Your fishing line is literally what stands between you and your catch. While bait and action are very important to luring a fish and making it strike, without a quality line you can never land that fish. This is why we decided to seek out the best ice fishing line on the market.
Ice fishing presents a very different challenge to fishermen, and that is the bitter cold. The cold affects both a fisherman’s physical performance and the performance of his gear.
The right ice fishing tackle can at least assure your equipment is capable of standing up to the cold. The cold water and the cold around it can ice up your fishing line. Cold and brittle fishing line has the potential to break. That is the worst-case scenario if you have a fat walleye on the other end.
Our Top Picks
Berkley Trilene Micro Ice
Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon Ice
1. Berkley Trilene Micro Ice
The best ice fishing line can be any type that stands up to the cold. It can be fluorocarbon or braid, but I think monofilament performs the absolute best. The Berkley fluorocarbon is another great option, but I think it is a close second to our number one pick in the Berkley Trilene Micro Ice.
This powerful monofilament is designed for cold-weather ice fishing. It has been rigorously tested at the Berkley labs in Spirit Lake, Iowa. All Berkley lines begin there. This one is a high-strength, small-diameter fishing line that is great for hauling in small and large fish when ice fishing.
You can purchase this line in 2lb, 3lb, 4lb, 6lb, and 8lb test. So, you can spool your ice fishing reel with the best line for the fish species that you are after. The line also comes in a clear steel color that makes it virtually invisible in the icy waters. Naturally, this is going to yield more strikes.
This monofilament is designed for low stretch, which is very important when you are jigging straight down with live bait in an ice fishing hole. Whether you are setting the pole down or actively working the bait, a low stretch line is going to make for an easier hookset on the fish. This means less stolen bait.
Typically, monofilament is a bit more stretchy, and this can be helpful with line management. However, setting the hook on slow-moving cold water fish can be tricky, and they will nibble bait off your hook if you are not careful.
The Micro Ice was my choice for number one not just for its design but also because, like no other line on this list, the outpouring of compliments was just enormous.
Review after review on multiple sites claiming that this was not just a great ice fishing line. It was clear that steelhead fishermen to pike fishermen agreed that this is the best ice fishing line they ever used!
- Clear Steel Color
- Low Stretch for Easy Hooksets
- Balanced Strength to Diameter
- Incredible Reviews
- Only Available in 110yd Spools
2. Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon Ice
Fluorocarbon is a strong base fishing line that many warm-water fishermen love. It is more expensive than monofilament but lasts longer, has less stretch, and has greater strength by diameter.
In other words, 4lb test fluorocarbon is stronger and denser than 4lb test monofilament. Depending on the species of fish you are after, this may be a very big deal.
This ice fishing line was produced to accommodate those brutal cold weather conditions that we put our ice fishing tackle through. At its core, it is a 100% fluorocarbon ice fishing line with a thinner diameter. The line is less dense, so it can stay flexible in cold water.
Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon Ice is made of a low-stretch formula for tight hooksets while jigging. It is a thinner diameter line for better control, and unlike most fluorocarbons, this line has very low memory, which keeps it from coiling off the reel and tangling.
Most importantly, this ice fishing line is basically invisible in the water.
- Strong Fluorocarbon
- Flexibility in Cold Water
- Low Memory
- Limited Supply
3. P-Line Floroice
The copolymer used to create this fishing line was specifically designed for ice fishing. This mixture of materials features a silicon fluorocarbon coating. This keeps the line from freezing up. It also prevents brittle lines so that baits can be jigged and look natural in the water.
P-Line Floroice is also focused on offering a low memory line so that cold fishing line will come off the spool nice and easy without creating loops and tangles. This can be a big problem when you are dealing with cold line.
This is a quality ice fishing line that comes in a variety of sizes so you can take P-Line out to battle perch or pike!
- Copolymer Designed for Cold Water
- Very Strong
- Variety of Sizes
- Falls Short on Low Memory
4. Sufix 832 Ice Braid
Braided lines can be incredibly strong. The Sufix 832 Ice Braid is no different. It is the strongest small-diameter braid on the market. These high-level braids are modern marvels and turn ice fishing line into a science experiment. The blending and weaving of materials create a well-balanced line.
This braid is going to bring the fish in. It is an effective braid for ice fishing and brings incredible strength in bad conditions.
Though this line features a hydrophobic water repellent that is supposed to keep it from freezing, like all braided lines, it will freeze. In an ice fishing tent, it works much better but in the cold, it can be a problem.
