Have you ever wondered why you haven’t been able to catch fishes in a lake that is supposed to be brimming with them? You might have noticed that such occurrences are more frequent in winters when the lake and river tops have frozen over. And as a result, you might always blame the area for not having enough fish. The thought that the fishes might not be hungry must have crossed your mind as well.
But do you know what else matters more? The fishing line that you use. Using the best ice fishing line can make a tremendous improvement in the haul that you capture.
Somewhere, you know that the fishing line’s kind and material is essential to catch a good haul, what with the line being the only physical thing connecting you and the fish. But the importance of this object is greatly diminished when taken together with all the other paraphernalia required for fishing.
Even while fishing usually, the line plays a huge role in deciding the haul you would take away. The line’s importance increases when the conditions become more hazardous and tundral. You have to consider more things and take better measures.
One of those measures involves investing in the best ice fishing line that comes under the purview of your budget. It would not be right of you to blame the line and fishes and the location in general until you have exhausted all other avenues of success. And since this niche is overlooked so easily, the chances are that making changes in this part would better your fortunes immensely.
Top 4 Best Ice Fishing Lines 2021
If you’re dead set on getting a mono fishing line, but you’re worried about its fragility, the Berkeley line has got your back and made you a masterpiece. Though it’s slim with not much thickness for the heavier catches, it holds up well against ice water temperature.
It is easy to use and makes casting and fishing a walk in the park. Additionally, it has just the right amount of thickness and strength that it won’t freeze or break due to the sharp ice edges or the extremely low temperature.
This will be the best ice fishing line if you are looking to fish for light species, i.e., less than 8 lbs in weight. Furthermore, the low stretch and memory will make you forget that it is mono that you are using. YOu can feel even the lightest of touches from even the least aggressive fishes.
That said, this line is known to give trouble while tying knots. The knots tend to reduce the line’s strength in general and cause tangling. But overall, this would be one of the best ice fishing lines for anyone looking to buy a mono ice fishing line.
- It features a very low stretch value, which makes it very sensitive to fishes and their movements.
- It possesses higher than average antifreeze properties, making it useful for even the lowest temperatures.
- It is built with strong and durable materials that allow it to navigate and handle sharp edges easily.
- The low price makes it one of the better performance per dollar offering lines.
- This line tends to get tangled when tied into knots.
- The knot points tend to become weak and are prone to breaking.
If you want a fishing line that is nigh undetectable in the fishing environment, then the Suffix Ice Magic Fishing Line would be the best ice fishing line for you. The clear fishing line is so colorless that it is virtually undetectable in water.
This is one of the few all-weather fishing lines that exceptionally well in winters without compromising its capabilities to perform in summers. The clearness of the line makes sure that no icefish can detect it before it’s too late.
This ice-fishing line can resist the degradation caused by water, all season long. You will not have to think about changing your line once you invest in this one.
It can be used nicely for lighter species, and it will amaze you with its easiness and grace of reeling such fishes in. The added flexibility is just a cherry on top of the cake. The ease of tying knots is something that many other fishing lines do not offer at such rates.
And the best thing of all is that it will not lose its strength when tied knots on. It won’t break and give better results than a standard fishing line.
The sensibility of this line is nothing to scoff at. Featuring one of the best in-class materials, it will leave you wanting for more, by the time you are done with a season. The memory might be a sore point for some customers, but this line would stand on all tests you have to offer if you can look beyond that.
- It has a very high tolerance for lower than average temperatures.
- The antifreeze properties of the line material are exceptionally strong.
- The thin diameter of the line makes it easy to use and cast a line.
- The line material ensures that it has a low chance of breaking while providing exceptional strength.
- The wire’s small size tends to get it tangled if not appropriately handled.
Do you want a braided line for your fishing needs? Would you appreciate your braided line having an exceptional sensibility? Then the HOFAM Braided Fishing Line would be the best ice fishing line for your needs.
We know that a braided line offers zero stretches, and as a result, gives you the maximum sensitivity possible. There is a rumor going around that states that you can even feel the fish when it is near your bait (not true, but that is just a testimony to its prowess).
Additionally, this line has the lowest memory of all the lines present. This nifty feature eliminates the need to worry about curls or tangles as often. The low visibility and gray color allow you to fish in peace without worrying about the fishes discovering it.
