How Much Weight Can Fishing Line Hold? | A Brief Guide For Fishing Line By Expert

How much weight can fishing line hold is a common query by every fisherman.

What makes one fishing line unique and another common? It is a loaded question because it depends on your undertaking and how you fish it. It is obvious that the best fishing line is important for holding weight.

There are many brands and types of lines on the market that are very different. 

Among the questions I tried to answer was: how much weight can the fishing line hold?That is, each is rated a “30-pound” test, but in reality, almost no one breaks that claim of strength. As the results show, a 30-pound line broke to 66.8 pounds. All but a few lines weighed more than 30 pounds, while some broke less than 27 pounds.

How Much Weight Can Fishing Line Hold? 

Fishing line strength is a measure of how much pressure a fishing line can withstand before it breaks. The pressure is measured in pounds (pounds). Generally, the strength of a fishing line is determined by the label on the fishing line spool. In practice, they are like 8-pounds. 

However, there are a few things you need to do before choosing a fishing line.

PowerLine WeightLure Weight
Ultra Light1 to 4 Ib test1/64 – 1/16 oz
Light4 to 8 Ib test1/32 – 1/8 oz
Medium4 to 12 Ib test1/8 – 3/8 oz
Medium Heavy8 to 14 Ib test3/16 – 1/2 oz
Heavy15 to 25 Ib testUp tp 1 1/2 oz
Ultra Heavy25 Ib test and up1 1/2 oz and up

How to Choose the Right Fishing Line Weight?

It would help if you chose the fishing line weight wisely. Considering the species, you are fishing for. Fish sizes vary depending on their species, and you need to estimate the weight of the fish you are going to catch. For example, an 8 to 12-pound test fishing line is ideal for catching bass fish.

But it can range from 6-7 pounds depending on the sizes you want to hold. Catching fish such as pike and Muskie requires a high test line of 15 to 40 pounds. 

Different Types of Line


A monofilament or “mono” line is a single strand of material, usually nylon, instead of multiple strands. It is a widespread line.

How Much Weight Can Fishing Line Hold


“Fluoro” are compounds made up of fluorine, chlorine, and carbonaceous organic as well as synthetics made from hydrocarbons. It is a single strand like the Mono, but heavier and denser, so it sinks faster and is more visible in the water for fishing.

fishing line strength chart


A braided line is an array of braided lines that are joined together to form a single line. This makes the fishing line harder and harder to break, and you will see the LB test lines preparing for the big fish, but with a lighter line. So you may have a 15lb test braid with the same weight and diameter as the 6lb mono line.

fishing line diameter to breaking strain chart

Line Strength

The strength of a fishing line is referred to as a test and is measured in pounds. This should approximately match the weight of the species you are fishing for (e.g., use the 30-pound test line for tuna in the 30-pound range). A simple line to transmit for trout is the 4-pound test.

Consider a 30-pound test or more knitted line if you go after big game fish. The rule of thumb is to fish with lighter gear, so you don’t get tired and have more fun. In competition, when the test specifies, anglers must use the light line to land large fish. But it requires experience, passion for a long fight, and above all, stable technology. 

fishing line weight guide


While an ordinary fishing line is sure to break above its rating, it must be broken before the tournament line rating or records will not be recognized.

What to look for when selecting a Fishing Line

Monofilament vs. thermal filament vs. knitted

A fishing line that is extracted in a single continuous strand and left untwisted is called a monofilament. It is smooth and precise and provides a moderate amount. Monofilament is also available in unique colors to improve the water’s visibility while keeping it invisible to fish. 

The high-performance line produced by small fibers’ thermal bonding is called a thermal filament and has a smaller diameter per pound test than the monofilament. Knitted lines are slightly thicker and are typical for fishing large species, e.g., large blue and yellow fin tuna fishing offshore.

How to choose the Weight of the Fishing Line?

Every fisherman believes that following specific methods will help them to have good catches. Selecting the most acceptable fishing line weight is one of them. Otherwise, it would help if you quit fishing whenever your fishing line breaks. So, how to choose the fishing line weight? 

Fishing Line Strength Chart

Below I have included a useful chart of your typical fishing requirements and what strength test to use.

Line Test (In lb’s)Fish Type
2-4 lbPan fish, Trout, Bluegill, Small Mouth Bass
6-12 lbBig Mouth Bass, Catfish, Smaller Salmon, Walleye
14-20 lbCatfish, Stripers, Pike/Musky, Carp
8-14 lbSea Trout, Flounder, Sea Bass
16-25 lbStripers, Redfish, Salmon
30lb and beyondTuna, Marlin, Shark, with other huge sea fish.

A patient and careful fisherman can accurately land 8-pound trout using a 4-pound line. This is only possible if the angler knows how to change the drag setting and allow the fish to run periodically. This method puts less stress on your fishing line and helps you to catch. If the fish want to fight further, there is also a chance that the fishing line will break.

