What Size Fishing Line For Stripers? [Freshwater & Saltwater]

Bass fishing is a worldwide pastime, and many people new to fishing want to get into fishing for stripers. Striped bass is an excellent fighting fish, and if you dial them in, you can battle many nice-sized fish all day long. Getting started, one of the first questions is what size line for stripers.

Anglers fishing for striped bass or stripers traditionally use a 10-12 pound test line. Monofilament line is the standard, but some anglers prefer to go with a 10-12 pound test fluorocarbon fishing line for stripers. 

Bass have very keen eyesight, which is why a monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line is preferred. Both types of fishing lines are nearly invisible in the water, and that makes your lure, fly, or bait, a little more natural. If you opt for a braided line, it should be in the 10-30 pound test range.

What pound line for Striper fishing

Rig your bass pole with a 10-12 pound test line when fishing for stripers. You can opt for a monofilament fishing line in most settings. However, if you fish around sunken objects, off the pier, or from a boat in the shallows, you may want to go with a 10-12 pound test fluorocarbon line. The reason is that the fluorocarbon fishing line is harder. Therefore, it will resist nicks and abrasions. A monofilament fishing line is great, but it is softer and will abrade easier than a fluorocarbon fishing line.

A more robust option is a braided line in the 10-30 pound test range. Braided fishing line has been the standard in fly-fishing for a long while. For bass fishing, more people are coming on board with a braided line on their reels. A drawback of a braided line is that it is very visible in the water. It is a wide, flat fishing line, and bass can see it.

Fishing line for striped bass

When it comes to choosing a fishing line for striped bass, you have three options:

  1. Monofilament – 10-20 pound test
  2. Fluorocarbon – 10-20 pound test
  3. Braided line in the 10-30 pound test

There are good reasons to choose each of these and a few reasons to consider your options. Many anglers reach for the braided line because it has superior strength to monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines. For bass fishing, a braided line is obvious in the water. To remove the distraction during lure or fly presentation, you would need a mono or fluorocarbon leader.

Another issue with braided line is that it is expensive. If you are fishing for tuna or monster salmon, braided line is terrific. However, for fish with superior eyesight, a braided line is not the best choice.

What color fishing line for striped bass

Clear is always a good option. There are some arguments over monofilament vs. fluorocarbon due to how light refracts off both while in the water. An excellent way to look at this is that anglers have been fishing with monofilament lines for decades. The fluorocarbon line is newer. A clear line is often the best choice since the amount of light changes as you go deeper into a water column.

Hook size for freshwater stripers

There are unspoken rules about fishhook sizes for stripers and other fish. However, there are printed rules, too, so be sure to bone up on the local fishing regulations, which may prohibit certain types of hooks and hook sizes.

The unspoken rule that applies here is about the size of the bait in relationship to the hook size.

Big baits and live baits are best with an 8/0 circle hook. If you are fishing with medium baits, go for a 6/0 circle hook. Smaller baits work best on a 2/0 circle hook.

Be prepared when you hit the river, lake, or pond, and bring a variety of hook sizes.

The best fly line for striper fishing

A light braided line is suitable for fly-fishing set up with a long leader out of mono. The braided line for fly-fishing is pretty much the standard because fly rods are rated in weights based on the weight of the line. A braided line is also a good option if you plan to fly fish in saltwater too. Braided lines in 10-30 pound test are ideal.

A braided line remains a good option if you are fly-fishing for stripers on a lake or in a pond.

Striped bass line set up

Two options for striped bass line set up include:

  1. The Carolina Rig
  2. The Jig or bucktail Jig

The Caroline Rig:

  1. Add a 2-ounce (or other appropriate weight_ egg sinker to the line. The egg sinker is loose, so it will slide up and down the line as needed.
  2. Add a small bead to the line below the egg sinker. Both are loose. The bead will cushion the knot at the leader from the weight.
  3. Add a leader using a barrel swivel. A Palomar know works fantastic to connect the pieces.

TIP: set up a bunch of leaders before you head out and connect them to the barrel swivel. Doing so allows you to reset the rod if you lose a line quickly.

The Jig or Bucktail Jig

  1. Add a swimbait to the jig hook so that most of the hook is hidden.
  2. Make sure the swimbait slides over the stopper where the Jig meets the hook.
  3. Attach the hook to the line, and you are good to go fishing.
  4. Because jigs are weighted, you do not need a sinker.

Braid or mono for striped bass?

You can use either, but you will need a long mono of fluorocarbon leader if you go for a braided line. The bass can see the braided line.

Striped Bass Fishing Tips Freshwater and Saltwater

You can fish for stripers in saltwater or freshwater. The following tips help in creating successful fishing adventures.

  • Feed the School – Stripers are schooling fish and often hang near the surface of the water. Dry flies, light shiny lures, and bait are the best way to produce a strike.
  • Drift where there is a current – Because stripers like to bunch up in schools, driving works well where there is a current. The bass will follow the current chasing baitfish.
  • Try Not to be Obvious – Bass are smart, and they see well. Dress in clothing that matches your environment, so you don’t stick out like an angler with a rod.
  • Fussy Eaters – Stripers can be fussy. Take along a variety of baits, lures, or flies and dial them in to see what they like.
  • Bass like Warmth – In colder weather, look for stripers in rivers or near the surface of lakes. They like to sun, and you will find them more active on a cold day feeding at the surface. When the water is warm in the summer and fall months, you find stripers deeper in the water column, especially in lakes.

Tips on Catching Striped Bass

What are the best tips for catching Striped Bass?

  1. The best tip for catching striped bass is to fish often. Fishing every day helps you dial in the water and habitat where you live. The more you fish, the better you get at fishing, and that means as you progress, you have less hassle finding stripers and effectively targeting them—fish every day for as long as possible.
  2. Master fishing with different tactics – learn to fish in different settings with hook and bait, lures, and flies. If you don’t fly fish, you should give it a try. Bass are all over the lake or river for different reasons. Learning to change how you fish in different settings will put you on the stripers quickly and effectively.
  3. Learn a bit more about Insects – Bass feed on many things from minnows to rodents to insects. Insects are one of the largest groups of food that drive fish life cycles. Learn how to identify insects at the order level so that you can dial in fly and lure selection based on what is available when you fish. Doing so helps you improve the strike rate for bass, trout, and other predatory fish.

What Pound Test Line for Striped Bass Fishing

To recap: many anglers want to know what pound test line for striped bass fishing. In general:

  • Monofilament line in the 10-12 pound test range for most applications. A 10-20 pound test line is a good bet on a spinning rod if you are fishing saltwater.
  • A fluorocarbon line in the 10-12 pound test range is suitable for most applications. A 10-12 pound test line should do an excellent job to fish in lakes, rivers, and ponds. If fishing in fast rivers or saltwater, amp up the line to a 10-20 pound test
  • Braided line – 10-30 pound test is good with a long leader of mono or fluorocarbon. Braided line is best for fly rods, but you can adapt it to work on spinning rods too.


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