12 Reasons Fishing Line Keeps Breaking & How to Prevent It

Fishing line breaks are common in fishing. Fortunately, you can reverse this frustrating event, but you have to determine first the reasons why your fishing line keeps on breaking. From there, you’ll know how to prevent it from happening. So, here are some reasons why your fishing line is probably breaking.

To be more efficient in taking care of your fishing line, you should start with familiarizing the reasons on why a fishing line keeps on breaking.

  1. Your Strap the Lures the Tight.
  2. Your Fishing Line Have Bird’s Nest.
  3. Rushed Knots. 
  4. You’re Not Retying Often. 
  5. You’re Not Changing Your Fishing Line. 
  6. You are Storing Your Fishing Line Under Extreme Lights.
  7. You Hooked Your Lures to Your Fishing Reel. 
  8. You have an Overlapping Fishing Line.
  9. You’re Casting on Dirty Water. 
  10. You are Casting on Rocky Areas. 
  11. Nicked Line. 
  12. A Poorly Set Drag.

Fishing lines are one of the most fundamental tools that you should have in your fishing arsenal. Without it, it would be impossible to use your rods. Read further for more tips about fishing lines, its maintenance, and choosing the right type. More importantly, we will give you some tips that you can do to avoid breaking your fishing line.

What are the Reasons Fishing Line Keeps Breaking?

We all know that your fishing line is the link between you and the fish that you want to catch. It means that even the slightest flaw on your fishing line can make a difference in your fishing performance. More than anything, maintaining your fishing line should always be a part of your routine. To be more efficient in taking care of it, you should start with familiarizing the reasons on why a fishing line keeps on breaking.

  1. Your Strap the Lures the Tight. It is one of the most common mistakes that a beginner can do, which may result in the breaking of the fishing line. The best solution to it is to avoid fastening the fishing line down too tight. You don’t have to tighten everything so much. You only have to make sure that everything is in place while providing enough pressure on your knots.
  2. Your Fishing Line Have Bird’s Nest. Have you seen a bird’s nest? For most experts, they call it the “professional overrun” on your reel. A fishing line often forms this shape, especially when a fish bites the bait. Bird’s nest will eventually lead to the breaking of the fishing line. Fishing reels have the right mechanisms to control these backlashes, but it may not work most of the time accurately. The best solution is still training your thumb to be more sensitive in changing situations like following the wind when casting. This technique will help you avoid tangles.
  3. Rushed Knots. Most beginners tend to rush their knots to tie a new lure that they forget to wet the knot and clinch it down quickly. This event creates friction and burning, which results in to break down the fishing line. So, when tying your knots, be mindful, and avoid overlaps. Pull them tight slowly so that you can avoid friction. Then, wet your line before cinching it.
  4. You’re Not Retying Often. Always remember that it is a mistake not to check your fishing line after every cast. It can cause a real problem, especially when a bigger fish bites your bait. So, always check for ticks after every fish or cast by pinching the fishing line between your fingers. Run them from the lure going up a foot to two feet. This method will avoid the unexpected break-off of your fishing line.
  5. You’re Not Changing Your Fishing Line. We all want a fishing line that can last for an extended period but mind you that they don’t last forever. One fishing line last season may not be as accurate as it was when it was new. You also have to take into consideration the quality of your fishing line, because they deteriorate over time. Therefore, you have to check on them always. The environmental conditions like weather, heat, and light affect the performance of a fishing line. Change your fishing line if you notice signs of brittleness, break-off easily, and not casting smoothly.
  6. You are Storing Your Fishing Line Under Extreme Lights. You should know that heat from extreme lights, especially sunlight have massive effects on the quality of a fishing line. Studies have shown that lights have something to with their breakdown. Therefore, you should store all your fishing lines in a cool dark space. This method will ensure that your fishing line can preserve its life a little longer.
  7. You Hooked Your Lures to Your Fishing Reel. It is a common problem, but one of those quick fixes that you can do. First of all, lures can scratch your reels that can compromise your fishing line.
  8. You have an Overlapping Fishing Line. In this case, you can try to keep the tension even on the fishing line when you’re spooling. Keep the pressure centered on your fishing rod so that you can get a better spool on your fishing reel.
  9. You’re Casting on Dirty Water. Dirty and salty water is terrible for your fishing line. It is because the dirt will stick to it, which can lead to damage and injure your fishing line. Other areas that have lots of sharp grass and weeds, structures, fallen trees, and branches can also ruin your fishing line. So, always look out for these situations.
  10. You are Casting on Rocky Areas. If you go on stream fishing rocky areas, there’s a huge possibility that your fishing line breaks. Hard water can damage your fishing line, and ruin its quality. Eventually, it will get hair as a sign of cuts.
  11. Nicked Line. A nick on your fishing line reduces its strength by approximately 50%. There are various reasons why you got a nicked fishing line like a rough guide, rubbing the side of your boat, and a log or rock. Even the scales from your target fish can cause nicked wires after a hard fight. So, always check for nicks in your fishing line by running through your two pinched fingers. Check for any roughness as an indication of a nicked part.
  12. A Poorly Set Drag. If you have a high drag, it will apply too much pressure on the fishing line. This event may cause a break-off. Therefore, you should set your drag to 25% to 30% of your line strength. When doing a 10 test line, it should be about three pounds.

