What Is the Best Line Weight for Trout Fishing?

Trout fishing is a popular sport for all ages and requires practice, patience and knowledge of the fish themselves. One important factor to consider when trout fishing is the line weight.

Choosing the right line weight can make all the difference when it comes to catching and releasing a fish safely. There are several factors to consider when selecting the best line weight for trout fishing, including the size of the trout, type of water being fished, type of bait or equipment used, and more.

Size of Trout

The size of trout plays an important role in determining the best line weight for trout fishing. Smaller fish require lighter tackle while larger fish require heavier line weights.

Trout range in size from six inches up to 20 inches or more. As a general rule, if you are expecting to catch smaller trout (up to 12 inches) then you should use a 4-pound test monofilament line or 2-4 pound test braided line. For larger trout (12-20 inches), use 6-8 pound test monofilament or 4-6 pound test braided line.

Type of Water Being Fished

The type of water being fished also affects what kind of line should be chosen. Clear water requires lighter tackle since visibility is greater and spooking the fish is much easier than in murky water. If you are fishing in clear water then you should choose a 4-pound monofilament or 2-4 pound braided line for small trout and 6-8 pound monofilament or 4-6 pound braided line for larger ones. In murky water, however, heavier tackle may be necessary due to decreased visibility.

Type of Bait or Equipment Used

The type of bait or equipment used can also affect what kind of line should be chosen.

Lures that create more motion and vibration in the water such as crankbaits can put more strain on your line thus requiring heavier tackle (6-8 pound test monofilament/4-6 pound test braided). On the other hand, soft plastic baits such as worms can be used with lighter tackle (4 pound test monofilament/2-4 pound test braided). Also consider any special equipment such as downriggers that may create additional strain on your lines.


Choosing the best line weight for trout fishing depends on several factors including size of trout, type of water being fished, type of bait/equipment used and more. As a general rule, use 4-pound test monofilament/2-4 pound braided for smaller trout up to 12 inches and 6-8 pounds monofilament/4-6 pounds braided for larger ones up to 20 inches. Additionally, clear waters require lighter tackle while murky waters may require heavier lines depending on the situation.

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Michael Allen