Best Lines for Ice Fishing – 2021 Buyer’s Guide Review

Jeff
| Last Updated February 9, 2021

“Fishing line is the most direct link between you and the fish.”

Don’t make the mistake of hitting the ice this winter with that old fishing line from last year still clinging to your reel. For less than $10 in most cases, a fresh fishing line at the beginning of the season can be a make it or break it point in your fishing abilities and frustrations.

Now don’t make a second mistake by spooling up your ice fishing rig with any old standard fishing line. Isn’t fishing line just fishing line, though? Certainly not. Not all lines are created equal. Here’s why you need to be spooling up some fresh ice fishing line on your rig before you hit the ice this winter.

Our Top Picks for Ice Fishing Lines

  • Low stretch design
  • Exceptional strength
  • Better control
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  • Perfect flexibility
  • Low memory design
  • Durable, long-lasting
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  • Resists ice build-up
  • Works smoothly
  • Several variants
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Comparison of the Best Ice Fishing Lines

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Low stretch design for solid hook setups
  • Exceptional strength per diameter for catching big fish
  • Offers you better control over your jig
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  • Features thinner diameter and low memory for better lure control
  • Low stretching design for better sensitivity and solid hooksets
  • Fluorocarbon reel is invisible, so fish cannot see it
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  • Patent-pending construction features a combination of 8 fibers
  • Strong and exceptionally durable small diameter ice braid line
  • Superior strength, roundness, and line consistency with low memory
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  • Limp design offers perfect flexibility in cold water
  • Low memory design to prevent twisting and tangling
  • Durable, long-lasting design, and comes in blue color
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  • Y6 braiding ensures strength and resists ice build-up
  • Works smoothly in the most frigid and harsh cold conditions
  • Available in several variants for medium and heavy fishing applications
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  • Mixed with special additives that prevent ice build-up
  • Fast sinking design for quicker and better overall performance
  • Perfect amount of give for aggressive fish
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  • Combination of silicon coating and copolymer
  • Superior knot strength while being almost invisible
  • Will not become brittle or freeze in cold weather
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  • Has excellent abrasion resistance and durability
  • Low diameter-to-strength and stretch ratios
  • Ideal for cold weather due to hardy handling
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Features of Our Favorite Lines for Ice Fishing

Selecting a line for ice fishing rig is different than choosing a line for your conventional setups. There are different line characteristics to take into consideration when ice fishing. Let’s check out a few of the more important qualities to look at in a good ice fishing line.

Durability

Ice fishing lines are subject to make contact with sharp icy edges. Lines with exceptional durability, like braided and fluorocarbon lines, are often favored for fishing through ice holes.

Low Visibility

Ice fishing often means fishing for small fish in clear and calm water. Small lures and jigs are often the favored lures. Because of these reasons, low visibility and thin diameter lines are generally preferred to target smaller or wary fish.

Photo credit: blog.iceforce.com

High Sensitivity 

When fishing for smaller fish with light lures, having a sensitive line is key. If you are not able to detect light strikes, you may be missing out on fish.

High sensitivity is generally a factor of reduced line diameter and lower stretch lines. Braided and fluorocarbon lines are generally considered to be highly sensitive and low stretch lines.

Resists Freezing

Obviously ice fishing is going to be cold. One problem anglers need to combat is having a wet line freeze on your reel. Your line can even freeze and become brittle and break, in some cases.

Mono-filaments perform well in these situations as they naturally repel water. Other types of lines are often treated with hydrophobic compounds to assist in water shedding.

Reduced Line Memory

Line memory refers to a line’s tendency to want to return to a coil-like state after coming off the reel.

A high memory line, like braided lines, tends to leave lots of twists and loops in the line. When fishing with ultralight lures and jigs, this can greatly reduce your line sensitivity and ability to detect strikes.

Therefore, you will want a line with low-memory properties. Monofilament, when new, is a good example of a low memory line.

Quick Take | Best Lines for Ice Fishing

Just looking for the three best lines for ice fishing? Here they are:

  1. Berkley Trilene Micro Ice 100m Monofilament
  2. Berkley Trilene Cold Weather
  3. Sufix Ice Braid Fishing Lines

Review of the Best Lines for Ice Fishing

Now you know some of the considerations to take when purchasing an ice fishing line. Some of these needs are very different than the needs of your everyday fishing line.

There are a whole plethora of ice fishing lines available on the market offering different traits and trade-offs

Berkley Trilene Micro Ice Monofilament Ice Fishing Line

PROS

  • Comes with a solar or a clear steel
  • Has an amazing strength per diameter
  • Ensures better sensitivity and higher lure control
  • Ensures a much better and steady control for your jig
  • Sets are made with a solid hook, and low stretched design
  • Ultra-light line weights available
  • More durable than similar diameter monofilament lines

CONS

  • Doesn’t stay very long on the reel
  • Can cause issues if stored for too long
  • Relatively expensive than most products in this review
  • Not quite as durable as braided lines

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers all praise the smooth monofilament type material of this fishing line. It consists of only one line as opposed to multiple lines that exist in the multiple strands of the other lines. This ensures that it is both lightweight and is able to go inside the water without any resistance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These monofilament lines last for more than 2-3 years without withering or losing their efficiency. Not just this, the design is also praised for its higher durability and strength. Moreover, it has the ability to capture fish without much effort; it also comes with fast hookups that further adds to its appeal.

This line continues to top lists for ice fishing gear. Why? It is a well-priced line with simple, yet high-performance, and functionality.

This monofilament line boasts an astoundingly thin diameter and low visibility not always found in monofilament lines. This lends itself well to fishing with even the tiniest of lures and jigs thanks to its thin diameter and natural ability to resist freezing and line memory.

Strength and abrasion resistance is always an issue with ice fishing and monofilament lines.

This line has increased durability and strength over similar diameter monofilament lines and will reduce your chance of losing fish while fishing through the ice.

The nature of monofilament allows this line to sink quickly and offer ultra-realistic presentation. Being a line that is easy on the wallet, it is a no-brainer option to freshen up that line on your real.

Who Will Use This Most

The spool is pretty large which makes it an ideal fit for almost anyone looking for efficiency and comfort. In order to use the line, simply open the plain bail of the line by first flipping its handle. This will secure your line to the spool with a smooth arbor knot. You can also cut the extra lines with a cutter and further enhance your experience.

Bottom Line

The line is extremely long, which ensures that it covers the additional casting distance as well. This will also allow the rod to be matched with the right kind of reel. But that is not the only amazing quality of the line. The product comes with a lowered stretch and a much higher strength, thus making it our best pick.

This is the line if you are looking for a performance monofilament line on a budget. Traditional mono-lines have decreased durability and abrasion-resistance.

This line has been designed to increase the durability factor of the line while retaining all the great benefits of monofilament. Easy on the wallet, high performance, and a positive consensus across multiple sources make this line a sure bet for your lightweight ice fishing rig.

Trilene Cold Weather

PROS

  • Easy to manage and handle
  • Twisting and tangles do not occur
  • Able to attract more fish due to its unique design
  • Long-lasting material comes with higher durability
  • Blue color manages to become invisible under the water
  • Low line memory
  • Good visibility out of water
  • Exceptional workability and strength in cold conditions

CONS

  • Hard time tightening the knot
  • Slightly stiffer in cold temperatures
  • Can break if very heavy fish ends up on it
  • Decreased abrasion-resistance

What Recent Buyers Report

Strength is extremely integral to any fishing line; hence, it is important that you choose the best product. When it comes to fishing lines, recent buyers love this one. It comes with a smooth exterior that ensures that the product lasts longer than usual. Not just this, but the improved formula has also been appreciated by most consumers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Flexibility is a key issue with many fishing lines, but thankfully not with this product. The higher flexibility of this product allows it to be free from any memory. Having no memory means that it will not alter the shape of anything in its grasp. The existence of memory, therefore, makes casting very difficult.

One of the preferred monofilament lines for ice anglers is the Trilene Cold Weather Line by Berkley.

The improved design of this line increases many of the coveted features the monofilament line brings. The line is designed to have drastically increased workability and strength in frigid and cold conditions.

