The Best Fishing Lines for Surf Fishing

If you’re into surf fishing, you know that having the right fishing line can make all the difference. Whether you’re targeting pompano or casting off a pier, choosing the best line for surf fishing is crucial. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the different types of fishing lines and how to choose the best one for your next surf fishing adventure.

Types of Fishing Lines for Surf Fishing

When it comes to surf fishing, there are three main types of fishing lines to consider: braid, mono, and fluorocarbon. Each type has its pros and cons, so let’s dive into the details.

Braided Line

Braided line is popular among surf anglers for several reasons. It’s incredibly strong and has a thin diameter, allowing you to spool more line onto your reel. This is great for long casts, which are often needed in surf fishing. Braid is also very sensitive, making it easier to detect bites.


  • Strong and durable
  • Thin diameter
  • High sensitivity


  • Can be more visible in clear water
  • Prone to wind knots

Recommended Brand: PowerPro Super 8 Slick V2

Power Pro Super8Slick V2 Moss Green Braided Line

Monofilament Line

Monofilament (mono) fishing line is another common choice for surf fishing. Mono is versatile and easy to handle, making it a good option for beginners. It has some stretch, which can help absorb the shock of a hard-hitting fish.


  • Easy to handle
  • Good shock absorption
  • Affordable


  • Thicker diameter
  • Less sensitivity than braid

Recommended Brand: Berkley Trilene Big Game

Berkley Trilene Big Game


Fluorocarbon line is known for being nearly invisible underwater, which can be a big advantage in clear water conditions. It’s also abrasion-resistant, making it a good choice for fishing around rocks and other structures.


  • Low visibility
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Good sensitivity


  • More expensive
  • Stiffer than mono

Recommended Brand: Seaguar Blue Label

Seaguar Blue Label 100% Flourocarbon Fishing Line

Choosing the Best Fishing Line for Surf Fishing

The best line for surf fishing depends on various factors, including the type of fish you’re targeting, your fishing environment, and personal preference. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  1. Target Fish: If you’re after species like pompano, which are often found in clear water, fluorocarbon can be a great choice due to its low visibility. For larger, hard-fighting fish, braid might be better because of its strength and sensitivity.
  2. Fishing Environment: Consider the conditions where you’ll be fishing. If you’re fishing around rocks or piers, an abrasion-resistant line like fluorocarbon or a strong braided line is ideal. For open beaches, mono or braid can work well.
  3. Fishing Tackle and Gear: Your choice of tackle, including the rod, reel, and rig, can also influence your line choice. Make sure your reel can handle the line you choose, and match your rig to the type of fishing you’ll be doing.

Tips for Surf Fishing

  • Use Braid for Long Casts: If you need to cast far to reach the fish, braid is your best bet due to its thin diameter and strength.
  • Match Your Line to Your Lure: For lighter lures, a thinner line can help with casting distance and presentation.
  • Check Your Spool Regularly: Make sure your reel is properly spooled with enough line. Running out of line during a fight can be a disaster.
  • Use Leaders: Sometimes combining braid with a mono or fluorocarbon leader can give you the best of both worlds—strength and invisibility.

Common Surf Fishing Rigs

Using the right surf fishing rig can greatly improve your chances of catching fish. Here are some popular surf fishing rigs that are effective for a variety of species:

1. Fish Finder Rig

The Fish Finder Rig is excellent for targeting big fish like striped bass, redfish, and sharks. It allows the bait to move naturally with the current, making it very appealing to fish.

Fish Finder Rig


  • Main Line: Use monofilament or braided fishing line.
  • Leader Line: Typically fluorocarbon for its low visibility.
  • Sinker Slide: Allows the sinker to move freely.
  • Sinker: Pyramid or egg sinker.
  • Hook: Circle or J-hook, depending on the target species.

2. Pompano Rig

This rig is designed specifically for catching pompano but can also be effective for whiting and other smaller fish.

Pompano Rig


  • Main Line: Mono for surf fishing, usually 20-30 lb test.
  • Leader Line: Fluorocarbon or mono.
  • Sinkers: Small pyramid sinkers.
  • Hooks: Small circle or J-hooks, size 2-4.
  • Beads: Colored beads to attract fish.
  • Floats: Small floats to keep the bait off the bottom.

3. Carolina Rig

The Carolina Rig is versatile and can be used to catch a variety of surf species, including flounder and redfish.

Carolina Rig


  • Main Line: Use a strong braided fishing line.
  • Leader Line: Fluorocarbon leader.
  • Sinker: Egg sinker.
  • Swivel: Barrel swivel.
  • Hook: Circle hook or offset worm hook.

4. Double Drop Rig

The Double Drop Rig is great for catching multiple fish at once, making it ideal for schooling fish like bluefish and whiting.

