The Best Trout Fishing Line: The Complete Guide

May 14, 2020

Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.

Trout are among the most popular types of fish that most fishermen pursue because they’re a true challenge to the fisherman’s skill and they’re also a great source of protein!

However, if you want to catch a trout, you need to make sure that you have the proper gear for it. In fact, even the fishing line in that situation matters!

If you’re looking for the best fishing line for trout, you’re in for a treat! In this article, we’ll walk you through a simple guide with everything you need to know in order to pick the ideal fishing line for your needs. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks

Top 7 Reviews of Fishing Line for Trout 

Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Kicking off the list with one of the overall best options that you might want to opt for while fishing for trout. 

Seaguar is actually the first brand to introduce a fluorocarbon fishing line back in the early 70s, and to this day, their Blue Label fishing line remains one of the all-time best options for trout fishing.

The fishing line is made entirely of fluorocarbon, which means that it’s extremely invisible in water because both the line and the water have the same refractive indices. 

In comparison with the Seaguar Red Label, the Blue Label has a smaller cross-sectional diameter and knot strength. It also has excellent shock absorbency. The line is available in an 8 lbs weight limit and extends up to 25 yards.

What We Like

  • Extremely invisible in water
  • Made by one of the biggest experts in the fluorocarbon lines industry
  • Incredibly durable with unmatched tensile strength for its size

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited roll size

P-Line Floroclear Fishing Line

The P-Line Floroclear is another excellent fishing line that is extremely popular due to its knot strength and affordable price tag.

Another reason why beginners and buyers on a budget might enjoy this fishing line is that it’s quite versatile and works with a variety of fish species other than trout, so it’ll save you money in the long run too.

The clear fishing line is made of fluorocarbon, so it’s quite invisible in water. Additionally, the fishing line has a relatively low tensile memory, which means that it doesn’t curl up with time.

The line casts easily, which is usually a problem with low fluorocarbon fishing lines. However, the lines tend to kink quickly, especially if you don’t wet the line before using it.

What We Like

  • Ideal for buyers on a budget
  • High knot strength
  • Versatile and can work with various types of fish

What We Don’t Like

  • Kinks easily when used dry

Stren FluoroCast Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Stren is another popular brand that is known for making quality fluorocarbon fishing lines and the FluoroCast fishing line is one of the company’s best-selling fishing lines.

The reason behind that is the strength of the fishing line. This one is made of 100% fluorocarbon, which gives the fishing line all the strength and durability necessary to prevent the line from snapping.

The fishing line comes in a variety of breaking strengths that ranges from 4 to 17 lbs. Additionally, the reel length comes in both 100 and 200 yards. The fishing line is designed with extra density, which allows it to sink quicker with a lure.

What We Like

  • Comes in a variety of breaking strengths and reel lengths
  • The high density allows the fishing line to run deeper and quicker in water
  • High abrasion and snap resistance 

What We Don’t Like

  • Might have some memory with time

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

Another reasonably priced fishing line that is great for catching trout is the KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line. Despite costing as low as a monofilament line, it does offer all the fluorocarbon properties!

This one is also made of premium polyvinylidene fluoride copolymer and coated with 100% fluorocarbon, which guarantees an excellent level of invisibility to help you catch line-shy trout.

One of the impressive aspects of the KastKing FluoroKote line is that it has relatively low memory and stretch, so it stays usable for quite some time.

The line is available in a wide variety of breaking strengths and real lengths, so you can pick the one that suits you the most. The versatile line can work for normal and deep fishing as well as spinner and moving baits.

What We Like

  • Comes at a reasonable price
  • Heavy duty performance 
  • A versatile line that works in various situations 

What We Don’t Like

  • Needs a lot of force to break

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fishing Line

If you don’t mind splurging a little more to land yourself one of the best fishing lines on the market, you should consider the Super FC Sniper Fishing Line from Sunline.

In fact, this fishing line is one of the highest quality fishing lines on the market and is known for utilizing premium materials to avoid all kinds of defects. 

The fishing line is made of Polyvinylidene Fluoride and has a special coating process known as “triple resin processing”. 

It has a uniform diameter which guarantees excellent control of the line and also provides the line with low memory and high resistance to abrasion and snapping. The premium construction of the fishing line also ensures excellent castability.

The line is incredibly invisible in water, which makes it ideal for extra clear water where lines may still show. 

What We Like

  • Triple resin coating for excellent handling
  • Extremely resistant to abrasion
  • Very easy to cast

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit pricey

Berkley Trilene Sensation Fishing Line

If you want a more versatile line that won’t only work in various situations but will also be quite affordable when compared to fluorocarbon lines, you might want to consider a monofilament one.

In that case, we highly recommend that you consider the  Berkley Trilene Sensation Fishing Line. 

This one is great for beginners and offers a surprising level of durability, especially when fish hit the line and make it snap.

This monofilament line is made of nylon, which guarantees strength and elasticity. The fishing line comes in a variety of colors, including a clear option that is suitable for trout.

What We Like

  • Available in multiple color and size options
  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Highly sensitive for lightest bites

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for fishing in deep water

KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line

Although braided fishing lines aren’t suitable for trout fishing in clear water, they’re still a decent choice if you use spinning reels while fishing.

Moreover, they’re also used as a mainline when you’re bait fishing for trout. The KastKing SuperPower fishing line gives you all the necessary features you might look for in a braided line, which are strong knot strength and abrasion resistance.

The SuperPower Braided fishing line also has relatively low memory, which enables you to cast the line much further. 

What We Like

  • An extremely durable and a great choice for spinning reels
  • Has zero stretch and an excellent level of flexibility
  • You can use them in various other situations

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable as a leader line

What Type of Fishing Line is Best for Trout?

One of the most important aspects that has a huge impact on your fishing line performance while catching trout is the type of fishing line you’re using.

There are 3 different types of fishing lines out there that you can use for trout. So which one of them is the best for trout?

In this section, we’ll answer this question by walking you through a brief overview of each one of these fishing lines:

1. Fluorocarbon Lines

Fluorocarbon is agreed upon among anglers and fishers to be the best type of line if you’re fishing for trout.

This is because trout are extremely line-shy in water and will be easily spooked away if they manage to see the line, and that’s where these lines come in handy.

Fluorocarbon lines are made into extremely thin diameters and have a near-invisible status in water because of the similarities between the refractive indices of both water and fluorocarbon (about 1.33).

Despite being the overall best option out there, it has a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. For example, they’re quite pricey when compared to other options, especially monofilament lines. 

Additionally, if they’re not 100% fluorocarbon, they’ll lose their invisibility in water, which defeats the purpose of using them.

2. Monofilament Lines

While they aren’t the absolute best, they are still a decent choice if you’re on a budget or you’re looking for a relatively affordable option, especially if you’re fishing in slightly murky water.

This is because they’re more visible than fluorocarbon, which increases the chance of trout spotting them and getting spooked away.

3. Braided Lines

Braided lines are never a good option as a fishing line unless you’re using a demanding technique, such as spinning reels.

However, even in this case, it’s still recommended to use a fluorocarbon line as a leader to increase your chance of catching a trout.

Things to Keep In Mind While Shopping for Fishing Line for Trout

Although the type of fishing line to go for while catching trout is extremely essential, it’s not the only thing you need to keep in mind.

In this section, we’ll walk you through some extra aspects that you also need to consider if you want to make the most out of your purchase:

Durability

Among the most essential aspects of a fishing line are its tensile strength and abrasion resistance.

The line’s strength is typically measured in the amount of weight that the end of the line can support before breaking. 

For instance, most fishing lines on the market have a tensile strength that ranges anywhere from as little as 4 lbs and all the way up to 120 lbs. 

For trout, the ideal line strength should range at about 8 to 10 lbs, but it can increase depending on the fishing technique.