Couple this design with the monofilament’s natural tendency to sink well and have very little memory and you have a solid ice fishing line.

The line is featured in a blue color which helps to reduce underwater visibility but increases the visibility for the angler over snow or ice.

Being a monofilament line, you can bet that this purchase will be easy on the wallet. This line is available in strengths from two-pound all the way up to twelve-pound line test.

Who Will Use This Most

Consumers who are looking for extra durability will make the most out of this product. It has amazing flexibility when it comes to catching fish. It does not alter the shape of the line or the item within its vicinity. Moreover, since it has a unique design, it is easy to manage and handle for anyone using it for the first time.

Bottom Line

Where most lines focus on strength alone, this one has gone one step ahead and added higher flexibility in its design too. It is able to attract more fish due to its unique design. Moreover, its simplicity and ease of usage makes it one of the best products on the market right now.

The Berkley Trilene Cold Weather Line represents an excellent budget line with good ice fishing performance. It comes fitted with many reviews of anglers who have used this line for years and continue to do so. This is likely due to the performance of the line in cold conditions and a budget price.

Best for the Money:
 Sufix Ice Braid Fishing Lines

Sufix Ice Braid 6 lb (Glacier Blue, Size- 75 YD Spool)

PROS

  • Ideal for cold and ice fishing situations
  • Resists any ice buildup that might happen
  • Relatively less expensive than some other models
  • Can handle the relatively greater frigid conditions
  • Greater strength is ensured via the strong handles
  • Minimal stretch
  • Strong and abrasion resistant
  • Better water repellent compared to other braided lines

CONS

  • Hard to go in deep waters
  • Stool doesn’t fit many reels easily
  • Yard is relatively smaller than other products in the review
  • Slower sinking rate compared to other lines

What Recent Buyers Report

This fishing line has a long spool and braided design. Recent buyers who love traditional lines have also praised this unique product. They feel that the company has made all the perfect amendments to the age-old design, making it adapt to the changing times and requirements. Moreover, the well-built design also catches the eye of new fishermen.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These braided lines are thinner when compared to monofilament lamps, but that’s certainly what stands out. Contrary to what people think, these braided lines are much more in strength when compared to monofilament lines. Another feature that stands out is the product’s high resistance to abrasion. It can withstand the harshest of conditions.

Like the previous line by Suffix, this Ice Braid line offers superior strength and abrasion resistance compared to other lines.

The easiest way to lose a fish is by cutting your line on the ice. A strong braid such as this Suffix Ice Braid aims to reduce that loss.

The problem with most braided lines is their tendency to hold water and freeze. This line is a seven braid line and is designed to be hydrophobic, assisting in the shedding of the water. This also increases the line’s workability in cold conditions.

Though the previous Sufix 832 line is only available up to 50-yard spools, this line by Suffix is available in 75-yard spools. You have the option of line strength in five different categories from six-pound to thirty-pound test.

Who Will Use This Most

Since these braided lines are very strong and are able to withstand the weight of heavy fish, they are much more likely to get the attention of serious and professional fishermen. When it comes to catching fish for business purposes, these nets come in real handy. They also resist freezing temperatures and can be used all year long.

Bottom Line

These braided lines have completely revolutionized the industry. They not only come with a lot of strength but can also withstand the harshest of conditions. They are also ideal for any temperatures, including ice-cold water. They can resist the ice buildup that happens in frigid conditions.

If you are looking for a heavy-duty ice fishing line while still maintaining a somewhat small diameter, check this one out. Not the thinnest on the market but being a braided line, it offers superior abrasion resistance and strength-to-diameter ratio. Conventional problems with braided lines freezing is mitigated with a hydrophobic design to decrease water retention in the line.

