How Do Fishing Line Weights Work?

Fishing line weights are an important part of angler’s tackle, and it is important to understand how they work in order to make the best selection for the type of fishing being done. Fishing line weight is measured in pounds (lbs) and indicates the breaking strength of the line.

The higher the number, the stronger the line. Most fishing lines are made from monofilament, which is a single strand of nylon or other synthetic material. Each manufacturer has its own formula for determining breaking strength, but generally speaking, a higher pound test line will be thicker than a lower pound test line.

The most common line weights used by anglers range from 2-20 lb test. When selecting a weight for your application, you should consider two things: first, what type of fish you’ll be Targeting and second, what kind of tackle you plan to use.

Lighter lines are best used with smaller lures and may be necessary when Targeting small fish such as panfish or bass. Heavier lines will hold up better in challenging conditions such as fast current or heavy vegetation, while they’re also more suitable for larger lures and larger species such as catfish or muskie.

In addition to breaking strength, fishing line weight also affects other factors such as casting distance and lure presentation. Heavier pound test lines have less stretch which increases casting distance and makes them more sensitive to strikes. On the other hand, lighter lines have more stretch which helps absorb shock from hard strikes but does not cast as far.


Fishing line weights are an important part of any angler’s tackle box that can affect both performance and success when out on the water. Knowing how they work is essential in order to make informed decisions when selecting a weight that will best suit your needs based on the type of fishing being done and what kind of tackle is being used.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins