Fishing Line Weight Guide (Top Recommendations For Beginners)

Fishing Line Weight Guide

Choosing a proper line weight is one of a fisherman’s most crucial decisions. If you can’t pick a suitable line choice, you’ll have a hard fishing time. A little weight change will cause different feelings and efficiency.

Thus, before deciding on the line, you might discover the variations in line materials and weight.  If you get stuck in that problem, this post is for you. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed fishing line weight guide, along with much relevant knowledge.

What Is The Pound Test?

What Is The Pound Test
What Is The Pound Test

The primary purpose of the pound test is to provide the parameter of fishing line strength. This unit denotes the amount of weight applied to the fishing line. It determines a line capacity. It specifies how much strain the fishing wire can withstand before splitting in two. Each line roll is labeled with the pound test.

For example, a 9-pound test line might raise a 9-pound item, but a 10-pound block would break it into 2 pieces. Keep in mind that the drag system on your reel ensures that your line doesn’t receive the total weight of a fish.

This means anglers don’t need a 40-lb test line for catching a 40-pound fish. However, if you adjust the drag appropriately, you can catch fish that weigh much more than the pound test of your line. However, experts recommend not targeting little fish with a hefty pound test fishing line.

You will find it challenging to control during fishing. This parameter is on the label of each type of fishing line tested and given by the manufacturer.

So you need to carefully determine your purpose and fishing skills to make the most appropriate choices. This helps reduce many risks in fishing you may encounter: broken line, broken fishing rod, etc.

pound test fishing line
Pound test fishing line?

3 Main Factors Of Choosing Fishing Line

The fishing line connects the bait or lure to the fishing rod and reel. Once a fish is hooked, the line is essential to pull it in. It comes in various materials and strengths, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Fishing Line Types: Monofilament, Thermal Filament, And Braided

Monofilament, or “mono,” is the simplest type of fishing line. It’s a smooth and a little elastic all-around line made of nylon extruded in a single, left untwisted, and continuous filament.

People often spool monofilament on pre-spooled reels. Various colors are available for monofilament, allowing you to be more apparent above the water while being undetectable to fish.

This line type works well in freshwater, nearshore, inshore, or off a pier with a baitcaster or spinning rod and reel.

The lightweight and sensitive properties make it an excellent fishing line for native fish species such as trout and salmon, snapper, small tuna, and kingfish. Thermal Filament Aside from a monofilament fishing line, a thermal filament fishing line is also a common type.

It is a high-performance fishing line created by thermally joining microscopic strands.  Compared with monofilament, it has a smaller diameter per pound test. Thus, the thermal filament is more expensive and unavailable at small fishing stores.

Braided A braided fishing line is also constructed of synthetic plastic fibers such as nylon or Dacron. It creates more strength than the monofilament line.

Therefore, people often use it more commonly for catching more giant species. In addition, no stretch is available on the line, allowing fishermen to feel every movement from the fish on the line end.

A braided fishing line
A braided fishing line

Braided line is ideal for saltwater fishing, such as giant tuna, sharks, and large kingfishers. However, avoid braided lines when anglers need some line stretch to absorb shock, especially when fishing for soft-mouthed fish such as salmon.

Line strength

As mentioned before, people use a pound test to calculate line strength. Mono and braided are the two most common types of fishing lines. Let’s take a closer look at their strength:

Pound testMono (mm)Braid (mm)Mono (in)Braid (in)

Line memory

The capacity of a line to keep its shape following deformation is referred to as memory. When a line with a lot of memory is wrapped up on a spool, it “remembers” the loops that form.

Conversely, lines with no memory remain straight as they come off the spool, resulting in reduced friction on guides and reels, allowing for longer, smoother throws.

Nylon, Dacron, Spectra, Dyneema 

Nylon is the most widely used synthetic fiber for fishing lines, formed of linear polyamides. Moreover, it provides an excellent balance of strength, abrasion resistance, and flexibility.

Dacron is a long-chain polyester-based material that outperforms nylon in strength, flexibility, and low stretch.

Spectra and Dyneema are two recent brands of super-strong polyethylene fiber used in fishing lines. Honeywell manufactures Spectra, whereas DSM manufactures Dyneema.

