What Size Test Line is Best for Bass Fishing?

Black bass is the most popular gamefish in North America. The collective term “Black bass” includes spotted, Guadalupe, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and more. Anglers who are experienced in bass fishing say it is essential to have the right equipment for finding, hooking and catching more and bigger bass. According to them, the most critical component is the correct choice of test line size.

What does test line mean?

The term ‘test’ is used by anglers when referring to the strength of the fishing lines, measured in pounds. You can see the pounds-strength of your fishing line indicated on the spool. It shows how many pounds of stress the line can handle before it breaks.

What to consider when choosing test line size

Should you just use your reel’s recommended pound test line? Expert bass anglers recommend using the lightest possible line; however, where you go bass fishing and the size of fish you anticipate to catch are crucial considerations in choosing the test line size.

The typical test line for bass anglers is 8 to 12 pounds. You could go with a six-pound test size if you anticipate that your chosen fishing spot will yield only below average size bass. Likewise, if you expect to hook monster-sized bass, you could go with a 15 to 18-pound test line or even higher. If you’re unsure, choose an average test line.

Does the location affect the choice of rest line size?

Although the location does not drastically affect your test line choice, considering it could be a valuable advantage. Fishing in clear water is best with lighter test lines, while areas with significant amounts of moss or other abrasive covers require an extra few pounds of test line strength.

What is the recommended test line choice for beginners and tournaments?

The difference between chilling on a boat and casting a line to maybe catch bass and participating in a tournament are two worlds far removed. A beginner bass angler with a 10-pound test line will have a good chance of hooking an average-sized bass.

In contrast, participating anglers in tournaments choose the highest allowed test line. It is not unusual for seasoned anglers who cast test lines of up to 65 pounds.

A final note

Although you might be advised to use a lighter test line for improved casting distance, don’t go so light that your line breaks just when you’re busy reeling in your biggest bass ever!

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