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Best Ice Fishing Line
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Best Ice Fishing Line for All Situations

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Some guys always seem to forget to re-spool their ice reels with new fishing line. Maybe they are too excited to hit the ice, maybe they’re just lazy. Either way, don’t be like them. If you left your line on the spool over the summer, the smart thing to do is strip it off and put on some fresh new hotness.

But what line should you put on? What ice fishing line is best? I know the feeling, looking at the dozens of brands and styles on the tackle store display, wondering what to do. By following a few simple guidelines, it’s easier to narrow down your options.

Line choice depends on your target species, water clarity, and ice fishing techniques you’ll be doing. In this guide, we’ve sifted through every line on the market to give you our top picks for braid, mono, fluoro, and tip-ups.

Best Ice Fishing Lines at a Glance

  1. Berkley FireLine Micro Ice – Top rated, best selling ice fishing braid.
  2. Suffix 832 Ice Braid – Best braid for ice fishing overall, but more expensive.
  3. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Ice – Top rated fluorocarbon line for ice fishing.
  4. Suffix Coated Tip-Up Line – Best tip-up line, premium quality
  5. Suffix Ice Magic – Best mono for ice fishing.


Top Ice Fishing Line Comparison

Line:ReelScore:Type:Color:
Berkley FireLine Micro Ice Crystal4.7/5.0BraidTranslucent White
Suffix 832 Ice Braid4.7/5.0BraidGhost, Neon Lime
Suffix Ice Fuse4.5/5.0BraidSmoke Blue, Neon Fire
Trilene 100% Fluoro Ice4.5/5.0FluorocarbonClear
Northland Bionic Ice4.4/5.0FluorocarbonClear
P-Line Floroice4.1/5.0Fluoro CoatedClear
Suffix Coated Tip-Up Line4.6/5.0Tip-UpBlack, Metered
Celsius Tip-Up Line4.6/5.0Tip-UpBlack
HT Polar Ice4.5/5.0Tip-UpBlack
Suffix Ice Magic4.8/5.0MonoClear, Neon Orange
Trilene Micro Ice4.5/5.0MonoClear Steel, Solar
Trilene Cold Weather4.1/5.0MonoElectric Blue

Why you Need Ice Fishing Specific Line

  • Cold Temperatures – Freezing temperatures does funny things to fishing line. Think about how your jacket gets stiff in the cold. Fishing line is no different, and that is why manufacturers use slightly different formulations for cold water fishing lines. Ice fishing line is easier to handle in the cold than regular line and is better suited to deal with cold water temps.
  • Abrasive Environment – The sharp, jagged edges of an ice hole can make quick work of fishing line. Good ice fishing line has some abrasion resistance to combat the shards of ice. Sand, dirt, and grit are also enemies of fishing line. They tend to collect on the ice as the season progresses, so good clean line is important.
  • Light Bite Sensitivity – Fish are generally less active in the winter, and that can mean subtle, ultra-light bites. Mono is fine, but braid and fluorocarbon fishing lines are the most sensitive. Sensitivity is not an issue with tip-up line. It just needs to come off the spool smoothly until you can get to the hole and pull up the fish.
  • Stretch vs No Stretch – Line stretch can help or it can hurt, it really depends on how you are fishing. Fluorocarbon has little stretch compared to mono, and it’s very sensitive. When the bite is subtle, fluoro excels. But stretch can help give your jigs and spoons a fluttery action, so it all depends on what you are doing. Braid can be used for deep water jigging since it has no stretch, and it also makes a great main line, in conjunction with a fluoro leader tied to a swivel.

Ice Fishing Line Reviews

There are four types of ice fishing line; monofilament, fluorocarbon, braid, and tip-up line. They are just like the fluorocarbon and braid that you use during the summer, but with special formulations to operate better in below freezing temps. These are the top 3 recommendations for each type of line.

