HELP! What Does Fishing Line Breaking Strength Mean?

HELP! What Does Fishing Line Breaking Strength Mean?

As a fisherman, you know that you’re not going to go very far without a few key pieces of equipment like a rod, a stocked tackle box, a good reel, and some strong fishing line. The question many novice anglers have is what does “breaking strength” mean on fishing line labels.

Today, we’re going to explain what breaking strength means, what fish require what breaking strength, and more.

What Is Breaking Strength?

Testing Fishing Line

When you’re looking at the packages of fishing line at your favorite tackle shop, you may notice there’s a number on it called the “pound test” and it’ll be measured in pounds, but it will also have a metric measurement beside it for non-American anglers.

The breaking strength (or pound test) indicates the amount of pressure that an unknotted fishing line can withstand before it breaks.

What most people don’t know is that the breaking strength doesn’t mean how much pressure it takes to break a dry line, it means how much pressure it takes to break a wet line. After all, no one fishes with a dry line, right?

Fish And The Breaking Strength They Require

When you’re picking up a new spool of fishing line, you don’t necessarily want to go for the strongest fishing line you can find. There are several things you have to take into consideration first, such as:

Where Are You Fishing

 It’s important to consider where you’ll be fishing because fishing n heavy cover is going to be more stressful on the line than if you were fishing on an open pond. It’s recommended to increase the pound test when fishing in heavy cover and reducing the pound test when fishing on open water.

Weather Conditions

Man Fishing In Snow

Weather can have an impact on the properties of your fishing line. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how the water’ temperature can affect your line so that you can choose the right pound test to use.

Complying With Requirements On Your Fishing Gear

Fishing gear has a recommended line weights for a reason. It’s recommended that you stay within the recommended specs, but also consider what kind of fish you’ll be fishing for as well.

Type Of Fish You Want To Catch

This is a big factor to consider because some fish are feistier than others. Here’s a breakdown of recommended pound test for the target species of fish:

  • Fresh Water FishingPound test: 2 to 4 pounds; Panfish and trout, Pound test: 6 to 12 pounds; Bass, catfish, walleye and salmon, Pound test: 14 to 20+ pounds; Catfish, striper, pike/musky 
  • Salt Water FishingPound test: 8 to 14 pounds; Sea trout, flounder and sea bass, Pound test: 16 to 25 pounds; Redfish, stripers, blues, sea trout, Pound test: 30+ pounds; Tuna, marlin, shark

Final Thoughts

Fishing Line Breaking Strength

In order to have a good time fishing, it’s important that you’re familiar with the different types of fishing line and the differences between the various breaking strengths. Remember before you pick up anything to keep in mind where you’ll be fishing, what the water temperature is like, and what type of fish you want to catch.

We’re curious to know what type of fishing like you use and what type of fish you like to catch. Leave us a comment below!

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