How to choose the Right Fishing Line Weight? – Fishing Line Weight Guide

Selecting an appropriate line weight is one of the most important decisions we take as an angler. If you can’t make a good line choice, You’ll have a hard time while fishing.

Like choosing rod weight, you will need to select the correct line weight according to the kind of fish you wish to catch.

Before you begin shopping for the line, it is also vital to know the differences involving line materials and their corresponding weight.

In this article, we will deliver a detailed guideline so that you can easily understand which fishing line weight suits you better.

What is Pound Test?

The strength of the fishing cord is said ‘test’ and is calculated in lbs (pounds). Each roll of the line has a tag identifying its pound test. More precisely, the pound test defines the capacity of a line. It defines how much pressure can be handled by the fishing wire before it splits in half.

Most importantly, it should approximately match the mass of the fish you are trying to grab. For example- a 30-pound test fishing line is appropriate for aiming a 25-30 pound tuna fish.

However, it is highly recommended that you should not target small fish with a heavy pound test fishing line.

Types of Fishing Lines

Depending on the where, what, and how of your fishing strategies, there is some concern about picking the right fishing cord.

As I mentioned earlier, there are 3 types of fishing lines available. It is important to know the ins and outs of these different lines for choosing a suitable line for you. The lines are:

  1. Monofilament Fishing line

The monofilament line is typically the most inexpensive option. One key advantage of this kind of line is it has a slow sink rate. Obviously, it’s an excellent choice for fishing surface water lures.

One problem is that monofilament wires tend to be less friction-resistant than fluorocarbon. As mono stretches more than braided and fluorocarbon lines, it is quite harder to place hooks as effectively.

However, high stretching ability helps the monofilament line maintain shock better than its competitors, at the same time, reduces sensitivity.

  1. Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon is the best choice for fishing in cover as it has more abrasion resistance than monofilament. Although, fluorocarbon cord has a very little stretch which makes it comfortable for setting hooks properly.

Apart from that, these sorts of lines are less visible in the water than monofilament. So, this fishing line is hard to see and detect for the fish. Nonetheless, fluorocarbon is not ideal for fishing upper layer water lures as it sinks more rapidly than mono.

  1. Braided Fishing line

Braided line is popular for its outstanding robustness and strength. The new braided fishing line is widely known as “superline”. It is characteristically much thinner in width compared to monofilament and fluorocarbon strings of the same pound test weight.

Thus, the braided line takes up less reel space. For instance, a reel that has enough capacity to roll up 100 meters of five-pound monofilament lines may be able to spool up 180-200 meters of the braid.

Another benefit is that braid has no stretch, which results in increased sensitivity and hook setups. In situations when strength is the main concern, braided fishing line is tough to beat. But, the braided line is easily visible to fish.

Choosing the Right Fishing Line Weight

Fishing line weight has a huge impact on your fishing. Choosing a line not only depends on the size of the fish you aim to catch but also on other things, such as fishing area, fishing gear, nature of the fish, planning, etc.

In some cases, bass fishermen might be fishing with a 6 to10 pound test line but might drop down to 5-4 pound test line based on the size of fish of that particular region. As an additional example, anglers who focus on trophies like musky and pike should have a higher pound test fishing line.

Consider the following factors when deciding the weight of the fishing line.

  • Deciding What to Catch

You have to buy the fishing line according to the size of the fish you are going to chase. However, if you want to grab a rainbow trout, you do not have to buy an 8-pound test line.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a 6-pound test monofilament fishing line should be used in cloudy water and 4-pound test monofilament in clear water.

Surprisingly, a patient and clever angler can certainly pull off an 8-pound trout using a 6-pound line or even a four-pound test fishing line. But a beginner should abstain from doing anything fancy.

  • Fishing Place

The size of the fish is smaller in places that are fished frequently. A study says that fish tends to be larger in rarely fished areas. That’s why some people keep different weighted fishing lines on hand, just in case they have to spool a new lighter or heavier line.

Remember, it is difficult to fish both heavy cover and a small open pond with the same fishing line pound test. You need to use a heavy pound test line in abrasive cover while lower pound test in open water for better casting.

  • Weather Condition

Related to your fishing spot, weather can alter the properties of different fishing test pound wires. You need to realize how the various types of water temperatures affect the fishing line. It can assist in making your mind on choosing the correct pound test line to fish with.

  • Other Fishing Gears

Most reels and rods have suggested pound test line weights on them. Don’t exceed these guidelines while bearing in mind the areas and type of fish you are fishing. Reeling up a 26-pound Fluorocarbon fishing cord on a small trout roll will not be effective.

Check our guide on Fishing Gears

Some General Guideline

I would love to provide some general recommendations for the pound test fishing line for both salt and freshwater use.

  • Freshwater Fishing

Panfish and trout can be caught with a 2-4 lb test line while you need 6-12 lb line to grab bass, catfish, walleye, salmon. But big fish like stripers, big catfish, and pike are pulled out of the water with 14-20 lbs heavy line.

  • Saltwater Fishing

Sea trout, flounder, sea bass are usually caught with an 8-14 lbs test line. Nonetheless, to get fishes like redfish, stripers, and blues, you need to buy a 16-25 lbs weighted line. However, giant fishes like marlin, tuna, shark are defeated with a 30+ pound test line.


Selecting the perfect line strength is not an easy task. Anglers who fail to choose the right fishing line and setups may discover that the line doesn’t cast better or the reel performs badly.

So, take a fair amount of time to know fishing lines so that you can make better decisions on what pound test line to use for a better fishing career.

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