by Bob Jensen
Whenever, wherever, however you go fishing, the line you choose to use is a very important consideration. It’s the only thing between you and the fish, so you want a line that you can count on to be strong so you can get the fish onto the ice or into the boat. But your line can also influence whether the fish will bite or not, and the characteristics of your line will have an effect on how good of a hookset you get. When it comes to ice-fishing, we need to consider a couple different things when it’s time to put line on the reel. Here are some of those things.
There are several different types of lines that we can use for ice-fishing: We can go with monofilament, braid, or fluorocarbon. Each has a different quality that makes it appealing to anglers.
Monofilament line has been around for a long time. It’s what most anglers use for open water fishing. Bionic Ice Fishing Line is a mono that has been specially formulated for ice-fishing. It’s sensitive and tough, but perhaps most importantly, it handles very well even in cold temps. Monofilament is still probably the most popular line material for ice-fishing.
Superlines have found their way into ice-fishing also. A very big advantage of superlines is that they don’t stretch, which is a very good feature if you’re fishing deep water. No stretch provides lots of sensitivity and better hooksets. Braid is great for walleyes in deep water.
Braid is also very thin: Bionic Ice Braid that has a breaking strength of eight pound test is the diameter of two pound test monofilament. That’s strong stuff!
Fluorocarbon has improved a lot over the past few years, and more and more ice-anglers are incorporating fluorocarbon into their fishing. Fluorocarbon’s biggest appeal perhaps is that it is as close to invisible to fish as it gets. Bionic Ice Fluorosilk would be a good example of fluorocarbon.
Some anglers like to incorporate two types of line in their fishing. They like the features of the braid, but they also desire the invisibility of fluoro. They put the braid on their reel, then tie a small swivel to the end of the braid. To the other end of the swivel they tie maybe twenty inches of fluorocarbon, and to the other end of the fluoro they tie the bait. Now you have extreme sensitivity and hooksetting along with invisibility.
Remember that line used for ice-fishing takes some abuse. Rubbing against the edge of the ice hole can damage it, so change your line often. However, you don’t need to change the whole spool. Just replace forty or fifty feet, and if most of your fishing is done in shallow water, you can replace even less.
Choosing the proper line for your ice-fishing is an important consideration. Choose the proper line and you’ll enjoy your time on the ice even more, and you’ll also catch more fish.