Ice fishing is a popular winter pastimes in North America and many colder climates around the world. It may seem cold and boring, but there is more than more to it than one thinks. It is challenging, different than fishing during the other seasons, rewarding when you catch that monster fish. Simply put, it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and have some fun!
With that, there are a few things that can really make a difference between and enjoyable outing and a frustrating one and that is having decent ice fishing equipment.
If you’re an occasional ice angler, you probably don’t need the best ice fishing equipment around, but knowing more about the needed equipment is none-the-less helpful. For example, ice augers are necessary to cut through the ice. Ice fishing rods are quite a bit different than your standard spinning rod, and if you are not accustomed to the cold, you may want a shelter. Finally, the accumulation of ice on your pole guides often requires a different type of fishing line for winter conditions a must.
As such, we will review the best ice fishing line. Fishing line in any sense is often underrated, but it’s crucial in order to be successful. After all, it’s what connects your bait to your rod!
Ice fishing line (like most ice fishing equipment) isn’t extremely expensive, but given the conditions are quite different from your other fresh water fishing or even saltwater fishing, it can be helpful to know what type of fishing line offers good value for ice fishing.
Best Ice Fishing Line Reviews
Berkley Trilene Fluoro Ice
- ✅ Inexpensive
- ✅ Reliable high quality brand
- ✅ Highly available
- ✅ Low stretch
- ✅ Nearly invisible
- ⭕ A little thick
- ⭕ Holds some memory
Conclusion on the Berkley Trilene Flouro Ice
This is your standard, albeit effective ice fishing line that can be used for almost any ice fishing situation. This line comes in a variety of sizes, but typically are reserved for the lower end of strengths, that is, 2-6 lbs.
If you’ve been looking for ice fishing line already, chances are you have seen a lot of other fluorocarbon lines as well.
Why do ice anglers prefer fluorocarbon line? It is because of the increased stiffness, that is in terms of longitudinal stretch, which provides increased sensitivity for feeling even the tiniest bites. Also good for solid hooksets.
Fluoro line is also great for not being noticed. The line itself matches the refractive index of water, which means that light does not refract or scatter as it passes through the line. The end result is that the fish cannot tell the difference between the water and the line, making this a very natural presentation of the bait.
Overall, this fluorocarbon line isn’t anything to write home about, but it comes with an affordable cost. The main downside is that the line does retain some memory. “Low Memory” is relative to some other more standard fluorocarbon line, so as long as you know it understand that it will not be like using mono filament or braid line during other seasons, you should be ok with it. At the end of the day, it will be hard to find many other options for ice fluorocarbon at a comparable cost.
- 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
- ✅ Cheap
- ✅ Nearly invisible
- ✅ Excellent knot strength
- ✅ Freeze-resistant
- ⭕ Holds some memory
- ⭕ Some water cling
Conclusion on the P-Line Flourice
This is another solid fluorocarbon option for ice anglers looking to maximize their line strength and sensitivity. Like most fluorocarbon lines, it’s nearly invisible in water as it matches the refractive index..
While we listed line memory as being a disadvantage, it should be noted that by fluorocarbon line standards, the memory it holds is actually relatively low, as compared to the Berkley Trilene line above.
However, where things get a little weird is that they market this line as being “freeze-resistant”, and it does to some extent but I’ve never really had an issue with it. It seems a little unique that the line stills allow a noticeable amount of water to cling and freeze to it, but it doesn’t seem to effect the line’s breaking strength
Overall, the ability of this line to hold a low level of memory, the near invisibility, low breaking strength, and high fell sensitivity, all make this a solid option for just about any type of ice fishing.
- Package length: 9.906 cm
- Package width: 8.128 cm
- Package height: 2.54 cm
- Product Type: FISHING LINE
Sufix V-Coat Braid Line
- ✅ HTP braid
- ✅ Hydro fusion process
- ✅ Vinyl-coated
- ✅ Abrasion-resistant
- ✅ Great for larger fish with teeth
- ⭕ Visible in water
- ⭕ Holds some memory
Conclusion on the Sufix V-Coat Braid Line
Stepping away from the fluoro line, this braided is fishing line offers anglers a chance to land a large trophy. The a test strength ranging from 15-50 pounds, you have the means to land many different sizes monster fish.
This line usually comes in a 50-yard spool, so there isn’t a lot of it, but given you’re ice fishing and this line is extremely strong, you likely won’t need much, and besides, this line is for tip ups.
Unfortunately, this braided line isn’t invisible but has a thin appearance, so it is a bit more concealed. It’s smaller diameter also allows it to sink faster.
Don’t worry though, the smaller diameter still holds plenty of strength, and the high tenacity polyester (HTP) and vinyl coating make this extremely strong and abrasion-resistant.
It performs quite well in cold water and only has a slight memory to it and stiffens up a tiny bit. It is pretty low-stretch, so you get a very sensitive feel and ability to set the hook cleanly.
Overall, this is for those who are ice fishing for larger species like pike or muskie or larger catfish. While some anglers have use this with a standard rod and reel, it’s real purpose is for tip ups. It does hold a bit of memory, but for near zero or even sub-zero temperatures, it performs really well.
- HTPprovides exceptional abrasion resistance, durability, low stretch, and diameter-to-strength ratios
- Hydro Fusion Processensures fast sinking speed, low memory, and exceptional cold-weather handling
- 5' Metered Braid Alternating (2) high contrasting colors every 5 feet
- Exceptional Cold-Weather Handling
- Abrasion Resistant, Durability and Low Stretch
Why Should You Consider Different Line for Ice Fishing?
You don’t absolutely need to use a special type of line for ice fishing, but it does certainly help, especially if you plan to go out and ice multiple times.
Cold water temperatures can cause line to stiffen up, but many ice lines do not have the same degree of stiffness. It’s hard to avoid completely, but ice line is better for this.
Fluorocarbon line is quite popular in ice fishing, as it is a bit stiffer in the sense that it won’t stretch much in the direction of its length. This means you have a lot more sensitivity while jigging for bites, and the hookset will be better.
It’s thinner in diameter, so you have better control over the bait presentation. It’s also highly transparent. The main downside to fluorocarbon line is that it tends to hold memory a little more, but advancements in technology are rapidly removing this as a disadvantage.
This isn’t to say you have to use a fluorocarbon line. Many winter anglers prefer to use a braided line, especially when fishing for much larger species like pike, walleye, or even the big ‘ol muskie.
However, if you plan on using braided line for ice fishing, we suggest to look for something more specialized to that style of fishing. For example, the Sufix V-Coart braided line (that we looked at above) offers a vinyl coating and a type of polyester braid known as HTP, which works really well in winter conditions.
Conclusion on Ice Fishing Line
In general, you don’t need to spend a lot on good ice fishing line, but it should be in your tackle box to some degree if you plan on hitting the ice.
One of the reasons we say this is purely from a practical sense. If you’re taking the time and effort to get all your stuff together, bundle up, and spend the day testing the waters, the last thing you want is to spend that whole day spooling new ice fishing line or losing bait.
All of the ice fishing lines above are good solid lines and should help you bring in the fish. Good luck!