This braided line is super strong and tough. The four Strand Dyneema plays a massive role in shaping it into a durable yet flexible braided line. It further helps you tie knots quickly and without any problem or worries. But while this line offers such features in a braided line, the handling does take a blow and is as such lower than some of the others on this list.
- It is made up of very strong materials that impart inhumane strength but still allow it to be tied into knots.
- It is nearly transparent, which allows it to blend into the environment effortlessly and hence have low visibility.
- It has virtually zero stretches, making it one of the most sensitive lines on this list.
- The premium materials delivered at a low price make it a very economical deal.
- It tends to get a little hard to handle, like a monofilament line.
Are you looking for a good fluorocarbon line that does not break your wallet but gets the job done? Do you want a fishing line from a good and reputed brand but do not want to experiment? In that case, the Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon Fishing line would be the best ice fishing line for your needs.
If you want to go topwater fishing, this would be ideal for you. Sure, it can be used for other purposes (such as underwater and mid-water fishing), but its true worth comes forth when it is used to fish for prey on the topwater of the lack (or any water body). And since, as we all know that fluorocarbon lines are water-resistant, you can rest assured that these lines would not be affected due to the water or the shallow temperature.
Additionally, you will enjoy handling these lines as thin in diameter. ANd the manufacturer guarantees that casting and tying knots using these lines will be a walk in the park. And apart from that, you can hope to land some big fishes with this line’s help as this line has exceptional length and flexibility to offer.
The thin diameter improves the line’s sensibility while keeping the strength the same. The low stretch is a further cherry on the cake to have, as it helps detect the fishes even if there is only the slightest of tremors. To top that off, this line is so thin, and the color is so good that the fishes won’t detect it until it’s too late.
The only thing to look out for is the memory that this line has the misfortune of being good at. The heightened memory seems to be the only drawback. Apart from that, it would be the best ice fishing line should you choose to invest in it.
- It is water-resistant and has excellent temperature tolerance.
- It is robust and easy to cast.
- It has a low stretch factor and can be tied into knots easily.
- The low diameter and color make it almost invisible in water.
- It tends to have more memory than some of the other lines on this list.
What Are The Different Types Of Ice Fishing Lines?
Ice fishing lines can be divided into many categories and subcategories. And each of them is as important as the others. But listing out the whole niche would require a lot of time and capital investment. Therefore we have chosen to represent three broad categories- monofilament, braid, and fluorocarbons.
Whether you go for open water fishing or ice fishing, mono has dominated the niche for a long time now. The strength per diameter offered is incredible, and it can survive and thrive well, even in extremely tundral regions. It freezes up less and is inherently low-vis.
It has been found that mono has less memory than fluoro. This is an essential factor in considering if you fish tiny spinning reels with a spool about a quarter’s diameter. It does have a few downsides, though. It is not naturally buoyant (it cannot float or sink naturally), and hence, it makes fishing small ice jigs at depths of more than 15 feet.
When a weight beyond its natural capacity is applied, it can stretch more than 25 percent. This allows for proper shock absorption if you land a big fish. On the con, though, this makes bite detection and hooksets difficult when you fish in deeper waters.
Fluorocarbons are considered the best ice fishing line when you want to catch line-shy fishes that can easily detect fishing lines. This is because of its ability to disappear when under the water virtually. Moreover, unlike other fishing lines, the fluorocarbon lines sink quickly, allowing baits to sink deeper and faster. It also offers exceptional abrasion resistance.
Like mono, fluoro stretches as well. However, it stretches more slowly than mono and gives better sensitivity and hooksets, especially when fishing in deeper waters.
Like everything that is not perfect, fluoro has some drawbacks as well. It has more memory than any other type of line. This is why people fish it on a large arbor inline reel to minimize coiling and line twist.
Before you invest in a fluorocarbon line, remember that its stiffness can affect lure action with small baits. So look for the lightest fluorocarbon line on the market.
Technically speaking, braids have virtually zero stretches. That is one of the main reasons behind them offering such incredible sensitivity and outstanding hooksets. But on the downside, braids ice up more than any other line on this list. This makes them prone to be seen by the fish. And they tend to float. This reduces sink rates on ultralightweight jigs made of lead, tin, or tungsten.
It is nevertheless one of the most warmly received fishing lines, though. And it has multiple features to back this widespread acceptance.
