How Much Weight Can a Fishing Line Hold?

How Much Weight Can a Fishing Line Hold?Fishing lines are rated by the strength it takes for them to break under exertion, commonly referred to as pound test. Fishing line is produced with ratings from two to 400 pound test.

Catching Fish Heavier Than Line's Rating

By setting your reel's drag system at on-third to one-half of the line's rated strength, you can land fish that weigh more than your line's rated strength.


Diameter and Line Strength

For monofilament fishing lines, strength is increased by increasing the diameter of the line. Increased line diameter reduces casting distance.

Advantages of Braided Lines

Braided fishing lines offer increased breaking strength without significantly increasing the diameter of the line. For example, 65-pound-test braid has a diameter of .015 inches, which is equivalent to the diameter of 15-pound-test monofilament.

Mass-Produced Lines

Monofilament fishing lines that are mass produced typically test 10 percent higher than the pound test listed on the label. Manufacturers then market their lines by claiming the lines are the strongest at that rating.

Tournament Lines

Tournament fishing lines are guaranteed to break at the listed pound test. This feature is important to anglers seeking International Game Fish Association world records. Anglers must submit a line sample with their IGFA application for testing.

Article Written By Stephen Byrne

Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.

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