Best Fishing Line For Trout [2022 Buyer’s Guide]

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Here is our review of the best fishing line for trout in 2022.

There is an enormous variety of fishing lines in the market. When it comes to trout, you’ve to respect the biology of trout, their clear vision, and water to get the best results possible. However, it gets a little challenging when choosing the line suitable. I know it sounds confusing to choose between hundreds of options. 

I spent days researching, writing, and reading tons of reviews to get the most out of the market. In this article, we’re discussing 4 different line types and what is the best between them for trout fishing in different circumstances. We also added a detailed buying guide to help you to choose a better trout line for your style and techniques. Let’s go.

Our Top Picks

  1. Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting mono. (Best monofilament trout fishing line)
  2. P-line 100% fluoro. (Best fluorocarbon trout line)
  3. KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line. (Best braid fishing line)
  4. Sufix Performance Lead Core Fishing Line. (Best lead Core trout Fishing Line)

A comparison between mono, fluoro, braid, and lead cores fishing lines for trout fishing

Best trout fishing line comparison image - a line spool

Monofilament Line

Generally, It isn’t the best option for trout. Monofilament lines are the most popular out there. Looking at its visibility, it’s placed between fluorocarbon and braided line with fluorocarbon being the least visible. Here are some pros and cons of mono to help you make your choice:

Advantages of monofilament
  • Offers a wide variety of weights and colors.
  • Inexpensive.
  • The elasticity enables it to stretch instead of breaking off easily. However, it affects its sensitivity.
Disadvantages of monofilament
  • It curls up on your spinning reel and forms more twists than other line types.
  • Can’t afford much abuse. You need to check it frequently for cuts and abrasions, especially after casting around rocks. Make sure to cut out the affected parts, if you don’t want to risk losing your catch.
  • It’s less visible than fluorocarbon lines.

Choosing the weight depends on the trout size and type, but in general, Trout lines range from 2-8 Lbs. Of course, the lighter the better. 

Notes: Mono lines float compared to fluorocarbon lines. Is this bad? No, it’s not bad, it just depends on the bait type. If you’re using topwater baits, go for monofilament, otherwise, don’t.


Fluorocarbon Line

Fluoro is my first recommendation for fishing trout. It’s considered the best leader line for trout. It’s specially made to be the least visible line around there. It’s made from the fluoropolymer PVDF [1] with a refractive index that is pretty close to that of water. That’s why it’s nearly invisible. Here are some detailed pros & cons:

Advantages of Fluorocarbon line:
  • Less visibility than other lines.
  • A low memory line that curls less.
  • Stronger and resist abrasion more than mono.
  • Less elastic than mono, which increases its sensitivity to light bites.
Disadvantages of Fluorocarbon line:
  • Quite expensive compared to other lines.

In terms of weight, I recommend going for the 4-6 Lbs range.

Notes: Fluorocarbon is denser than other types, which makes it sink more. If you’re up to floating baits, you probably don’t want to use fluorocarbon in such a situation.

Pro tip: If you want to get the advantages of a fluorocarbon line without costing yourself a fortune, use monofilament or braid as the mainline and the fluorocarbon as the leader.


Braid Line

Though braid is famous for its super sensitivity, I don’t recommend it for trout. Trout have sharp sight and are easily spooked while the braid is a highly visible line. I addition, here are some pros and cons:

Advantages of Braid line:
  • With nearly zero elasticity, its sensitivity allows you to feel every down movement.
  • The thin diameter makes it very light which works in your favor. You need less weight to get it deeper in water.
  • A high abrasion resistance.
  • It’s easier to cast for further distances with it.
  • It combats twists better than other lines.
  • Stronger compared to the thickness.
Disadvantages of Braid line:
  • Tying knots are tough.
  • Very visible lines.
  • The low elasticity makes it easier to get broken when snagged in logs.

Braid is good for lake trout, but you have to pay attention to the color.  I recommend staying away from the braid lines if you’re fishing in clear water.

A good trick that I highly recommend for getting a mixture of benefits is using your braid as the mainline with a leader of a fluorocarbon. This way you get further casting distances, more lightness of braid with the invisibility of fluorocarbon. I consider it to be one of the best trout line setups.


Lead Core Fishing Line

It’s not recommended for beginners, as it’s a little bit complex to use. It has a core running inside of it, hence the name. The core adds some weight which makes it a good option for lightweight lures.

