There is plenty of ice fishing gear you’ll need for a successful winter fishing trip, but one piece of gear you may want to look into is ice fishing line.
Some line is made specifically for ice fishing, and some general fishing line just works better than others. The cold temperatures of ice fishing can affect what line works best, and since ice fishing is less about casting and more about dropping line, there are different elements to consider.
We’ve compiled the best line for ice fishing, so you don’t have to wonder which one is best. These top-rated ice fishing lines were thoroughly researched and chosen specifically for ice fishing, so they’re sure to work well out on the ice.
The Best Line for Ice Fishing
- Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon 6 Ice Fishing Line
- Sufix Ice Braid 6 Lb Line
- Sufix Ice Magic, Neon Orange, 8 lb
- Sufix 832 Ice Fishing Braid
- Trilene Cold Weather Line
- Trilene Micro Ice Line
- Sufix Ice Magic, Clear, 4 lb
- P-Line FluoroIce Fishing Spool
- KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line
- Berkley Fireline Micro Ice Fishing Line
Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon 6 Ice Fishing Line
- Low stretch formula for greater sensitivity and solid hooksets
- Thinner diameter for better lure control
- Ultimate Invisibility; The invisible fluorocarbon; Similar refractive index as water so fish can't see it
- Excellent Manageability; Lower memory for superior handling
Sufix Ice Braid 6 Lb Line
- The braid that’s bred to handle the most frigid fishing conditions.
- Advanced Y6 Braiding results in a line that handles beautifully, resists ice build-up, and is super strong
- This is the ideal braid for all cold water and through-ice fishing situations.
Sufix Ice Magic, Neon Orange, 8 lb
- Designed to stay manageable even in frigid water
- Special additives deter water absorption that causes ice build-up
- Fast sinking for more natural presentation
Sufix 832 Ice Fishing Braid
- The strongest, most durable small diameter ice braid
- R8 Precision Braiding and fiber technology provide superior strength, roundness and line consistency
- Patent-pending construction of 8 fibers (7 Dyneema plus 1 GORE Performance Fiber)
- 32 weaves (pics) per inch
Trilene Cold Weather Ice Fishing Line
- For cold water flexibility
- Improved formula is the limpest, smoothest version EVER
- Low-memory design resists twisting and tangles
- Comes in electirc blue
- Extremely durable and long lasting
Trilene Micro Ice Fishing Line
- Low stretch design for solid hook-sets
- Outstanding strength-per-diameter
- Helps to maintain better control of your jig
Sufix Ice Magic, Clear, 4 lb
- Sufix Ice Magic is an all temperature line designed to stay manageable
- remain strong and repel water even when the temperature drops below freezing
- This makes Ice Magic an excellent choice for ice fishing.
P-Line FluoroIce Fishing Spool
- Package length: 9.906 cm
- Package width: 8.128 cm
- Package height: 2.54 cm
- Product Type: FISHING LINE
KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line
- Strong knot strength - dynamically incorporated strands in Casting Superpower braided lines allow you to easily tie a more solid knot; you can even tie an improved clinch knot.
- Low memory - helps you achieve a better, farther casts, less chance of wind Knots
- Greater abrasion resistance - of Casting braided fishing line decreases the likelihood of losing your "big one"! Casting Superpower Braid line's powers are. . . Super!
- Ultra-high sensitivity & Zero stretch - for superior hook setting that increases your catch ratio.
- Smaller diameter - compared to other brands allowing you to spool more fishing line on to your reel.
Berkley Fireline Micro Ice Fishing Line
Tips for Purchasing
Looking to buy a fishing line for your next ice fishing trip? Here we take a look at the key things that you should take into consideration when purchasing an ice fishing line.
If you’re getting prepared for ice fishing this winter, don’t neglect to think about your line. You’ll certainly need to replace any old lines from last year, and you’ll also want to avoid using any standard lines. Ice fishing is hard work, and the cold temperatures can be hard on your equipment. This means that you need an ice line that is easy to work with in cold temperatures, is strong and resistant, and offers the right sensitivity and memory.
Not sure what to buy? Our dedicated guide will get you on your way to finding the best and most suitable line for ice fishing this season.
What to Look For When Buying Ice Fishing Line
There are several things that you should take into consideration when looking to buy the best ice fishing line. You need a line that will function well in the harsh conditions and low temperatures. It should also be strong enough not to break and fray. Here are the main things that you should think about when shopping for these kind of lines.
Type of Line
The 3 most commonly used fishing lines for ice fishing are braided, monofilament, and fluorocarbon. They are all durable and suited to cold temperatures. There is also the option of tip up lines, which offer greater resistance to kinks. Here we take a look at the key features of each type of line.
