What kind of fishing line do I need to use is a very common question among fisherman. And the type of line truty depends a lot on what you are fishing for. If you are fly fishing in a stream in Montana, you don’t expect to hook an 1,800 lbs marlin with 80 lb test line. You want to catch trout, not marlin.
So fishing line primarily depends upon what you are hoping to catch. If you are fly fishing for trout, you’ll want to use a fly attached to a tippet, a tippet being virtually invisible to the fish. For fly fishing, it depends a lot on the rod, but most fly fishermen uses a four to 6 weight fish line. It also depends upon the rod, but those who prefer a 4 weight line do so because even when catching panfish, a small fish can give up a fight, which makes it more exciting. It’s only when you get into fish that are 20 lbs and over that you need to consider the thicker line.
When fishing for crappie, generally a 6-pound test weight is used, while for larger bass, a 10-lb test weight is often used. Some even bump that up to 15. If you are fishing for larger game fish like Northern Pike, go for 12 or 15-pound monofilament line, unless you figure on something even bigger, then go for braided 30-pound breakage line. You frequently need a 14-pound or higher test line for both Northern Pike and Walleye, because if you go much lower, their teeth will break the line.
If you are going after large catfish, 30-pound, or even 50lb test line is appropriate. Catfish don’t really discriminate against line size, and you could dip a rope with a hook and bait and catfish would still hit on it. But the problem here is will your line withstand the pressure.
Going saltwater fishing. You need strong line and plenty of it. A large bluefin tuna can take a bait and fight against 200 yards of 200 test weight line. The exception is if you are casting from shore. Then you want to stick to 30 or 40 lb test line, with a maximum of 60 lbs. Just remember that the heavier the line, the more problems you have in casting for distance.
Most people use monofilament line when fishing. It’s difficult to see, particularly at lighter weights, which is why you need very lightweight line for trout, who are very skittish about taking a fly if they can sense the line. Monofilament line is also cheaper than braided line. If there are really big ones present, consider 50 lb braided line, to keep you from losing big fish that diver for cover in the brush or rocks. Finally, there is fluorocarbon line, which is great for ultraclear water, where other fishing lines are more visible.
When heading out fishing, be sure to get the right kind of fishing line to be sure to catch and keep more fish.