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Does It Matter?


oneshot

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Everyone says 2 or 4 pound Test Line for Trout. Yes I've use light Line but seems I do just as fine with 6 pound Test that I use for Crappie and other Pan Fish. Yes they are for the pan. Also makes it nice if I catch a big Redhorse.

oneshot

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I don't think it matters, within reason.  I wouldn't use 20 pound test, but I think the difference between 4 pound and 8 pound test is insignificant to the fish.  In fly fishing, I NEVER go lighter than 6X, and that's only for very small flies...I match my line size to the size of the flies so that the line doesn't overpower the fly and make it do strange things in the water. I don't think it matters to the fish.  They can see 2 pound or 4 pound, don't kid yourself that they can't.  They can also see 8 pound, they can see the hook coming out the butt of the fly, too.  The only question is whether such things put them off or make them more wary.

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Been on the river many times fish every cast 🙄 This is with Low Clear water. And if I use worms for Suckers I'm using size 6 Hook and can't catch Suckers because of the Trout.

Was there one time Guys Cat Fishing and kept catching Trout and no one had a Trout Permit.

I have been just Catfishing and only caught one small Channel Catfish.

oneshot

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Long time ago I did some testing of that in a super clear 8 acre spring fed pond with larger stocked trout. At the time all the mono was about twice as big for the test as it is now and quite a lot stiffer, or so my memory tells me.  (iirc, my 8X was 1/2# test, 7X 3/4#) Test was using red worms, night crawlers and shiners for baits- two spinning rods lined with 6# test and 10' of different sized leaders varying from 10# down the 1# test, cast ~4'-5' apart and rigged identically except the leader.

Results went like: 10# &10# catches were random as to which rod was hit on, 10# and 8,6, 4, 2. 1# the lighter line received nearly all the hits, regardless if the baits were the same or not. as I reduced line diameters  the results indicated the same equal sized lines=random as to which was hit and with unequal lines the smaller line received nearly all hits.  Many times in the clear water I could watch as the trout investigated the bait and then took one.  I did this on many outings over the two or three months that trout were available and concluded that trout could see even the 1# test as well as they could the 10# and that it put them off slightly, but that worm was more important than leader. A night crawler was preferred over a red worm most of the time and minnows did better with split shots than unweighted. I ended by rigging my rods with 4# test for greater casting distance than the 6# and fewer break offs than the 2#.  Given the improvements in line quality, if I was rigging a spinning rod today for strictly trout I'd go with Maxima 3#. But for mixed fishing would spool it with 6-8# test.  If I think that smaller line is needed I can tie on 2' of tippet material. (as part of that experiment I also shortened the leaders and 24"-36" worked best for me)

Some experimenting I did with suckers makes me think they are a lot more shy than trout and much faster at spitting out any thing that tastes wrong.

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I tend to agree with Al. I think the only time that fish don't see what is going on around them, such as line size, the eye and the  bend of the hook is when they are not looking. Presentation and simulation is a lot more important to me. Use a leader size that you are confident in. If that don't work, go up an "x" size . If that don't work you might want to take a hard look at the water you are fishing. It could be void of fish and you need to relocate.

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Onehot if you are sitting a worm on the bottom, in that situation the attraction of the worm bait may override their caution and line size may not matter as much like TJM mentioned in his post. You may actually catch more trout if you dropped your line size, but you are not trying for them anyways.

I have seen similar responses to what TJM mentioned in clear water and mostly where the fish have a long time to evaluate the bait. In those situations I will almost always go to 2# line. In situations, like jig fishing a river like the White, 11 pt, etc., those fish are reacting quickly to a bait rushing past them. I don't believe that they are as line shy. At those times I prefer 6# fluorocarbon leaders.

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For sure the line becomes less important as the current and water color increase.  I frequently use ~5# stuff for trout on flies at RRSP .  The advantage of lighter lines on spinning rods, for me was in the ability to cast small light lures.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Revisiting this a bit...I researched the diameter of the Rio Fluoroflex tippet I use, compared to Maxima clear line that somebody else mentioned.

Rio Fluoroflex:

6X  3.6 lb. test, .005 diameter

5X  5 lb. test, .006 diameter

4X  7 lb. test, .007 diameter

3X  8.5 lb. test, .008 diameter

2X  12 lb. test, .009 diameter

Maxima Clear:

1 lb. test, .003 diameter

2 lb. test, .005 diameter

3 lb. test, .006 diameter

4 lb. test, .007 diameter

6 lb. test, .009 diameter

8 lb. test, .01 diameter

So the 6X that I very seldom use unless I'm throwing very small flies is the same diameter as 2 lb. test Maxima, but is rated at 3.6 lb. test.  The 4X that I probably use the most in very clear water is the same as 4 lb. test Maxima, but is 7 lb. test.  The 2X that I often use for streamer fishing and in murky water is the same diameter as 4 lb. test Maxima but is 12 lb. test!

Which goes to show that IF you're really concerned about line visibility, don't just look at the lb. test it is, look at the diameter.

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You almost always get higher strength for diameter with fly rod tippet spools. It only matters when it is gin clear and your candy is small. Trout will still hit a 4-5” jerkbait in gin clear water tied to 12lb. Kinda funny how guys will tie a fly for an hour, then wear themselves out casting a wet sock all day to imitate a jerkbait or a big jig.

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