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So, you’ve bought a nice fishing rod and reel combo, you’ve got a bunch of bait, tackle, and everything else in between too. Now it is time to go out and buy some nice fishing line to bring it all together. How much fishing line do you need? Is 150 yards enough fishing line?
While 150 yards is usually going to be fine for basic fishing applications, most reels will recommend that you put around 200 yards of line on them. Of course, this does depend on the specific reel, the reel size, the type of line, and more.
Let’s take a look at how to determine how much fishing line you need on the reel.
How Many Yards of Fishing Line do I Need for A Reel?
There are a variety of factors which are going to work towards determining how much fishing you need on your reel, so let’s take a look at each of the following factors.
Once again, 150 yards is usually going to be fine, but it does depend on the factors discussed below. Just remember that figuring this out is a bit hard, as there is a combination of factors to take into account.
Luckily, for the most part, when you buy any sort of reel, it is going to tell you exactly how much of specific types of fishing line it can hold. If you buy it new, you really should not have to do much calculating on your own.
It’s also important to remember that overfilling or underfilling your fishing reel can have some negative consequences, ones we will discuss in the following section.
Type of Reel
The first thing you need to pay attention to here is what kind of reel you have.
For example, spinning reels, fly fishing reels, and baitcasting reels are all going to have slightly different fishing line capacities.
For instance, your typical baitcasting reel is going to have a line capacity of between 200 and 230 yards.
On the other hand, spinning reels are going to hold anywhere from 100 to 200 yards of line, depending on the exact type and size of the reel. Moreover, your average fly fishing rod is going to hold anywhere from 80 to 140 yards of fishing line.
The reason why baitcasting reels tend to have the most capacity for fishing line is because they are designed for long distance casting.
All of that being said, there are many different sizes of fishing reels, and this is true for all types, another factor that’s going to determine how much you will need.
Size of Reel
As mentioned above, something else you need to keep in mind when determining how much fishing line you need is to pay attention to reel size.
Take spinning reels as an example. Spinning reels come in all sorts of sizes ranging from 1,000 to 10,500.
The larger the reel is, the more line it is going to be able to hold. A small 1,000 size spinning reel may only be able to hold 120 or 150 yards of line, whereas as larger 10,000 size reel might be able to hold in excess of 300 yards of fishing line.
Keep in mind that fly fishing rods and baitcasting rods always have specific sizes too, so this is something you need to pay attention to no matter what kind of reel you have.
Type of Line
The next factor you’ll need to take into account when determining how much fishing line you need for your reel is the type of line you have.
Now, this doesn’t exactly have to do with how much line you need, but how much fishing line the reel in question can handle.
What you need to know here is that monofilament fishing line is the thickest, which means you won’t be able to fit too much onto any reel.
Next is fluorocarbon fishing line, which is a bit thinner than monofilament line, and therefore you’ll be able to put more of it on your line.
Finally, we have braided line, and although braided line might sound like it is the thickest due to being braided together out of multiple lines, it’s actually the thinnest.
When it comes to fishing reel line capacity, you’ll always be able to fit more braided line on your reel than other types of line.
Remember that fishing reels do also recommend that you fill them up to a certain amount, such as up to a ¼ inch from the edge of the spool.
You never want to underfill or overfill a reel. Most people will recommend not filling a reel up past two-thirds or three-quarters the full capacity.
So, how much fishing line you need will depend not only on the size of the reel and type of reel, but the type of line too.
For instance, if you need around 150 yards of monofilament line for your reel, that same reel will most likely be able to hold upwards of 200 yards of braided line.
Type of Fishing
The other factor you’ll need to consider when determining if 150 yards of line is enough for you, is the type of fishing you are doing. This might actually be the first factor you want to consider.
The type of fishing you are planning on doing is going to determine which type of reel you need, the size of reel, and what kind of line is best.
Once you figure out what kind od fishing you are doing, you’ll be able to figure the rest of it out as well.