The material used to make the line will also have an impact on the ability of the line to resist abrasion and snaps. If you want the most durable line out there, you should go for a nylon one. 

The Trout’s Size

The larger the trout you’re trying to catch, the more likely for them to exert a lot of pulling force on the line, which puts it at risk of snapping. 

For larger trout, such as the brown ones, make sure that you opt for premium fishing lines that resist snapping and have very high abrasion resistance.

The Line’s Diameter

The larger the line’s diameter, the thicker the fishing line will be. Although this gives the line a higher level of durability and abrasion resistance, it also puts the line at risk of being easily spotted by the trout, especially line shy ones.

For that reason, it’s quite important that you adjust the diameter of the line so that it balances between the line’s durability and the ability to stay low-profile and undetected by fish.

Memory

Memory in fishing lines refers to the line’s ability to curl up with time depending on the directions where pressure was extracted on it before.

A fishing line with high memory will tend to curl up quickly, which makes them more prone to yanking and snapping. 

Since trout require a decent level of maneuverability, you should always consider a fishing line with little to no memory.

FAQs

Does the fishing line go bad?

This mainly depends on the type of fishing line in question. In trout fishing’s case, the most common fishing line is fluorocarbon. This type of line will typically start to deteriorate after being used consistently for anywhere between 1 or 2 seasons depending on the quality of the line.

Monofilament lines will typically survive for a similar amount of time. In fact, even if these lines aren’t used consistently, they’ll typically lose their peak performance with time.

On the other hand, braided lines are much more durable and can last for several years, even with consistent use.

How often do you need to change a fishing line?

It’s always recommended to change your fishing lines when they’re past their prime, especially if you want peak performance or fishing for highly elusive species of trout.

The ideal time to replace your fishing line is once every one or two years. However, this is a general amount of time that can increase or decrease depending on various factors, such as:

  • The frequency of using the fishing line: The more frequent, the quicker you’ll need a replacement 
  • Storage conditions: Optimal storage conditions away from direct sunlight guarantees a longer life
  • The type of water you fish in: Saltwater accounts for quicker wear than freshwater
  • Quality and weight of the fishing line: A heavier fishing line is has a more durable internal structure and more like to last longer even in harsh conditions

How to properly store a fishing line?

As previously mentioned, storing a fishing line has a tremendous impact on how long it can last. That’s why you need to ensure proper storage conditions to extend the lifespan of your line.

For example, avoid storing your fishing line outdoors and instead, find a sheltered spot indoors away from direct sunlight and high temperature. Also, make sure that the spot has low humidity with minimal fluctuation.

Additionally, avoid storing your fishing line when it’s still wet because the moisture will slowly degrade the inner structure of the line, especially saltwater. That’s why it’s recommended that you rinse and dry your fishing line before storage.

What is the best color for trout fishing lines?

The best choice for color depends mainly on the conditions in which you’re fishing. Ideally, you need to match the color of the line with its surrounding environment so that it blends well with it.

That’s why clear fluorocarbon and blue fishing lines are typically the most suitable ones in most bodies of water, as they’re more difficult to be spotted by trout.

More Info on Trout and Trout Fishing Line

What Are Trout?

Trout are a common freshwater fish that live in the northern hemisphere of North America. It’s worth noting that several types of trout spend part of their life in saltwater (cutthroat trout and steelhead) but the majority live in freshwater streams and lakes. Some common types are listed below

Where Do Trout Live?

Trout varieties are split into two categories: still water (such as lakes, estuaries, and ponds) and moving water (like streams and rivers). Both habitats need to have cool, clean water, an abundance of trout food (nymphs, insects, crawfish, and baitfish), and underwater structures to hide from predators.

If you want to learn more about where to find trout, check out our detailed guide on how to fish for trout for more information. If you’re fishing for stocked trout, check out our best lures for stocked trout guide.

Types of Trout Fishing Line

So how many different types of trout fishing line are there? Fishing line is broken up into three categories: monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided line. Each type has its pros and cons.

