How to Choose Fishing Line Size
How Fishing Line’s Strength is Measured
Fishing line strength is referred to as ‘test’ and is measured in pounds (lbs). The pound test of a line is how much force it can withstand before it breaks. Every fishing line will have a label identifying what pound test it is.
Why Fishing Line Size Matters
The size fishing line you choose is an important decision because it affects multiple aspects of your fishing. Line size effects:
- Strength – The larger the line size the stronger it will be. The species of fish you are targeting and whether your fishing open water or in cover will determine how strong of line you need.
- Visibility – The larger the line size the more visible the line will be. How visible your line can be depends on water clarity. The dirtier the water the more visible your line can be. In clearer water you need less visible line.
- Casting Distance – Rods and reels are rated for the line diameter range they are designed for. Using the proper line diameter for your equipment will ensure you get the best results. Thinner line tends to cast further do its lighter weight and being more aerodynamic.
- Diving depth of lure – When fishing diving lures, line size will affect how deep they can dive. Thinner line will dive deeper than thicker line due to having less resistence in the water. Thicker line can also be less bouyent which adds more upward lift and makes it hard for your lure to dive.
As you can see line size affects many aspects of your fishing. There is a give and take with every line size and which one you choose will depend on the situation.
What lb Test Fishing Line is Best?
When picking line size the most important factor is strength followed by visibility. With strength, you need to be able to fight the fish in without breaking off. You don’t want to go overboard with strength though because larger line becomes more visible to the point where fish won’t bite.
If fish won’t bite then you’ll never get the chance to break off. You need to balance line size based on the strength and visibility needs.
The last thing to consider is diving depth. If you need to get your baits deeper then you can size down your line. If you need to keep your bait shallower then you can size up.
Line Size by Bass Fishing Techneque
|Fishing Technique||Line Type||Recommended Line|
|Finesse in crystal clear water||10lb braid to 5-8lb fluoro||Maxcuatro & Sunline Sniper|
|Finesse in clean water||10lb braid to 6-10lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Finesse Jig||30lb braid to 10-15lb mono or 12-15lb fluoro||Maxcuatro & Sunline Assassin|
|Texas Rig||40lb braid to 12-17lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Jig Fishing||50lb braid to 15-20lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Shaky Head||30lb braid to 10lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Swimbait||80lb braid to 30lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Crankbait (option 1)||12lb fluoro||Sunline Assassin|
|Crankbait (option 2)||20lb braid to 12lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Jerkbait (option 1)||20lb braid to 10lb mono||Maxcuatro & Maxima Ultragreen|
|Jerkbait (option 2)||12lb fluoro||Sunline Assassin|
Line Size by Species
|Line Test (lb)||Fish Species|
|2-6 lb||Panfish, Trout|
|12-25 lb||Catfish, Walleye, Pike|
|80 lb +||Musky|