How to Select Fishing Line Weight

How to Select Fishing Line Weight
When angling for fish, it's important to know what rod and reel action you need. Knowing your reel's weight capacity will ensure your rod does not break under the weight of a large game fish. Light- and heavy-action reels are available for spinning, baitcast, fly and ice fishing reels. Once you've selected the right reel, choose a line that is strong enough to support the fish species you want to catch.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod and reel
Step 1
Determine which fish species you are angling for. Choose a medium- to heavy-action reel when angling for large game fish such as bass, walleye and catfish. Opt for a light-action reel when angling for small fish such as panfish and minnows. The larger the fish, the heavier the action you'll need.
Step 2
Select an appropriate rod and reel. Rod-and-reel combinations are rated to handle a maximum weight range, depending on the action. Determine your rod's yardage-to-pound-test ratio by locating the line capacity printed on the reel or the original packaging. For example, 7-pound, 75 yards means your rod is rated to handle 75 yards of 7-pound-test line on the reel.
Step 3
Pick a fishing line type. The most commonly rigged fishing lines include monofilament, multifilament, fluorocarbon, braided line, wire line and leader line. Choose monofilament for general fishing. Braided line is more durable, whereas fluorocarbon line is thinner and less noticeable underwater.
Step 4
Choose a line weight that is rated to support the fish species you want to catch and matches the action and line capacity of your rod-and-reel combination.

Tips & Warnings

Fishing line is available at bait shops and tackle stores.
Never store fishing line in direct sunlight or the efficacy of the line will diminish.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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