Heavier fish require thicker and stronger lines in order to be reeled in, so it’s important to choose a line with a high enough rating for the type of fish you’re targeting.
Use too light of a line and you risk breaking it when a big fish takes the bait; use too heavy of a line and you’ll make it harder to reel in smaller fish. Line ratings are typically printed on the rod itself or on the packaging, so be sure to check before making your purchase.
In general, a higher line rating means that the rod is designed for catching larger fish, while a lower line rating indicates that it’s meant for smaller fish. When in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of using a lighter fishing line than what is suggested; if you go too heavy, you risk damaging your equipment.
If you use a line that is too small for your rod, it will not be able to handle the fish you are trying to catch. Line rating is usually displayed as a number range (ex. 4-8), meaning that the rod can handle lines between those numbers.
Most rods will also have a lure weight range (ex 1/4-3/4 ounce). This lure weight range is the recommended amount of weight that should be used with the given line size range.
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