You might not have thought it but choosing the right carp fishing line can have a massive effect on your carp fishing. The line you use connects you to the fish in every way from how it casts, to bite sensitivity, sink rate, visibility, strength in the fight, and the list goes on.
However, understanding the differences between lines isn’t so easy and finding the best carp fishing lines is hard too. It requires a ton of research and testing which can only be done on the bank fishing.
Carp anglers are always looking for the best carp fishing line, and two stand out among the pack over all the rest! So let’s compare them against each other to determine which is the best.
Our 2 Best Carp Fishing Lines
- Fox Exocet Carp Fishing Line
- Gardner Tackle GT-HD Carp Fishing Line
Fox Exocet Fishing Line
The Fox Exocet is an awesome fishing line. It is a monofilament line meaning it is made from a single strand of high-quality nylon which ensures excellent overall strength and abrasion resistance. This means it can handle snags and larger fish with ease!
Despite also being very strong, the Fox Exocet also has a thin diameter which allows you to pack more onto your reel spool, reduces both drag in the water for better bite sensitivity, and drag in the air for longer casting distances too!
It is a supple line that is easy to handle which makes knot tying simple, and its knot strength is excellent too so you won’t have to worry about losing any fish due to that! The line also comes with low memory meaning it doesn’t coil up and cause tangles either.
The kaki coloured line is also designed to have low visibility in the water and blends into the environment almost seamlessly. Fish find it hard to see and therefore don’t spook and it lays well camouflaged on the bottom!
Another excellent feature of this carp fishing line is the sink rate. This line sinks quickly and gets out of the way of moving fish to provide you with an even more stealth approach.
Exocet is available in six strength choices of 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, and 23lbs breaking strains. My preference for carp is the 16lbs option which is strong enough for most carp fishery syndicate lakes. If you fish in heavy snaggy lakes, then moving up to the 18lbs or 20lbs option is advisable. All options come in a 1000 metre spool size.
There are no downsides to using the Fox Exocet line except the fact that it is a little expensive, but you pay for what you get in the fishing world.
- Low visibility in the water
- Hard for fish to see
- Low memory for fewer tangles
- Excellent knot strength
- Allows knots to be tied easily
- Sinks quickly
- Awesome abrasion resistance
- Great casting distance
- A little bit expensive
Gardner Tackle GT-HD Fishing Line
The Gardner Tackle GT-HD Fishing Line is a little different from the Fox Exocet Fishing Line above as it is a copolymer line. This means instead of being made from just nylon like monofilament, it is made with a combination of materials.
In this GT-HD line’s case, the use of a copolymer was used to reduce the stretch in the line. Monofilament is notoriously stretchy which helps when fighting a big fish as it provides some give but reduced stretch provides a more direct connection to your bait for better bite indication right through to your bite alarms.
By having a more sensitive line you will feel the more subtle bites from any carp which can only be a good thing and hopefully lead to catching more fish.
You might have thought that by using a copolymer to reduce the stretch of the line that some other features might be compromised, but this isn’t the case.
This carp fishing line has excellent abrasion resistance and is strong during a fight. If you get snagged or caught up in weeds when playing a fish chances are the line will pull through and you’ll land the carp.
It is an easy line to tie knots with and has good knot strength making it very reliable for specimen fish. Also, its low memory reduces tangle plus casting with it is a delight – you will find longer casting distances and better accuracy with this on your reel spool.
Gardner GT-HD comes in a single colour, low-viz green and is available in three sizes. Again, like the Exocet, the 15lbs test is the best option but it’s also available in 12lbs and 18lbs options.
This truly is an amazing carp fishing line that has it all and comes with reduced stretch for better bite sensitivity. The only downside is that with all these features, it does come at a cost!
- Reduced stretch for more sensitivity
- Subtle bite indication
- Sinks quickly
- Very low vis in the water
- Hard for carp to see
- High knot strength and great abrasion resistance
- Smooth and supple
- Low memory and great for casting with
- Super strong
- Quite expensive
If you are resistant to change from a monofilament line to a copolymer, Gardner GT-HD is also available in a monofilament version. You will lose the bite sensitivity and the less stretchy nature of the copolymer. Performance wise the mono version will work almost just as a copolymer.
So Which Line Is Best? Fox Exocet Or Gardner GT-HD
Comparing the two lines is going to be down to individual preference. Specification wise they are very similar, but a few considerations between the two can be made.
In my tests, I found no difference in the knot strength between the two lines. The Palomar knot is the best to use for both lines as this knot will hold strong and not weaken the breaking strain, and is one of the easiest knots to tie.
The Fox Exocet 16lb line has a diameter of 0.331mm, compared to the slightly thicker Gardner GT-HD 15lb line which is 0.35mm. This means you can get around 8% more line on your spool using the Exocet line.
The Fox Exocet comes in a 1000 meter spool for all breaking strains, and the Gardner GT-HD has different lengths depending on the breaking strain you choose, 1150m (12lbs), 1030m (15lbs) and 830m (18lbs)
Exocet is slightly cheaper than the GT-HD, the manufacturer’s recommended pricing for the GT-HD is approximately 5% more, which is insignificant.
In my experience either is a great choice, the GT-HD copolymer line will produce slightly less stretch and a marginally improved bite sensitivity over the Exocet. Carp anglers tend to stick with what they have used for years and never change. In comparing the two lines neither has a significant edge over the other.
If you want to do your own comparisons, fix one rod up with Exocet, and the other rod with GT-HD and see how you personally feel about them side to side. Make sure that you do this with the identical rod, reel, and terminal tackle to get a true representation.
What To Look For In The Best Carp Fishing Line
Here are some key considerations you need to be aware of when choosing the right fishing line when targeting carp.
Abrasion Resistance, Strength, & Knot Strength
No one wants a weak fishing line that breaks on snags or mid-fight with a fish, it would simply ruin your day wouldn’t it?
Look for lines that have solid abrasion resistance so they can handle being dragged into snags, or weed beds, and still hold onto a fish afterwards. Abrasion resistance is a good measure of general strength, but so is knot strength. Make sure the line ties reliable knots that don’t come undone under pressure.
Visibility & Diameter
The less likely a fish is to see your line, the more chance you have of catching it, so low visibility lines are a must when you are looking to use the best. Be sure to check the colours and reviews to ensure your line choice is low vis in the water, camo green, khaki, and dark tan seem to work best.
Another consideration is the diameter. Thinner line is harder for fish to see and it casts a lot better too as it has less drag but you don’t want this to compromise the strength of the line, so it is always best to find a balance.
Stretch & Memory
A line with a lower stretch provides a quicker and more efficient energy transfer from one end to the other. This not only means you will be able to detect more bites but it will also improve your casting distance. Plus, when fighting a fish, you have more control since the line doesn’t give as much.
Memory describes if or how much a line remembers the shape it was last in, like on your reel spool. Lines with lots of memory will coil up and cause tangles whereas lines with low memory will straighten out and be a joy to fish with – so low memory is key!
If you want to know more about the important aspects of fishing lines and how each compare, why not check out my category of articles regarding line and braid here!
Thank you very much for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and have discovered how these two lines match up. They both truly are wonderful lines to fish with, that will take your carp fishing game to a higher level and in turn, help you catch more fish.
Please share the article with your fishing mates and if you are a serious carp angler, why not have a look at my review on the Ridgemonkey VHR300 headtorch or my in-depth article on the best picks for carp fishing bivvies!
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