How Much Farther Can You Cast With A 10 lb Line vs. 20 lb Line? Results Here

By: Luke Simonds on January 4, 2018
Found In:

casting contest with braid

I’ve always been curious to know how much farther a 10 lb line can cast relative to a 20 lb line (all else considered equal).

But until completing this latest casting experiment, I never knew how quickly casting performance declines when bumping up to a higher line…

And the results were shocking!

Casting Experiment Details

For this test, I put the focus on braid line because it is what most of us use when trying to maximize our casting distance when using spinning tackle.

It seems as if many inshore anglers are using braided line in the 10 lb to 20 lb range to target redfish, seatrout, and snook.

So I thought that would be fun to know how much casting distance that those who use 20 lb line are giving up by going for the added power.

Both lines have very small diameters, so my hypothesis for this experiment was that their casting distances would be within 10% of one another.

Based on some feedback from the first test where I analyzed the casting difference between mono vs. braid, I performed one test to resemble a heavy bait and another to resemble a lighter bait.

Image from casting along the shoreline (went over the water in a cove so that the lines would be wet)

Here are the core variables that are in this experiment:

  1. Rod Lenght: Equal – both the exact same 7’6″ TFO rods with the same power rating
  2. Reels: Equal – both lines were on the same sized Shimano Stradic Ci4 reel
  3. Lures: Equal – used teardrop shaped weights to minimize the wind resistance variable
    • 1st test used 3/16 oz to resemble lighter lures
    • 2nd test used 1/2 oz weights to resemble a heavier lure
  4. Casting Force – As equal as possible without a $$$$ machine
  5. Line Gap: The gap between the edge of the spool and the outer layer of the line is a big factor with spinning reels, so I made sure to keep them equal.
  6. Line Sizes: One reel was loaded with 10 lb braid while the other was loaded with 20 lb braid

Note: Both lines were made from PowerPro, and they both were newly spooled.

Click the video image below to see the test and its results:

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Conclusion

Given the 20%+ difference in casting distance between these two lines, we all need to consider the casting distance implications when deciding between one size or another line.

I use artificial lures 99%+ of the time which requires a lot of casts, so I always favor the lighter lines because they allow me to cover more water with less effort.

This test revealed that the 10 lb line enabled me to cast ~30-feet further… and although that seems relatively small, that equates to an entire football field of water that I can cover every 10 casts.

WOW!

That is a whole lot of extra water coverage which will surely turn in to more strikes and fish caught.

So our goal should be to select the lowest line strength that we trust can handle our target species.

If you have any questions or have any line recommendations for me to test next, please use the comment field below.

P.S. – Please be sure to share this post with any of your friends who use spinning tackle so that they know the importance of selecting the right sized line… this test sure made me think harder about the line sizes I use.

Related Post: Braid vs. Mono Casting Distance Experiment [Test & Results]

See More Fishing Line Tests/Reviews

 

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gusraynor@yahoo.comLuke SimondsJHallMarianne EiringJoseph SCHMIDT Recent comment authors
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gusraynor@yahoo.com
Member

Another great video ! Seeing is Believing !! Doesn’t get any easier than that …Keep up the great work ! I’m sure glad I found your web-site. Makes windy and rainy days bearable

JHall
Guest
JHall

100% more line strength vs 20-25% more casting distance … which should I choose.

Marianne Eiring
Member

Have you tried Seaguar Smackdown Tournament Braid? I was told that their 40lb. was as thin as normal braid 10lb. just tougher. ANy input guys?

JOSEPH SCHMIDT
Member

As usual, I loved your test and report. I still use a baitcaster and it seem logical that line weight would also have a similar result with that style of reel. But 2 questions come to mind: 1) I obviously cannot snap cast a baitcaster, I think life would end, but do you agree that I should still get better distances? I wade exclusively, fairly clear shoreline waters (Rockport Tx) rarely deeper than waist deep, and 2) with my custom high end graphite rod, I am afraid of snapping the rod with this casting technique. It is an expensive rod. Am I just a wus?
Thanks Luke!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

That is all well and good, but the 10lb is so thin it tends to cut into itself on the reel causing nasty knots. I would grudgingly sacrifice the distance to stop this

Hunter Nawaf
Member

really it was nice job u did and good facts we learn from it
but can u use the Kg weight to explain next time plz
really it was very useful what u did
thank u and best wishes to all

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Luke, thanks for that test, you have changed my mind… I ran into am deal on a 1500 yd spool of 20lb Seaguar last year and put it on all of my “light” reels. Now I’m taking the lightest of those reels and putting 10lb on them next time.
I am wondering what the casting different in the 7′ opposed to 7’6″? Since I use a 7’…
Thanks again, good stuff… pretty consistent casting too!

Blackdogfish
Guest
Blackdogfish

But many, many times you can be casting 200 yarda but the fish are 15 feet in front of you… especially at night. Personally casting distance means little to me. Id rather have 30 pound and know that if I tie into a forty or bigger that my line will be up to it… especially if ive been beating it up around rocks.

Scott Thomas
Member

Just for fun….PP makes a secondary line. It’s called Maxquatro. It’s marketed as being 25% thinner than regular PP. In looking at 10# PP vs 20# Maxquatro, the 10# PP has a line diameter of .006″ vs the Maxquatro diameter of .007″. Not really a lot of difference (.001) between the two. I think that I would give up what little casting distance difference for double the line strength. Luke, if time and desire permit, try a casting test using PP 10# vs Maxquatro 20#.
Thanks

Rick Daniel
Member

Thank you for sharing those results. We’ve been fishing with the heavier braid, so I’ve got a few lines changed and ready to hit the water after we get a little warmer weather here in Jacksonville.

