What size test line is best for bass fishing? That’s a question that gets asked a lot and one that’s highly debated by anglers of all skill levels. In fact, according to the sales guy at my local Bass Pro Shop, it’s one of the top questions that he gets asked on a daily basis and for good reason, I might add.
For newbies, it can be a little daunting trying to choose between the different types of line, not to mention which size pound test you should be using. To save you some time, for bass fishing, I highly recommend that you go with a good quality braided fishing line such as Power Pro in 20 lb test. I use this exact line for all of my bass fishing and inshore saltwater fishing and have found that it’s more than enough to haul in the big boys.
Keep in mind that some fishing reels come with line already on them, but this is usually the minimum pound test that the reel is rated for and it’s usually not the best quality. My first piece of advice is to remove this line and replace it with a good quality braid or mono.
What Size Line for Bass
Should you follow the recommended pound test that your reel is rated for, or is it okay to go a little heavier, or in some cases, opt for a lighter pound test? Should you choose monofilament or go with a good quality braided line?
These are just a few questions that beginners will have when selecting their fishing line. Hopefully, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Should You Use Braid or Mono
If you’re serious about bass fishing, then you need something strong enough to pull the fish out of lily pads, fallen trees, and other submerged structure that bass love to hang out around.
You also need a line that will give you maximum casting distance!
It’s for these reasons that I prefer braid over mono. A 30-pound test braided line is equivalent in diameter to an 8-pound test mono.
Some fishermen even like to go as high as a 65-pound test line in braid, which is equal to a 16-pound test monofilament line in size.
I myself think that this is overkill! Not only does it not provide much sport, but even though the braid is small in diameter at this size, it’s super crinkly and doesn’t cast as well.
I wouldn’t recommend going past a 30-pound test line for your bass fishing.
What Type of Fishing Reel Will You Be Using
Something that you will also need to consider is what type and size of fishing reel are you going to be using. For the sake of this article, I will assume that you will be using either a light to medium weight baitcasting or spinning reel.
Typically, a spinning reel is capable of holding more line than a baitcaster, so it’s easier to go up in test poundage, without sacrificing too much line capacity with these reels.
With that being said, I typically don’t go too much heavier than what the reel manufacturer suggests. So regardless if I’m using a baitcasting, or spinning reel, I’ll only go up about 10 pounds higher than what the reel states, regardless if I’m using braid or mono.
My personal feeling is that if you can’t get a 10 lb bass to the boat with 20-30 lb braid, then that fish deserves to live to fight another day. I’ve pulled in many lunkers with no more than this size test.
Best Size Fishing Line for Casting Distance
When it comes to casting, you’re going to get better results if you go with a lighter pound test. For maximum distance, I highly recommend that you go with the manufacturers suggested line size. After all, I’m sure that they’ve performed countless tests and trials as to which size of line will cast the farthest.
With that being said, if you want the best of both worlds (casting distance and strength), then you really should consider using braid. Pound for pound, you’ll get the maximum casting distance, while at the same time, not sacrificing strength.
Keep in mind that you can also opt for a lighter pound test, but you are going to sacrifice some line strength in the process.
Best Size Fishing Line for Tournaments
If you’re reading this article “What Size Test Line For Bass Fishing”, then chances are you’re not planning on fishing any bass tournaments anytime soon. However, if you are planning on fishing a tournament, this is where I recommend opting for the highest test line possible.
When fishing bass tournaments, the ultimate goal is to get fish on the boat, so you’re gonna want to use the heaviest test line possible, without breaking the rules. Again, for this, I highly recommend that you go with braid!
While having read some bass fishing forums, I learned that some tournament pros actually use a 65 lb braid when fishing in tournaments. Even for braid, to me, that seems like a little too much! I would recommend only going as high as a 40-pound test, but no more than that.
Best Size Fishing Line for Beginners
While spending the day on the water trying to catch some bass, the day becomes that much better when you actually catch something. For beginners and weekend warriors, I highly recommend that you go with a monofilament fishing line at least 10 lbs in test size.
If you’re just out to have a little fun, then there’s no need to spool your reel with a more expensive braid, when a $7 dollar spool of 10-pound test mono will work just fine.
While 10 lb test may not be enough to catch the next world record, it should be more than enough to help you land an average size bass.
Unless you’re trying to set some type of world record, or just looking for a more challenging fishing experience, I recommend that you use at least a 15 lb test line in either braid or mono for bass fishing in open water.
However, if you will be fishing in areas with thick cover such as lily pads, weeds, fallen trees etc, then you may want to consider using a heavier pound test line. Maybe even going as high as a 30 lb test in mono and a 20-30 lb test braid.
Hopefully, this article answered your question on what size test line for bass fishing is the best. If not, we would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below.