In this article, I am going to share my favorite lines for fishing for trout and discuss what type of line is best for various trout fishing situations
There are three types of fishing lines that are common in the fishing market today: monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines. These lines all have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to trout fishing.
Brown trout, in particular, are very wary creatures, so line selection is very important when it comes to trout fishing; so let’s take a look at what line you should choose when you fish for trout.
Check below for our top picks in each category, and read on for detailed reviews and advice on the best fishing line for trout.
Berkley’s Trilene XL has been the pinnacle and standard for Berkley for a very long time and most anglers out there have probably used it at some point in their lives.
This line is almost comparable to monofilament lines, giving the angler the best of both worlds, this is definitely a line to try for trout fishing.
Lines Reviewed in This Article:
- Berkley Trilene XL
- Maxima Ultragreen
- Sufix Superior
- Sunline FC Sniper Fluorocarbon
- Seaguar InvizX
- Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid
- Spiderwire Stealth Braid
Monofilament Fishing Line for Trout
Monofilament is a single-strand line and does not have multiple filaments like braids or other lines that are strung out from multiple strands and intertwined, fused, braided, or bundled together.
It’s also the most common of all fishing lines on the market and is used for a wide array of species, from crappie or bluegill to big game fish.
Monofilament is very easy to handle and work with, being flexible or “limp” and stretches by up to 25%, which means the line is capable of great shock absorption when you set the hook, and because it is easy to handle, it retains its knot strength well.
Mono is typically also the cheapest in cost when compared to other fishing lines (unlike with fluoro, you can pack out the spool of a spinning reel without breaking the bank), but some of the downsides of mono are the lack of sensitivity due to its stretchy nature, along with sensitivity issues it’s also weaker in terms of strength when compared to fluorocarbon and braided lines.
With these factors considered, it’s important to pick a high-quality and reputable brand of monofilament line that has high abrasion resistance. This will allow you to use the thinnest line possible when fishing for brown or rainbow trout.
Berkley’s Trilene XL has been the pinnacle and standard for Berkley for a very long time, and most anglers out there have probably used it at some point in their lives.
It excels at casting and gives an extremely smooth cast, which is vital in trout fishing. It’s pretty strong in terms of tensile strength, incredibly versatile, and is superb at avoiding kinks and knotting.
Trilene is a perfect example when it comes to well-known and popular lines, and it gets things right.
Maxima Ultragreen has qualities that are exactly what’s needed for a monofilament line.
It has superior knot strength versus other brands on the market as well as high tensile strength per poundage.
This like has been tested extensively to get these proven results.
Along with amazing abrasion resistance, the line also comes in a moss green, making it nearly invisible to a shy trout.
Sufix Superior is a monofilament line that is specially blended with copolymer nylon.
This gives the line incredible performance and reliability, with extreme strength as well.
Compared to other brand tests, the superiors’ tensile strength rating ranks it as one of the highest-performing monofilament fishing lines on the market.
It also has a controlled stretch that gives a fast recovery and excellent hook-setting power.
What To Look For
When looking for a monofilament line for this type of fishing, the biggest thing to consider should be stretch, knot strength, and tensile strength.
Best Mono Line for Trout
We have to go with the proven here, and that proven line is Trilene. Trilene has been one of the top forerunners for monofilament for years, and that’s because it flat-out works.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Line for Trout
If the name fluorocarbon is a word you have heard before, it’s because it’s used in everything from Teflon to freon and many other products and materials in a wide variety of industries.
It covers a broad family of compounds which include carbon, chlorine, and fluorine. Like mono it is extruded into a single strand, but unlike mono the molecules of the Fluorocarbon fishing line are more densely packed together, making the line heavier and stronger than mono.
Fluorocarbon fishing line features high abrasion resistance and well as being much tougher, making it a great choice if you are fishing in heavily wooded areas and trout rivers and streams where protection from underwater roots or branches is essential.
It’s also stiffer and, due to its stiffer nature, is much more sensitive and allows the angler to feel light bites.
Some of the downsides to fluoro are that it’s harder to manage due to its stiffness, and it has a tendency to gain memory, with line coiling and causing issues such as tangling or knotting.
The lack of stretch means it doesn’t have the shock strength of monofilament, but it makes up for it by having a much higher tensile strength.
One of the most important aspects of Fluorocarbon is its visibility; fluorocarbon is virtually invisible in the water and is unparalleled when sight fishing with polarized sunglasses in ultra-clear water for fish as finicky as brown and rainbow trout.
What To Look For
When searching for a quality fluorocarbon line, you should be looking for invisibility, suppleness, ease of use, and strength.
Sunline Super FC Sniper is a high-performance fluorocarbon line that can be used in a wide variety of Trout fishing situations.
It features triple resin coatings giving anglers greater ease of use, as well as giving it extra flexibility and limpness, these attributes make it closer to monofilament and overall has lower memory and better casting properties when compared to other fluorocarbon lines on the market.
