasion-resistant line.

Braid fishing lines have virtually no stretch and are incredibly strong when compared to both monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.

Deep diving crankbaits can benefit from a braided line, as its thinner diameter works great for getting the crankbait to maximum depth even though the line may float.

For certain anglers, like musky anglers, braided line is pretty much always used today for anything lure type, and when crankbait fishing, it allows anglers to throw the crankbait around heavy vegetation and use the line itself to cut through weeds and keep the bait free of debris.

Braided line is also highly sensitive, and you can feel every light touch, strike, or bump on your lure, whether it is from the bottom, structure, or a fish.

Braid is significantly smaller in diameter when compared to the other two lines while maintaining a much higher level of tensile strength. This allows you to spool more braided line on a reel compared to fluorocarbon of monofilament and can be advantageous to anglers who are trolling crankbaits and may have the lures and line going back 100 feet or more behind the boat.

The downside of braided line is its visibility, and in clear water situations, this can prevent fish from striking, as is often the case with bass fishing and walleye fishing. The lack of stretch, while being great for long-distance casting, is overall a downside in terms of reducing the shock when setting the hook with small treble hooks.

Snagging lures with braid can also be an issue, and the hooks will have a tendency to burrow deep into any wood, and if your crankbait gets snagged in deeper water where you cannot reach it, you probably will have to take a knife or scissors to your braided line.

Braided line is also much more expensive than both monofilament and fluorocarbon.


  • Super Strong
  • Thin diameter
  • Abrasion-resistant


  • High Visibility
  • No stretch
  • Expensive
Daiwa J-Braid x8
Daiwa J-Braid x8
Daiwa J-Braid x8
Our Score

We like to use Daiwa J-Braid x8 and rate it as the best-braided fishing line on the market. It is also very reasonably priced and the rainbow version allows you to monitor your depth when fishing deep waters.

Final thoughts on the best line for crankbaits

While all types of fishing lines will work when fishing with crankbaits, monofilament is still the best choice when comparing the pros and cons of all three line types. Reduction of shock when setting the hook with a crankbait is one of the most important aspects of crankbait fishing, and monofilament does this the best, especially when coupled with the proper fishing rod.

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Shawn Chapin is an experienced fishing writer and guide based in Wisconsin, where he loves targeting muskie and a range of other species. Shawn's fished extensively for pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth and panfish species. He's developing a passion for chasing trout on the fly rod.
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