How to do 10 lb test fishing line?
What Does “Pound-Test” on a Fishing Line Label Mean?
When buying a new line, many anglers have no idea what they’re getting. The packaging promotes the product’s inherent strength, which is generally specified as a certain “pound-test,” but it does not explain what that designation means.
Here are some key facts about pound-test, also known as strength, as it relates to nylon, fluorocarbon, and microfilament lines, which make up the vast majority of fishing line sold in North America.
Labels and “Breaking Strength” Explained
The breaking strength of an unknotted line is the amount of pressure required to break the line. Every spool of fishing line bears a number that indicates the breaking strength of the product.
Spools of fishing line sold in North America are labeled according to breaking strength, primarily in pounds, and secondarily in kilograms, according to US customary designation. A 12-pound-test designation, for example, will be followed by a smaller-print designation of 5.4 kilograms, which equals 12 pounds.
Some lines are also labeled with their diameter in inches and millimeters, which can be useful. Line diameter is often overlooked by North American anglers (except fly anglers, who use fine leaders and tippets), but it is the primary designation of interest in Europe. To truly compare products, you must know both the diameter and the actual breaking strength.
Braided lines are also labeled with the equivalent diameter of nylon monofilament in pounds. For example, a 20-pound-test braided line may be labeled as having a.009-inch diameter, with the label stating that this is equivalent to the diameter of a 6-pound-test nylon monofilament line. Some braid labels may not specify the actual diameter, but instead state the nylon mono equivalent, such as 10-pound-test, 2-pound diameter, as shown in the accompanying photo.
The nylon equivalent is mentioned on labels because nylon has been the most widely used fishing line product for decades. It is well-known among anglers. Anglers are less familiar with the newer microfilaments. Equivalency data allows you to compare the diameter of a microfilament fishing line to that of a standard nylon monofilament fishing line.
10 lb Test Fishing Line: What Matters Is Wet Breaking Strength
The real issue with breaking strength is not what the label says, but how strong the line is on the spool. The amount of force required to break a wet line determines actual strength. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) uses this standard to test every line submitted with a record application. It makes no difference how a line breaks in a dry state because no one fishes with a dry line. Most anglers, however, believe that breaking-strength refers to line in its dry state.
As a result, the breaking strength of a fishing line should indicate what happens when it’s wet rather than dry. Unfortunately, with test lines, this is rarely the case and is rarely explained in the packaging.
The Distinction Between Test and Class Lines
There are two types of breaking strength. The first is known as “test,” and the second as “class.” Class lines are guaranteed to break at or below the labeled metric strength in a wet condition, in accordance with the IGFA’s metric-based world record specifications. Such lines are designated as “class” or “IGFA-class.” The IGFA does not keep records in accordance with customary measures in the United States. Any line that is not labeled as a class line is thus a test line. Approximately 95 percent of all line sold is classified as test line. On the label, some manufacturers use the word “test,” but many do not.
Regardless of a test line’s labeled strength, there is no guarantee as to the amount of force required to break the line in either a wet or dry condition. The labeled strength may not accurately reflect the force required to break the line in wet conditions (although a few do). There are no guarantees with test line, so it could break at, below, or above the labeled US customary or metric strength. A large number of people break above the labeled strength, some slightly, some significantly.
When certain lines, particularly nylon monofilaments, get wet, they lose strength slightly to significantly. When wet, lower-quality nylon monofilament lines are 20 to 30% weaker than when dry. As a result, wrapping a dry nylon monofilament line around your hands and pulling doesn’t accomplish much.
Braided and fused microfilament lines (also known as super lines) do not absorb water and retain their strength when wet. Similarly, fluorocarbon lines do not absorb water and do not weaken when wet. This does not imply that these lines are stronger; rather, what you see when dry is also what you see when wet. It also does not mean that these lines are immune to strength mislabeling, and that a 20-pound-test line may not actually break at 25 pounds.
This information is critical for those who fish for world records in specific line categories. Most of what is written here is unknown to the average angler, but if you are particular about your fishing – and it is often the small details that determine success – you should be.
How to Select a Fishing Line Weight
So you’ve got your rod and reel, bait, and tackle. All you need now is the line for your fishing trip. But which type of line should you purchase? And how heavy should you go? Allow this to be your all-inclusive guide to answering these questions.
First and foremost, how is line strength measured?
The fishing line’s strength is measured in “pound test” (or lb test). The amount of weight that can be applied to the line is denoted by this unit. An 8 lb test line, for example, could be used to lift an eight-pound cinder block, whereas a nine-pound block would snap it.
Keep in mind that the drag system on your reel ensures that the full weight of a fish will never pull on your line when fishing. This means you don’t need a 50 pound test line to catch a 50-pound fish. You can catch fish that weigh much more than the pound test of your line if your drag is properly set so that the fish can “take some line” during a fight.
Line Type: Braid vs. Monofilament The first choice you must make is the type of line to use. Braid and monofilament lines are the most common types of line. Monofilament, also known as “mono,” is the standard line used by anglers for generations. Braided line is thinner, sharper, and lighter than straight line. Beginners should use monofilament line because it does not tangle as easily and allows them to tie a variety of standard knots. Braided line allows you to cast farther and put more line on a smaller spool, but it tangles easily and necessitates the use of special knots.
Braid General Rules If you choose a braided line, you should be aware that your choice of lb test changes everything. Anglers typically use a much higher lb test because it is much thinner and lighter than monofilament. You should use a 10lb fishing line or 15 lb test for freshwater. A 30 or 50 lb test is standard for saltwater.
Monofilament General Rules Anglers use lighter lb tests of monofilament line because they need to be able to cast properly and keep a sufficient amount of line on their spools. A 4-12 lb test is common in freshwater. A 4 lb test is adequate for small trout and sunfish. 6-8 lb test is the standard for bass or general freshwater fishing. When using light tackle in saltwater for smaller species, 12-15 il test is standard, while 17-20 lb test allows you to target larger fish.
Other Factors to Consider The line weights listed above are only guidelines. You should only make your final decision after carefully considering all aspects of your specific fishing strategy.
Is Casting Range Important?
If you’re fishing from a boat or in an area where casting distance isn’t an issue, you can be safe and use a heavier line. In situations where every yard counts (such as surfcasting), you should use a lighter line (or even braid).
Bait or Lures?
Toss your rig out and let it sit when bait fishing. Because you’re not casting as frequently, a heavier line is fine. Artificial lure fishing requires more finesse, and you may want to use a lighter line for better casting.
How Big Is Your Spool?
If you have a small reel, you should use a lighter line. You can’t put heavy line on a small spool because there isn’t enough room. That is why it is critical to begin with a properly sized reel.
Personal Struggle or Catch at Any Cost?
If all you want to do is catch some fish, a heavier line is usually the way to go. However, some anglers enjoy the personal challenge of catching fish with lighter lines. Some even use a 2 lb test when trout fishing because it requires them to properly set the drag and fight with patience. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to keep things simple and avoid this approach.
Recap Choosing the pound test of your fishing line requires careful consideration. Finally, it is up to you to make the best decision based on the information available.