Best Ice Fishing Line For Walleye:
Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Ice

Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon 2 Ice Fishing Line, Clear

PROS

  • Easy to manage despite its high sensitivity
  • Ensures complete invisibility for better results
  • Comes with better and more efficient lure control
  • Fluorocarbon is invisible, and hence fish can’t see it
  • Has a lowered memory that ensures superior handling
  • Highly sensitive
  • Ultra-low stretch
  • Practically invisible to fish

CONS

  • Extremely quick to sink inside the water
  • Easier for fish to be frightened and leave
  • Sinking does not resemble normal performance
  • Not available in line strength above 6-pound test
  • Higher levels of line memory generally associated with fluorocarbon

What Recent Buyers Report

Consumers like the new fluorocarbon technology of the Berkley fishing line. The material not only comes with higher invisibility in water but also has minimal stretch. Moreover, recent buyers have praised how the material is highly resistant to UV rays, making them more tolerant of harsh and stringent environments.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The fluorocarbon material is resistant to abrasions and bruises. It comes with one of the best light reflective indexes. This is because its special index is identical to that of water and thus makes it completely invisible in the water. When the line is submerged in the water, it disappears and sinks much faster than the filament. 

The only fluorocarbon line to make the list is this line by Berkley. This 100% Fluorocarbon line offers exceptional traits preferred for ice fishing.

Low stretch, high sensitivity, and virtual invisibility underwater make this line great for many ice fishing scenarios. You can count on this ultra low stretch line for solid hook sets.

This line is designed to reduce line memory, a problem with some fluorocarbon lines. This also lends itself to the increased workability of the line in cold conditions.

This line is available in two-pound to six-pound test and is a good line for ultralight fishing applications when line visibility and sensitivity are paramount.

Who Will Use This Most

A lot of people who use it say that the advanced features have changed the fishing industry, and that is true because the fishing line comes with convenience for all. The line works really well for people who work in highly pressurized areas. Not just that, people who live near clear water will also get a lot of advantages because of the fluorocarbon material.

Bottom Line

Clear waters can be a challenge, and that is exactly where fluorocarbon lines come in handy. They are ideal for ice fishing, all thanks to their thinner diameter and higher flexibility. Not just this, it also has a good lure control and ensures complete invisibility. It is also easier to handle and manage, making it our runner-up product.

For an invisible and highly sensitive, ultra-light ice fishing line, this is a solid contender. This fluorocarbon line offers top-notch traits in ice fishing that lends itself well to solid hookups on wary and small-bodied fish.

Best Ice Fishing Line For Panfish and Perch:
Sufix Ice Magic

Sufix Ice Magic 100-Yards Spool Size Fishing Line (Neon Orange, 4-Pound)

PROS

  • Monofilament design is easier to manage
  • Sinks slowly, seeming more natural
  • Prevents any ice buildup, lasts longer
  • Can attract more fish due to its smooth design
  • Can deter any water absorption that might occur
  • Easy on the wallet
  • Reduced freezing tendencies
  • Increased workability and visibility

CONS

  • Sinks slowly, takes more time
  • Addition of special additives add to its cost
  • Stool is relatively shorter than some other models
  • Decreased abrasion-resistance

What Recent Buyers Report

These fishing lines are some of the strongest and one of the most desirable ones on the market. According to recent buyers, their color and diameter are their prime specialty. They are able to sink slowly in the water, making them resemble the natural movement of water. This comes in handy when fishermen have to catch larger fish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Monofilament designs work really well, but that’s not the feature that stands out to us in regards to this product. The fishing line can easily deter any absorption that might occur. Not just this, it can also prevent the unnecessary ice build that happens. This makes the material last longer.

Sufix Ice Magic offers a performance ultralight monofilament line different from the other Sufix braided lines.  

Being a monofilament line, it naturally sheds water well and even has a hydrophobic additive. This makes the Ice Magic an excellent line if frozen lines and line workability have been issues in the past.

The high visibility, orange fluorescent line makes strike detection easier. Additionally, being a monofilament line, you can expect quicker sink rates and more natural lure presentation than other lines.

Of course, with these benefits comes the trade-off of decreased abrasion resistance and a larger diameter-to-strength ratio.

Available in a weight range of six-pound test at the upper end, all the way down to ultra-thin one-pound test, this is a great line for ultralight applications.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are looking for higher manageability and ease of use will find this product to be the most suitable. The monofilament material that is used to make the net is very easy to work with and cut when needed. It is also available in many colors to match with different water shades. Thus, people who want to catch normal-sized fish will love using this line.