- Strongest Small Diameter Braid
- 7 Dyneema plus 1 GORE Performance Fiber
- Invisible in Water
- Braided Line Freezes
5. PowerPro Ice-Tec
Ice anglers will appreciate this high-powered braided line. PowerPro Ice-Tec is made from 100% Spectra Fiber which creates both high sensitivity and serious abrasion resistance.
This is an ice fishing line that is designed for heavy use. That means it can handle serious battles on the reel but also it is durable enough to deal with cold weather conditions.
When it comes to dealing with ice, the Ice-Tec is coated in PTFE, which is an advanced fluoropolymer that is designed for maximum water repellant. Though it cannot assure that your line will not freeze, it will help keep water from building up, and that means less ice.
- Spectra Fiber Design
- High Sensitivity
- Abrasion Resistance
- Freezes at Very Cold Temperatures
How to Choose the Best Ice Fishing Line
The best ice fishing line is going to meet a number of criteria for the typical ice angler. You will be using different types of fishing lines. You will be fishing in shallow and deep water. All of these conditions are going to require a lot out of your ice fishing line.
So, how do you choose the very best ice fishing line?
Every person I have ever fished with that told me fish cannot see the line, and they definitely cannot see you on the boat or on the bank has had a terrible time fishing with me.
Fish know they are playing a game of life and death, and if they see your line, they will not strike.
This is a reason why visibility in your fishing line is so important. The color and the diameter of the ice fishing line have so much to do with your success. Make sure you have a line that matches the color of the water and a line that is as fine as possible.
What is the point of the fishing line having stretch? Well, a fishing line that does not have good stretch is virtually impossible to deal with. It coils off the reel and tends to get tangled easier. A fine line that has good stretch is just much easier to deal with.
In terms of battling strong fish, the ice fishing angler needs a line with stretch so the icy water’s effect on the fishing line does not break the line. A line that stretches allows the fish to fight back, tug and twist until they are tired and you are victorious.
It doesn’t matter what other attributes your ice fishing line has, if it is not strong enough to deal with the powerful fish and it breaks, then you have nothing anyway. So, strength matters more than most things.
A line that breaks off when fighting fish is a line you will simply not use. All of the lines we chose to review have intense strength even in cold conditions.
Your line is going to be dealing with fish that might have some teeth. Lots of cold water fish have some impressive teeth. Yellow perch, walleye, and pike all have teeth that can cause line abrasion.
Not to mention your line will be reeled up through an ice hole that could potentially damage your line, too. This stuff adds up, and before you know it, you might have a line that is compromised.
You do not want your line to break the moment that you hook that big pike because it has been worn down throughout the day.
The best ice fishing line has to have very low water absorption. This is because the water in the line is going to freeze. That is not what you want. When water freezes, it expands, which could affect the quality of your fishing line, too.
The least amount of water absorption in your line, the better it will perform.
As you read above, many of the fishing lines that we reviewed were coated with something specifically designed to avoid freezing. Some lines do a better job at this than others.
Braided lines, as effective as they are, are always going to freeze if you are ice fishing outdoors. If you are in a tent, then it should be fine.
It is not impossible to fish with a freezing line, but the ice can build up on your guides, and you will have to spend time dealing with the ice.
Everyone has a budget. So, the price of your ice fishing tackle matters. It is not always best to go with the cheapest fishing line. When it comes to the best line, you want the one that you can depend on most.
Like any other piece of tackle, ice fishing line varies in price. The good news is that all of our reviewed lines are affordable.
Wrapping up the Best Ice Fishing Lines for 2023
Ice fishing is one of the most overlooked types of fishing. If you are seeking the solitude and enjoyment of fishing even in the cold weather months, then ice fishing might be perfect for you.
Having the wrong ice fishing line is going to make your day out on the ice a nightmare. Whether you are breaking off on fish, icing up your tackle, or just dealing with tangles all day long, a bad fishing line is always a problem.
Since fishing line is so affordable, you might consider looking at the different lines we reviewed and spooling up a couple to try on your next ice fishing adventure. Sometimes it’s nice to see how they perform side by side. From there you will undoubtedly arrive at your own conclusions.
Want to learn more about fishing, discover more fishing spots, and or read up on the best fishing gear? Then continue your fishing adventure with our comprehensive guides, info posts, and more!
Need some more Minnesota gear? Trust our recommendations to guide your next shopping trip!
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.