The best fishing line for Alaska in 2020 was put to the test by Fish Alaska staff all summer to bring you our favorite fishing line no matter where and how you fish in Alaska.
From braid to monofilament, fluorocarbon to spectra, leader to tippet, and spey line to Skagit tips, we’ve compiled our favorite fishing line here for you.
This is the best fishing line for 2020
|P-Line SS Fluorocarbon Leader
This leader material is tough, and takes the abuse that we doled out fishing with it for salmon in rocky and wood-laden rivers in Alaska in 2019. It’s nearly invisible underwater, which gave us an edge, particularly when fishing in the super-clear and low conditions of the Tsiu River, similar to what many anglers faced across Alaska in 2019. We are able to tie good knots with it, and it comes in pound-tests from 6 to 40, in 100-yard spools.
|KastKing KastPro Braided Fishing Line
KastPro is another great product from KastKing. It’s available in five different colors in 6- to 80-pound-test (10 sizes) and comes on 300-yard spools. The spool is biodegradable. KastPro is a 4-carrier Spectra braid, perhaps the most abrasion resistant of braided-line configurations. It has a special coating that penetrates the fibers to ensure color retention and improve abrasion resistance. KastKing claims KastPro has the thinnest possible diameters per rated breaking strength in a 4-strand braided fishing line. One tester used 65-pound-test in yellow for a multitude of salmon-fishing techniques. Another tester reported using 65- and 80-pound-test, in the color coastal blue, and said it is tough, casts very well, packs on the reel nicely, doesn’t stretch and doesn’t tip wrap when casting. Most braids are of great quality these days; KastPro performed as well as any of them, at almost half the price.
|Berkley FireLine Ultra 8 Carrier Line
While it seems like a tough proposition to improve the original FireLine, Berkeley claims FireLine Ultra 8 Carrier is four times more abrasion resistant and casts 10% farther than the original FireLine. It’s still a fused superline, but made with eight carriers instead of four, providing the advantages mentioned and resulting in a rounder, smoother line. We used this line in 14-pound-test for steelhead and coho for bobber and bait, bobber and jig, and bobber dogging presentations. It’s a winner and is a welcome addition to our lineup of best fishing line!
|Rio Products Technical Trout Series Fly Line
We tested the DT6F when fishing for rainbows, grayling and char in Bristol Bay in 2019. Using small dries and nymphs, we were able to reach out pretty far, and still lay the flies down softly on the water’s surface, thanks to the weight distribution and front taper design of this double-taper line.
|Cortland Competition Series Slow Intermediate WF 6/7 Fly Line
With a sink rate of one-inch-per-second, this line allows you to start at the surface and slowly work through the water column for more natural presentations. The same slow sink rate allows you to fish slow retrieves in shallower water than other intermediate lines that typically sink at 1.5- to 2 inches per second. This is one of our go-to lines for casting and retrieving buggers in stillwater. It has 55 feet of running line, 5 feet of back taper, and a 50-foot tip and is available in 5/6, 6/7 or 7/8 options.
|PowerPro Super 8 Slick V2
PowerPro Super 8 Slick V2 is a very smooth, 8-carrier Spectra line that reduces friction through the rod guides providing longer casts. This smooth finish also makes it noticeably quieter than some of the other superlines on the market. It’s available in tests from 10- to 80-pound-test and five different colors. Our tester used 65-pound-test in moss green for salmon trolling and it performed well in this situation.
|OPST Commando Groove Intermediate Skagit Head, 375 grain
We tested the 375-grain Commando Groove using a Pieroway Renegade 8-weight switch rod and chose it as one of the best fishing line winners for 2020. Designed by one of the true pioneers of Skagit casting, Ed Ward, the Groove features the same taper as the original floating Commando head. However, the Groove is a dual-density head with the rear third floating and the remainder intermediate sinking. This intermediate portion sinks below the faster surface currents, allowing the line to swing slower and a little deeper. Available in sizes from 200 grains to 475 grains. Note: you will want to use a Commando Groove head that is 25 grains lighter than the regular Commando head you normally use on your rod.