Bottom Line

Like its name, the product is truly magical. Its high performance is ensured with its easy and manageable design that can not only lure fish easily but can also withstand the most frigid conditions of the water. The long 100-yard stool is another added advantage that makes this fishing line stand tall and proud on the market.

Looking for a good performance ultralight line? Look no further. The Sufix Ice Magic meets nearly all the expectations desired of ultralight lines. Quick sink rates, high visibility, and increased workability make this a full-featured line.

So long as you don’t plan on catching exceptionally large fish and be cautious of the line against sharp edges, the Sufix Ice Magic line should meet angler expectations and is great for those on a budget.

Best Braided Ice Fishing Line:
Sufix 832

Sufix 832 Ice Braid Fishing Lure, Neon Lime, 4-Pound

PROS

  • Can resist freezing and is durable
  • Has water-repellent protection
  • Made with 32 weaves of fiber per inch
  • Patent construction that comes with 8 fibers
  • Great line consistency and ensures more roundness
  • High level of sensitivity
  • Premier abrasion resistance
  • Thinnest diameter braided line
  • Available up to 50-pound test

CONS

  • Has a thin profile
  • Likely to get caught within itself
  • Very difficult to set the drag of your line correctly
  • Can only purchase in 50-yard spools

What Recent Buyers Report

Braided fishing lines are one of the best ones out there, and recent buyers agree too. They are the most traditional types and have been used for many years. Their importance, however, is not gone, and their quality is improving day by day. Consumers love the design that makes for a winding string that comes together to make a very strong line.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Braided lines have a higher strength and durability, and that is exactly what makes it stand out on the market. The material used is either spectra or Dacron. Then the material is wound together in a braid, which enhances the overall strength. Moreover, the line will not let you down in the harshest of conditions. It is also resistant to abrasions.

This braided line is one of the smallest diameter and lowest visibility on the market. This ultra-thin line provides these features while still retaining exceptional strength expected of braided lines.

This all means an ultra-sensitive line that offers the absolute minimum stretch. These are all exceptional traits of a proper ice fishing line.

The 832 Ice Braid is an eight strand braid composed of seven strands of ultra-strong Dyneema and one strand of performance fiber by GORE. The line is wound with technology designed to maintain consistency and roundness along the line length.

Due to its ultra-thin diameter, the 832 Ice Braid will sink quicker than other comparable lines. The hydrophobic nature of this line reduces issues with lines freezing out of the water, a common issue among braided lines.

This braided line is available in varying strengths from four-pound all the way to fifty-pound test and is sure to meet your performance expectations.

Who Will Use This Most

The line is best for carrying larger and heavier fish. It is able to hold the weight of very heavy fish as it comes with immense strength and flexibility. Moreover, it is also sensitive to a higher weight. This means that it will instantly indicate to you if there is too much weight on the line and will allow you to pull up before it’s too late.

Bottom Line

The braided line is for people looking for ease at a lower price. It comes at a lower cost, but that doesn’t affect its effectiveness at all. The patent construction has more than 7 fibers that ensure higher resistance to freezing. Thus, with this fishing line, you can not only catch bigger fish but also ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in the stretching of your line.

If you are going for ultra-thin, strong, and low stretch; this might be your line. The R8 precision braid lends itself to an ultra-consistent line designed to be abrasion resistant, low stretch, and strong.

Braided lines are generally characterized by higher visibility, but this line does a good job of staying incognito underwater. This is a highly sensitive performance braided line for dedicated ice anglers.

Best Ice Fishing Tip Up Line:
Sufix Performance V-Coat Braid Line

Sufix Performance 50-Yards Spool Size Tip Up Ice Braid Line (Black, 20-Pound)

PROS

  • Low stretch can help in ice fishing
  • High tenacity polyester braid (HTP)
  • Two-color coded for easy estimation
  • No memory line, which makes handling the line easy
  • Abrasion-resistant manufacturing adds to the durability
  • Hydrofusion manufacturing process reduces resistance in the water

CONS

  • Line freezes in cold temperature
  • Braided line tends to retain water

What Recent Buyers Report

The Sufix performance has happy buyers. Users really appreciate the different color patches every five feet, which helps in estimating the line as it goes down and comes back up. The line itself is reported to be strong yet flexible, allowing users to fish with ease. Moreover, they report it to be very easy to mount on a reel.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Braided lines are somewhat resistant to water and usually need a sinker to set the line. But, the Sufix Performance is a great exception. The line is coated, which helps with water resistance and does not need a sinker. 

