Choosing the Best Ice Fishing Line for You

Sometimes finding the best ice fishing line to match your fishing style is a trial and error experience; however, there are a few good pieces of information to know to find the best ice fishing line for you. Whether you’re new to ice fishing or have only been out a few times, our ice fishing experts explain the differences between each type of ice fishing line as well as offer suggestions as to which is the best ice fishing line to match your fishing style and targeted species.

Monofilament Ice Line

a fisherman using a monofilament ice line

One of the most popular types of ice fishing lines is monofilament line because it has low memory, won’t ice up quickly, and provides great movement when jigging. Since an ice fishing reel is smaller, anglers often prefer using a low memory line such as a monofilament ice line because it’s less likely to kink or knot up, taking the shape of your lure over time. If you’re new to ice fishing and looking for the best ice fishing line for jig fishing, a monofilament line is the right option for you because of its soft and buoyant make. These characteristics help present your jig or spoons with the right movements allowing you to learn and master the technique of jig fishing.

There are two downsides to using a monofilament ice line—strength and sensitivity. Ice holes have rough edges and can sometimes wear down a mono line. Plus, this type of ice fishing line stretches the most making it less sensitive. However, the versatility of a monofilament line makes it a perfect choice for beginner and experienced anglers alike.

Trilene Cold Weather Monofilament Ice Line:

  • Low memory to resist tangling
  • Flexible even in extremely cold weather

Fluorocarbon Ice Line

a fisherman using a fluorocarbon ice line

A fluorocarbon ice line is nearly invisible in the water and offers much more strength compared to a monofilament line, making it a go-to leader line. Fluorocarbon ice lines are great if you’re fishing deep water since they sink quickly with your lure. It’s also important to know that this type of ice fishing line has more memory, meaning it’s more likely to get caught on your spool or guides on your rod. If you decide to use a fluorocarbon line as your main line, it’s best used on a straight-line reel to avoid tangles and snags as you cast.

Clam Frost Fluorocarbon Ice Line:

  • Low stretch for better sensitivity
  • Easily bends even in extreme temperatures

Braided Ice Line

A fisherman using a braided ice fishing line

With a braided ice fishing line, ice anglers will experience nearly zero stretch in the line. This characteristic makes braided lines incredibly sensitive so you don’t miss a bite. Because of this, many ice anglers enjoy using braided ice line when fishing in deep water or going for walleye. Plus, a braided ice line is the strongest option of ice fishing line so it will hold up to the sharp edges of your ice holes. Since braided ice line absorbs more water, it tends to ice up quicker making it more visible to fish. Most ice fishing specific braided lines feature a coating to help reduce ice-up.

Suffix 832 Braided Ice Line:

  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Water-repellent finish to reduce freezing

Ice Fishing Tip-Up Line

Tip-up fishing is a way for ice anglers to help improve their odds of catching more fish. Although you’re able to use traditional braided ice line with tip-ups, there are specific ice lines designed for tip-up ice fishing. A tip-up line is designed to offer minimal stretch so that the hook sets properly. Also, tip-up lines usually have a slightly larger diameter so that they’re easier to grab onto and are more durable. One of our best ice fishing tip-up lines is the Sufix Rattle V-Coat Line because it features a vinyl coating for anti-freezing, won’t tangle easily, and has very low stretch.

Choosing the best ice fishing line depends on a few factors including your skill level, fishing methods, and targeted species. By understanding the differences between each type of ice fishing line, you’ll be able to make a decision as to which is the best ice fishing line for you.  If you have additional questions about which type of ice line to use, contact your nearest SCHEELS to speak with an expert.

An angler using ice fishing line