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The type of fishing line that you choose is important for your fishing experience. The fishing line weight is one of the considerations you have to keep in mind when choosing the right line. So, we want to look at how you can choose the right fishing line weight.

How to Choose the Right Fishing Line Weight?

Understanding the strength of a fishing line

The fishing line strength is referred to as a test and it is measured in pounds. It is why every line will have a label identifying it with pounds. An example is that a line might have a label showing something like 8-lb. test or 12-lb. test. The pound test is simply a measure of how many pounds in terms of stress can be put on that specific fishing before it can break. So, depending on various factors, you might have to choose some lines over the others.

Keep in mind the target species

The type of fish you are looking to get will determine the type of fishing line you get to choose. Remember that not all fish types will have the same weight. A fishing line meant for saltwater species will be different as compared to when fishing the freshwater species. These two lines will have completely different strength capabilities.

Where you will be fishing

Where you decide to fish can also be a huge factor when buying a fishing line by weight. An example is that when you fish bass in a heavy cover and when fishing the same in a small open pond, the two will require different lines. You should have a line with an increased pound test for the abrasive cover while a lower pound test line would be ideal for open water to help improve castability.

The weather conditions

The weather can also determine which type of fishing to consider getting. This is because the change in weather conditions can also have an effect on the fishing lines. Understanding how the water temperatures can affect the fishing line would help you decide which type of the pound test to consider before buying.

The gear that you use

Well, that was expected. The type of rods and reels will also determine the fishing line weight to buy. These rods and reels will have the recommended line weights written on them. As a result, it is advisable that you stay within the recommended guidelines if you have to get the best fishing experience.

Below is a table with summarized guidance, comparing the line types, target fish species, and type of fishing. With this summary, you can quickly buy a line that will be ideal with where and what type of fish you want to catch.


Type of Fishing Pound Test (lb.) Target Species
Freshwater Fishing  2-4 Panfish, Trout
6-12 Walleye, Salmon, Bass, Catfish
14-20+ Catfish, Stripers, Musky/Pike
8-14 Flounder, Sea Trout, Sea Bass
Saltwater Fishing 16-25 Redfish, Blues, Sea Trout, Stripers
30+ Shark, Marlin, Tuna


We always recommend that you take your time to check out various types of lines before making up your mind. The manufacturers of these lines will also recommend where best to use them. Once you get the right line, you should expect to have a great experience fishing.

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