Monofilament

Mono is the bread and butter ice fishing line. It’s popular for its soft, low memory nature, and gives nice fluttery action to spoons and jigs because it is slightly buoyant in water. The downside is you lose some sensitivity in comparison to fluorocarbon and braid. Being more susceptible to the abrasiveness of ice, sand, and grit, you will be replacing it more frequently.

Sufix Ice Magic 100 YD Spool (Clear, Size- 3 lb)
Sufix Ice Magic is an all temperature line designed to stay manageable; remain strong and repel water even when the temperature drops below freezing
Trilene Micro Ice
Low stretch design for solid hook-sets; Outstanding strength-per-diameter; Helps to maintain better control of your jig
Trilene Cold Weather
For cold water flexibility; Improved formula is the limpest, smoothest version EVER; Low-memory design resists twisting and tangles 

Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon is a step up in quality from mono. It’s tougher, more sensitive, and has less stretch. Fluorocarbon sensitivity is excellent and works well for detecting ultra-light bites. Fluoro also sinks four times faster than mono, making it perfect for deeper water, and for quickly dropping a bait when you see a fish on your flasher.

Stiffer fluorocarbon line makes driving hooksets easier but has the drawback of high memory. Fluoro tends to coil up after being on a spool for a while, leading to birds nests and knots if you’re not careful. One trick is to use a cheap mono or braid backer line, and just 10-20 yards of fluorocarbon to keeps things manageable.

Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon 6 Ice Fishing Line,...
Low stretch formula for greater sensitivity and solid hooksets; Thinner diameter for better lure control
Northland BI125-4-CL 125-Yard Bionic Ice Line,...
125-Yard Bionic Ice Line; Provided by Northland; Ice Fishing Line
P-Line Floroice Fishing Spool (100 Yard, 6-Pound)
Package length: 10.414 cm; Package width: 8.128 cm; Package height: 2.032 cm; Product Type: FISHING LINE

Braid

Braid is an excellent ice fishing line, especially when the water has some stain to it. The main advantages to braid are the ultra-small diameters, toughness, and low stretch. You can fish braid that looks like strands of hair but is still 3-4lb test.

If you find fish over deep water, braid should get the call, as the no stretch will help get hooks penetrated at depth. One downside to braid is the absorption of water, which obviously can be a problem in single digit temps. Some braids have coatings that help reduce the effect.

Berkley FireLine Micro Ice
Smooth handling; The strongest, most abrasion- resistant superline in its class; Superb Sensitivity - Instant feel for subtle cold-water bites
Sufix 832 Ice Braid Fishing Lure, Neon Lime,...
The strongest, most durable small diameter ice braid; Patent-pending construction of 8 fibers (7 Dyneema plus 1 GORE Performance Fiber)
Sufix Performance Ice Fuse Fishing Line, Smoke...
100% HMPE Dyneema; Reduces line freezing; Virtually zero stretch; Superior tensile and knot strength

Best Tip-Up Line

At first glance, tip-up line looks like a standard braid, but there’s more to it than that. Tip-up line is typically made of woven Dacron (nylon) fibers. So yes, it is a type of braid, but it’s unlike a superline in how it performs. Tip-up line is much smoother than braid, it doesn’t coil or kink the way a Fireline tends to do.

When a fish takes your bait, you want the line to roll off the tip up just as much as the fish is moving. Braid will uncoil faster, putting slack in the line and giving fish the chance to come unhooked. Tip up line doesn’t, allowing a quicker hookset and more fish iced. When fishing for crappie or walleye you can also use a fluorocarbon leader to gain the invisibility advantage.

Sufix Performance Ice Fuse Fishing Line, Smoke...
100% HMPE Dyneema; Reduces line freezing; Virtually zero stretch; Superior tensile and knot strength
Celsius Braided Nylon TUL-25 Tip-Up Line 50...
50 Yards of 25 lb braided line; High strength and long life line with minimal stretch; Fishing equipment ice fishing accessories lines
HT ILG-1050 Polar Ice No. 50 Braided Line, Green,...
100-Yard Braided Line 50 no., Green; Provided by HT; Ice Fishing Line

Last updated 2020-09-27 at 16:07 / Affiliate Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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