Which Fishing Lines Float? [Mono, Fluoro, Braid]

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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When it comes to which fishing line floats, the answer is monofilament. While other lines like fluorocarbon and braided line typically sink due to their density, monofilament line floats because of its unique buoyancy properties.

Floating fishing line

Different Types of Fishing Lines Buoyancy

Type of LineFloats or Sinks
Braided LineSinks

Does Monofilament Fishing Line Sink or Float?

My experience with monofilament fishing line has shown me that it’s a line that tends to float. Monofilament, often called ‘mono’, is made from a single strand of material, usually nylon. It’s lightweight and resistant to sinking, primarily because of its lower density. There were times when I was float fishing and my bobber stayed put; that was the monofilament line doing its job.

This floating characteristic of mono makes it an excellent choice for topwater fishing techniques. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t be made to sink if needed. Attaching a weight or lure can easily make the line sink to target fish at different depths.

Berkley Trilene Mono
  • Available in Up to 10,800 Yard Spools
  • From 8 to 200 Pound Strength
  • Extremely Powerful
  • Shock Resistant

Does Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Sink or Float?

Unlike monofilament, fluorocarbon fishing line sinks. Fluorocarbon, or ‘fluoro,’ is made from a heavier material with a density greater than water. This higher density means it sinks faster in water, ideal for bottom fishing techniques.

I recall one time I was fishing and needed my line to sink quickly behind some structure. I used fluorocarbon and it sunk like a rock! This was great for presenting the bait naturally and targeting fish hanging out near the bottom.

Seaguar Red Label Fluoro
  • UV Resistant
  • High Tensile Strength
  • Invisible Underwater
  • Extremely Sensitive

Does Braided Fishing Line Sink or Float?

Braided fishing line, often simply called ‘braid’, typically sinks in water. Braid line is made up of tightly woven fibers, which give it a thin diameter and high strength. This means that while incredibly strong, it lacks the buoyancy to float.

I’ve found that braided line is excellent for fishing in heavy cover or when you need to feel every nibble because it has no stretch. However, without additional buoyant gear like bobbers, it won’t float.

KastKing Superpower Braid
  • Strong Knot Strength
    Low Memory
    High Abrasion Resistance
    Ultra-high Sensitivity

Why Do You Want Fishing Line That Floats?

It all depends on your fishing technique and the type of fish you’re targeting.

When I’m out on the lake doing float fishing, I prefer a floating line like monofilament. With a floating line, my bait stays in the strike zone longer, allowing fish to find it more. Moreover, when using topwater lures, a floating line ensures they stay on the surface, imitating prey animals.

I also prefer a floating fishing line when using live bait. If I want to keep the live bait towards the surface, you can’t use a dense fishing line that will force it into the seabed.

That said, not all fishing situations require a floating line. Sometimes, you want your line to sink. When targeting bottom dwellers or when you want a fast sink rate, a sinking line like fluorocarbon or braided line may be more beneficial.

What makes fishing lines float or sink

In simple terms, density is the mass packed into a given volume. When it comes to fishing lines, the key question is: how does the density of the line compare to the density of water?

If the line is less dense than water, it will float. If it’s more dense, it will sink.

Buoyancy is the force that causes objects to float in a fluid (like water). An object will float if the buoyant force acting on it is equal to or greater than the force of gravity pulling it down. The buoyant force depends on the volume of water displaced by the object – in this case, the fishing line.

It’s important to note that water’s density varies between freshwater and saltwater, with an approximate density of 1 g/cm^3 and 1.03 g/cm^3 respectively. Therefore, whether a fishing line sinks or floats can vary slightly depending on the type of water you’re fishing.

Factors like line thickness, temperature, the presence of any surface-active substances (like detergents), and the line’s treatment or coating can all affect the line’s performance in water.


Ultimately, choosing the right fishing line depends on understanding how different lines behave in water – whether they float or sink. Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of which fishing line floats and which one sinks, and why this knowledge is crucial in becoming a successful angler.

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