How to Maintain Your Fishing Line?

With all the reasons mentioned above, there are some basic ways that you can do to maintain your fishing line. It can be frustrating to have a broken fishing line but remember that it’s all part of being an angler. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps to look after your fishing line to make all the difference. 

  1. Always Check Your Fishing Line. No matter what type of species you’re trying to catch or your casting style, you should always check your fishing line. Search for any signs of damage every time you tackle up. You can do it by only running your fingers upon your fishing line. Regardless of the reason, checking your fishing line for any kind, rough parts, and patches is the best way to maintain its quality and performance. 
  2. Do Your Knots Properly. Tying knots is part of fishing, but there are some materials that you should not tie up like nylon. Doing so will weaken it, which will eventually result in breaks on the fishing line. The overhand knot is one of the worst kinds of knots. It’s better to use the best knot that the fishing line manufacturer recommends.
  3. Perfect Balance. There should be an ideal balance between the rod, line, and reel. First of all, you need to use a fishing rod that’s suitable for the fish that you want to catch. As a rule of thumb, it should be at least five times the rods test curve in pounds. Then, use the appropriate fishing line the would match the reel and enough strength to fight with the fish bite.
  4. Practice Cleaning Habit. After fishing on saltwater, you should rinse your fishing line as frequently as possible. It is because the salt can make the fishing line stiff, which may lead to break-off. Therefore, it’s a good practice to wash it with soap for 15 minutes to remove all salt.
  5. Snap Testing. You can easily do this test at your home. Check your fishing line by snapping it. Apply force using your both hands and see whether it breaks or not. Once it got broken, the fishing line is not at its best quality. 

Understanding Fishing Line Strength

“Test” refers to the strength of the fishing line measured in pounds. Its power should match the weight of the fish that you want to catch. Every fishing line spool has a label that identifies its pound test, which is usually around 8 pounds. Pound test, on the other hand, is a measurement of how much stress a fisher can put on the fishing line before it breaks. 

  • Fishing Line’s Castability. If you want something that has a smooth style of fishing with frequent casting, you can use soft and light fishing lines. They come with a spool that enables greater accuracy in casting greater distances.
  • Stretch. Less stretch of fishing lines means more sensitivity – and vise Versa. Therefore, you want something that has less of it to have better feels even from a bite of small fish. However, there are some instances that more excellent fishing line stretch is desirable, like when trolling. It will act as a shock absorber and makes a difference in setting up the hook.
  • Line Memory. It refers to the fishing line’s ability to retain its shape after its deformation. So, when it comes to fishing, less fishing line memory is often better. It is because a fishing line with lots of minds can remember the loops that developed within it. On the other hand, fishing lines with no memory remains straight even after coming off the spool. It results in less friction on guides and reels, which allows longer and smoother cast.
  • Fishing Line Color. All types of fishing lines come in different colors. The rule of thumb in choosing the right hue is to base it on the color of the water.
    • Clear. It is best to use for ultra-clear water.
    • Yellow. It is suitable for muddy water.
    • Red. Suitable for deep-sea fishing because it becomes more invisible as it goes deeper.
    • Green. It is perfect for green-colored water.

