How To Choose Fishing Line Weight?

How To Choose Fishing Line Weight?

Every angler believes that following some specific techniques helps to have better catches. Choosing the best fishing line weight is one of them. Otherwise, you have to quit fishing whenever your fishing line breaks. So, how to choose fishing line weight? Follow our fishing line weight guide that can help the anglers to continue their fishing without any interrupt.

What is fishing line strength?

A measurement of how much stress a fishing line can tolerate before it breaks is called the fishing line strength. The stress is measured in pounds (lbs) unit. Usually, the strength of a fishing line is identified by the label on the fishing line spool. In practical, they are like 8-lb. test. There are a few considerations that you should do before choosing the fishing line.

How to choose the right fishing line weight?

Fishing line weight should be chosen wisely by considering the species you are fishing for. Sizes of the fish vary on their species and you have to estimate the weight of the fish you gonna catch. For example, 8 to 12-pound test fishing line is suitable for catching bass fish. But it can be lower to 6-7 pounds depending on the sizes that you wish to catch. Catching fish like pike and musky demands a higher pound test line like 15 to 40 pounds. Consider the fishing line weight guide described below to choose the correct fishing line weight.

What are you fishing for?

Determine the targeted species that you want to catch. This is important as you may see that the bass fish, panfish and redfish require various weighted fishing lines.

Where are you fishing?

Fishing in an open lake requires different fishing lines than the lines required for a covered small pond. Use a more weighted fishing line while fishing in a covered pond. Using a lower weighted fishing line in a lake will help you improving castability.

Weather conditions

The weather has a huge impact on fishing. Temperature impacts on the fishing line, so you need to choose the fishing line weight considering the temperature of the water.

Match with your gear

Almost every rods and reel available in the market recommends some line weights on them. We recommend going with that fishing line weight guide but don’t forget to consider the other guidelines.

Fishing Line Strength Chart

Most probably you can choose the best fishing line for you after the discussion. One more thing to mention- fishing line weights vary on the types of fishing lines. At lower line diameters, braided fishing line and fluorocarbon fishing line can provide more strength test. We’ve simplified the way of choosing the best fishing line for you according to the fishing line weights which means how much weights that the lines can bear.

Type of FishingWeightTarget Species
Freshwater Fishing2-4 lbsTrout, Panfish
6-12 lbsBass, Catfish, Walleye, Salmon
14-20+ lbsCatfish, Stripers, Pike/Musky
Saltwater Fishing8-14 lbsSea Trout, Flounder, Sea Bass
16-25 lbsRedfish, Stripers, Blues, Sea Trout
30+ lbsTuna, Marlin, Shark

A patient and the careful angler can certainly land an 8-pound trout using a 4-6 pound line. This is only possible if the angler knows how to manipulate the drag setting and how to allow fish to run periodically. This method puts less stress on your fishing line and helps you to have the catch. But there’s a risk also like if the fish want to fight more, there’s a chance of breaking the fishing line.

Reel capacity is another major factor in terms of choosing a fishing line. The unlimited length of the line can’t be stored in a reel, so you need to know the capacity of your reels. For instance, you may see a reel has the capacity of taking 140 yards of 8-pound mono but it can take 260 yards of 4-pound mono fishing lines. So, there’re many possibilities that vary on the fishing line weight.

Match your fishing rod, lure, and line

As well as your fishing line, your fishing rod has a limit to lift weight and cast in a perfect way also. A random choice of fishing rod and fishing line might cause you losing the fish or breaking your fishing rod and fishing line. We are presenting a chart as a guide for the best use of your fishing rods, fishing lures, and fishing lines.

Rod PowerLure WeightLine Size
Ultralight1 – 4 lbs test1/64 – 1/16 oz
Light4 – 8 lbs test1/16 – 1/4 oz
Medium Light6 – 10 lbs test1/4 – 1/2 oz
Medium8 – 12 lbs test1/2 – 1 oz
Medium Heavy12 – 25 lbs test1 – 4 oz
Heavy20 – 40 lbs test4 – 8 oz
Extra Heavy25 lbs test and above8 oz and above

What Fishing Line To Use?

1. Nylon Monofilament Fishing Lines

Pros

  • Shock absorbing as it is more elastic
  • Comparably less expensive
  • Knotting, crimping, and new connections are easier with this line
  • Less visible as it’s transparent
  • It’s fairly resistant to abrasion

Cons

  • Elasticity might reduce the bite detection
  • Longest possible casts might be affected due to the elasticity (fluorocarbon lines can solve this)
  • It loses strength over time

2. Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines

Pros

  • It’s low in the stretch which helps to detect the tiny bites
  • It’s invisible underwater
  • It has a better sinking tendency
  • It doesn’t absorb water like mono lines thus it lasts longer
  • It’s slightly rigid than mono thus it has fewer chances to tangle
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Direct sunlight has almost no effect on this

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • Due to high memory, it may cast less distance
  • Not good for topwater lures as it has more sinking tendency

3. Braid Fishing Lines

Pros

  • Braid line comes with amazing strength/diameter ratio
  • Due to its small diameter, it casts better
  • It goes deeper into the water 
  • It has almost no stretches
  • Braid lines have no reel memory whatsoever

Cons

  • This line is so thin, hard and sharp it can cut fingers
  • Due to its zero stretch, it is more likely to be torn
  • Braid line is more likely to very visible in clearwater
  • Braid lines should be knotted in a different way rather than regular knots
  • A bit expensive than nylon

The Fishing Line Comparison Table

Don’t get confused with the various information around us while they are conflicting with the sub-types of the fishing lines. But we have compared the basic fishing lines as you can understand other lines.


Nylon MonofilamentFluorocarbonBraid Line
PriceCheapestMost ExpensiveExpensive
DensityLeast Dense (Floats)Most Dense (Sinks)Denser (Sinks)
DiameterThickestThickerThinnest
ElasticityMost ElasticNot So ElasticLeast Elastic
Flexibility
Least FlexibleMost Flexible
Memory
Most MemoryLeast Memory
PorosityMost PorousLeast Porous
Abrasion Resistance
Most Abrasion ResistantLeast Abrasion Resistant
UV degradation ResistanceLeast Resistant to UVResistant to UVResistant to UV
Visibility
Least VisibleMost Visible
Basic Usage1. As the main reel line
2. As a line that stretches and absorbs shock
3. For tying hook traces and terminal rigs
1. For tying hook traces and terminal rigs in clearwater
2. For low visibility
3. As non-stretch shock leaders when long casting is necessary specifically when surfcasting.
1. For long casts applications

Final Words

Definitely, you’ve got enough lessons on how to choose the right fishing line weight. Fishing lines weights should match the average weight of the targeted species and also needed to be capable of absorbing shocks of fish fights and hits. It’s a good practice to buy lots of fishing lines to continue your fishing even if the line breaks.

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