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7 Best Ice Fishing Lines Reviewed

Written by James Schulz

Ice fishing is a fun, active sport in an otherwise gloomy season.

An ice fishing trip is well-loved by anglers for its unique challenges, the technical variety that it offers to the sport, and the sheer fun it brings.

However, this type of fishing can also put a lot of strain on typical fishing equipment.

Cold temperatures can result in line freezing, and the cold water might make your fishing line function in less than optimal ways.

Frozen lines are obviously not a good thing when you’re trying to enjoy a good fishing session, so you need the right fishing equipment to prevent this from happening.

One of the most important aspects of this is choosing a good ice fishing line.

That said, there are plenty of options in the market, so which one should you pick?

In this article, we’ll tell you all about the best ice fishing lines you can purchase today.

At A Glance

Top 7 Ice Fishing Lines For The Money

1) Best Overall: Sufix Ice Braid Fishing Line

Best Overall: Sufix Ice Braid Fishing Line.jpg

If you want a line that lets you perform at your best even in the worst conditions, the Sufix Ice Braid is the best ice fishing line that you can find.

Key Features

  • Type: Braided line
  • Pound Test Ratings: 6 – 30 lbs
  • Lengths: 75 yds
  • Available colors: Glacier Blue

Pros

  • Little to no stretch
  • Great line sensitivity
  • Very sturdy braided line
  • Reduces line freezing
  • Effective for bite detection

Cons

  • Can be costlier than other options
  • Absorbs water and causes guide buildups

Ice fishing requires a specialized set of equipment to pull off.

Although it’s part of the challenge, the cold weather can cause a serious breakdown in your gear’s functionality. The fishing line is one of the main areas that is primarily affected.

Simply put, this type of fishing is different from fishing in the open water.

For one, you probably won’t have enough space to cast.

You also can’t execute most fishing techniques that you can do in open areas.

When you’re ice fishing, you’re likely fishing from a small ice hole in the middle of a lake or river.

Due to this, you can only execute jigging techniques – which means you need to focus on line durability, strength, and sensitivity if you want to catch more fish.

Luckily, the Sufix Ice Braid Fishing Line delivers on all fronts.

It’s made to handle tough, cold weather, thanks to its consistent, round profile that unspools properly and minimizes problems under cold temperatures.

One of the biggest problems when fishing in cold water, line freezing, is also highly minimized due to its extremely thin line diameter.

Plus, although this line for ice fishing is strong and durable, it’s still sensitive enough to be a tip-up line.

This is great since ice fishing typically requires anglers to lower their main line to deeper water in order to execute jigging techniques.

With other line types, this can create a problem because vibrations will have to travel farther before the angler feels them.

But since the Sufix Ice braided line is engineered to be sensitive, you’ll be able to notice even the barest nibble of fish on your rod tip with this ice line.

However, it does have a few caveats. One of them is that this ice fishing line is not the cheapest option around.

This line also tends to absorb more water than necessary.

While it doesn’t cause major problems like line freezing, it does cause ice to build upon the guides as you retrieve your line.

2) Best Value: Berkley Ultra 8 Braided Fishing Line

Berkley Ultra 8 Braided Fishing Line.jpg

Although not specifically manufactured for ice fishing, the Berkley Ultra 8 Braided Fishing Line still delivers everything you could ever want in a highly capable ice line.

Key Features

  • Type: Thermally fused 8-fiber braided line
  • Pound Test Ratings: 14 – 20 lbs
  • Lengths: 125 – 300 yds
  • Available colors: Crystal

Pros

  • Reduces line freezing
  • Highly abrasion-resistant
  • Tight construction and design
  • Strong and sensitive fishing line

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Can be stiff right out of the box
  • Not specialized in ice fishing

Ice fishing requires highly specialized equipment, but in many cases, advanced gear can be repurposed to serve this purpose.

This is true for the Berkley Ultra 8 Braided Fishing Line.

