Surf Casting Florida

Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.

What color fishing line should I use for surf fishing?

The best color fishing line for surf fishing is clear. A close second best color is pink for surf fishing. Surf fishermen have their favorites that they swear by. They all catch plenty of fish. Some swear by fluorocarbon fishing lines and others stick to mono filament fishing lines. Some fishermen love colored lines and other just use the clear ones.

Some fish are much more sharp eyed than others and your choice of line will matter depending upon how sunny of a day it is.

I am a FISHING CHARTER CAPTAIN on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, grass flats, mangroves and just about everywhere else in Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will teach you what the best colors and pound test lines are for surf fishing.

Your main line does not matter. I would suggest that you use a bright color so that you can see where your line is in relation to the surf. You might think that your line is straight out where you just pitched it but it is really 30 yards down current because your weights are too small.

I like the yellow and orange colored lines for surf casting because I am old and my eyesight is not as good as it used to be. The main line doesn’t really matter but the leader that is tied to your hook does matter.

For my leaders, I like to use plain old clear mono filament. I have heard some convincing arguments about pink, blue and green tinted fluorocarbon leaders for different water conditions but I have yet to try them. This might be something that you want to test at some point but I will stick to what has worked for me for decades.

Should you use fluorocarbon or mono filament fishing lines?

I am not going to get into the argument about fluorocarbon fishing lines versus mono filament because I have not noticed very much of a difference between the two. I think that there is a slight edge given to the fluorocarbon line when it comes to sharp eyed fish but the edge is very slight, in my opinion.

Fluorocarbon lines cost two or three times as much as mono filament so I just use mono filament for my leaders. You have to base the strength of the leaders that you will need based on the size of fish that you are targeting.

Let’s say that you are going after pompano and need to use 4 ounces of lead to get your bait out far enough or to keep it still on the bottom. In that case, you will need a 30 pound leader or your line will snap when you cast it. You might need to add a shock leader in between your main line and your leader that is tied to the hooks.

Your shock leader will need to be about 30 feet long. This will stop you from casting off your sinkers when you are pitching the heavy ones. A 30 pound shock leader will work with weights up to 2 or 3 ounces but you might have to go up to 40 or 50 pound test for heavier sinkers.

If the current is not strong and the pompano are close to shore, then you can get away with 15 or 20 pound leaders.

If you are surf fishing for big tarpon, then you will need 80 to 100 pound test leaders. I think that you get the point. You have to choose the best leader given the circumstances of that day of fishing. You have to evaluate the current, casting distance to the fish and the types and size of the fish that you are targeting.

I wrote another article on this website all about the pros and cons of surf fishing with braided line. You can read all about the benefits and drawbacks of braid versus mono filament fishing lines. Click here to read more about it.


Many surf fishermen have their favorite colored lines that they like to use. There have been many tests done over the years about the effectiveness of different colored main lines and leaders. The results point to clear lines being the best choice for surf fishermen. Pink is a close second so use them as you please.

I used to use line colors that would match the water clarity conditions for more than 20 years. I only use clear or pink for my leaders or main lines if they are connected directly to the lure or baited hooks.

I hope that this article helps you catch more fish when you are surf fishing next time.

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