Are you planning on trying out surf fishing anytime soon? Then you’ll need to tweak your fishing equipment for it to be compatible with the setting. One of the first things you need to focus on is the pound test of your fishing line.
But what pound test for surf fishing do you need? And what is a pound test line in the first place? Read on as I talk about the importance of pound tests and what you need.
What Pound Test For Surf Fishing?
The fishing line is what will connect you to the surf, and once a strike happens, the line will be the crucial weapon to fight fish, dragging it to the shore. You need to ensure that the connection is safe and strong, preventing it from breaking. If not, then you risk terminal tackle while risking your line getting cut off!
Because of this, it will cost you your fishing line and the chance of getting the big one. There’s where a pound test will help you here, which is a way to measure and refer to breaking strengths of fishing lines. It shows you the amount of pressure fishing lines can take before breaking.
There are various factors to consider before dictating the pound test to use from the shore, from the fish species you want, the weather and surfing conditions, reel size, line type, and more! Here are the exact factors you should look into:
- The targeted species, its structures, and weight
- Your casting weight and fishing line type
- The weather and surf conditions
- Your fishing reel
- Your overall level of surf fishing experience
That’s why it can get confusing as to what pound test you need, exactly. And you can see how the times, weather, and equipment quality is crucial to get that bite, and not just for pound tests!
On average, the optimum pound test made for surf fishing is between 15 to 20 lb for fluorocarbon or monofilament lines, and 8 lb is the minimum pound test if you’re going surf fishing. For braid lines, use 30 to 40 lb. This is used for open waters or if you are a novice angler.
To be more exact, you are better off with these pound tests, based on the following weather conditions and fish species:
- For rougher grounds, go for a 30 to 40 lb test braided line
- For stronger currents or windy weathers, a 30 to 40 lb braided line works, or 12 to 20 lb monofilament
- For huge fish such as sharks or tuna, you’ll need an 80 to 100 lb braid
- For large fish such as striped bass or redfish, go for a 40 to 50 lb test braid
- Medium-sized fish like pompano or snappers are good with a 15 to 20 lb monofilament or 20 to 30 lb braid test
- Lastly, small-sized fish like flounders can use an 8 to 10 lb monofilament or 20 to 30 lb test braid
Why Not Go Lower or Higher?
You might be wondering: Isn’t the lower pound test much more of a risk to break-offs? That’s untrue!
The reel will release the line when it has too much pressure. When heavier fish strikes and runs the line, it won’t break but will leave the spool, letting the fish go even further. Fish only break lines if the drag system is above your line’s pound test.
Meaning, the line will break only if the drag is higher than your line weight, so you’ll need to set the drag low if you use low pound tests. I recommend that you set the drag about 1/3 your line weight. However, this may be too low when aiming for bigger and heavier fish!
This is why you’re better off with a higher pound test line, so you can set a higher drag system and limit the risk of your line releasing. For instance, a drag setting for 20 lb test lines is about seven pounds.
However, do NOT get the highest pound test, as this can be counterproductive towards your goals!
Thicker lines do provide more control and leverage as you fight fish, though it has its disadvantages.
For starters, it’s more expensive and will have more pressure from currents and tidal movements. It will also make it less stable while surf fishing, especially when you have a choppy surf condition.
Also, lines with higher diameters will have more friction, reaching shorter distances. It will be further affected by the wind, making it difficult for the bait to stay. Its thickness will be difficult to fit in a line on reels, affecting casting distances so you have fewer yards in the spool.
That’s why you should find the middle ground in your pound test line!
Are you still a bit confused about what pound test line to get? Learn more about trying to find the ideal pound test for surf fishing in this informative video:
Wrapping It Up
As a surf angler, you need to make sure that all your fishing equipment is made for the setting. If not, then you’ll risk your fishing line and any big bite coming your way! That’s why the first thing to look into is your line’s pound test to lessen any risks.
I hope that this article on the ideal pound test for surf fishing helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and start looking into making the right investments for your fishing line now.