Originally made as a casting braided line, the Berkley Ultra 8 Braided Fishing Line has a well-engineered, smooth rounded profile that stops a line twist from happening.

This makes it easier for the angler to cast this fishing line, as it glides through the guides nicely.

However, that trait also serves this line well in ice fishing.

A tight, rounded profile on a braided line makes this line more sensitive, great enough to be a tip up line.

This is important because, although you won’t cast lines when ice fishing, you still need to be able to detect bites when they happen in deep water.

Moreover, this braided line also has excellent abrasion resistance.

This is great for ice fishing, especially if you’re nearer the shore.

Although it’s uncommon, it’s not unheard of for your line to encounter abrasive debris when ice fishing.

Besides, there are some types of fish that have pretty abrasive teeth.

An abrasion-resistant line can increase your chances of bagging these fish during a struggle, as they are less likely to snap it and getaway.

The Berkley Ultra 8 Braided Line is also strong enough to deliver a tight hook set, which is necessary for jigging techniques.

Lastly, this line is not specialized for ice fishing, so you can repurpose it when the season is over.

It does tend to be a little stiff out of the box, though.

Plus, it can be pretty expensive compared to other choices.

Additionally, not being specialized for this type of fishing also means that it doesn’t prevent the line from freezing in cold conditions as much as our top choice.

3) Most Durable: P-Line CXX X-tra Strong Copolymer

Most Durable: P-Line CXX X-tra Strong Copolymer.jpg

The P-Line CXX X-tra Strong Copolymer is specifically designed to be the sturdiest out of the bunch, which is why it’s the best line when you’re fishing for the catch of a lifetime.

Key Features

  • Type: Co-polymer
  • Pound Test Ratings: 2 – 20 lbs
  • Lengths: 300 yds
  • Available colors: Moss green

Pros

  • Virtually zero stretch
  • Fantastic line performance
  • Versatile application
  • Highly abrasion resistant
  • Extremely durable and strong

Cons

  • High line memory
  • Line can be too thick

Durability is a key characteristic of a good ice line.

That’s because these lines need to withstand plenty of factors to perform at their best.

For one, unlike other lines, ice lines need to function well despite low temperatures.

Repeated exposure to extreme temperatures can be highly destructive – your lines wouldn’t last long if they’re not strong enough.

Plus, if you want to fish in the ice, you also need to be ready for large fish that are quick and aggressive.

Not to mention, you might sometimes encounter debris when ice fishing.

In this case, the most durable ice fishing line that ice anglers can find in this list would be the P-Line CXX X-tra Strong Copolymer.

This is another fishing line that wasn’t specifically designed for ice fishing, but its strengths suit this type of fishing well.

For one, it’s an extremely strong and durable line.

This line is a hybrid polymer – neither a fluorocarbon line nor a monofilament one, but a formulation made out of those two line types.

As such, it has both the strength of a monofilament line and the shock resistance and low stretch qualities of fluorocarbon leader and fish braid.

Thanks to its high abrasion resistance, you also don’t have to worry about snagging this line anywhere, or snapping when fighting a catch either.

It’s also very low stretch, so it’s guaranteed to be sensitive enough to be tip up line.

Nevertheless, this line has a few downsides.

One of these is that it can be too thick for some anglers.

It also has a larger diameter compared to others, though it does make up for its strength.

Lastly, it can also have high line memory.

4) Best for Big Fish: Berkley Trilene Monofilament Ice Fishing Line

Berkley Trilene Monofilament Ice Fishing Line.jpg

If you’re fishing for the big game, you need a forgiving and stretchy line. The Berkley Trilene Monofilament Ice Fishing Line is the best line choice for that.

Key Features

  • Type: Monofilament
  • Pound Test Ratings: 2 – 8 lbs
  • Lengths: 110 yds
  • Available colors: Clear steel, solar

Pros

  • Versatile application
  • Reliable functionality
  • High, controlled stretch
  • Incredibly cost-efficient

Cons

  • Not as sensitive as other non-monos

Crappy fishing is fun and laid back, but at some point, anglers will want to go after the big game.

