What Size Test Line for Bass Fishing?
Angling for the black bass, a popular North American gamefish, is referred to as bass fishing. Black bass come in a variety of species, with the most popular ones being largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and Guadalupe bass.
Bass fishing has now become a multibillion-dollar industry and in the United States, the black bass is officially the most sought-after game fish. In bass fishing, choosing the correct test line is very important in order to be successful, as this article will explain.
The Strength of Fishing Lines
It is first important to understand what fishing line strength is before going on to choose specific sizes. Anglers use the term ‘test’ for the fishing line strength, and it is generally measured in pounds. Every spool of fishing line is identified by how many ‘pounds’ the test line is. This actually refers to the amount of stress in pounds that can be put on the line until it breaks.
What Size Should You Use?
There are a few considerations while choosing the size of your fishing line. Is it to go with the recommended pound test that comes along with your reel rating or should you go heavier or lighter? Experts normally suggest going with the lightest line you can get away with. The lightest line possible however totally depends on the species of fish you are fishing for. The area that you fish in and the water that the fish are in also have a role to play.
Bass anglers generally use 8- to 12-pound fishing line. If you are in an area where the bass fish you expect to catch are lighter than average, you can drop to a 6-pound line. You can go higher to around 15 to 18 pounds if extremely large bass fish are anticipated. It is sensible to start in the average range unless you know for sure that you can survive with a lighter line.
Where are You Fishing?
The location where you decide to fish also plays an important factor in line selection. Are you going to fish for bass in covered waters or in small open ponds? This has an impact and different types of waters require different test line sizes. In order to fish in water with a high abrasive cover, with lots of moss for example, consider adding a few pounds to the size. Meanwhile, if you’re fishing for bass in open waters, you can drop a few pounds.
Though you do not need to change the size drastically based on the area, it might still be valuable to optimize the size according to the location. Conventional wisdom also says that you should use light lines in clear waters so that the fish wouldn’t be able to see it. That used to be true but with fluorocarbon lines, that is not a problem as visibility is already quite less.
Best Size for Beginners
If you are a beginner, you might just want to spend the day chilling on the water, catching some bass. To actually catch some bass, it is recommended you go with 10 pounds if you have a monofilament fishing line. This should be enough to pull out some average-sized bass.
Best Size for Tournaments
If you plan to fish in a tournament, it is recommended to opt for the highest possible test line. This is in order to fulfill the ultimate goal of catching larger bass. However, you should consider that tournaments have strict rules so make sure you are not breaking the one that relates to line size.
For tournaments, you are also recommended to go with a braid line for best results. Many seasoned anglers are normally seen casting with up to 65-pound braid lines in tournaments.
Best Line for Casting Distance
Casting distance and light fishing lines go hand-in-hand. As casting is about going as far as possible, light lines do well to support your throw. Line manufacturers often suggest a particular line size on the label for maximum distance. Going with this number is a good idea as it is derived from research and tests.
If you want higher casting distance, you can always go lighter but remember that lighter lines are weaker in strength. You need to balance out distance and strength according to your own fishing needs. A braided line can provide high strength and long distance at the same time which makes it a great option.
The size of the test line depends on your purpose but it is not too difficult to choose as the factors are quite limited. With some experience, you are likely to get an instinctive sense about what size suits your bass fishing conditions the best.