The main use of this line is in trolling enabling your lure to go deeper in water than other lines.

Fishing trout with such a line is tricky and not suitable for amateurs. It can catch some trout if you go deep enough in the lake. Check out the below video to know more about fishing trout with a lead core fishing line: 

How to Choose the right line for different trout species and circumstances?

A rainbow trout
A rainbow trout

Best line for trout in clearwater

Clearwater means more visibility for the eyes of the fish. To be able to fish trout you need to use a natural bait with a fluorocarbon line.

Stay away from using braid lines in clear water, unless you’re going to use it as the mainline with a leader of a fluorocarbon. But be ready to lose a few catches when the slips off.

If you’re on mono, I recommend using a 2 – 4 Lbs line to get visibility level close to the fluorocarbon. However, it is not an alternative to fluorocarbon if you can use it.


Best line for trout in stained water

Stained water is suitable for monofilament anglers. In darker water, it’s hard for trout to distinguish the line from the surrounding area. Try to match the line and the watercolor. This is a plus point for the monofilament, because of the wide variety of colors offered and the affordable price it comes with.

Remember not to get too comfortable in stained water and go for an unqualified line, unless you want to risk getting some bad results.

Best line trout for casting spinners and spoons


It is a popular choice to use spinners and spoons in the world of trout. Spinners like panther martins, needlefish, and Mepps are efficient and incredibly successful. 

You need to go for a light line to cast with them. A line with a low memory delivers smooth accurate casts. A 4-pound fluorocarbon or monofilament will do the job, however, I prefer fluorocarbon for clear water. Here is a quick guide on fishing trout with spinners


Best line when still fishing for trout

Still, water is a successful way of catching trout. The trick here is to get your bait just above the bottom where trout feeding lies. That’s why monofilament stands a better chance than fluorocarbons. Though fluorocarbons are less visible, they are denser and tend to pull the bait directly to the bottom. 

We need a visible line that is comparable to fluorocarbon. I recommend going for a 4 Lbs. line or even you can get to as low as 2 Lbs. in clearer water. When using a 2 Lbs line, be easy on the drag when you catch a fish or it will break off.

You can get away with using fluorocarbon if you support it with slip bobbers. In this case, a 4 – 6 Lbs fluorocarbon line would be great.

Note: In all cases, the mainline doesn’t matter, it’s all about the leader here.


The best trolling line for trout

The trick in trolling is all about the depth. It’s more complex than other techniques and it is a bit more challenging to get the right equipment for it. I don’t consider it a good option if you’re a beginner.

How much depth you need to reach determines what line you’re going to use. A mono or braid line works very well if you’re using downriggers. A fluoro leader is denser and better for most trout species. I recommend using 10 Lbs. test mono or braid with a 6 – 8 Lbs. test fluorocarbon leader.

For long lining, mono or braid works pretty fine. However, the braid delivers more depth because of its thin diameter.

The lead core line is also popular for the long lining. There are colored increments to mark the length to let you know how much line is in the water. If you’re going for 40 – 50 feet of water, consider using a lead core line. Leaving a backing of 15 Lbs test mono line when tying a lead core line isn’t a bad idea. 


Best ice fishing line for trout

Ice environment is different and has special circumstances. Several companies make specific lines to bear the temperature there. Here are some things to look for when purchasing your  trout ice fishing line:

  • Abrasion resistance: The edges of the hole can get pretty hard on your line. If the line isn’t strong enough, you’re risking losing your trout.
  • Invisibility:  Ice fishing is done vertically through-hole which gives the fish the needed time to get suspicious of your line. An invisible line is essential to raise your success chances.
  • Sensitivity: It’s the most important aspect, but if you’re going deep like about 50 or 60 feet trout, you should consider getting a sensitive line. 
  • Flexibility: The cold weather gets regular lines stiffer. A specifically made ice fishing line that keeps its flexibility in cold water is vital. 
What line of trout ice fishing should I pick? 

Go for a 10 – 15 Lbs braid as the mainline and combine it with a leader of 6 – 8 Lbs of fluorocarbon. The braided line is a good choice for deepwater as its stretch capabilities are low.


Best Fishing Line For Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are coldwater fish that are native to North America clear, healthy mountain streams and lakes [2]. They are the most commonly stocked species and the most fish trout in the US. You can also find them in rivers and lakes all over the US. 

