What Size Fishing Line for Bass?

There are many different types and styles of fishing lines for bass. The best bass fishing line is light enough to keep the lure moving productively and should also be strong enough not to snap under the pressure.

So, what size fishing line for bass is best for fishing? Most bass fishing can be done with a 12-pound test line. When fishing with a finesse rig or with a lighter action on your lure, choose a 6-pound to 8-pound fishing line. For bigger bass and thick cover, use a 15 to the 20-pound test line. When casting big baits, use a 30-to-50-pound test braided line.

Selecting a fishing line that works best for you and your preferred style of fishing is important when targeting bass. Keep reading to learn what size line is best for bass fishing and what type of line you should choose. 

Types of Fishing Lines for Bass

Types of Fishing Lines for Bass

There are three main types of fishing lines – monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided line. Each line has unique traits that make it superior in certain situations. 

When it comes to bass anglers, the essential features of a fishing line are sensitivity, invisibility underwater, and strength. Here’s what you can expect from these three types of bass fishing line:

Monofilament Fishing Line

Monofilament is a very versatile fishing line. It’s invisible even in clear water and is strong enough for topwater fishing in light cover and weeds, and fishing with lighter jigs. 

The biggest drawback of using a monofilament line is that it lacks sensitivity. This is mainly because of stretch.

The stretch limits bite detection when the bass gently nibbles at the bait, but it acts as a shock absorber on aggressive strikes that may break some fishing lines. For this reason, the monofilament line is often used as a leader on the braided line. 

The thickness of the monofilament fishing line can also be a problem in bass fishing. The monofilament line above the 20-pound pressure test is cumbersome, and it limits lure action and castability. For bass fishing, monofilament should only be used as a leader. 

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon fishing line has reflective properties similar to water, making it invisible to fish. This line doesn’t stretch and is extremely sensitive, transferring even the smallest vibrations to the rod. 

No other type of line can beat fluorocarbon for finesse fishing, especially if you’re fishing for big largemouth bass in pressured waters. The fluorocarbon line works in most situations, whether you’re using a spinning or baitcasting reel.

The biggest downside of fluorocarbon is that it sinks, making it a bad choice for topwater fishing.

Braided Fishing Line

Braided fishing line has become increasingly popular in recent years. A braided line is extremely strong, lightweight, and has no stretch. This line is ideal for long casts and hauling big fish from heavy cover. 

The only downside of a braided line is its high visibility in the water. This won’t be a problem if you’re fishing in murky water or thick vegetation, but it can affect your success rate in clear water. 

If you’re bass fishing in clear water, use braid as the main line but switch to fluorocarbon or monofilament for an invisible leader. 

Different Fishing Line Sizes for Bass

Regardless of what type of fishing line you choose, no line is designed to fulfill all that bass fishing demands. Knowing which line size works for every fishing technique can help you reel more bass with fewer line changes. 

Here are the best line sizes for every fishing technique:


Using a 15-to-20-pound test monofilament line is common when jigging for bass. Choose the same size if you prefer fishing with the fluorocarbon line, but go up to a 50-pound test line if you opt for a braid.

When using finesse or light line techniques or targeting smaller bass, use a 6-pound to 8-pound test line. A combination of braided line and fluorocarbon leader is a good choice when targeting smallmouth bass because it helps set the hook quickly. 

Crankbait and Jerkbait Fishing

Using a 12-pound to 20-pound test monofilament line or a 12-pound to 25-pound fluorocarbon line is the most common choice when fishing with crankbaits or jerk baits. When using a braided fishing line, the size can sometimes go up to 40 pounds.

Depending on the fishing technique you choose to catch bass, you can also use a lighter, 8-pound test line. When fishing a crankbait in deeper waters, a line heavier than a 25-pound test can be a great choice.


Fluorocarbon is never a good choice for topwater fishing, so use a 12-pound to 20-pound monofilament line. If you decide to use a braided line, use a heavier 20-pound to 40-pound test line. 


When fishing with a spinner bait, use a 15-pound to 20-pound test fluorocarbon or monofilament line. If you decide to fish with a braided line, you’ll need a larger 40-pound to 50-pound test line. If you’re casting spinnerbaits in an area with light vegetation, you might even get away with a 10-pound test line. 

Soft Bait Rigs and Drop Shotting

Most soft bait rigs, such as the Carolina rig and whacky rig, are light-line focused, so most anglers use a 6-pound or 8-pound test fluorocarbon line for bass fishing. In some cases, using a light 4-pound test line with a drop shot or other soft bait rigs isn’t uncommon but will essentially depend on your personal preferences. 


Knowing what type of fishing line to use when fishing for bass is essential if you want to catch fish. Choosing the best fishing line size for bass can make a huge difference in the overall success of your fishing trip. 

If you’re using a specific fishing technique, or lure like the Carolina rig, ensure that the size of the fishing line you choose will accommodate your set-up.