Trophy-sized lake trout, bass, musky, salmon, or whatever it is you’re after in your local fishing spots, you need a real beast of a fishing line to tackle them.

One of the best options is the Berkley Trilene Monofilament Ice Fishing Line, which has been around for decades.

That alone should give you a measure of its build quality and enduring performance.

This is a well-loved line pick, from the time when monofilament lines were all the rage.

Even now that we have expensive super lines on the market, the Berkley Trilene’s appeal still hasn’t waned.

It’s not hard to see why, considering how reliable and cheap it is.

Also, since this is a monofilament line, you can expect it to be highly manageable, versatile, and functional.

It can easily tie knots that hold, can be used as a leader in braided lines, or can be used as a main line when catching bigger fish.

Its best characteristic is its high, controlled stretch.

When wrestling with larger fish, tight lines like those mentioned previously might snap cleanly.

That’s because if the fish is beyond its rated weight, it can be too much for the line.

However, a monofilament line will stretch before it breaks. This tires out the fish and lets you take over, allowing you to take catches even above the line’s rated weight.

However, it does have a glaring flaw.

Because ice fishing is typically done in a small ice hole with very little visibility underwater, you need your line to be sensitive.

While the Berkley Trilene Monofilament Line is sensitive enough compared to other monos, it’s simply no match to the sensitivity of braided lines.

5) Best Sensitivity: Berkley FireLine Superline Fishing Line

Berkley FireLine Superline Fishing Line.jpg

Unlike the previous item, sensitivity is paramount when it comes to the Berkley FireLine Superline Fishing Line.

Key Features

  • Type: Braided line
  • Pound Test Ratings: 2 – 30 lbs
  • Lengths: 125 – 1500 yds
  • Available colors: Crystal, flame green, smoke

Pros

  • Highly sensitive
  • Multiple colored line
  • High abrasion resistance
  • Machined for a perfectly round profile
  • Thermally-fused strands for better durability

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Does not reduce line freeze

Unlike other forms of fishing, ice fishing doesn’t need you to cast or execute finesse techniques.

Instead, you will typically fish from a small hole, where you will hang your line and bait, and then wait for hungry fish to take it.

While this is, in many ways, more convenient than having to cast in open water, it does narrow the focus of fishing lines a little bit.

When casting fishing lines, you need a variety of factors to align to make them perfect.

For instance, you need to have a lighter line if you want to cast further.

You also need its surface to be smooth, and the mainline not to have kinks and line twists.

Lastly, you need a fishing line that will have low stretch and minimal line memory.

However, ice fishing requires very high sensitivity – something that the Berkley FireLine Superline Fishing Line delivers well.

In fact, the Berkley FireLine Superline was made for that specific reason.

Made to have a perfectly round profile, this fishing line is tightly bound all throughout.

This means that vibrations won’t be stopped by loose strands, increasing your fishing rod’s sensitivity to the fish below even if you’re only jigging.

It’s also ideal for setting up a tip up line.

This characteristic is incredibly important for all kinds of ice fishing, especially if you’re looking for shy or finicky fish, such as crappie.

But it’s not just ideal for crappie fishing.

It can also go toe to toe with big game, because of its abrasion resistance and power. You can even use it in open water if you wish.

However, this fishing line does tend to be a little more expensive than a regular line.

It also doesn’t have any features that minimize line freeze.

6) Most Water Repellant: Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line

Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line.jpg

Coming from the same manufacturer that brought you our top-rated fishing line, you can be sure that the Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line has the same quality and performance, with a bit of a different twist.