Their diameter at lighter break strengths is nearly about half of that of fluoro, for starters. This allows baits to come truly alive in the water, as they are free to move about and wriggle, thereby attracting fishes’ attention.
It also has low stretch, so it is exceptionally well suited to catch fishes that take the bait but do not swim away. Braids also absorb line twists considerably better than other lines. So fishing it on small arbor spinning reels does not affect memory. And if you want visibility, just strap on a few mono or fluoro feet using back-to-back Uni Knots.
Best Ice Fishing Lines – Conclusion
Fishing lines play a significant role in determining the number of fishes you would capture in a single expedition. Like much other prey, fishes are wary of strange things in their environment and try to avoid them. Therefore it is essential to make sure that you buy a fishing line that camouflages itself in the background to be invisible to the fishes.
Other things that are overlooked are the thickness and memory of the line. Thickness affects how sensitive your line is to the jerks and jingles you produce. It also reigns supreme over the factor deciding your line’s strength in general. On the other hand, the line’s memory determines how the line’s hooksets might be. These are important to consider when looking for the best ice fishing line.
And while some lines might be better than others in terms of specifications, that does not mean that they are the absolute best. Fishes are dynamic creatures and hence react to lines differently. Therefore, you need to experiment and research a little before settling in on your pick.
FAQs on Ice Fishing Lines
Q1. How Do I Choose A Line Of The Right Weight?
The line’s weight plays a huge role in deterring the type of catch that you will bring home. Conversely, the weight also depends on the types of fish you are looking to catch. There are many types of fishes available, but you can simply divide them into nearly two categories.
If you are looking to fish for trouts and panfish, you should look for lines in the four to six-pound range. And if you want to be more adventurous and fish out pikes and lake trouts, then a heavier line of around twelve to eighteen pounds should be able to see you through the expedition without giving you much trouble.
Q2. What Are The Benefits Of Buying An Ice Fishing Line?
An ice fishing line is similar to a regular fishing line in nearly all aspects. Honestly, an ice fishing line is just a standard fishing line with some added features. That said, you will need some of those extra benefits when you are fishing in cold regions.
Given below are a list of factors that you need to keep in mind before you settle on a good fishing line:
More Robust In The Build
It is a well-known fact that cold water conditions are much more aggressive than average. The fishes put up an exceptional fight, and the lines are in danger of snapping due to the ice at the edges. This requires your line to be stronger than average (i.e., accept more punishment without breaking). Moreover, due to the ice, you would not be able to look underneath the surface, thereby making you blind to the underwater obstacles.
To combat all the problems mentioned above, you need an ice fishing line. And not just any line. If you can, then look and invest in the best ice fishing line as they are made to handle the more challenging obstacles and the heavier fishes.
Similar to how your hands and body go numb in the winter, the fishes also go numb (in the sense that their metabolism slows down considerably). Thus you cannot expect fishes to jerk and run away from you.
Using an ice fishing line would provide higher sensitivity and, as a result, a more heightened sensibility. They can register even the smallest of movements and negate the drawback caused by the cold weather conditions.
Antifreeze And Abrasion Resistance
Regular lines tend to freeze up when immersed in cold water. This makes the lines visible and stiff, causing you to lose out on your haul. Therefore you should ideally look for a line that is antifreeze in nature.
The constant rubbing with the ice’s edge can cause the line to snap. So you should invest in lines that are abrasion-resistant while keeping the weight regular, as a heavy fishing line would have more cons than pros.
As a rule of thumb, the ice fishing lines have higher flexibility. The flexible nature of these lines allows them to be handled easily. It also makes knot forming a more straightforward job. Also, once the knot has been created, it does not break and remains in place.
Q3. What Are The Things I Should Keep In Mind Before Buying A Good Fishing Line?
Before you go fishing in tundra regions, you need to keep some things in mind. Research is one of the most essential aspects of ice fishing, and without it, you would lose more than you would gain by these endeavors.
1. The Species You Are Targeting
The first and foremost question that arises is the type of fish you are targeting. Each type of fish is attracted to a different kind of bait and environment. So the kind of fish you target plays a massive role in determining the type of line you use for.
Moreover, different species are of different sizes. Using a thin line for a heavy fish would turn out poorly, as woeful using a thick line for a light fish. You need to use a line that matches the kind of fish you are looking for.