Stocked rainbow trout are known for their strong fights and jump abilities and are characterized by their adaptability to unnatural things appearing in the water. You can get away with using a monofilament as the visibility won’t make a huge difference here. However, stocked trout that are left in wild water lose their adaptability and become more sensitive to unnatural structures.


Best Fishing Line For Brown Trout

The brown trout is a European species that is known for its aggressiveness and being hard to catch. It comes in 2nd place after rainbow trout in terms of stocked fish. Similarly, A more visible line works fine here. You can get the advantage of their feeding aggressiveness by using a naturally presenting lure with a narrow diameter line (like a braid). A line around 2 Lbs is popular for brown trout.

How to distinguish brown trout?

They are characterized by the red, black, and orange spots on their sides. Fluorocarbon is a recommended a usual.


Best Fishing Line For Brook Trout

Aka speckled water. They can barely grow to 8 Lbs. Which makes them the smallest trout species. They are not popular in the stocking like the above-mentioned species. That’s why

it’s hard to catch them unless you’re using a highly invisible line. Their wildness gets them more suspicious of the line and won’t bite anything easily.

A recommendation for the best fishing line for speckled trout is to stick to fluorocarbon leaders as the ideal line. Try to get the thinnest diameter possible.

How to distinguish Brook trout?

Brook trout is famous for its small size and the leading white edge with black lower fins.

Best 6 fishing lines for Trout

Here are our recommended lines for best trout line setup:





Best monofilament trout line


Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting mono



Top Features
  1. Smooth casting: The smoothness offers more manageability.
  2. Versatile: The line is suitable for a wide variety of techniques and baits.
Specification

Material: Trilene

Color: Available in 3 colors. The ability to choose different colors makes it more fun.

Breaking strength: Available from 6 Lbs. to 25 Lbs. You want to purchase 6 Lbs. the line for trout.

Item Display Length: 330 yards to 9000 yards. Choose the suitable length depending on how far you’re planning to cast.

Pros
  • The colors are ideal for decent enough invisibility
  • Impressive strength.
  • Very limp take great knots.
  • Good smoothness
  • Cheap line.
Cons
  • I did get quite a bit of memory from it. The 20 lb line has way too much memory for spin casting but works fine on my baitcasting rod
  • The package isn’t great
  • Curls up terribly and doesn;t straighten back out easily.
  • Comes with a small spool.
Verdict

Berkley Trilene line is one of the most affordable and high-quality lines. The product is reasonably priced compared to the performance it offers. If you’re up to monolines, trying one is a good idea.




Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line



Top features
Specifications

Material: Stainless Steel

Color: Available in four color

Line breaking strength: 10 Lbs to 30 Lbs. The high weight makes it less suitable for trout.

Item display length: 400 to 1275 yards.

Pros
  • High durability
  • Good value for the money
  • Remarkable sturdiness
  • Pretty strong for its size
  • Easy to tie knots
  • A great stretch without affecting the strength.
  • Cheap line.
Cons
  • A 10 Lbs. line might not be the best for trout fishing
  • Not the best choice for spinning reels, It begins to unwind after cutting the line and letting it go
  • The spool the line comes on is too small
  • Too much memory.
Verdict

If you want a durable line that can bear Hard-biting trout without paying too much, consider Stren monofilament as a good option. Although it comes at a low cost, it delivers a wide array of advantages. The remarkable withdraw here is the 10 Lbs minimum weight which may not be suitable for some trout species.




Best fluorocarbon trout line


P-Line Floroclear Clear Fishing Line



Top features
  • A copolymer-based technology that delivers a thin diameter, allows for more line capacity on reels and improves casting distances.
  • A low memory that resists coiling and curling up.
Specifications

Material: Polyvinylidene Fluoride. This material gives the line a quick sink rate and makes the line almost visible in the water.

Color: Clear. The one color doesn’t matter a lot, as it’s probably invisible.

Line breaking strength: 2 Lbs to 30 Lbs. Having a weight that starts from 2 Lbs. is great and works well for trout fishing.

Item display length: 260 to 300 yards.