Pat Ogletree
Member

I’ve been apprehensive about switching to 10 lb braid due to abrasion resistance and breaking strength but after seeing your braid vs flouro abrasion test and finding out most braids break well over their ratings and watching this analysis I don’t see a reason to run a heavier line.
Most of the rods we use for inshore are rated for 8-17 pound line and max drag on most inshore reels are between 10 and 15 lbs, why would you need 20 lb braid that breaks at 35+ pounds.

Ron Mahoney
Member

I have been using 30# braid for a long time, with the belief that any casting distance advantage of 10# would be no more than 5%…so this was a real eye opener! One thing I noticed is that you use a really fast transition in your casting technique, and I see a lot of guides casting like this too. With that half ounce weight, I’m surprised you didn’t snap off that 10# braid! I guess my casting technique was developed on fresh water, casting full sized night crawlers, which would snap off with your type of cast. It would be interesting to compare the distance on the quick transition cast with a more gradual, still powerful cast! When we finally get to fish together, we’ll check that out…

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. Recently purchased a “light” spinning rod (had to order it as stores usually don’t carry them in stock) paired with a 1000 size reel. Plan on throwing small Rapalas in size 05 and 07 with it as the local fish often will smash a small lure while ignoring a larger one and some of these fish are substantial. Ordered some 5 lb PP. Not sure if it will work out and am somewhat apprehensive about it but what the heck – they are just fish. Haven’t been able to try it due to family health issues but it should be fun.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Luke, another eye opening video. I’ve always leaned towards the heavier braid of fear that I might get broke off, but after last week fishing in Florida and landing a 31” Snook on 10lb braid plus seeing your test I’m convinced LIGHTER is BETTER. Looks like I’ll be making a BPS run to pick up a couple of spools of 10lb braid.
Trey

Alan Whitworth
Member

Luke, another informative evaluation by the Salt Strong Team.
One question: I know that you were using Power Pro line. what is the advertise diameter of the 10# and the 20# Power Pro line? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Jim Smo
Member

But I find that the heavier line helps a bit more with getting your lure back out of the tree limbs and overhead electric lines.

Edward Lombard
Member

Thanks for this! You just made my line-buying decisions much easier and more rational.

John Martin
Member

hi luke ,
what a revealing test . 10 lb Brad is for me and Wow do you cast well. Christmas came and I got 3 spools of Spider Wire, Stealth Braid 10lb bright chartreuse. how does spride wire come to Power Pro?
TPT rod, Shimano Saros 2500F reel. fish Stumps pass by boat. Polar Skiff Saltwater Series 17′ long 88″ wide, 60hp Yamaha 2 stroke
thanks so much
John Martin

Scott Rispaud
Member

Hi Luke, yes, confirmation of what I have always known. When I travel to Montauk each fall for the Stripe Bass Run in the fall, I am loading my 3 Van Staals with 30lb braid while fellow fisherman are loaded with 50lb. I outcast them by a large margin and have the ability to throw a 1/4 oz bucktail in the wind further and catch many more fish and that is using 10 and 11′ rods. So, correct conclusion…stay as light as possible to still be able to handle your prey and your casting will amaze you, cover more water and catch more fish! GREAT REP0RT!

Scott

Ed Librick
Member

Great video Luke. Going to a lighter test line brings up a question I have on drag. It is my understanding that it is good practice after a day of fishing to release your drag to decompress the drag spring and washers. So if doing that, how do you determine in the field the correct drag on the reel using a light 10 lb line? I currently use 30 lb braid up to 50 lb, I surf fish and inlet fish. Many times I will hook into a ray or shark and using 10 lb braid without knowing how to set the drag for maximum drag before breaking scares me because I do not want to loose a big portion of my line. What is your method in setting proper drag per line pound in the field?

Thanks Luke, your videos are great.
Ed

Jacob Marson
Member

Many people (myself included) may argue that if there is any wind to contend with the heavier line would be easier to cast. I was wondering if there was much wind when you tested these lines? My ultimate question is, would a heavier line cast further in a wind, which might negate the advantage of a thinner diameter line?
I find that 98% of the time there is wind where I fish (Galveston/Trinity Bay)

Richard Devereaux
Member

How much difference in casting distance conventional guides vs. micro guides on rods?

Gary Rankel
Member

Another interesting test, Luke – thanks for confirming what I already suspected. I’ve been using 10 lb braid for years, and, not having had any issues with it, have spooled 8 lb braid on one of my rigs to see if I could detect a difference. So far, no breakoffs with the 8 lb line, but it’s hard to discern a difference in casting distance.

TIMOTHY MOREFIELD
Member

While the conclusion that a smaller diameter line would produce a longer cast is completely logical I wonder if by any chance you happened to weigh the weights used as the “lures” in this test? I only ask because when I started using lead head jigs with plastic body baits on/around the flats regularly a few years ago I noticed what seemed like a difference in physical size between various companies jigs that were sold as being the same weight so I decided to check it one day. I found that for one particular manufacturer ALL of the jig heads sold as 1/8 oz. were actually closer to 1/4 oz. While the processes commonly used to make both types of lead/metal weights are inherently highly variable it might be rationalized that it’s cheaper to make both the 1/8 and 1/4 oz jig head the same and eat the difference in material cost rather than buy duplicate molds for both sizes – so who knows. The molds to do this on a large commercial scale are not inexpensive.