Fishing Line Memory … What is it? And How To Reduce It!


Have you heard of “Line Memory” before? If not, that’s ok. A lot of anglers have not heard of line memory before. But what is line memory, and should you be worried about it? In my years of fishing, I don’t really worry about line memory. Partly because I know what it is, what causes it, how to manage it, and tips on how to minimize its impact. All these points we are going to explore in this post. Starting with “What is line memory?”

Line memory can occur if a fishing line sits on a spool for too long. Over time the fishing line will remember the shape of the spool and will tend to curl trying as the line comes off the spool. Lines with high memory will produce more dramatic curls, resulting in tangles, reduced casting distance, and lower sensitivity. Line memory can’t be eliminated, but there are ways to manage it.

A fishing line with high line memory can be definitely frustrating. I’ve had my fair share with line memory. Trust me, after a few tangles, it sure sucks the fun away from fishing.

But if I knew what I know now, it would have been a much different experience for me. After educating myself about line memory and years of fishing, I know it’s definitely manageable.

Does Monofilament have Line Memory?

Monofilament fishing line is considered to be one of the most commonly used fishing lines in the market. And for good reason! It has so MANY benefits, but there are cons to be aware of as well.

Monofilament fishing lines can have line memory, but it’s generally considered low to med memory. Monofilament gets its memory from the material. Thinner lines will have lower line memory, and as the line becomes thicker, the amount of line memory will also increase.

Personally, I don’t really notice any line memory with monofilament until I get to about 15 – 20 lb test lines and even at that point, it’s very minimal.

If you buy a thicker line or have a line with anti-abrasion resistance properties, you might experience more line memory than normal. If you find yourself dealing with line memory, check out my post on how to untwist and reduce line memory.

Which Monofilament line has the least line memory

Over the years, there has been a lot of progress to reduce the inherent line memory that monofilament fishing line has. Many manufactures can play with the amount of line memory by adding different additives to the monofilament-making process.

In an ideal world, you would have monofilament fishing with no line memory and all the benefits of monofilament. But this is the real world, and we can’t have our cake and eat it too. Adding different additives to reduce the line memory usually means you will sacrifice a bit of the abrasion resistance and some of its strength.

The Berkley Trilene XL is my go-to monofilament fishing line if I want a line with low line memory but still retains much of the other benefits that we all love about monofilament.

Does Fluorocarbon have Line Memory?

There are many reasons why we should all love fishing with fluorocarbon fishing line but fluorocarbon fishing line has one major drawback though … line memory.

Fluorocarbon fishing lines have the highest line memory compared to other fishing lines in the market. The amount of line memory will vary depending on line size, manufacturing processes, and material.

Like monofilament, there have been some big strides over the years to reduce the amount of line memory for Fluorocarbon. Line memory is still a major drawback despite the improvements over the years.

Which Fluorocarbon Fishing line has the least line memory

If you’re seeking a fluorocarbon fishing line with relativity low line memory but still has all the benefits of fluorocarbon, you would be hard press to find a better line than the Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon fishing line.

I have not used this line, but I know many anglers who swear by the Seaguar InvizX, especially if you plan on spooling your entire reel with a fluorocarbon fishing line.

Call me old school, but I’m a fan of the Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon Leader Line. I like to use fluorocarbon as a leader line only. This way, I’m less concerned about line memory, and I can use a different fishing line as the mainline that is well balanced for my purposes. Plus, spooling an entire reel with Fluorocarbon can be pricey!

Does Braid Have Line Memory?

If you’re seeking a fishing line with no line memory at all, then braid fishing line will be the line for you.

Braided fishing line has virtually no line memory. This is thanks to the braided fishing line material and design. Braided fishing line remains very limp and flexible across a wide range of line sizes.

What Causes Fishing Line Memory

As anglers, line memory is something we will need to deal with. There are tons of tips and products available to help manage line memory, but it will never completely remove the memory. But there are different factors that contribute to line memory, such as:

  • Fishing Line Material
  • Line Diameter
  • External Fishing Line Coatings
  • Age of Fishing Line
  • Time

Fishing Line Material Vs Fishing Line Memory

The largest factor that contributes to line memory has to be hands-down the fishing line material.

Fishing lines are generally made from three basic materials monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid. Each of these materials has different properties, which directly influences the amount of memory a fishing line will have.

Fishing Line Diameter Vs Fishing Line Memory

Coming in second place would the fishing line diameter or thickness. As a fishing line gets thicker, it loses some flexibility, and its line memory will increase.

Many brands have improved on this over the years, and there are always new products that keep hitting the market to help minimize the line memory.

How Fishing Line’s External Coatings Affect Line Memory

Believe it or not, your fishing line comes with an external coating that either increases performance or life span. But depending on the type of coating applied, it may lower or increase the amount of line memory.

For example, some monofilament fishing lines have a UV protective coating to help protect the line from UV rays. From my experience, these coatings will have little impact on memory. However, monofilament with an anti-abrasion coating will usually increase memory.

How Does A Fishing Line’s Age Affect Line Memory?

As we get older we become less flexible and fishing line is no different.

As fishing line gets older, it loses its flexibility and becomes stiffer. As a result, this will increase the line memory.

This is one reason why it’s recommended to change out your fishing line after a few seasons. Check out my post on how long does your fishing line will last before needing to replace it.

Tips How To Reduce Fishing Line Memory

There have been many improvements to reduce line memory over the years, but there are still times where you might come across a fishing line with a lot of memory.

Luckily, you can find several helpful tips online that you can use to help reduce the amount of line memory your line has. I wrote about these tips in another post about the different ways to reduce line memory.

Is Fishing Line Memory Bad? Final Thoughts!

It would be best to have no line memory in a perfect world at all, but that’s not the world we live in. Understanding what line memory is and the different factors contributing to it can better anticipate and manage line memory.

What does all this mean for you? Should you be worried about line memory?

Personally, I don’t focus too much on line memory. There are many other factors that I would be concerned about before I worry about line memory.

There are anglers out there who are on a mission to always get the new best fishing line with the lowest line memory in the market as if it was the latest smartphone release. I don’t see the point. There is a point of diminishing returns where the cost of the fishing line and time spent always looking for the new best fishing line do not justify the incremental improvements.

Happy Fishing and Tight Lines

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