IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Line Sample When Using Topshot And Backing


Line Sample Length

Under the IGFA’s new ruling in regard to the use of backing and topshot, where it states that the “catch will be classified under the breaking strength of the first five metres of line directly preceding the double line, leader or hook”, does that mean that when submitting a record claim on conventional tackle, anglers are only required to submit five metres (or about 16 feet) of main line, rather than the 16 metres (or 50 feet) like it has been?


To clarify, this new rule ONLY concerns those anglers fishing with multiple lines on their reels (i.e. backing and topshot). If a single line is used throughout the reel, NOTHING changes because in these situations the IGFA has always tested the first several feet of line closest to the double line, leader or hook to determine the appropriate category in which to classify a catch.

All that changes with the new rule is that if multiple lines are used on the reel, only the line closest to the double line, leader or hook will be tested – rather than requiring and testing a sample of each different line on the spool.

However, for a world record claim, the IGFA still requires anglers to submit the first 16 metres (~50ft) of the line used in the capture no matter what it is, as per normal. Of this 16 metres (~50ft), at least the first 5m (~16ft) is to be the homogenous (one-piece, of the same line) line-class line, which will be tested to determine the category into which the catch shall be placed. The minimum length of five metres was stipulated in the new rule to ensure the IGFA had enough line to perform the necessary breaking-strength tests.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Line Sample When Using Topshot And Backing

Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 125 of BlueWater magazine: JUL / AUG 2017

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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