1. Monofilament, multifilament, and lead core multifilament lines may be
used. For line classes, see World Record Requirements.
2. Wire lines are prohibited.
B. LINE BACKING
1. Backing not attached to the fishing line is permissible with no
restrictions as to size or material.
2. If the fishing line is attached to the backing, the catch shall be
classified under the heavier of the two lines. The backing may not exceed the
130 lb (60 kg) line class and must be of a type of line approved for use in
these angling rules.
C. DOUBLE LINE
The use of a double line is not required. If one is used, it must meet the
1. A double line must consist of the actual line used to catch the fish.
2. Double lines are measured from the start of the knot, braid, roll or
splice making the double to the farthermost end of the knot, splice, snap,
swivel or other device used for securing the trace, leader, lure or hook to the
Saltwater species: In all line classes up to and including 20 lb (10 kg),
the double line shall be limited to 15 feet (4.57 meters). The combined length
of the double line and leader shall not exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters).
The double line on all classes of tackle over 20 lb (10 kg) shall be limited
to 30 feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader
shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
Freshwater species: The double line on all classes of tackle shall not
exceed 6 feet (1.82 meters). The combined length of the double line and the
leader shall not exceed 10 feet (3.04 meters).
The use of a leader is not required. If one is used, it must meet the
1. The length of the leader is the overall length including any lure, hook
arrangement or other device. The leader must be connected to the line with a
snap, knot, splice, swivel or other device. Holding devices are prohibited.
There are no regulations regarding the material or strength of the leader.
Saltwater species: In all line classes up to and including 20 lb (10 kg),
the leader shall be limited to 15 feet (4.57 meters). The combined length of the
double line and leader shall not exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters).
The leader on all classes of tackle over 20 lb (10 kg) shall be limited to 30
feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall be
limited to 40 feet (12.19 meters).
Freshwater species: The leader on all classes of tackle shall be limited
to 6 feet (1.82 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall
not exceed 10 feet (3.04 meters).
1. Rods must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Considerable latitude
is allowed in the choice of a rod, but rods giving the angler an unfair
advantage will be disqualified. This rule is intended to eliminate the use of
2. The rod tip must be a minimum of 40 inches (101.6 cm) in length. The rod
butt cannot exceed 27 inches (68.58 cm) in length. These measurements must be
made from a point directly beneath the center of the reel. A curved butt is
measured in a straight line. (The above measurements do not apply to surf
1. Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs.
2. Power driven reels of any kind are prohibited. This includes motor,
hydraulic, or electrically driven reels, and any device which gives the angler
an unfair advantage.
3. Ratchet handle reels are prohibited.
4. Reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time are
G. HOOKS FOR BAIT FISHING
1. For live or dead bait fishing no more than two single hooks may be used.
Both must be firmly imbedded in or securely attached to the bait. The eyes of
the hooks must be no less than a hook's length (the length of the largest hook
used) apart and no more than 18 inches (45.72 cm) apart. The only exception is
that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook.
2. The use of a dangling or swinging hook is prohibited. Double or treble
hooks are prohibited.
3. A two-hook rig for bottom fishing is acceptable if it consists of two
single hooks on separate leaders or drops. Both hooks must be imbedded in the
respective baits and separated sufficiently so that a fish caught on one hook
cannot be foul-hooked by the other.
4. All record applications made for fish caught on two-hook tackle must be
accompanied by a photograph or sketch of the hook arrangement.
H. HOOKS AND LURES
1. When using an artificial lure with a skirt or trailing material, no more
than two single hooks may be attached to the line, leader, or trace. The hooks
need not be attached separately. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than an
overall hook's length (the overall length of the largest hook used) apart and no
more than 12 inches (30.48 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of
one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook. The trailing hook may
not extend more than a hook's length beyond the skirt of the lure. A photograph
or sketch showing the hook arrangement must accompany a record application.
2. Gang hooks are permitted when attached to plugs and other artificial lures
that are specifically designed for this use. Gang hooks must be free swinging
and shall be limited to a maximum of three hooks (either single, double, or
treble, or a combination of any three). Baits may not be used with gang hooks. A
photograph or sketch of the plug or lure must be submitted with record
I. OTHER EQUIPMENT
1. Fighting chairs may not have any mechanically propelled devices
which aid the angler in fighting a fish.