And finally, the line itself handles different types of baits differently. Light baits need lines that sink easily, while the larger ones can do so independently. And then, there are also problems with the flexibility and strength of the lines themselves.
All in all, you need to look for a line that would stand up to all the different quirks that the fish and the bait has to offer without breaking or snapping.
2. The Strength Of The Line
It can be relatively easy to mistake the first and the second point for the same thing. The first
point refers to the line’s factors due to the fish and your choice’s bait. The second point relates to your line standing up to the rest of the problems caused by the environment itself.
When you drill a hole through the ice to fish under the water body’s frozen surface, the edges of the hole itself are sharp. The line rubs along the edges and suffers the danger of snapping due to the constant pressure.
Moreover, the cold can also cause the line to become brittle, and as a result, snap easily. And the weight of cold water is more than regular water, so any line not designed to handle such rough and tear would give up easily.
Hence, the strength of the line (not just concerning the fishes’ weight but also due to the environmental factors) plays a massive role in turning the tides when ice fishing.
Everyone likes to just rest for some time. We might sometimes even label this as being lazy. And you must have noticed this need to relax even more during the winters. Similarly, fishes become lazy too. This happens due to the lower than usual metabolism of the fishes. And as a result, they are less aggressive and do not attack your line.
Therefore, even when the fishes do take the bites, you will only feel subtle nibbles rather than actual movement. So what you need is a line with high sensitivity. YOu should be able to feel even the slightest movement from your line so that you do not sit there waiting for the fish to pull on the bait while the fish eats and swims away.
In order to get the highest sensitivity possible, you have to consider two crucial things- stretch and memory. Fishing lines that do not stretch (or stretch but for barely noticeable values) offer the highest sensitivity. Similarly, lines with low memory better provide you with signals of higher texture and quality.
4. The Type You Need
There are multiple types of lines to choose from- monofilament, braided, and fluorocarbon. Each line has its own pro and con, which have all been discussed earlier. But to sum it up, mono lines absorb water, causing your line to sink faster but reduces its durability in the same breath.
Fluorocarbons are invisible and water-resistant, making them suitable for extreme environments. And braided lines offer high sensitivity due to the fact they have zero stretch and no memory.
You cannot let your line freeze, no matter what. Your line will become brittle and snap, leaving you to lose out on your haul and out of a line. Therefore, the most significant necessity, by far, is the anti-freezing property that your line possesses. Lines freeze and that is a fact. So invest in lines that resist temperature change and retain their durability simultaneously.
6. Flexibility And Ease Of Use
As stated previously, your line will snap if not appropriately treated. Similarly, your line snapping chances rise significantly if it is not flexible. Therefore, you should make sure that your line is flexible enough to bear the burden that will fall upon it.
Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the fact if you can tie knots on your line easily or not. Additionally, the knots should not reduce the length of line, nor should they compromise the line’s durability or stability.
7. The Diameter
The line’s diameter directly correlates to its strength, weight, and durability. But choosing the thickest or the thinnest will not get the job done. You need a thick enough wire to bear the load and thin enough to be tied in knots.
The thickness should not compromise on either of these properties and should also retain the durability that it had at the beginning. And finally, the thinner the lines are, the easier it would be to cast and handle them. So you would invest in a line with the perfect mixture of strength and maneuverability.
8. The Jig
Usually, the jig does not play any part in choosing the line. It becomes one of the most important factors to consider for ice fishing. YOu should go for heavier jigs over lighter jigs.
It might seem that heavier jigs will occupy more space, but in reality, if you change the jig’s composition, the volume will remain the same while the weight increases. This is the main reason why tungsten jigs are favored over lead ones, as tungsten tends to be heavier while occupying the same amount of space.
9. The Color
It is one of the most surprising entries on this list of factors. Yes, the colors of the lines matter a lot. This is because the fishes can see the color as well. And since water is so clear, any color stands out against it. Therefore, it is better to choose clear colored lines, as they would easily camouflage with the surroundings.
However, you might need to keep a note of your line as well. In such cases, having a colored line would work in your favor. So what you need to do is find a color that you can easily see by not by the fishes,
The durability of the line should be beyond par. Having a good line is not enough. You need to be able to use it repeatedly on different expeditions. The line also needs to stand up against both internal and environmental factors. Therefore, investing in an incredibly durable line is the best course of action.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.