These two are more potent than steel, last longer than polyester, and are light enough to float. Spectra/Dyneema also has superior abrasion resistance, which helps to avoid bait loss while fishing near obstructions or the bottom.

Although they are both made of the same chemical compound, there is a tiny variation in fiber weight and stiffness between the two. One is gel-spun, while the other type is extruded.

Nylon, Dacron, Spectra, Dyneema
Nylon, Dacron, Spectra, Dyneema

Is Casting Distance Important?

Casting distance is a critical factor in increasing the catching rate of larger and more fish. Longer casts also allow some baits to perform better, such as crankbaits.

The appropriate rod, reel, and line are critical to increasing casting distance.

If you use a too-light rod, the bait will not go a long distance. One that is too hefty will not load correctly and leave you short. Besides, lines with lower pound tests will be cast farther with the same reel and rod. Yet, it shouldn’t be too light since anglers may deal with break-offs.

External Effect On Choosing Fishing Line Weight

Targeting a certain species allows you to learn about that fish’s behaviors, hangouts, and eating preferences. In the long term, it will make you a lot better angler. This strategy can also make selecting fishing lines easier in the beginning. 

Another must-considering factor is your fishing environment. Some fish, such as bass, prefer to reside in areas with dense weed cover. As a result, you’ll probably want to go with a line that can tolerate a little more strain.

Constantly breaking your line off in tree limbs or weeds is not only inconvenient, but it may also become costly if you regularly lose lures.

A heavier line increases your chances of bringing the lure back to you. While deciding on fishing line weight, check the spinning reel sizes.

All reels have a label with numbers such as 270/6, 200/6, and 120/10. These figures show the number of lines spooled for specific line weights.

For example, the figures above suggest that you may use 270 yards of a 6-pound test, 200 yards of a 6-pound test, and 120 yards of a 10-pound test.

This tip may make picking lines more straightforward, or it could mean you need to buy a new reel if you wanted to target larger fish like pike.

Pound testStyleSpeciesVenue
2-4monosmall native fish, troutFreshwater
6-10monoBream, salmon, larger native fish, flathead.Inshore, pier
12-20mono/braidKingfish, small tuna, salmon, snapperNearshore
30-130braidLarge kingfish, marlin, giant tuna, sharks.Nearshore

Fishing Line Weight For Bass

Professional anglers recommend using an 8-12 pound test fluorocarbon or monofilament line when it comes to bass fishing Bass fishing provides an exciting experience and having the appropriate tackle and equipment can make a difference. Indeed, bass fishing requires both proper equipment and sound techniques.  Your fishing line is one of the essential components of a well-tuned bass fishing rig.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to become lost in the intricate maze of various line options.

Thus, determining the purpose and searching will help you narrow down these things to buy appropriately.

Professional anglers recommend using an 8-12 pound test fluorocarbon or monofilament line when it comes to bass fishing.

This needs to combine great finesse presentations with spinning gear.

In addition, a braided fishing line in the range of 30-50 pound test is highly adaptable to casting large swimbaits, jigs, crankbaits, and topwater equipment.

Fishing Line Weight For Trout 

The first thing to consider when selecting a line for trout is the species you want to target.  Obviously, a line that works for giant lake trout will be much different than what works for smaller stocked rainbow trout.  Trout has various species.

Thus, the forefront thing to consider is choosing a particular type of fishing. Of course, a line designed for gigantic lake trout will differ from the one designed for tiny stocked rainbow trout.

Fishing Line Weight For Trout 
Fishing Line Weight For Trout

No fishing line can work well with all species. Your line selection for different species boils down to determining the optimum line weight.

For average-sized trout (about 14-18 inches), a light fishing line in the 2 to 6-pound test range is usually suitable.

You may increase to an 8 or 10-pound test for larger trout or while trolling. Yet, heavy monofilament or braid (20 or more pound test) might be required if you’re targeting to catch lake trout or substantial brown trout.


Since the fishing line is a critical connection item, anglers need to consider many factors when choosing. In addition, external influences such as the type of fish and the environment also directly affect your decision to choose the fishing line.

Our article has provided a fishing line weight guide and related information. Surely this information will help you have more knowledge to choose the most suitable type for your upcoming fishing trip.

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