The great thing about ice fishing is that you don’t have to put your favorite hobby on hold during the winter.
Now, there are plenty of pieces of equipment that you can reuse from your summer gear for ice fishing expedition. However, you are going to have to switch out your fishing line for one that is more suited to your new conditions.
- Best Ice Fishing Lines 2018
- What to Look for In an Ice Fishing Line
- Types of Ice Fishing Line
- The Top Ice Fishing Lines
You don’t need to worry about this, though, as I have gathered all of the information that you need to choose the best ice fishing line for you.
Best Ice Fishing Lines 2018
Why Do You Need Specialized Line For Ice Fishing?
You may be wondering just why it is that you can use the fishing line that you typically use.
The answer is a multi-faceted one but essentially has to do with the obstacles presented by the temperatures as well as the new fishing environment.
Let’s start with where you are fishing.
When fishing during warmer months, you typically are working with a larger area of water. With ice fishing, however, you are usually regulated to a small hole, thus, causing the line to more or less remain in one place.
The reason this is a disadvantage is because the line (and the lure) is more visible in these conditions, decreasing the chance that the fish will mistake it for prey.
Then there is the fact that most summer lines are simply not designed to withstand the cold weather. It is interesting to note that the lines that are able to withstand ice fishing don’t do well in warm temperatures.
In the winter, lines that are built for the summer heat are not capable of remaining as flexible in the water. The line then becomes stiff and prevents the bait from moving in a realistic manner.
Last but not least, traditional lines tends to be a little too flimsy for ice fishing.
To you, the hole you may have cut may appear to be nice and smooth. Nonetheless, there are actually jagged pieces of ice that can easily wear out your line as it rubs against these protrusions.
So, if you want a line that is long lasting, you need one that is meant for ice fishing.
What to Look for In an Ice Fishing Line
It is clear from reading the section above that a good ice fishing line is one that is durable, can perform well in cold temperatures, and has low visibility. This is not the only things that you should be looking out for, though.
Here are the rest of the factors that you need to consider with good ice fishing line:
As the name implies, stretch refers to just how much the line stretches once it is in the water.
A good ice fishing line would have little to no stretch. This will allow the angler to feel every movement in the line, making it easier for you to know when you have a bite.
While a good memory is something that you value as a person, it is not a good trait for an ice fishing line, particularly in cold weather.
A line with extreme memory is likely to curl and form springs when cast. On the other hand, one with low memory will straighten out, making the line more sensitive.
Types of Ice Fishing Line
There are three main types of line to choose from when ice fishing. They are monofilament, braids, and fluorocarbon lines. Let’s take a look at the properties of each line and why each one has a specific purpose:
Monofilament line is probably one of the most common types of line used in fishing.
In this instance, however, I am referring to the monofilament that has been specifically designed for ice fishing purposes. One of the reasons that this line is a good option is because it has low memory in cold conditions which means that it straightens out quite quickly once deployed.
There is also not much stretch with this type of line, allowing you better control over your bait and certainly, much better sensitivity.
One of the main reasons that anglers are drawn to braid lines is the strength exhibited by this type of line, allowing you to catch bigger fish with it.
It also has almost no stretch in cold water, making it one of the more sensitive lines around. The line also has relatively low memory so that when it is deployed it doesn’t curl and twist.
Braid line is often used when fishing in deeper waters as it performs quite well here.
When anglers use fluorocarbon line, their main goal is for the line to remain as invisible as possible in the water.
While the earlier versions of fluorocarbons had some serious drawbacks, these have been solved over the years. These days, this line tends to be quite flexible and can even offer a decent amount of strength.
One of the features that this type of line does lack, however, is sensitivity.
The Top Ice Fishing Lines
Here is a review of some of the top fishing lines currently available on the market:
The Sufix Ice Magic fishing line should be your go-to line in the event that you are fishing in below freezing temperatures. This is because the line has some impressive water repelling features which prevent absorption at all costs. As a result, this considerably cuts down on the ice building up on the line, allowing it to maintain its flexibility even in the coldest water.
For this particular series, you can find lines that test between 2 and 8lbs. The good thing about this ice fishing line is that you don’t have to go up to the 8lb line to be able to witness its strength. Even around the halfway mark, this fishing line is able to hold its own, working well for crappies and bluegills.
This Sufix fishing line has quite a low memory so even when it’s dropped into freezing cold water, it will retain its structure and won’t coil. In turn, this really helps with how sensitive the line is and alerts you to most nibbles. The line is clear which really reduces how visible it is in the water, even to fish that are quite close by.
There are almost no complaints to make about this fishing line. If one had to be made, it would be regarding the stretch – this does tend to give a little in lower temps.
- 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.
The P-Line Floroice really does stand out among the best ice fishing lines largely due to its unique composition. It consists of a copolymer which has a fluorocarbon coating. It is the copolymer that lends a significant amount of strength to the line. You should have no trouble going after most medium sized panfish and may even have some luck with some larger ones.
In terms of ice fishing, though, this line really lives up to its reputation. Due to the way that it is built, the line is resistance to freezing which allows it to remain limp even when the temperatures get quite low. This provides with better movement in the water and also helps the line to maintain its sensitivity. The other advantage of the non-freezing effects of the line is that it is not prone to brittleness and will not break easily. Because of its fluorocarbon coating, the fishing line is virtually invisible in the water.
