What Pound Fishing Line To Use? Using Proper Fishing Line Guide!

What Pound Fishing Line To Use? With hundreds of various fishing line brands, styles, widths, diameters, characteristics, and strengths (pound tests), selecting the right one can be as tough as choosing the perfect entree from an inch-thick menu in a foreign restaurant.

The target species, fishing method, habitat, lures and baits, and angler skill all factor into determining the ideal line for the job. There are three primary varieties of fishing line used by anglers in the United States today: monofilament, braid, and fluorocarbon. Each line type has its advantages and disadvantages, and each has a large following. Anglers are adamant about their line selection, which is discussed in length here.

Types OF Fishing Line

Braided Fishing Line

Braided lines have existed for a long period — longer than monofilament or fluorocarbon, despite the majority of us grew up with monofilament. Braid’s advantages include its amazing strength despite its small diameter and its lack of stretch. It is exceptionally castable.

The only disadvantage of using braided lines over monofilament or fluorocarbon is that they may be more noticeable to bass. However, in dense cover or low light settings, this is probably irrelevant.

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon was initially developed as leader material, and it wasn’t until the last decade or so that fluorocarbon lines were sufficiently limp and castable to be used as main lines on spinning and casting reels. Fluorocarbon’s primary advantages are its relative invisibility and lack of stretch. Due to its nearly identical refractive properties to water, it is difficult to see underwater, and while it stretches somewhat, it is more sensitive than monofilament.

If fluorocarbon has any drawbacks, they are that it sinks and may not be as resistant to abrasion as monofilament. As a result, it is an unsuitable material for floating lures. Additionally, I prefer to use different line types while fishing in dense cover when I anticipate my line getting pinched.

The Spiderwire Ultracast Fluorocarbon’s sizes range from six to twenty-five pounds-test. It works well with treble-hooked crankbaits and jerkbaits. It is extremely castable and has a very little stretch. 

Monofilament Fishing Line

Monofilament has been around for more than 50 years, and for the majority of that period, it was the only type of line utilized by bass fishermen. It’s extremely castable, barely visible to fish, and floats, making it an ideal choice for floating baits. Additionally, it extends more than braid or fluorocarbon, which might be advantageous or disadvantageous.

One application of mono that may surprise many people is in my worm fishing — either Texas rigging or Carolina rigging. I believe it is more durable than fluorocarbon near rocks, bushes, and shell beads. And, while it does have a little more stretch than fluorocarbon, you can compensate by using a heavier rod. By using a mono mainline and leader, you can increase the lift of my baits when employing a Carolina rig. The baits will not drag as much as they do with fluorocarbon, which results in more bites.

What Pound Fishing Line To Use?

As previously said, your choice of line weight is contingent upon a variety of criteria when it comes to selecting the proper fishing line. Different varieties of lines exist, and some, such as braided fishing lines, can deliver higher pound tests at smaller line diameters. Additionally, fluorocarbon fishing lines can be used at greater pound tests without sacrificing visibility. All of these things should be considered when choosing a line to fish with. The following are general suggestions for the weight of fishing lines to use for several of the more popular freshwater and saltwater species.

Types of Fishing Pound Test Target Fish

Fishing in Freshwater
2-4 lb

6-12 lb
14-20 lb
Panfish, Trout

Bass, Catfish, Walleye, SalmonCatfish, Stripers, Pike/Musky
Fishing in Saltwater8-14 lb
16-25 lb
30 lb
pound Sea Trout, Flounder, and Sea BassSea Bass 16-25 pound Redfish, Stripers, and Blues Tuna, Marlin, and SharkSea Trout

Understanding the Strength of Fishing Line

The term ‘test’ refers to the strength of the fishing line and is measured in pounds (lbs.). Each spool of line is labeled with the pound test, which is typically similar to 8-lb. test. The pound test is a measurement of the amount of stress that may be applied to the fishing line before it breaks (in pounds). There are a few factors to consider while selecting the proper fishing line, depending on the what, where, and how of your fishing plans.

Selecting the Appropriate Fishing Line Weight

Fishing line weight should be proportionate to the species you are targeting, the locations you intend to fish, and the method you intend to use. Line weight should be proportional to the size of fish you anticipate catching. For example, the bass fisherman may use an 8- to 12-pound test fishing line but may reduce it to a 6-pound test line depending on the size of bass expected to be caught. As another example, anglers targeting large game fish such as pike and musky should use a heavier pound test line to accommodate fish weighing between 15 and 40 pounds and more. Consider the following factors when determining the appropriate fishing line weight.

Determine the species for which you are fishing 

What are you after? This is the first question to ask when selecting a pound test line. Saltwater species such as redfish require a completely different line strength characteristic than the panfishing lines.

Where are you casting your line? 

Fishing for bass in dense cover versus an open tiny pond demands a different pound test of fishing line. Increase the pound test while fishing under abrasive cover (and possibly consider a different type of fishing line) and use a lower pound test when fishing in open water to increase castability.

Weather conditions 

Depending on the location of your fishing, the weather might alter the qualities of certain fishing lines. Understanding how different water temperatures affect lines can assist in determining the appropriate pound test to use.

Fishing within the confines of your gear 

Rods and reels are marked with appropriate line weights. Maintain such standards while taking into account the species and places in which you are fishing. Spooling a 25-pound test monofilament fishing line onto a little trout reel is inefficient and will create headaches all day on the water.

Why Not Lower Or Higher?

You may be wondering: Isn’t the lower pound test significantly more prone to break-offs? That is not true! When the reel is under excessive pressure, it will release the line. When a larger fish hits and runs the line, it will not break but will exit the spool, allowing the fish to continue its journey. Fish will only break lines if the drag system is greater than the pound test of your line.

That is, the line will break only if the drag exceeds the line weight, which means you must set the drag low if you are using low pound tests. I propose setting the drag to roughly 1/3 of the line’s weight. This, however, may be too low when pursuing larger and heavier fish!

This is why a greater pound test line is preferable, as it allows you to create a higher drag system and reduces the possibility of your line loosening. For example, the drag setting on a 20 lb test line is around seven pounds.

However, avoid obtaining the maximum poundage test possible, as this may work against your intentions! While thicker lines do provide more control and leverage while fighting fish, they also have drawbacks.

Additionally, lines with larger diameters will generate more friction, resulting in shorter travel distances. It will be exacerbated by the wind, which will make it more difficult for the bait to remain. Due to its thickness, it will be difficult to fit a line on reels, reducing casting distances and resulting in a spool with fewer yards. That is why you should strike a balance in your pound test line!


As a surf angler, you must ensure that your fishing equipment is appropriate for the environment. Otherwise, you’ll jeopardize your fishing line and any big bites that come your way! That is why the first item to consider is the pound test of your line to mitigate any concerns.

I hope my post on the optimal pound test for What Pound Fishing Line To Use will benefit you. Therefore, do not delay any longer and begin researching the proper investments for your fishing line immediately.

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