Double Drop Rig


  • Main Line: Monofilament fishing line.
  • Leader Line: Mono or fluorocarbon.
  • Sinker: Pyramid sinker.
  • Hooks: Two hooks, typically circle hooks.
  • Beads and Swivels: Used to attach the hooks and prevent tangling.

5. High Low Rig

This rig is similar to the Double Drop Rig but with a single hook above the sinker and one below, perfect for surf casting in varying water depths.

High Low Rig


  • Main Line: Monofilament or braid.
  • Leader Line: Fluorocarbon.
  • Sinker: Pyramid sinker.
  • Hooks: Circle or J-hooks.
  • Swivels: Barrel swivels.

10 Fish You Can Catch While Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is a fantastic way to enjoy beach fishing and catch a variety of fish right from the shore. Here are ten common fish you can target while surf fishing, along with tips on the best fishing line for surf fishing and setups to use.


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♬ Dream – MZF/衍鹿

1. Pompano

Pompano are a favorite among surf anglers due to their delicious taste. Using a pompano rig with monofilament fishing line or fluoro leader line can be very effective. The best line for surf fishing pompano is usually mono for surf fishing because it’s easy to handle and provides good casting distance.

2. Redfish (Red Drum)

Redfish are strong fighters commonly caught using cut bait or shrimp. A braided fishing line like PowerPro is great for redfish due to its strength and sensitivity. Combine it with a fluorocarbon fishing line leader for abrasion resistance.

3. Striped Bass (Stripers)

Striped bass are popular in surf fishing situations. Use a monofilament main line with a fluoro leader for the best results. A surf casting setup with a surf rod and spinning tackle works well for stripers.

4. Bluefish

Bluefish are aggressive and often caught using fishing lures like a silver spoon. For these fish, a braided fishing line is ideal because it offers great line strength and casting distance.

5. Flounder

Flounder are often found near structures and drop-offs. Use light tackle with a mono leader and cut bait. A monofilament fishing line is good for flounder because of its stretch and shock absorption.


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♬ original sound – HookedwithBernie

6. Sharks

For shark fishing, you need heavy-duty surf fishing gear. Use a heavy mono or 80-100 lb braid with a strong leader line. This setup helps handle the intense fight sharks put up.

7. Whiting (Kingfish)

Whiting are smaller fish that are abundant in many surf fishing spots. Use pieces of shrimp on a surf fishing rig with monofilament line for best results. Mono line is great for casting and handling these fish.

8. Spanish Mackerel

Spanish mackerel are fast and often caught using shiny lures like top water plugs. A 20 lb braid works well due to its thin diameter and strength, making it great for casting distances needed for mackerel.

9. Black Drum

Black drum are similar to redfish and can be caught using cut bait, shrimp, or crabs. Use a braided fishing line with a fluorocarbon leader to handle their rough scales and powerful runs.

10. Croaker

Croaker are small to medium-sized fish caught using pieces of shrimp or squid. A monofilament fishing line is perfect for croaker, providing easy handling and good shock absorption.

Best Locations in the United States for Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is popular in many coastal regions across the United States. Here are some of the best locations for surf fishing, known for their abundant fish species and great fishing conditions:


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♬ original sound – Kasting with Kei

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a premier destination for surf fishing, known for its long stretches of sandy beaches and variety of fish species. You can catch red drum, bluefish, flounder, and striped bass here. Popular spots include Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Oregon Inlet.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod offers excellent surf fishing opportunities, particularly for striped bass and bluefish. The Cape Cod National Seashore provides numerous spots where anglers can fish from the shore, including Race Point Beach and Nauset Beach.

Montauk, New York

Montauk, located at the eastern tip of Long Island, is famous for its surf fishing. Known as the “Surfcasting Capital of the World,” Montauk is an excellent place to catch striped bass, bluefish, and fluke. Montauk Point State Park is a top spot.

Florida Panhandle

Florida Panhandle

The Florida Panhandle, including areas like Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City Beach, is renowned for its surf fishing. You can catch pompano, redfish, Spanish mackerel, and kingfish. The region’s white sandy beaches and warm waters make it a great fishing destination year-round.

Galveston, Texas

Galveston offers great surf fishing opportunities along the Gulf Coast. Popular catches include redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and sharks. The Galveston Seawall and the beaches around Galveston Island State Park are popular fishing spots.


Choosing the best fishing line for surf fishing comes down to understanding your needs and the conditions you’ll be fishing in. Whether you prefer braid for its strength and sensitivity, mono for its ease of use and shock absorption, or fluorocarbon for its invisibility and abrasion resistance, there’s a perfect line out there for you.

Happy fishing, and may your next surf fishing adventure be a successful one!

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