In addition, the line is durable and has a minimum tendency to stretch. The reduced resistance in water is due to the hydrofusion process, which also adds to the durability. Moreover, the line can handle any heavy fish as the line weight is 20 lbs. 

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a great braided line that you can depend on. The strength, zero memory, and color-coding all make it a great option. Moreover, the minimum stretch and easy reel rolling are great to have on a braided line.

Best Fluorocarbon Ice Fishing Line:
P-Line Floroice Clear Fishing Line

P-Line Floroice Fishing Spool (100 Yard, 2-Pound)

PROS

  • Fluorocarbon coated
  • Low visibility in clear water
  • Low memory line reduces coiling worries
  • Can be easily knotted because of its flexibility
  • Does not break under extremely cold conditions
  • 100-yards large spool, which can easily handle your fishing plans

CONS

  • Not the strongest 
  • Water tends to cling to the line

What Recent Buyers Report

Users seem to be quite content with their purchase of the P-Line Floroice. The line is reliable and doesn’t freeze as a braided line does. Moreover, the line has a minimum stretch and low visibility underwater. P-Line Floroice has low memory, so you don’t have to worry about kinks and coiling.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The P-Line Floroice is a unique combination of the copolymer and silicon fluorocarbon. The line won’t become brittle and stays limp, even in the harshest weather conditions. Floroice is specifically made for icy waters, and the flexibility on the line means that knots are not a problem. 

Moreover, it has low memory and is highly dependable. It’s rare to see a line specialized at ice fishing with all the bells and whistles. This makes the P-line our recommended best fluorocarbon line, and it is definitely among the best ice fishing lines out there. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, the P-Line Floroice is a great ice fishing line that you can depend on. It won’t let you down in the field. It can be knotted, is durable, and won’t freeze. Moreover, it blends into the background and won’t be much visible to the fish.

Fishing Lines for Ice Fishing - Comparison Overview

There are a number of different fishing lines available on the market. Different lines are made out of different materials, and the choice of material can give one an edge over the other. Here is a comparison between some of the most popular lines on the market. 

Ice Lines vs Standard Lines

So what’s the deal with ice fishing lines? Why not just use your normal fishing line? With ice fishing comes a completely different set of circumstances and gear requirements.

In ice fishing, the line memory is a big deal. Line memory is the tendency for the line to retain the coiled shape from being stored on the reel.

When it is cold out, your line is slower to straighten and wants to stay wound up. A line with high memory and lots of loops and kinks in it will have decreased sensitivity and hook setting power. Both of which are absolutely vital features for effective ice fishing.

Ice fishing is also tough on lines! The edges of ice fishing holes are sharp and have lots of line-shearing capabilities.

Fishing lines in ice fishing situations experience much more abrasion than lines in other fishing scenarios.

In designing ice fishing lines, most lines are either braided or engineered to be more rugged in order to withstand these tough conditions.

Most ice fishing lines are also designed for the challenges of freezing conditions. When a line freezes, it can lose its flexibility and workability.

On top of that, it can even become brittle enough to break.

To combat this, most ice fishing lines are treated with compounds or engineered in a way to aid in shedding off the water, thus preventing it from freezing.

Ice fishing lines are generally available in three types of materials. These are monofilament line, braided line, and fluorocarbon. 

Copolymer Fishing Line vs Fluorocarbon

Copolymers and Fluorocarbon lines are some of the most dependable lines out there. The two are somewhat different, which gives different properties to the line. Here is a comparison between the two. 

Similarities

Both copolymer and fluorocarbon have great strength and abrasion resistance. Moreover, both of these lines have very low stretch, which allows the angler to detect bites easily. In addition, both offer great durability.

Differences

The copolymer has low memory, so you won’t have to worry about the line coiling. On the other hand, fluorocarbon lines are prone to coiling and can be a mess to reel back because of their high memory.