Pros
  • Casts well.
  • low memory.
  • Very strong with a small diameter.
  • High durability.
  • Great sensitivity.
Cons
  • A little pricey, however great value for the money.
  • Twists a lot.
  • Hard to tie knots with it
  • breaks easily, which may be due to the thinness of the line
Verdict 

The P-Line Floroclear is a great fishing line for those who love to cast for long distances. The knot problem can be solved with either double uni or double surgeon’s knots. The higher price comes with more invisibility, strength, and durability. 




KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line – 100% Pure Fluorocarbon Coated 



Top features
  • ِ A combination of sturdiness, low stretchability, abrasion resistance, and density.
  • A KastKing Copolymer Fishing Line with high-tech 100% fluorocarbon coating works on improving the invisibility of the line
Specifications

Material: Polyvinylidene Fluoride. A material that offers more invisibility and fast sinking.

Color: Clear. The one color doesn’t matter a lot, as it’s probably invisible.

Line breaking strength: 4 Lbs. to 30 Lbs. The wide weight range makes it good for different trout species. 

Item display length: 150 to 300 yards.

Pros
  • If the line holds the knot, it’s sturdy enough to land you fish.
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Cheap price
  • Nice low visibility.
  • Great customer service.
  • A low memory, however, A multiple reviews reported that they’ve problems with twists. Just be sure to check for twists and curls.
Cons
  • The line barely holds knots
  • Gets broken easily
Verdict

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line is one of those lines that are touted as one the best trout fishing lines out there. The diameter of fluorokote is less than copolymer and other mono fishing lines giving it more advantages with trout fishing. However, the line isn’t strong in tying knots. Make sure to wet the line before tying it or you’re risking failing the knot. 




Best Braid Trout Line


KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line



Top features
  1. ِAbrasion resistance with small diameter without sacrificing strength.
  2. The dynamically incorporated strands allow from more knots solid tying.
  3. Ultra-high sensitivity & Zero stretches make fishing trout more fun while filling everything underwater.

Specifications

Material:  Double-Knit-fabric. The material doesn’t curl or roll a lot. 

Color: 5 colors. Since the braid is highly visible, you need to choose a color similar to the water.

Line breaking strength: 6 Lbs. to 150 Lbs.

Item display length: 327 to 1097 yards.

Pros
  • High Durability
  • A decent line for a cheap price.
  • Great customer service. 
Cons
  • The line diameter is thicker than spider wire or powerpro compared to the same weight ratings.
  • There are some die problems in the line (but it’s not always there)
Verdict 

KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line is our best braided fishing line for trout. The material makes it anti-coiling. The abrasion resistance increases the durability. The customer support is a plus point too. However, it’s not the best option in clear water as it’s more visible than other lines.




Best Lead Core Trout Fishing Line


Sufix Performance Lead Core Fishing Line



Top features
  1. A high-density lead center increases the sink rate.
  2. A thermally fused braided line offers an enhanced smoothness and premium casting. 
  3. A zero stretching delivers good sensitivity.
  4. 100% HMPE Dyneema fibers provide tensile strength and solid knot tying with an ultra-thin diameter.
Specifications

Material:  Blend

Color: Multi-colors available

Line breaking strength: 12 Lbs. There are no varieties, unlike other options.

Item display length: 100 yards.

Pros
  • Good value for the money
  • High durability
  • Great colors
  • Thinner and more flexible than other fishing lines.
Cons
  • The high memory makes it very stiff.
  • A little bit more complicated and needs more experience to use.
Verdict

Sufix Performance Lead Core works for trout fishing especially for those of you who are going for ice fishing. The higher sink rate makes it easier to reach more depth in the water and it’s also appropriate for trolling.




Our buying guide on the best fishing line for trout

A trout fish caught

We’ve put together a quick buying guide on things you should consider while buying your trout line. Hope it helps you understand more what lines are more suitable for you.


Weight

The weight of the line you’re going to choose depends on 2 factors:

  1. Clarity of water: If you’re on a day where the water is crystal clear, you need to choose a pretty thin line, so trout won’t see it. I recommend a 2 Lbs line for clear or low water.
  2. How big the trout is: It’s obvious that the bigger the fish the bigger the line needed.

As general advice, it’s always better to get the lightest line possible. Try to get an estimated weight of the trout you’re going to fish and get the smallest weight that can bear that type of trout without getting break-offs.

Generally speaking, A fluorocarbon of 4 Lbs to 6 Lbs is probably a great option. If you’re a mono fan, consider going for the 2 Lbs to 4 Lbs range.


