fishing line


When it comes to measuring the strength of a particular fishing line, we generally talk about the breaking strain, however, PE ratings have also crept onto the market. I’ve noticed a little bit of confusion about PE ratings and what they mean so I thought that I would introduce fishing line ratings and PE ratings for those getting into fishing.


The breaking strain of a fishing line is still normally measured in pounds (lb). Technically speaking, 2.2lb equals 1kg if you need to change pounds to kilograms. So a pound equals about 0.45kg. It’s roughly 2 pounds to the kilo. So if you ask someone what strength fishing line they are using and they say 3kg, you know it is also about 6lb. At the other end of the scale, a 25kg line is roughly a 50lb line.


Fishing line spools also come measured in 2 lengths. Sometimes you will see yards and other times you will see metres. This one is pretty easy to work out too. A yard equals 3 feet. A foot is 12 inches so that 1 yard equals 36 inches. Technically speaking there are 2.54cm to each inch. That means that 1 yard equals around 90cm (91.44cm to be precise). So when you see a spool of line that has 150 yards, you know it is about 135 meters. It’s pretty easy to see that 300 yards of line has 270 meters. That just about covers fishing line length.


In more recent times, an additional point of measurement began to get more attention. That is the measure of diameter. Thinner fishing lines allow for more finesse when casting. Thinner lines also weigh less. Fishing line diameter has traditionally been measured in millimetres. This was until Japanese fishing line became more predominant and more widely used on the market.


The Japanese system of measuring the thickness of fishing line uses PE ratings. PE actually stands polyethene, which is a type of plastic that braid fishing lines are made of. PE ratings hark back to a measurement that was used to measure the thickness of a single silk thread and now is used to measure the thickness of fishing line.

Because fishing lines have changed a lot over recent years, PE ratings have caused some confusion. For example, generally speaking, a PE2 fishing line will have a breaking strength of 20lb. However, this is not always the case today. You can get fishing line with a PE8 rating and have a breaking strength of 100lb. So what does this mean? PE ratings are a way of describing line thickness but this is not always a direct correlation to the breaking strength of a fishing line.


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Robert M Davies
Robert M Davies

Robert passed the "Obsessed With Fishing Test" with flying colours. Instead of talking, Robert has turned his hand to writing about his experience in fishing all around Australia.