How to Test Fishing Line Strength

How to Test Fishing Line Strength
The fishing line that you string on your rod and reel is the only link between you and a fish. A durable and strong line, as rated, can help make a great day of fishing, while inferior lines can essentially ruin a day on the water. Although manufacturers typically provide pound test ratings for their lines on the packaging, there is a way to test the pound strength of the line using a simple setup at home.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing line
  • Limb or small diameter tree
  • Digital fish scale
Step 1
Attach one end of a length of fishing line to a small diameter tree or branch with a uni knot. Form the knot by wrapping the line around the tree or limb and back alongside the main line forming a double line. Hold 2 inches of the double line in place and turn the free end back toward the tree or limb forming an elongated loop beneath the double line.
Step 2
Continue tying the knot by wrapping the free end of the line around the main line and through the elongated loop four times. Moisten the knot and pull it down tight. Use a standard fishing knot so that the test will prove to be more accurate.
Step 3
Form a simple loop in the opposite end of the line. Tie the loop by doubling the line 6 to 8 inches from the end to form a working loop. Hold the doubled line and turn the working loop down to form a second loop. Bring the working loop around the doubled line two to three times and then back through the second loop and pull tight.
Step 4
Attach the hook of a digital fish scale to the loop formed in the end of the line. Pull the line gently to take up the slack. Do not jerk or yank on the line during the test.
Step 5
Apply gradual tension to the line by holding the scale and stepping backwards. Watch the digital readout of the scale and continue to increase the tension on the line. Record the pounds indicated on the scale when the line eventually breaks. Repeat the test three times to obtain an average of the pound test strength of the line you are testing.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.