The coatings also help by making the line abrasion resistant, giving the angler more confidence when fishing places with brush or timber.
This line is almost comparable to monofilament lines, giving the angler the best of both worlds; this is definitely a line to try for trout fishing.
Seaguar has great flexibility, being soft and supple, and has great castability.
And taking the name of the line into account, it is incredibly stealthy, being virtually invisible underwater, great for wary fish, highly pressured bodies of water, clear water, or a combination of all these factors.
It also features great abrasion resistance and strength and is an ideal fluorocarbon leader material for attaching to your braided line.
P-line is a standard for anglers for a wide variety of species, and like the other fishing lines mentioned above, is one of the top fluorocarbon lines on the market.
It’s extruded from the highest quality Japanese Fluorocarbon crystals.
These crystals give P-Line some of the best breaking strength and knots strength on the market today.
The refractive index of this line is almost the exact same as water, rendering the line completely invisible to underwater eyes when used as a fluorocarbon leader and that helps when you are fishing for trout.
Best Fluorocarbon Line for Trout
We have to go with Sunline Super FC Sniper as our choice for the top fluorocarbon fishing line for fishing for trout. The triple resin coatings and the benefits it brings to the table are simply too tough to beat.
Braided Fishing Line for Trout
Braided fishing lines or “superlines” as they are also known, are great when ultimate strength is the most important thing needed in a line.
They are woven tightly using materials such as dacron, spectra, or dyneema fibers. These lines are great for use in many fishing applications.
Braided lines are also much smaller in diameter compared to fluorocarbon or monofilament lines, allowing you to use incredibly thin diameters for the same strength as the other two types.
This allows you to really maximize your casting ability and throw light lures into tight spaces.
What To Look For
Using a braided fishing line allows you to keep the diameter of your line ultra-thin while giving you incredible strength.
Use braided lines for trout if there isn’t a concern with visibility, and you would be surprised how often you could get away with visible lines when trout fishing provided you are using a mono or fluorocarbon leader.
When choosing a braided line – either for a baitcasting or spinning reel – you’re looking for strength and toughness and ‘feel’ above all else.
Sufix 832 is known as one of the strongest and most durable super braids on the market since its release less than a decade ago.
The line is created by weaving 8 separate filaments, of which 7 strands consist of HMPE fibers, and 1 is made of Gore-Tex Performance fiber.
This line is braided at 32 weaves per square inch to create an incredibly strong line that really stands out over other braids on the market.
The Gore fiber helps with water resistance and wicks water away from the line keeping your reel and hand drier.
While the other fibers make it tough as nails, capable of serious abrasion resistance and shock strength during the hook set.
PowerPro super lines have been incredibly popular since its release and it’s one of the preferred braided lines for anglers on the market today.
Powerpro has 5 times the life longevity of monofilament lines, and is 10 times stronger than steel in terms of tensile strength.
It has the ability like other super lines to last 2 or 3 seasons before needing to be changed out. It has all of the strength and abrasion benefits associated with braided lines as well.
Spiderwire Stealth Braid
Spiderwire is coated with a fluoropolymer coating which aids in the line sliding through guides giving you smoother casting as well as greater long-distance casting.
The line is also incredibly thin, which is a benefit in many fishing situations, and super strong using a tight weave construction method with fibers made of 100% Dyneema.
Best Braided Line for Trout
Sufix 832 wins here. There are just so many innovative ideas that were put into the creation of this line, and it shows. The ultra-tight weaving and Gore-Tex addition really put this line above the rest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Trout See Fishing Line?
The short answer is yes. In clear water conditions, trout can see the line beneath the surface, and critically for fly fishermen and women, above the surface.
When fishing with dry flies, the line sits in the surface film, as does the fly, and canny trout will see it, particularly if it is too thick in diameter.
How Do You Prevent Fish Seeing the Line?
Then it is a matter of choosing between mono and fluoro – fluoro is less visible (it is almost invisible underwater), but if you are fly fishing with dry flies, mono will float better and on top of the surface; both are equally visible.
Mono leaders are often preferred by fly fishers as they are more supple from the point of view of tying knots.
The final consideration is line strength or, more accurately, thickness. Put simply, a thinner line is less visible, so you need to select the thinnest yet strongest option for your line or leader. That’s why quality matters – the best brands make a thinner line for a particular strength and produce a more consistent product.
How Do You Set up a Reel With Mono, Fluoro, and Braid?
First, calculate how much line will fill your spool. Ideally, for trout, you want at least 100m to allow the fish to run under the drag. There’s no harm in having more, but you are unlikely to need it.
For braid, given it is so thin, it is often necessary to part fill the spool with mono to pack it out and provide a cushioned base. Use the arbor knot (instructions here in our knots guide) to tie the line to the spool.