2. Gimbals must be free swinging, which includes gimbals that swing in
a vertical plane only. Any gimbal that allows the angler to reduce strain or to
rest while fighting the fish is prohibited.
3. Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet
(2.49 meters) in overall length. In using a flying or detachable gaff the rope
may not exceed 30 feet (9.14 meters). The gaff rope must be measured from the
point where it is secured to the detachable head to the other end. Only the
effective length will be considered. If a fixed head gaff is used, the same
limitations shall apply and the gaff rope shall be measured from the same
location on the gaff hook. Only a single hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon
or lance attachments are prohibited. Electrified gaffs are prohibited. Tail
ropes are limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). (When fishing from a bridge, pier,
or other high platform or structure, this length limitation does not apply.)
4. Floats are prohibited with the exception of any small flotation
device attached to the line or leader for the sole purpose of regulating the
depth of the bait. The flotation device must not in any way hamper the fighting
ability of the fish.
5. Entangling devices, either with or without a hook, are prohibited
and may not be used for any purpose including baiting, hooking, fighting, or
landing the fish.
6. Outriggers, downriggers, and kites are permitted to be used
provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other release
device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line
may not be connected to the release mechanism either directly or with the use of
a connecting device.
7. Umbrella or spreader rigs, daisy chains and similar devices
only be used if they do not unfairly hamper or inhibit the normal swimming or
fighting ability of the fish, thereby giving the angler or crew an unfair
advantage in fighting, landing or boating the fish.
8. A safety line may be attached to the rod provided that it does not
in any way assist the angler in fighting the fish.
1. From the time that a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the angler must
hook, fight, and land or boat the fish without the aid of any other person,
except as provided in these regulations.
2. If a rod holder is used and a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, the
angler must remove the rod from the holder as quickly as possible. The intent of
this rule is that the angler shall strike and hook the fish with the rod in
3. In the event of a multiple strike on separate lines being fished by a
single angler, only the first fish fought by the angler will be considered for a
4. If a double line is used, the intent of the regulations is that the fish
will be fought on the single line most of the time that it takes to land the
5. A harness may be attached to the reel or rod, but not to the fighting
chair. The harness may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the
6. Use of a rod belt or waist gimbal is permitted.
7. When angling from a boat, once the leader is brought within the grasp of
the mate, or the end of the leader is wound to the rod tip, more than one person
is permitted to hold the leader.
8. One or more gaffers may be used in addition to persons holding the leader.
The gaff handle must be in hand when the fish is gaffed.
9. The angling and equipment regulations shall apply until the fish is
The following acts will disqualify a catch:
1. Failure to comply with equipment or angling regulations.
2. The act of persons other than the angler in touching any part of the rod,
reel, or line (including the double line) either bodily or with any device, from
the time a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, until the fish is either
landed or released, or in giving any aid other than that allowed in the rules
and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage of the line through the rod
guides has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle (whether chum,
floatline, rubber band, or other material) shall be held and cut free. Under no
circumstances should the line be held or touched by anyone other than the angler
during this process.
3. Resting the rod in a rod holder, on the gunwale of the boat, or any other
object while playing the fish.
4. Handlining or using a handline or rope attached in any manner to the
angler's line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
5. Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any fish (including sharks and halibuts)
at any stage of the catch.
6. Chumming with or using as bait the flesh, blood, skin, or any part of
mammals other than hair or pork rind used in lures designed for trolling or
7. Using a boat or device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in
order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.
8. Changing the rod or reel while the fish is being played.
9. Splicing, removing, or adding to the line while the fish is being played.
10. Intentionally foul-hooking a fish.
11. Catching a fish in a manner that the double line never leaves the rod
12. Using a size or kind of bait that is illegal to possess.
13. Attaching the angler's line or leader to part of a boat or other object
for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
14. If a fish escapes before gaffing or netting and is recaptured by any
method other than as outlined in the angling rules.
The following situations will disqualify a catch:
1. When a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that
reduces the length of the tip below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its
2. Mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or boating the catch, caused by
sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh.
(Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, old healed scars or regeneration
deformities are not considered to be disqualifying injuries.) Any mutilation on
the fish must be shown in a photograph and fully explained in a separate report
accompanying the record application.
3. When a fish is hooked or entangled on more than one line