What Pound Fishing Line To Use?

One of the most, if not the most, important thing when it comes to a successful fish is the line used.

Having the right one means being able to use a plethora of baits, techniques, lures – all whilst making sure you get a good catch each time.


That also means you will need to find the correct pound test, because doing so can make a big difference to how well you fish and what you can catch.

So, the question of what pound fishing line is best to use for certain fish might be on your mind. Well, fortunately for you, you have come to the right place. 

In this article we shall look at why a certain species of fish, the method, and even the technique can affect the type and size of a line. So, to help guide you, we have put together some handy information.

Let’s get to it!

What Size Of Fishing Line Should You Use?

You may have already noticed by now, but there are a ton of different fishing lines available. As a fishing novice, that can be daunting – but even as a seasoned pro, you might still be unsure of what to choose

This is because when there are so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are correct for the type of techniques you want to try, or even the fish you would like to catch.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the common fish species out there and what you may need for each.

Pound Test For Different Fish Types

Because the fishing line changes depending on the species you would like to catch, it probably comes as no surprise that you will need to have extra lines available.

This is because fish come in all sorts of weights and sizes, as well as in different areas.

Due to this, it’s really important that you match your line with the weight of the catch, as well as the angling method you are planning to use. 

So, to help you on your way, here is a guide for some of the common catches:


Bass are a favorite of many to catch due to the variety in techniques, lures, and baits you can use – plus they are very tasty! 

To be very effective at catching a bass however, you will want to use a specific line such as a 10 to 12 pound. It is so versatile, and can be used in pretty much any fishing situation.

However, if you are a little more advanced and want to try the Drop Shot technique, then go for something like the 6 tp 8 pound test.

If the bass are much bigger, then the 10 to 12 pound test is going to cut it. Instead, you will need to move up to the 15 to 20 pound test. 


To achieve a really good level of sensitivity and strength when it comes to the walleye, you will want to use a 6 to 12 pound test. It works in the majority of walleye situations.

However, if you are using the trolling method, then change it to a 10 to 14 pound test. You will also need a clear leader in this case. Again, if you are ice fishing, then a lighter line of 4 to 8 pounds should be your go-to. 


When it comes to panfish, it refers to smaller fish. This type of fish is available in most places, and includes the likes of bluegill, perch, and crappie. 

They are small and can be difficult to catch, despite there being so many of them. Because of this, it is ideal to use a lighter line, as well as baits and rigs.

For example, a line that weighs the 2 to 6 pound test is fine for pretty much every type of panfish. The latter number is likely to be the best if you want a more versatile weight.


When it comes to trout, you can use a versatile pound test line. Something like a 6 pound will be good for both its length and strength, and will be valuable in most trout situations. 

If the trout happens to be slightly bigger, then go for a 6 to 8 pound test to be on the safe side. 

However, in contrast, if the trout is smaller, then you might just be able to get away with a 4 pound test. 

Lake trout on the other hand are heavier, so you will need more equipment to compensate. Also the line should be around a 20 pound test. 



When it comes to saltwater fishing, which line to use depends on the type of fish you are trying to catch. 

As a rule of thumb, most are fine to be caught with a 20 to 25 pound test, but larger fish like kingfish and tuna are best to be caught with a 30 to 35 pound test. 


A catfish usually finds the line pretty easily, so using a heavier line is no problem here. That means you can use a 20 to 25 pound test. 

If the catfish are generally smaller, then you might be better off using a 15 to 20 pound test. However, if they are big catfish, then you are going to want to use a 30 to 40 pound test. 

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to finding the correct type and the size of fishing line for the species of fish (and even angling method), you will find that it plays an important part in how successful you are at catching the desired fish.

Having the right pound test ensures that you can cast much further, use particular baits, or even have the particular depth that you need to catch the fish. 

So, before you head out to take part in the fishing trip, think about the line that you have so you can successfully catch that particular fish. Good luck!

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Tommy Bull
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