What’s the biggest fish you can land with 8 lb line?

I’m just getting started fishing and I’m curious how you decide what size line to use. I know it doesn’t have to equal the weight of the fish but I’ve never heard any rules of thumb on what strength line to use.

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14 thoughts on “What’s the biggest fish you can land with 8 lb line?

  1. Usually your reel will tell you it can accept sizes up to say 20 lb (for a number to work with) the heavier the line the more difficult it is to handle easily. It won’t cast as well, it will tangle more easily, and it will not be as sensitive to the bite.
    Keep in mind though, it depends on what your fishing for. I usually stay around 10 lb test line, but when I am fishing for big strippers, or big catfish I change to a heavier line.
    You my need to have a bigger reel for this, also a heavier rod.
    Especially if you are OCEAN fishing. It can be a little expensive to have all the equipment for all the possible fishing experiances you may encounter.
    Back to the question, it is possible to catch a 20 pound fish on 8 pound test line, you have to set your drag, and play them out till they are tired enough to reel in, only problem is if they run and you don’t have enough line on the reel to slow them down before they hit the end. I have many rods and reels for different types of fishing, but for fun I love to catch a bass, or any nice fish on an ultra light with 4 pound test. IT’S EXCITING and fun!

  2. Rule of thumb ~ depends on what you’d be fishin’ for and what conditions. Your startin’ out I’d say 10 -12# test would suffice, but again that depends. Lets say hypothetically you’d be fishin’ for Trout, Bass, or possibily Walleye, these would fall under this weight line. The more experience one gains the more variance of lb test ie., lighter the line = more the challenge ;) . Might want ta’ give additional info., as ta’ what species your thinkin’ of fishin’ for.? Good luck and hope ya’ get into the sport of fishin’ ;)…

    This link will help ya’ with a lot of un-answered questions you may have…

    Edit : Two largest Steelhead I’ve caught (same day) we’re a 19lb (hen) and a 22 lb (buck) and that be on 8lb, “Maxima” line. Use that lb test for Steelies and go w/ 14 on Chinook (Salmon). But as I mentioned earlier, gainin’ experience is the key ta’ lighter line annnnnd I defiantly ain’t givin’ credit to myself ~ just the, “many moons”…

  3. It’s just as much about the reel’s drag system as it is about the line pound test. Technically, you could land a 20lb fish with 8lb test. I’ve landed a 14lb striped bass on 10 lb test. You just have to set the drag properly, not too loose, not too tight. And the newer the line, the better.

  4. I use 6 pound line, but i know how to fish unlike others on here, and we catch 20+ pound fish…..you just need to know what you are doing…if you use anything over 6 pound test line you are just an idiot and have no clue

  5. As long as your drag is set correct you can catch fish many times the weight of your line. I caught a 12.5 lb northern on a 6lb test before.

  6. Depends on how you reel it. IF you just start cranking on your reel, a 4lb fish can break it. Ive had several 5 or lb bass break 12 lb line. If you let it run and wear it out, you can reel it in with relative ease. It also depends on what you are fishin for. I have 6 lb line for bluegill, crappie, and other small fish, 12 lb line for bass and some 30 or so for catfishin.

  7. Blue Catfish – 68 pounds on 8# test – World Line-Class Record -Bull Shoals

    This is the largest I have found that was caught on 8 pound test.

  8. The strength of your line is only going to play a factor in landing your fish if your surroundings by which the fish may come in contact with are abrasive in nature i.e. rip rap, pier decks or pilings. Otherwise you harness the power to land as big a fish as you can hook. Sunday this past weekend while fishing 8lb test on one outfit I hooked and landed a garr at 34 lbs. I can personally attest to catching many more fish on lighter lb test line. Have fun!

  9. you can catch almost any freshwater fish on 8lb line if the drag is set right if you ever go to the fish aquariam by the fish hatchery by yankton SD it has an exhibit where a guy caught a 95lb catfish on 20lb line and a 4ft pole

  10. I love using 8 lb. line .Its light yet durable .You can catch 15 lb. @ under with it .Set your drag and Hold On !!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. As long as your drag is properly adjusted and you are not trying to horse a fish in you can catch some very large fish on very light line. I personally have landed and 11lb rainbow trout on 4lb test line. As stated above the line strength is not as important as what is in the water and the type of water you are fishing. In shallow saltwater you will have to contend with the possibility of oyster beds which are like razor blades. In fresh water you will have to contend with any type of structure that is out there even in deep water you can have structure. The consistency of the bottom can have an effect as well if it is mud it is not as bad as sand which is not as bad as rocks.

    I have even pulled a 29lb Jack Crevelle out with 10lb line. Anyone who knows saltwater fish can tell you a Jack Crevelle is designed for nothing but speed and strength in the water.

    Trial and error is the best thing for you just set your drag and enjoy the time out fishing.

    Good Luck and Tight Lines,
    Lance D

  12. A large amount of this is going to depend on the reel being used and the drag setting. Also the amount of area you have. I’ve landed a 44lb carp on 4# test line when out perch fishing, but I was also using a 7′ very soft rod with a reel with a very light drag setting. This was from shore and I had about 400′ of shoreline to work with and made the trip back and forth twice. It took over 45 minutes, but I was successful. Ive heard of a 104lb sturgeon landed on 8# test line while walleye fishing. As I said, a lot depends on the rod, the reel the skill of the angler.

  13. It all depends on how much time you want to spend fighting the fish. I don’t recommend tiring the fish out this way as it will usually kill them. Your gear is of course the most important part and should be no heavier or lighter than necessary and of good quality. Good fishing.

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