Key Features

  • Type: Monofilament
  • Pound Test Ratings: 2 – 8 lbs
  • Lengths: 100 yds
  • Available colors: Clear

Pros

  • Made to sink immediately
  • Almost invisible in the water
  • Designed to prevent line freeze
  • Low stretch and highly manageable

Cons

  • High line memory

Unlike most of the other fishing lines on this list, the Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line is made to solve specific problems when ice fishing.

The main issue when doing this type of fishing has always been the way that the low temperature affects our fishing.

In extremely cold air, if the fishing line has water it will immediately freeze on the line, causing tangles and kinks and even corroding the material.

It also causes ice to accumulate on your line guides, which doesn’t do significant damage except for inconvenience but is still worthy of mentioning.

If you don’t want to suffer all of these inconveniences, the Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line is the best choice.

This ice fishing line is a specialized monofilament fishing line that’s made to perform exceptionally in ice fishing.

This fishing line has specially designed to minimize water absorption so the ice doesn’t affect performance.

As mentioned, water on the line is a big problem when ice fishing.

In low enough temperatures, the water would freeze while on the line, creating disastrous problems in maneuverability.

The Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line minimizes this problem. This fishing line is more water-repellant, meaning it’s less likely to freeze over and create problems.

More than that, this fishing line also has phenomenal performance.

Despite being a mono line, it has low stretch which allows it to have high sensitivity.

The clear line color also makes this ice fishing line almost invisible in the water, enhancing its presentation.

If you want a tip-up line, you can definitely do that with this too.

However, its main problem is the high line memory.

You can work around that though by pre-conditioning the fishing line before you spool it to your reel.

7) Best Fluorocarbon: Seaguar IceX Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Seaguar IceX Fluorocarbon Fishing Line.jpg

Fluorocarbon lines enhance your ice fishing experience by enhancing bait presentation, making it the line choice when capturing what would otherwise have been extremely line shy fish.

Key Features

  • Type: Fluorocarbon
  • Pound Test Ratings: 2 – 8 lbs
  • Lengths: 50 yds
  • Available colors: Clear

Pros

  • Highly manageable
  • Impressive knot strength
  • Low visibility in the water
  • Considerably slimmer diameter

Cons

  • Can be difficult to tie knots with

While most other fishing lines on the list have their advantages, the Seaguar IceX Fluorocarbon Fishing Line focuses on enhancing your experience by making your bait more palatable to your fish.

After all, low visibility lines are necessary, especially when you’re ice fishing.

If it’s still early in the winter, you’ll probably have ultra clear water, but if not, you’ll be dealing with low visibility.

Plus, the fish under the ice is more than likely used to navigating in darkness, so they’re naturally going to be warier about highly-visible fishing lines.

Thus, having a fluorocarbon line for ice fishing would be a great advantage.

Fluorocarbon fishing lines are known to have a refraction index very close to that of water.

This means that this fishing line turns nearly invisible when underwater, allowing even the most line shy fish to approach the bait.

But it’s not just that: this fluorocarbon line is also a very well-rounded offering.

For one, it’s made to be manageable, even in extreme temperatures.

It will remain soft and supple even under inclement weather.

Lastly, it’s also highly abrasion-resistant to ensure that it wouldn’t fail during crucial times.

Not to mention, unlike other fluorocarbons, this fishing line barely stretches.

Low stretch lines allow for more sensitivity, which is very useful if you want to use it for deepwater jigging or as a fluorocarbon leader.

If there’s anything that can be said against it, it would be its texture.

Its texture, added to its softness, can make it a bit difficult to hold knots, especially when you’re using gloved hands to tie them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do ice fishing lines need to be special?

This type of line needs to withstand incredibly low temperatures and the effects that they will have on the properties of the mainline. Special ice lines tend to lean towards minimizing water on the line and keeping it manageable even in freezing weather.

What is the best ice fishing line?

All seven items listed here are the best ice fishing line in their specific category, but our top pick overall is the Sufix Ice Braid Fishing Line. It's a great quality line if you want the perfect middle ground between price and functionality in the water. This makes it the perfect contender for the top spot.

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