Monofilament tends to be the cheapest and most flexible, while fluorocarbon is more expensive and harder. Braided is around the same price as fluorocarbon, but has an even stronger tensile strength per diameter. Braided line, however, is susceptible to tearing if it gets tangled around rocks or other underwater structure.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between fluorocarbon and monofilament, check out our comparison article on which is better.

Best Monofilament Trout Fishing Line

The most common type of fishing line that works well for trout is monofilament. As we detailed in our monofilament vs fluorocarbon article, the line called monofilament because it’s extruded as a single strand of material – as opposed to multiple strands that can then be fused or braided together. Monofilament can be made from several different materials, but the most common is nylon plastic.

Usually, brands use multiple different types of nylon that they blend together before extruding. These polymers are engineered to have different specifications depending on the application. 

For trout, the best kind of monofilament to use is dependent on the size of trout you’re fishing for. For smaller species like rainbow and brook trout, 2lb to 8lb monofilament is ideal.

You want to use a lighter test monofilament line so the fish can’t see it underwater. It also works best with light and ultra-light rods and trout-sized reels that are more fun to catch smaller trout on.

Larger Trout Fishing Line

For larger species of trout, we recommend using 8lb to 15lb test. This ensures that if you hook into a monster trout you’ll have enough strength in your line that you won’t risk losing the fish. If you are worried that 15lb test line isn’t going to be enough, feel free to bump up to 20lb.

This could be a good idea if you’re trolling or specifically going for large lake trout.

When picking out the color of monofilament, check the color of the water where you’re planning on fishing. You’ll want to match your line to the color of the water. If in doubt, pick a dark translucent green.


Best Fluorocarbon Trout Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon also works well for fishing for trout. It used to only be used for intense industrial saltwater applications, but in recent years it’s become more common for casual fishermen to use. Fluorocarbon is made from a variety of compounds, including fluorine, chlorine, carbon, and various hydrocarbons. The most frequent combination used for making fluorocarbon fishing line is polyvinylidene difluoride.

Like monofilament, the mixture is extruded in a single strand. Fluorocarbon’s molecules are packed tightly together so the line is more dense and heavy than monofilament. This density also adds to its strength and decreases stretch.

For trout, we recommend the same test ratings and coloring that we did for monofilament: 2lb to 8lb for smaller trout and 8lb to 15lb for larger trout. Look at the color fo the water where you’re planning on fishing and match your fluorocarbon line to a similar color. If you’re not sure, pick a dark translucent green or blue.


Best Braided Fishing Line for Trout

Unlike monofilament and fluorocarbon, braided line is made by braiding filaments of synthetic plastic. It may come as a surprise, but braided fishing like is actually the oldest type of fishing line. People have been braiding together strands to make line since they began fishing.

Braided fishing line can be great for trout due to its high tensile strength to diameter ratios. The drawbacks of braided line are that it doesn’t have any stretch and can tear on rocks or logs if it gets snagged. 

For smaller trout, we actually don’t recommend using braided line. Braided line is the most visible type of fishing line and for smaller fish, it makes sense to use monofilament or fluorocarbon. 

Larger trout, however, are a great match for braided line. 8lb to 20lb test braided line is much thinner than the equivalent monofilament or fluorocarbon line and larger fish cannot see it underwater.

Braided line is perfect for trolling for lake trout or large steelhead in the ocean. As with the other line types, consider the color of the water you’ll be fishing in before picking out your color of braided line.

Conclusion

There you have it! A complete guide with everything you need to know so you can pick the best fishing line for trout.

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from. However, if you’re still confused and looking for a quick recommendation, we suggest that you consider the Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon Fishing Line.

We’ve picked this fishing line as the overall best when it comes to trout fishing because it balances between reliable features and decent prices.

However, if you’re on a budget and looking for a reasonably priced alternative, you might want to keep the P-Line Floroclear Fishing Line in mind. This one provides you with a dependable fishing line without costing you an arm and a leg.

Happy Hunting!

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