Anglers use a wide range of fishing line when targeting striped bass. Because these fish can grow so large and you can catch them in saltwater, there really is a huge range of situations you may be fishing for them.
On these waters, the average size striped bass is going to be much smaller. You may be catching fish in the 5 to 10 pound range with an occasional big fish, however, most of the time, you aren’t going to run into big fish over 20 pounds. On these waters, anglers will often use spinning gear or baitcasters with medium heavy strength. You can get away with 14 to 20 pound test line, however, we recommend sticking with 20.
On the bodies of water that are known for producing trophy fish up to and well above 30 pounds, you need to have heavy enough tackle to land these giants. Some anglers may also be trolling or live baiting with very big live baits. You will see anglers using anywhere from 15 to 40 pound test line in these situations. We recommend staying in the 20 to 40 pound range to avoid losing that big fish.
In saltwater, you can get away with lighter line when fishing in open water. Some anglers use 12 to 15 pound test line and say they do well for striped bass in saltwater. However, if you are fishing around structure or if you run into some very big fish, 12 to 15 pound test is a little light. It could work, but 20 to 30 pound test line is definitely more appropriate. Use a 40 to 50 pound leader also to avoid breaking off on structure. This will also help you if another toothy critter takes your bait. Most saltwater fish have teeth and you are going to catch more fish if your bait is in the water and you’re not wasting time re-tying.