Fluorocarbon vs Braid

Both fluorocarbon and braided fishing lines are great choices. They essentially do the same task but have their own advantages and disadvantages. To decide which one to go for, have a look at the following comparison:

Similarities

Braid and fluorocarbon lines offer great strength and are abrasion-resistant. In addition, both have great sensitivity and offer very little stretch.

Differences

Braided lines are very visible to fish. On the other hand, fluorocarbon ones are not that visible and do not startle the fish. Moreover, water does not accumulate on the latter. Meanwhile, the former can seep up water, which can freeze up and cause issues the next time it is used.

Types of Ice Fishing Lines

Fishing lines come in different sizes and with different features. Here are a few popular line types available on the market:

Monofilament Line

Monofilament lines are strong and durable and they have lower memory than fluorocarbon ones. This means fewer coils, which makes it easy to handle in cold conditions. Monofilament has a very low stretch, so it offers better control of jigs. The only downside is that it is not very resistant to abrasion and may break.

Fluorocarbon Line

A fluorocarbon line has the advantage of being invisible in water. It also offers superior abrasion resistance and can sink easily. This makes it great for setting lures deep in the water. These lines have good sensitivity because of low stretch and bite detection. The high memory is a huge downside, which makes coiling even more problematic in cold weather. 

Braided Fishing Line

Braided lines have been in use for a long time and are preferred by many anglers. This is because of their high strength and zero stretches. Moreover, braided lines have low memory, so they offer great sensitivity. However, these lines are visible to the fish so they might get startled. Moreover, when the line is out of the water, it may retain some water, which freezes up.

Copolymer

Copolymers have the superior abrasion resistance and low memory. Such lines stay straight and resist water. In addition, copolymers have great sensitivity.

Ice Fishing Line Qualities

Different lines come with different features, and it’s the added features that make one better than the other. Some of the popular variations that can help in ice fishing include:  

Color

Fish are attracted to brightly-colored fishing lines. Moreover, colored lines make detecting bites easier for the angler.

Orange, green, and red lines are the best ones to go for. You can also attach a fluorocarbon line to make it less visible to the fish.

Stretch

If a line has a certain amount of stretch, its sensitivity is decreased, but it allows for more reaction time to the angler. On the other hand, low stretch means increased sensitivity but reduced reaction time window. You can choose a stretchy line if you’re used to it, but it might reduce the system's overall sensitivity.

Material

Fishing lines are made up of monofilament, copolymer, or braided material. All these have their own advantages and disadvantages, as already mentioned.

Poundage

Poundage is something that new anglers don’t consider very important, only to regret their decision later on. It essentially defines the amount of force and weight the line can withstand. You should opt for heavier poundage when fishing for a species that weighs more.

How to Pick the Right Size Line For Ice Fishing

Selecting the right size of the fishing line is the key to fishing efficiently. The size of the line should not be confused with the length, which is measured in yards usually. For length, the rule of thumb is to fish around three to four feet above the bottom as the fish are usually near the bottom in winters.

The size of the line refers to its diameter of the line. It is important to choose the right size as a lighter line will snap if the fish is heavy. 

If you are fishing for hard water bluegills, a one-pound test is great. To increase the sensitivity of bite detection, use a small-diameter line. 

A heavier and thicker line is not always the best one. Lighter and thinner lines allow small lures to go down effortlessly. Moreover, the heavier the line, the more resistance it has. 

Walleyes and bass are bigger, and an eight-pound-test is recommended. You should always try to match the lure to the line size and the type of fish you’re expecting to catch.

Photo credit: globosurfer.com

Ice Fishing Line Tips

Ice fishing can be tricky, but taking care of a few things can make you much better at ice fishing. Using the right line, weight, and jig can go a long way in making your ice fishing adventures fun. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you go fishing:

High Sensitivity of Line

Having a straight line between the rod tip and the jig is the key to landing fish. This no-slack straight fishing line provides high sensitivity. Icy water temperature in the winter slows down the metabolism of fish. This means fish are less aggressive but are also harder to detect. High sensitivity lines can solve this problem effortlessly.

