What Size Fish Can You Catch on a 10lb Line?

Fishing line ratings can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re just starting. Experienced anglers know their limits and what gear they need to go after the type of fish they want, and it’s time to pass some of that knowledge on. Here’s what you can do with a fishing line rated for 10lbs.

There is a wide variety of fish you can catch on a 10lb line, including:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Salmon
  • Walleye
  • Catfish
  • Panfish
  • Trout
  • And More…

With a 10-pound line, you can catch fish up to 20 pounds, though larger fish may require some skill. Recommended 10lb Line

Below, we’ll take a closer look at what you can do with a 10lb line. We’ll also briefly explore other line weights and the type of line you should be looking for to catch the biggest fish.

What Size Fish Can You Catch on a 10lb Line?

The weight of any fishing line tells you how much the fish has to pull before the line is broken. Fishing line with a 10lb rating means that 10 pounds of fish pressure will break the line. This isn’t always the upper limit, however; sometimes you can catch much larger fish on a 10lb line.

Usually, the size of the fish you can catch depends on the skill of the angler more than anything else. Using the weight limit on the fishing line can help you get a good estimate of the type of fish you can catch.

With 10lb line, you should be able to catch the following mid-sized species:

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage Length
Largemouth Bass12lbs18 inches
Small Salmon3.5-12lbs28-30 inches
Walleye20lbs31 inches
Catfish2-7lbs12-24 inches
Panfish1-3lbs6-7 inches
Trout2-8lbs16 inches
Bluegill2.6lbs7.5 – 16 inches
Smallmouth Bass6.6lbs15-20 inches

This doesn’t mean that you couldn’t catch a bigger fish on a 10lb line. Other factors come into play when determining how big a fish you can catch, including the drag your line has and the type of rod you’re using.

What Type of Rod Should I Use?

You should generally try to match the type of rod you use to the weight of the line you’re using. You should also try to match both the rod, the reel, and the line you’re using to the type of fish you want to catch. Going with a lighter line or lighter rod means that it’s going to snap that much easier. A heavier rod isn’t a bad idea, but it might be overkill for the type of line you’re using.

For a 10lb line, you’ll want to use a medium-light to a medium rod. These rods are best equipped to handle the type of fish you can catch with a line of that size.

What About Other Fishing Lines?

Of course, there are different fishing line ratings for just about every fish you could want to go after. Here is a list of different line weights and the most popular fish that you can catch with them.

  • 2-4lbs: Trout
  • 6-12lbs: Bass
  • 14-20lbs: Carp
  • 8-14lbs: Sea Bass
  • 16-25lbs: Salmon
  • 30lbs and above: Sharks and Tuna

To be safe, it’s always a good idea to look up what type of line you’ll need for your target fish. While you can go with a heavier line most of the time, going with a lighter line will almost always be disastrous. If you pair a 2lb line with an ultra-light rod and end up going after a heavier fish, your rod and line may both break as you’re trying to reel it in.

What Type of Line is Best for Mid-Sized Fish?

There are other considerations for your fishing line that go beyond weight requirements. For one, you must consider the type of line you’re using. There are three main types of fishing lines that are available in most line weights, and choosing the right one is as important to successful fishing as the weight of the line and the type of bait you use.

So let’s take a look at the different types of fishing line available and how each of them performs for catching mid-sized fish with 10lb line.

Monofilament Line

A monofilament fishing line is a single-strand line that is made of nylon. It’s less expensive than other types of fishing line most of the time. This type of line is the most reliable and widely used since it’s fairly cheap and has been around the longest. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any special skills to use effectively.

It’s also recyclable! Also, it’s nearly transparent (you will be able to see it – and there are lots of colors available if you need to have a more visible line). Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the same type of accuracy that some of the other fishing line types do. It’s great for beginners and smaller fish though! Recommended

Fluorocarbon Line

The fluorocarbon fishing line lasts longer than the other types you can get. The great thing about fluorocarbon is that it’s extremely sensitive. Is a fish nibbles, you’ll be able to feel it in the line. In fact, it’s so sensitive that it makes reeling your catch in that much easier, as you can precisely feel any vibration or other change in the way the line is hanging.

It’s also completely invisible underwater. It’s denser than monofilament but the fish isn’t going to be able to see it at all. However, it does take some work to learn how to use it. Knots that aren’t tied very precisely may fall out in use, but it also has the potential to tangle fairly easily. It’s a premium fishing line that sinks quickly and is put to the best effect when you know what you’re doing. As far as price, this fishing line runs towards the middle of the road. Recommended


Braided fishing line is made from between 4 and 16 strands of individual line. If there are more strands, they are usually wrapped tighter. It’s very precise but it’s also extremely easy to see in the water, which may dissuade fish from taking your bait. It’s hearty and can take a beating, so it’s usually used for much larger fish.

Because of the way it’s made, the braided line is usually much more expensive. If you’re fishing somewhere with a lot of dense cover and vegetation, it’s the perfect high-performance line that won’t snag easily. But it isn’t recyclable like monofilament, so cutting it isn’t great for you or the environment.

What type of fishing line you use is just as important as what its weight rating is and what type of rod and reel you’re using. Some types just perform better, even at lighter weights. Monofilament is a great place to start, the braided line is the sturdiest, and fluorocarbon or thermal carbon lines run directly in the middle of the road. Recommended


While there are several fish you can catch on a 10lb line, there are other factors that may determine the type of fish you can catch. Your skill, the type of rod you’re using, and the type of line are all just as important as the line’s weight. Start by looking into what you can use to get the type of fish you’re going for. Add some knowledge and practice, and then you’ll be able to catch the breeds listed here as well as much larger fish with a 10lb line.

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