How Much Weight Should I Put on my Fishing Line?

How Much Weight Should I Put on my Fishing Line?

As a beginner, you might wonder, how much weight should I put on my fishing line?

Since a fishing line is important to your fishing activities, you should know what to do to give you the best results.

How Much Weight Should I Put on my Fishing Line?
How Much Weight Should I Put on my Fishing Line?

We have learned to use fishing lines in the most effective way over the years. However, we understood why we required this gear.

You should consider what to consider when you want to buy a fishing line:

What to Look for When Choosing Fishing Line

Line Strength

The line strength is known as the test. This is measured in pounds. Basically, when choosing a fishing line, ensure that the strength should be suitable for the weight of the targeted species. Thus, for a tuna in the 30-pound range, a line in the 30-pound test is suitable.

For larger or bigger fish, a braided line of 30-pound test or more is advised. It is recommended that you fish using the lighted gear as this will prevent you from tiring out while having fun in the process.

With a specified test, it is important for the anglers to make use of a light line to land heavy fish although this requires more experience and a stronger technique.

Nylon, Dacron, Spectra, Dyneema

Nylon is the oldest and by far the most popular material used in producing fishing lines. It is made from linear polyamides and provides stretch, abrasion resistance, and strength.

In the late 1950s, Dacron was developed by DuPont and it is made from long-chain polyester. In comparison with the nylon, the Dacron has more strength, and flexibility with low stretch.

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Used in high-tech fishing lines, the Spectra and Dyneema are ultra-strong polyethylene fibers.

Advantages of Spectra/Dyneema

  • The Spectra and Dyneema are stronger than steel
  • They are light and float on water
  • They are more durable than polyester
  • Spectra and Dyneema provide better abrasion resistance

Smaller diameters of Spectra and Dyneema are highly recommended as they provide higher tensile strength. This in turn reduces the weight of the tackle and helps to increase the amount of line in the spool.

Wan fishing near obstacles or around the bottom where the line can collide with sharp objects and cut, the abrasion resistance of the Spectra/Dyneema prevents loss of bait or lure


For active styles of fishing that require casting frequently, smooth and light lines are ideal. With smoother and lighter lines, the angler can get more accurate casts, especially in longer distances as the lines can come off the spool easily.

Line Stretch

With less stretch, there is more sensitivity to feel the fish once it gets hold of the bait underwater.

In some cases, however, it is important to opt for a line with moderate stretch as this acts as a shock absorber

Line Memory

Line memory is simply defined as the ability of the line to retain its shape after deformation. Lines that have lots of memory can be detected when the angler can still observe the loops even after it has been unwound from the spool.

On the other hand, lines that have no memory remain straight once they come off the spool. This causes less friction on the reels and guide and offers smoother casts over long distances.

Examples for Selecting Fishing line

  1. For freshwater species such as trout and small native fish, a 2-4 Lb line test is required.

Technique involved:

  • Spinning
  • Casting


  1. For inshore or pier fishing involving species such as  Bream, flathead, salmon, larger native fish, 6-10 Lb line test is required.
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Technique involved:

  • Spinning
  • Casting


Mono fishing line

For fishing near shore species such as Small tuna, salmon, kingfish, snapper, 12-20 Lb line test is required

Technique involved:

  • Trolling
  • Casting
  • Bottom fishing


  • Mono fishing line
  • Braided fishing line


  1. For fishing offshore species such as Marlin, large tuna, sharks, large kingfish, 30-130 Lb line test is required

Technique involved:

  • Trolling


  • Braided fishing line

Important Tips

  • When lines are being knotted, they lose up to ⅓ of their strength. As such, it is important to size your fishing line properly.
  • Use genuine fishing knots to attach the leaders and the terminal tackle to the line. This will help to minimize the loss of line strength in the knot area.
  • During trolling, the shock resistance of the line withstands breakage when the fish hits at a high speed. In order to secure your catch, it is necessary to get a line with enough strength and shock resistance.
  • Match the line class to the rod and reel to provide a well-balanced, functional tackle.
  • Lines that are too heavy can break the rod while lines that are too light may be very hard to cast and can break when subjected to a heavy load.



When should I add weight to my fishing line?

Weight can be added to your fishing line due to the following reasons:

  • To engage the anchoring ability of your lure
  • To achieve greater distances while casting your line with sinkers
  • To reinforce the ability of the line and lure as well as their sinking rate.

How much weight do I need for bottom fishing?

In the case of bottom fishing, it is advised that the weight used should be just ideal to get your bait all the way to the bottom of the water or the depth for your targeted fish.

Larger weights may have a negative effect on fishing as it may make it difficult to detect when a fish has taken the bait. This makes it harder to cast your net.

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How far should the weight be from the hook?

The distance from the hook to the weight is adjusted according to the depth.

  • Deeper waters require about nine inches to one foot and a half distance from the hook to the weight as a result of leverage
  • Shallow waters require about three to six inches distance from your hook above the weight.

How much weight should I put on my fishing line?

The weight placed on your fishing line is determined by the weight of the species that you intend to fish. So for instance, if you want to fish for tuna weighing about 30 pounds, it is necessary to use a fishing line in the 30 pound range.

For trout, the average weight of your fishing line would be about 4 pounds.

It is important to ensure that the average weight of the targeted species of fish is suitable for the line’s test. The line should also be capable of absorbing shock loads as soon as the fish hits and have enough strength in the knot areas.

Unlike saltwater game fishing, a lighter and more sensitive line is required in bait-casting. This is due to the fact that baitcasting is a more active and engaging style of fishing that involves smaller targeted species.

The braided high tech line has less stretch and does not take as much room on the spool, unlike the common mono-filament line.

Performance lines made with nylon or Dacron are more affordable than lines such as the spectra. However, some of the advantages of Spectra over nylon of Dacron include:

  • They are more resistant to abrasion
  • They have more knot strength
  • They provide more sensitivity

Regardless, the spectra have low stretch and no memory. Lines that have a moderate stretch are more recommended for trolling because they do not allow the hook to rip the mouth of the fish.

Basically, buying lots of lines is advised in case of necessities which are inevitable.