High Abrasion Resistance and Landing the Fish

Always opt for a fishing line that will take care of the damage done by abrasive surfaces. This is important because the hole in the ice is bound to rub against the line and damage it. Fish can do major damage to your line while grinding along these ice hole edges. 

Use a Tungsten Jigs for a Heavier Line Weight

Jig heads made out of tungsten are best for adding the perfect weight to your line. If you feel that the weight is not enough, you should opt for a heavier tungsten jig. 

Tungsten is denser than lead, so it weighs more while having the same physical footprint.

Moreover, a heavier jig means your line will get back to your desired spot with ease without delay. This is particularly helpful after re-baiting or swapping out the lures.

Photo credit: fishfindly.com

Ice Fishing Line: How and When to Put on the New Stuff!

Be sure to freshen up with a new spool of fishing line before ice fishing season hits. For a couple of bucks, it will help ensure your odds at consistent hookups and reduced frustrations.

  1. You generally want to replace that fishing line at least once a season. I usually do mine at the beginning of the season.

  2. Last season’s fishing line likely has abrasions on the line, that may make the line feel almost like sandpaper when running your fingers along it.

  3. Additionally, the line is going to have a high memory from sitting on the small spool of ice fishing reels for a year or so. Remember, you want the ice fishing line, in particular, to have low memory.

  4. Start by laying your new spool of line on a flat surface. It should usually be oriented with the main advertising surface upward.

  5. Then, run the end of the line through your rod guides and to your reel.

  6. Next, attach the line to the spool of the reel with a slip knot.

  7. Now, you want to begin reeling in line onto the spool.

  8. Keep in mind, while doing this, also maintain tension on the line by holding the line against the rod with your left hand. This ensures the line goes on tight and well fitting.

  9. Reel in as much line as you feel comfortable putting on your reel and you are basically ready to hit the water!

Conclusion

It is clear that ice fishing requires a special set of gear. This is particularly the case with this type of fishing line. Not just any old line will do for the rigors of ice fishing.

From sharp ice edges to lightweight lures, and frigid conditions, ice fishing lines are designed to handle all the challenges of life on the ice.

The type of fish you plan to catch and style of fishing will dictate which line you ultimately need to decide on.

Armed with this knowledge though, your decision should be easy. Now go get some fresh ice fishing line spooled up to ensure optimal chances of you hooking into fish this coming winter.

Have fun out there and remember to stay safe out there on the ice.

People Also Ask

There is so much to learn about when it comes to fishing the right way. Here are a few more things that people question frequently.

What Weight Line for Walleye Ice Fishing?

Walleye ice fishing is easier than fishing in clear water because of their sluggish behavior in ice-covered waters. A six to eight-pound test mainline would do the trick in any water. However, because of the subdued fight they put up in ice-covered water, even lighter lines would work fine.

What Line to Use for Pike Ice Fishing?

Pike have sharp teeth and can easily cut through many lines. To land a pike, you have to eliminate line cuts. For this, a 50-pound-test braided mainline would be great. Not only will it ensure that it does not break, but it stays strong against the sharp edges of the ice hole, too.

What Brand Ice Fishing Line is Yellow?

Dorisea Extreme Braid is a great braided fishing line that is yellow in color. If you are looking for a yellow one, other notable brands include PowerPro, SpiderWire, and Hi-Seas. These ice fishing accessory suppliers offer braided, monofilament, and multifilament options.  

How to Keep Ice Off Your Fishing Line

Ice build-up is common when ice fishing. There are some specific ice-resistant pastes for your line, or you could just use some commonly-used materials like a lip balm, extra virgin oil, or cooking oil to take care of the ice buildup efficiently.

How Much Line Should I Put On My Ice Fishing Reel?

Ice fishing needs less line as compared to fishing in other water bodies. 20 feet of water would usually be covered easily by a 60-feet line. But, just in case you have to clip off frayed ends or you land a big pike, it’s good to have a few extra feet of line on the reel.

Does the Color of Fishing Line Matter When Ice Fishing?

Yes, fish can detect a line and might scurry off. The best color for a line, as recommended by professional anglers, is green. Green blends into the surroundings of the water as most water bodies have a green tint to them. However, the color is not that effective in clear and clean water.

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Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.