How to Choose The Best Ice Fishing Line
Before you purchase your new ice fishing line, make sure that it can withstand harsh conditions on the ice and is strong enough to defy fraying.
Here are the essential qualities to look out for when choosing your ice fishing line.
Types of Ice Fishing Lines
There are three types of fishing lines. All three have their advantages and disadvantages. To know which type to choose, you will need to consider the individual attributes
Monofilament Ice Fishing Line
Monofilament is a famous go-to fishing line because it’s strong, durable, and more comfortable to handle in cold conditions. It has less memory than fluorocarbon; therefore, it presents fewer coils and tangles. Its low strength delivers solid hook sets and provides better control of your lures. They’re inexpensive; however, they’re not good at resisting abrasion and require frequent replacements.
Fluorocarbon Ice Fishing Line
Fluorocarbon is excellent for ice fishing. It has excellent invisibility in water and superior abrasion resistance. It sinks rapidly and delivers excellent deep lures. The low stretch provides excellent sensitivity and bite detection. The downsides to fluorocarbon lines are its high memory and coiling, which is made worse by frigid weather.
Braided Ice Fishing Line
Braided line is an excellent choice because of its ultra-thin diameter, high strength, low memory, zero stretch, and incredible sensitivity. The downside to braided lines is that they’re highly visible to fish and are prone to ice build-up because they usually absorb water. Braided lines are generally the go-to for fishing in deep waters or when fishing from warm ice shelters.
Ice Fishing Line vs Regular Line
Freezing temperatures and fishing lines are not a great match! That’s why it’s SO important to purchase an ice fishing line because a regular line is almost impossible to handle in cold water temperatures.
The sharp edges of an ice hole can destroy a fishing line that’s not up to scratch. Ice fishing lines have abrasion resistance that prevents the shards of ice from damaging the line. The ice will sharpen as winter progresses, so keeping a nice clean line is essential.
Fish are less active in winter months. This means that you’ll need to look out for subtle and ultra-light bites. Monofilament ice fishing lines are fine. However braid, and fluorocarbon lines have the best sensitivity.
Stretch vs. No Stretch
Fluorocarbon has little bite compared to monofilament, therefore fluorocarbon is very sensitive. If the bite is subtle, fluorocarbon will excel. However, stretch can give your jigs a jittery action, therefore the pros and cons will depend on what you’re doing. Braid is great for deep water jigging because it has no stretch and therefore makes for a great mainline.
Extremely cold weather has the effect of making standard fishing lines freeze up, become brittle and snap. Make sure that your ice fishing line has a water-repellant coating so it doesn’t absorb water. Choosing a line that remains supple in cold temperatures and is easy to handle.
Ice fishing lines endure a lot of friction, which can lead to fraying and breakages. Great ice lines are built from strong fibers and technology which provide excellent abrasion resistance. These lines won’t weaken when consistently being dragged across the jagged edge of the ice hole when lifting a fish.
Choose a line with a pound test rating that will work with the ice fishing rod and lure weights that you’ll be using. This combination must be capable of lifting your desired fish species.
Neon lines in hues of orange, green and red are great for detecting light bites because you can watch the action of the line. If you’re fishing for species that are spooked by a bright line, opt for an invisible fluorocarbon line.