How to Choose the Right Fishing Line?

Choosing the right fishing light depends on what, where, and how of your fishing plans. It can be confusing at first, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it as you gain more experience in fishing. So, while you’re still “testing the waters,” here are some other things that you should about choosing the right fishing line. 

  • What are Your Target Fish Species? You have to identify first what are your target fish. It is the first factor that you should know in deciding the appropriate test line for your next fishing trip. Take into consideration the behavior of your target fish, its average size, weight, and other relevant habits.
  • Where Are You Fishing? If you’re fishing for bass in either heavy cover or a small open pond, requires different fishing line pound test. For example, using an increased pound test is better in a heavy corner. On the contrary, a lower pound test in an open pond will give you better castability.
  • What is the Current Weather Condition? Wherever you are going fishing, you need to know the current weather conditions of every location. First of all, weather can affect the fish’s behavior. Second, you don’t want to waste your time fishing under a lousy cold. Also, you have to understand that different water temperatures affect the fishing line.
  • Fish According to Your Fishing Gear. Your fishing rods, reels, and lines have limits. So, you should always stick with those recommended guidelines to avoid any problems. 
  • Types of Fishing Line. In today’s modern fishing, you can choose from three different fishing lines. Each of them has their unique sets of advantages and drawbacks. Picking is about your preference and your style of fishing.
    • Monofilament Fishing Line. It is probably the best multi-purpose fishing line, and it is also affordable. Monofilament Fishing Line has more stretch compared to its counterparts, which makes it ideal for running shallow-diving crankbaits through wood or rocks. This fishing line floats and allows the lure to hang longer in the strike zone of the fish. 
    • Braided Fishing Lines. It is a better option for doing long-distance casting, especially with surface lures. Braided Fishing Lines have lower stretch, which gives it higher sensitivity. With these traits, more pros use this fishing line with heavy weights for better chances of striking a fish in dirty or muddy water conditions.
    • Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines. They are probably the most expensive type. Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines have the best sensitivity, which makes them a top choice for both amateurs and professionals. Moreover, they look more transparent under the water that makes it a key feature when fishing in clear water. Fluorocarbon is also suitable for running deep-diving crankbaits because it increases the depth of your lures as it starts to sink.

Fishing Line Pound Test

To give you a better idea, we’ve listed down some common and general recommendations of the fishing line weight that you can use for various fish species. 

Test Target Species
2-4 lbPanfish, Trout (Freshwater)
6-12 lbBass, Catfish, Walleye, Salmon (Freshwater)
14-20+ lb Catfish, Stripers, Pike/Musky (Freshwater)
8-14 lbSea Trout, Flounder, Sea Bass (Saltwater)
16-25 lbRedfish, Stripers, Blues, Sea Trout (Saltwater)
30+ lbTuna, Marlin, Shark (Saltwater)


When Should I Change My Fishing Line?

The ideal time to change a fishing line is after every season. However, it still depends on the kind of fishing line that you’re using. For example, most fluorocarbon and braided lines usually last longer compared to other types. Therefore, you can also consider the quality and performance of your fishing line. You can tell if you have a worn-out fishing line if it looks cloudy or fraying.

Does the Fishing Line Get Brittle?

The fishing line gets brittle because they also go wrong in quality over time. Eventually, it will lose its elasticity and miss its performance. From that moment, you have to consider changing your fishing line to a better one. It’s because those conditions are more prone to snapping. 

How Do You Store a Fishing Line?

The best way to store a fishing line is to put it in a cold dark room. Make sure that it’s in moderate temperatures to prevent brittleness. For monofilament fishing lines, always check for signs of age before attaching it to a reel. As much as possible, you have to keep the strength of your fishing line.

Final Words

It’s disheartening to see a broken fishing line, especially when you’re out there trying to catch some fish. Fortunately, you can reverse this situation with some fundamentals that you can do before and after every fishing trip. You have to get familiar with the reasons why a fishing line keeps on breaking. From there, you’ll have a better understanding of how to take care of it properly.

Without your fishing lines, you won’t have anything that would link between your fishing rod and your target fish. Therefore, it is crucial to always look out whether your fishing line is in good condition or not. You have to give some time to clean it to make sure that it will perform well.

Recent Content