Will the fishing line doesn’t have too much stretch, I did notice that there was some coiling when the line went into the water. The good news is that this tends to straighten out once the fish start biting.
- Virtually Invisible
- Superior Knott Strength
- Won't Freeze or Become Brittle
The Berkeley Trilene ice fishing line is made of pure fluorocarbon material. Now, the main advantage of this is the fact that the line is almost completely invisible when it is in the water. This means that the only thing that fish will see is the lure at the end of the line.
What’s also quite impressive about this fishing line is the lack of stretch which prevents the line from coiling in the water. This, along with the fact that the line has an incredibly small diameter makes this one of the most sensitive lines on the list. Even the slightest of nibbles will be detected almost immediately. The various lines test at between 2 and 6lbs but even at the higher end, this line is quite thin.
Considering that it is made of fluorocarbon one of the more surprising properties on this fishing line is its strength. While the test strength may not be as high as some of the other lines, this fishing line is quite capable of tackling most of the panfish out and about in colder weather.
The biggest complaint about this fishing line is that its knot strength isn’t that great so you will need to keep checking your knots while fishing.
- 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
The Northland Bionic Ice Line checks many of the boxes that you require for an ice fishing line. What really stands out about this monofilament line, though, is its impressive strength. It tests at six pounds which means that it is suitable for most panfish, which is what you will be catching out there anyway.
This Bionic Ice Line has been specially designed to maintain all of its regular features in harsh temperatures. One thing in particular that remains with this ice line is its flexibility. Even in the icy temperature, the line doesn’t go rigid but instead maintains its ability to move, making it look like a much more realistic lure. This ice fishing line is also highly sensitive, transferring the action from a bite quickly up the line.
The Bionic Ice Line works well with a variety of lures and baits so there is going to be no issue whether you want to use bobbers, jigs, or spoons. While there are certainly a lot of advantages with this type of line, there are some disadvantages. The one that was most noticeable to me was the slight coiling that took place when the line was deployed in the water. This is minor, though, and for the most part, the line does have low memory.
- 125-Yard Bionic Ice Line, 6-Pound, Clear
- Provided by Northland
- Ice Fishing Line
The great thing about Power Pro Ice-Tec is just how well suited it is to cold conditions. For instance, what really puts this ice fishing line on the map is its ability to discard most of the water instead of absorbing it. Due to this feature, there isn’t a chance for ice to build up on the line so it should continue to be flexible and move the lure to attract fish.
Just as impressive is the abrasion resistance capability. As I already mentioned, you can expect your line to make contact with the surrounding ice. In the case of this line, however, it has been designed to not wear away even continuously rubs against serrated edges. This feature can increase the lifespan of your line considerably. Of course, a line is all but useless without sensitivity and the Power Pro Ice-Tec shows some pretty good sensitivity which is good for medium to large sized fish. Speaking of fish size, the Ice-Tec tested at eight pounds which should you give some freedom when tackling with larger panfish.
The line is quite manageable too and resists forming knots – you will find that it is much easier to wrap around your reels and cast off with. If I were to mention a fault it would be the color of the line, which is blue. Now, admittedly this does help you to see the line but it can also deter fish.
- Less Water Retention
- Superior Abrasion Resistance
- Better Knot Performance
- Ultra Sensitive
- Smaller Diameter
Now, traditionally fluorocarbon fishing lines aren’t all that known for their strength. The Seaguar Abraz puts an end to this, though. This is certainly a tough ice fishing line which not only has tensile strength but also good impact strength as well. Now, while you may not be able to walleyes with this line, you should be more than capable of snagging small to medium-sized panfish.
Equally as important as the strength is its abrasion resistance properties. If you are looking for a hard wearing fishing line, then the Seaguar Abrazx really stands out among other fluorocarbon ice fishing options. While this line has been primarily designed for freshwater fishing, it still holds its own if you decide to take to a saltwater location as well.
This ice fishing line is incredibly flexible and sways quite well, even when the surrounding water is relatively still. So, if you are looking for a line that can move your lure that much better, this may be the line for you. Of course, the crowning glory of the fluorocarbon fishing line is the fact that is nearly invisible to fish, even when fishing in an ice hole.
The downside of this ice fishing line is that it can burn a serious hole in your wallet. This is because each spool comes with just fifty yards. So, it really is better off only being used as a leader line.
- 100 Fluorocarbon Leader
- DSF - Double Structure Fluorocarbon
- Best Knot Strength
- Incredible Abrasion Resistance
- Best Impact Strength
Which Ice Fishing Line Should You Buy
While there are numerous strong competitors in this race, there can be only one winner.
Without a doubt, the Berkley Trilene ice fishing line wins the title.
This is because it meets all of the requirements set forth by a good ice fishing line. It has low stretch, even in the coldest of weather which helps to greatly improve the sensitivity of the line, along with its slim diameter.
It also has low memory which allows the line to remain straight without coiling in the water. This property also helps the line to maintain its flexibility and movement. Despite its thinness, the line is quite durable and will withstand constant friction against the ice.
Last but certainly not least, the Berkley ice fishing line is completely invisible in the water, making it the perfect line for ice fishing.
By choosing this line for ice fishing, you are sure to have a much more successful fishing expedition.
Last update on 2018-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API