Visibility

This is why we put Fluorocarbon at the top of our choices. Trout is a pretty shy fish with a clear vision. 

You need to purchase a line that has the lowest visibility possible. Monofilament lines and braid lines aren’t the best options here, as they are more visible compared to fluorocarbon. Some Anglers can make them work, but fluorocarbon is the easier and better choice.


Strength

You need to get the perfect combination between how light and how strong the line should be. Don’t sacrifice the strength of the line to get a one that is too light or too invisible to trout, because you’re going to get a break-off and lose your fish. 

Getting an estimated weight of the trout you’re targeting will get you a clear idea of how strong your line needs to be.

Note: The best time to fish big trout is in late spring.


Color

The color matters and Trout gets scared easily. If you’re planning to use bright or easily noticeable colors, you’re going in the wrong direction. 

Get a line color that looks like the water you’re fishing in. For instance, Green lines work well in waters with a greenish tint. However, if the water is clear, the green line won’t get you results.

Generally, you want to pick darker colors. The various shades of brown/black are popular and known for their effectiveness.

If you’re still a beginner or not sure, stick to a translucent line. It’s probably suitable for most situations. 


Water clarity

I guess you already understand this point now. For darker types of water, line colors or thinness aren’t a big deal. But, consider them in clearer water circumstances.


Rod and reel specifications.

Make sure to have a balance between your trout rod heaviness, reel heaviness, capacity, and your line weight to get the best trout setup possible.

You don’t want to use a heavy line on a light or low-capacity reel.


The size of the fly

The bigger the fly, the heavier the line needed. For tiny flies, stick to smaller lines like size 4. However, if you’re targeting larger trout and are using bigger flies, consider that they are affected by wind movements and need heavier lines. [3]


The type of fly you’re using.

This factor determines whether you’re going for a floating or sinking type of line. For dry and wet flies, a floating line is a more considerable option, while sinking lines go better with streamers. [4]

Note: For trout fishing, the floating line is by far the most popular one used.

Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the best test line for trout fishing? 

Generally speaking, make as light as 2 – 6 Lbs. You can get heavier lines around 8 to 10 Lbs, if you’re expecting to get a larger fish. If there’s a chance that you’re getting a brown or lake trout, you probably want to keep a heavy monofilament around 20 Lbs with you.

What is the best fishing line for rainbow trout?

In my opinion, the best setup for both rainbow and brook trout is a leader of a fluorocarbon line combined with a mainline of braided line. This way you’re getting a perfect combination of castability, invisibility in water, and sensitivity.

Does line color matter for trout?

As I previously mentioned, Yes, line colors matter. Trouts have a clear vision and can distinguish the color of fishing lines. You’ve to consider the watercolor while choosing the color of your line.

Do I need to use a sinker for trout fishing?

This depends on your fishing technique. If you’re fishing in still water, then yes, a sliding sinker is great for trout fishing.

How deep should I fish for trout?

Depending on the season, here are some depth estimates:
– In winter: 10 feet under the surface.
– In min-spring: between 35 and 45 feet.
– Late spring: between 50 to 65 feet.
– In the summer: 53-degree thermal layer.
Feel free to check our full guide on trout fishing to learn more about the best trout fishing techniques and how to fish them.

What is the best ice fishing line for lake trout?

I prefer using a lead core line that can go deep and bear the cold weather. Our recommendation here is Sufix Performance Lead Core Fishing Line[]. However, some professional anglers prefer to use monofilament as it stands out well in extreme cold weather and offers great strength for its diameter. Choose what suits you more.

Is It Better To Troll For Trout With Mono Or Braid?

Mono is better for trolling than braid as Mono can hold knots better and also costs less than braid. Mono also works better for smaller bait-casting reels as lighter braid may dig into itself. Many anglers of Florida sailfish and dolphin use a lot of mono on the trolling.

The Bottom Line

Trout fishing line should have specific characters or you’re risking getting unsatisfying results. After doing deep research and considering many factors, we concluded that fluorocarbons are the best lines when fishing for trout. However, having mono and braid lines for certain situations is preferred also.  Our best fluorocarbon fishing trout line is P-line 100% fluoro. 

We hope that our buying guide helps you make better decisions. Feel free to check our fishing gear reviews to get more buying guides and gear recommendations.