- Braided Line: A braided ice fishing line is designed to have an extra-thin diameter and high sensitivity. They have low memory and zero stretch, making them great for fishing in deep water.
- Monofilament Line: Monofilament ice fishing lines are durable and perfect for use in cold weather, making them an excellent choice for ice fishing. They are flexible, which make them easy to cast. While monofilament tends to be your cheapest option, this also means that it requires more frequent replacement.
- Fluorocarbon Line: Flurocarbon lines are near invisible in water. They offer strong sensitivity for detection of bites, and they sink faster to help you get your lure down quickly. Flurocarbon tends to be more expensive, and its higher memory means that you need to replace it regularly as well.
- Tip Up Line: An ice fishing tip up line will tend to be a smoother kind of braid, made so to prevent kinks and for smooth unspooling when a fish takes the bait.
Always check how long a line will last before you buy. Weather conditions for ice fishing are harsh, and the low water temperatures can accelerate wear and tear to your line. You should therefore make sure that your line has good UV resistance and abrasion resistance.
Low Line Memory
Line memory refers to the extent that the line retains the coils and curves from the spool. You need to look for low (ideally zero) line memory, which means that the line will be straight rather than coiled. High line memory will reduce sensitivity and be very slack.
Ice fishing generally takes place in calm and clear waters. Furthermore, fish stay still for longer periods of time in cold temperatures to conserve their energy. This means that they are able to study the bait from a still position. For both of these reasons, lines with thin diameters and low visibility are often favored for ice fishing.
When you’re out on the ice, you need a line that is strong. This is because ice fishing usually requires a vertical fishing technique, so the line must be strong enough to lift the fish all the way out of the water from the deep. The ice is abrasive as well, which could cut through weaker fishing lines. Look for one that is made with strong fibers and offers high levels of strength.
The extremely cold temperatures of the water when ice fishing can make standard lines prone to snapping. You’ll run through your resourced and shorten a great day on the ice with brittle lines. Select a fishing line that has a water-repellent coating, which will stop the line absorbing water. This gives it much more resistance to freezing and breakage, making it perfect for ice fishing.
Target Fish Species
Are you fishing for a particular species of fish? Different lines are suited to different types of fish.
- Best Fishing Line for Crappie: The best types of fishing lines for crappie are monofilament and fluorocarbon. You could use braided, but they are much more visible than monofilament and fluorocarbon. Monofilament is strong and well-suited to crappie fishing in the spring, and fluorocarbon is best for winter because it has high levels of resistance.
- Best Fishing Line for Walleye: The best type of fishing line for catching walleye depends on whether you are jigging or dead sticking. For jigging, you want a thin diameter line with low stretch – a heavy monofilament makes a great choice. For dead sticking, there are more options available, but a lighter monofilament will work perfectly well.
Aim to buy lines that are highly sensitive. Low stretch lines tend to offer higher levels of sensitivity. You’ll be more likely to feel each bite and, therefore, catch more fish. Sensitivity is not something that you should compromise on, or you might be left without a catch!
Ice Fishing Line FAQs
Why do I need a different line for ice fishing?
The cold weather and icy conditions demand a strong and durable line. Without proper consideration, a line could easily snap or fray if not designed for ice fishing. You’ll want a line with a water resistant coating to stop it from freezing and becoming brittle. Secondly, standard fishing lines are often too slack for the deep water.
Can I use the same line for different types and weights of fish?
Fishing lines are all designed to successfully handle different weights of fish. If you use a 3lb line, for example, and catch a 6lb fish, it is likely to break the line. That’s why you should always buy the right line for each type of fishing. Make sure to check this before you purchase.
What does pound test mean?
This answer depends on the weight of fish you’re intending to catch. Each spool of line will be labeled with its pound test, which is a measurement of how much weight (in pounds) it can take before it will break.
What pound test for Walleye ice fishing?
Walleye are large fish, so they require strong fishing lines. You should look for a line with a minimum of 8-pound test. Also remember that walleye are spooked easily, so a thin diameter and low visibility is a must (without compromising on strength).
Check Out the Best Ice Fishing Lines Today
For ice fishing, you definitely shouldn’t compromise when it comes to getting the right type of line. Your main priority should be buying one that is braided, monofilament, fluorocarbon, or tip up. Check the pound test to make sure it can handle the size of fish you are fishing for, and always look for strong, resistant lines with thin diameters.
The line is one of the most important aspects to consider when you’re planning to go ice fishing. Luckily, following these tips will help you have a successful trip next time you brave the cold!
Try our top picks for ice fishing line to make the most out of your ice fishing trip and come home with a great catch! Fishmasters has all the winter fishing gear you’ll need, from ice fishing sleds and ice hole covers to all the other fishing equipment you may need.