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Fishinthefish

Rods and their weighted line test

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How closely to do follow the advised line strength on your rods? Why do you do so and for those of you who do and use braid do you go by weight or size of the line?

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I tend to stay reasonably close, and the rod's suggested line weight is based on diameter and not actual breaking strength.  example: if 20lb braid has the diameter of 8lb test line, from a rod/reel performance standpoint, it's the same as using 8lb mono. 

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The line rating is a rough guide and has more to do with the strength and intended use of the rod than some sort of breaking point of the blank. In fact, unless it states "braid," the line rating refers to the rating of mono-filament line that one would typically use on that rod. For example, bass anglers probably take for granted that a heavy/fast action rod that one might use for tossing frogs,  although it lists a specified line rating of, say 12 - 25 lb, is more likely than not going to be fished with 50 - 65 lb braided line on a bait caster reel. A rod is expected to hold up with normal use regardless of line used and the warranties are not conditioned on line strength (not that I'd mention 80 lb braid when sending it back).

In this sense it is a ridiculous system, and confusing as heck for novices, yet somehow it is still a handy guide. Some rods now will mention braided line strength, or both braid and mono, which is better. The lure weight rating is also a rough guide, but perhaps handy if you're looking for a punching setup that'll handle a 2 oz flipping weight or an A rig.

Some say the line rating has more to do with line diameter (braid is much thinner than mono given any specified line rating), but I don't really buy that either. Maybe it ought to have something to do with a reel's drag strength. If you use 80 pound braid on a big reel whose drag can clamp down to 50 pounds, and your rod says 30 lbs, you had better be gentle with that 100 pound catfish or your rod will be broken or you and the catfish may both be in the river. The whole rod line rating system was much more revered in the ancient world of mono only. Now we realize it's a rough guide at best and a pile of bull droppings at worst.

Anyway, this post is off the top of my head, and my head was earlier filled with a beer, so i can't be sure I've told you right, and I am open to rebuttals. It does look like a pretty good sermon to me though.  Burp.

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I rarely follow it, I usually go by what technique I'm specifically fishing for mixed with my reel drag, and capacity. It just seems absurd to put 50lb braid on a finnesse t rig worm lol. I had a discussion about it today with a few guys at my club and wanted to know how everyone else felt about it.

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Found an earlier thread on this very subject here:

I would have to echo the sentiments of the comments made in the earlier thread. As long as you keep it within reason and stay away from high-sticking you should be fine. While I am not a slave to the recommendations, at least I am in the ballpark. This keeps my mind at ease when I crack the whip. Just watched a Pros vs Joes episode and Brent Chapman tore off all the guides on a hook-set. Saw Aaron Martens do the same thing. I think this is the likely outcome, not snapping the rod if you disregard the line recommendations. 

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I'm typically within the specs of the rod anyways. 

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Line weight labels are almost useless on a freshwater Rod. All they do is give a basic idea what purpose the Rod was designed for. If guides come off during a hookset or any other fishing motion it's due to poor build quality or mishandling not over lining. 

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I used to think line ratings were important and perhaps they still are on the low end. However, as the popularity of braided line has increased, the emphasis has shifted to the drag setting. 40# and 50# braid is commonly used on baitcasting rods which exceeds all recommendations.

:fishing-026:

 

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6 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

40# and 50# braid is commonly used on baitcasting rods which exceeds all recommendations.

And also voids most warranties too if you go outside the manufacturer's rated limitations for rods and reels.

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The line ratings are supposed to represent the dead lift capacity of the rod (approximately) or the "working range" of best suited lines for the rod, depending on whom you believe.  They have nothing to do with line type or diameter.  There is no reason to stay within them if the line you want to use is much heavier test than the rating because you limit the tension on the line with the drag and the angle of the rod relative to the source of the pull.  Point the rod directly at the source and you have no bend at all (as in the ultimate last step in freeing a snag)  With low stretch line you probably should be a little more careful on hook sets and jerking to get out of snags.

When selecting a blank I use that rating only as an approximation representing the power of the blank  (in comparison  between possible blank selections), with most of my attention being on the power rating and action type.  

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4 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

Line weight labels are almost useless on a freshwater Rod. All they do is give a basic idea what purpose the Rod was designed for. If guides come off during a hookset or any other fishing motion it's due to poor build quality or mishandling not over lining. 

Exactly !!!

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As others have said, it is a guide based on the power of the rod and what the intended use of the rod is. A medium power rod listed 8lb to 14lb or a medium heavy is sometimes listed 10lb to 17lb or 10lb to 20lb, most of it is because they is more than likely you will be using something in that range, if you are using more than 20lb you are probably using a heavy power rod and less than 10 is it probably a medium power. Lure ratings are a little different, those are usually close to what the rod can handle but it doesn't mean you can't use something out of the range, it is just a guide to give you an idea of the rods capabilities.

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