For instance, with fly fishing, you really don’t need much line at all. You will rarely need over 40 or 50 yards of line to do some fly fishing in a stream or small river, maybe up to 80 yards just to be safe, although this is probably overkill.
On the other hand, if you plan on going deep sea fishing, where fish are deep down below the surface, and may also pull a lot of line off your reel, you may need anywhere from 200 to 400 yards of line, or more.
However, for most general applications, such as fishing off a boat in a lake, 150 yards of fishing line will do just fine.
You might want to go for 200 yards just to be safe, but that’s only if you are fishing in a deep and large body of water, and are fishing for fish that may pull a whole lot of line off the reel while you are fighting to bring it in.
Problems with Too Much Fishing Line
Yes, indeed there are a variety of issues that may arise if you end up putting way too much fishing line on your reel. Let’s take a look.
1. It Might Unwind
One of the biggest problems you’re going to face with having too much fishing line on the reel is having it unwind on you, right of the spool.
If the line gets too close to the edge, just a little bit of slack can cause a ton of it to unwind.
Once fishing line unwinds off the spool, you’ll be left with a huge mess. Getting it back on is nearly impossible and you might end up having to cut the line.
If there is way too much line on the spool, you will also suffer from backlash. Backlash often happens when too much line comes off the reel when you cast it.
There’s so much of it that it comes off too fast, and this then causes there to be too much slack.
This can cause your lure and line to get tangled in mid air, and it can also cause the fishing line to unwind off the spool, such as we discussed right above.
Ok, so this is not a huge problem because fishing line is quite lightweight, but that said, every extra yard of line id going to add a bit of weight to the mix, so do keep this in mind.
4. Increased Length = Decreased Thickness
Something else to keep in mind is that if you fill your reel up to maximum capacity, the line you put on there won’t be as thick.
In other words, you need to think about the length to thickness ratio here.
If you need much thicker fishing line for big fish, you won’t be able to put as much line on the reel in terms of length.
5. You’re Wasting Money
If you put too much fishing line on your reel, you’re going to end up wasting money.
Fishing line can be expensive and there is no point in putting way more on your reel than you need. It’s just a waste of cash.
Problems With Not Enough Line
Not having enough fishing line on the reel is not nearly as big a problem as having too much line on the reel, but there are still some issues which may arise here.
1. You Run Out of Slack
The biggest problem that you will face if you do not have enough fishing line on the reel is that you might run out of slack.
You might not be able to cast very far and if you have a fighting fish on the line, you can run out of spare line, and that’s a problem.
2. The Line Could Snap
If you end up running out of slack, whether you are fighting a big fish or you are casting a heavy bait, when the line runs out, it could snap, thus causing you to lose lures and lose the fish you have hooked on the end of it.
What is Line Capacity on a Reel
Line capacity on a reel is a measure of how much fishing line a reel can hold. This applies to both the length and thickness of the line.
A fishing reel will be able to hold either more thinner line or less thicker line.
How is Reel Capacity Calculated?
Fishing reel capacity is calculated by determining the traverse length, the fill diameter, the barrel diameter, and the wire diameter.
However, these are calculations you really never have to make.
Any fishing reel worth the money is going to tell you exactly what kind of fishing line it can hold, the weight of the line, and the length of the line.
How To Measure Fishing Line
The best way to measure fishing line is to use a line calculator. These are simple devices which are clipped onto the spools of fishing reels.
They will measure the line length as you wind it onto the spool. Folks, you definitely don’t want to use a ruler or a measuring tape for this. It won’t go so well.
You can also use the retrieval rate of the fishing reel in question. For example, if each turn of the handle reels in 30 inches of line, you can count the number of revolutions you make with the handle when putting the line on the reel, and then go from there.
The bottom line is that every fishing reel out there is going to provide you with all of the info you need in terms of the line. They all come with clear indications of how much line they can hold, and this is true for specific line types too.
Any good reel will tell you how much braided line it can hold and how much monofilament line it can hold. All of that said, 150 yards of fishing line should be enough for all applications but deep sea fishing.