Reel capacity is another major factor when it comes to choosing a fishing line. The unlimited length of the line is not stored on the reel, so you need to know your reels’ capacity. For example, you might see a reel capable of carrying 140 yards of 8-pound Mono, but it can take 260 yards of 4-pound mono fishing lines. So, there are a lot of possibilities for fishing line weight.

Fishing Line Testing Methods

All lines were tested on the Instron 5543, a large, state-of-the-art tensile- (line-) test machine, regularly (and recently) factory-calibrated. Thanks to the International Game Fish Association – which uses Instron to test the breaking strength of line models submitted with world-record applications?

All line models tested are 10 inches long, from clamp to clamp, the same standard length used by IGFA when testing line models with record applications.

I did three different fishing line strength tests on each brand line, separating each model with a line of several yards. Instron’s analysis automatically breaks the figure and the average stretched distance before braking for the three tests. This analysis provided a number for the average deviation for the three tests, revealing how different each line is in breaking strength.

All monofilament lines were tested to saturate them after two soaking hours (the same soaking time used by IGFA in its test). 

Therefore, Mono’s average break statistics represent wet (real-world) tests; If tested dry, these monolayers break down by about 8 to 12 percent. (Manufacturers insist that fluorocarbons do not absorb water, but some limited tests have shown that fluoride is slightly lower after saturation.)

Time limits prevented me from measuring the articles of Mono and Fluorocarbons with a digital caliper. The challenges of measuring the braid (which is flattened in the jaws of the caliper) are more resistant. 

Which Fishing Line to Use?

Nylon monofilament fishing lines


  • More Shock absorption as it is more resilient
  • Low cost
  • Line Notting, crimping, and new connections are easy with this line
  • Less noticeable because it is transparent
  • It is very resistant to abrasion


  • Elasticity reduces bite detection
  • As much cost as possible is affected by elasticity (fluorocarbon lines can solve this)
  • It loses strength over time

Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines


  • It helps in detecting the low bite
  • It is invisible in water
  • Has a good sinking tendency
  • It does not absorb water like monolines, so it lasts longer
  • It is slightly stiffer than Mono, so chances of getting stuck are low
  • Good scratch resistance
  • Sunlight has almost no effect on it


  • It is expensive
  • Due to the high memory, it transmits short distances
  • Topwater is not good for traps as it tends to sink

Braid Fishing Lines


  • Braid line comes with excellent strength/diameter ratio
  • Small Due to its small diameter, it is much better
  • It goes deep into the water
  • It has almost no stretches
  • Braid lines have no reel memory


  • This line is so thin, tight, and sharp that it can cut fingers
  • As it extends to zero, it is likely to tear
  • The braided line is most likely to be visible in Clearwater
  • The braid lines should be tied differently than regular knots
  • Slightly more expensive than nylon

Fishing Line Comparison Table

Do not be confused with the various information around us when conflicting with sub-types of fishing lines. We compared the basic fishing lines so you can understand the other lines.

FeaturesNylon MonofilamentFluorocarbonBraid Line
PriceCheapestMost ExpensiveExpensive
DensityLeast Dense (Floats)Most Dense (Sinks)Denser (Sinks)
ElasticityMost ElasticNot So ElasticLeast Elastic
FlexibilityLeast FlexibleMost Flexible
MemoryMost MemoryLeast Memory
PorosityMost PorousLeast Porous
Abrasion ResistanceMost Abrasion ResistantLeast Abrasion Resistant
UV deprivation ResistanceLeast opposing to UVOpposing to UVOpposing to UV
VisibilityLeast VisibleMost Visible
Basic Usage1. As the main reel line
2. As a line that stretches and absorbs shock
3. For fastening hook traces with fatal rigs
1. For fastening hook traces with terminal rigs in plain water
2. For low visibility
3. As non-stretch shock leaders when long casting is necessary specifically when surfcasting.
1. For long casts applications

Frequently Asked Question

What does the 20 lb test line mean?

The pound test, also known as the line test, refers to a fishing line’s strength in terms of pounds. It is defined as the excess weight that can be held before breaking a certain line. For example, labeling a fishing line as a 20 lb test means that the fish can be caught without breaking up to 20 pounds.

What is the strongest fishing line?

Knitted line

Can the fishing line be too heavy?

This line class rating is often mistaken for the size of the fish you can catch on a particular rod. This is not true. If you fish with a too heavy line, you increase your risk of breaking your rod.


Sure, you have enough lessons on how to choose the right fishing line weight.

The weights of fishing lines must match the average weight of the target species and absorb the shocks of fish fights and hits. Buying too many fishing lines is a good practice to continue fishing even if the line is broken.

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