Choosing The Right Fishing Line

It is that time of the year when we all are starting to get ready for fishing. Fishing rods to check, lures to replace, reels to clean and finally line to replace.

Fishing line is important and it is recommended to change it every year. But the kind of line to use is often not properly analyzed. There are several considerations that help you make a good decision on the type of line.

First learn about the fishing rod you plan to use. Is the fishing rod suited for the conditions of the fish you are after? Fast action fishing poles are good for fishing heavy cover or fast current. These are usually sensitive rods that allow anglers to feel light bites and provide excellent hook setting with a relativity short motion. They also have good lifting ability. Medium action fishing rods offer greater casting distance and are good for live bait and smaller lures. Slow action rods are excellent in handling unexpected movement of fish near the boat. They are also great for casting distance but their soft action makes it difficult to set hooks..

What are your fishing rod’s characteristics that you need to know? There are two – the action and the power of your rod. Action refers to the point of inflection of the rod when the rod is bent. Power is the amount of force needed to bend a fishing rod.

Rods usually indicate only the power it takes to bend a rod such as heavy, medium or light. Unlike the custom fishing rods sold on action is often not indicated. If you don’t know the action of a rod, grab the rod handle and carefully bend the tip downward. If the rod begins to bend in the upper 1/3rd of the blank toward the tip, it is a fast action rod. If it bends in the middle 1/3rd, it is a medium action rod, and if it bends starting in the lower 1/3rd, it is a slow action rod.

Light power rods are not normally used to fish for bass. You need the strength of the fishing rod to move a bass out of cover. Medium or medium/heavy power rods with fast tips are used when fishing crank-baits, spinnerbaits, and some plastic baits. The pulling of the line under water requires more power than topwater fishing but less effort than a heavy power rod. Heavy power rods are used when fishing heavy cover such as reeds, bushes, deep grass beds, or timber. This rod allows you to set the hook and get the fish out of these types of structures.

Lines also have different characteristics in their ability to “stretch”, visibility, and toughness. The last two are individual tastes but stretch is important to consider.

Toughness is important if you anticipate fishing in areas with rocks, trees, or weeds. Each of these can knick a line that will make it easier to break at what always seems the wrong moment. If structure is not an issue, toughness is not as important. Visibility of line can be important especially in clear water situations. However, be careful with lines that help with visibility. In my experience this type of line tends to be subject to loosing its other characteristics quicker due to the elements.

Stretch is a characteristic that many overlook. It needs to compliment the characteristics of the rod. You do not want to use a line with no stretch with a fishing pole that does not have any softness to its bend. If you get snagged or hook a good fish, either the fishing rod or the line is likely to break. You also do not want to use line with a lot of stretch with a fishing pole that bends easily. This makes it difficult to set the hook.

After years of fishing, I have found it is best for me to buy one brand of line in several different line ratings. With most of my fishing in heavy current or heavy rock structure, I use a cut resistant (extra tough) monofilament  fishing line. Also note that I push the rating limits on my custom fishing rod and fishing line to suit what I feel is best for the situation I am fishing. You should experiment to find what best works for you.

Don’t forget to visit for great custom fishing rods and fishing poles reels made in the U.S.A. All rods come with a lifetime warranty!

The following  general guidelines of mine may help you determine the line test that should be used with different power fishing rods.

Power Line Rating Lure Weight
Heavy 15 to 25 lb. 1/2 to 2 oz.
Medium Heavy 10 to 17 lb. 12 to 1 1/2 oz.
Medium 8 to 15 lb. 1/8 to 3/8 oz.
Medium Light 8 to 12 lb. 1/8 to 1/4 oz.
Light 6 to 10 lb. 1/31 to 1/8 oz.
Ultra Light 2 to 6 lb. 1/62 to 1/16 oz.