Best Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch 2020 – Review

Are you searching for the best ice fishing line for walleye, crappie and perch that is flexible, durable, and stiff? If that is the case, then you have come to the right place.

Quick Overview - Best Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch 2020

Buying Guide

When it comes to ice fishing, your gear will be different from what you use to fish in other seasons, especially for Walleye, crappie, and perch. You usually need a particular ice fishing rod along with a reel of small diameter and some other equipment when ice fishing.

Ice fishing tends to put a lot of wear and tear on the fishing line, particularly when you are jigging. Buying a cheap mono from your local departmental store is not the right way to go there. Your ice fishing line needs to be abrasion-resistant, among various other things.

To make sure that your fishing line will bear the harsh conditions, will be strong enough to keep from breaking and fraying, will be able to handle the vertical style of fishing, you need to keep the following in mind.

Methods for Walleye Ice Fishing

The two methods commonly used for ice fishing walleye are dead sticking or jigging.

Jigging

When you are jigging, you use small spoons or jigs that have a particular flutter to them. If you are jigging, you need to get a line that has a thin diameter and is a low stretch. With the help of a low stretch line, you will get better sensitivity and a better hook setting.

The thin diameter will help you experience a lesser amount of drag if you are ice fishing in moving water. Moreover, the line will be less visible to the fish down there.

The ultimate goal is to get a line that will influence the movement of the jig as little as possible. A heavy monofilament line will not allow the spoon or jig to flutter naturally as it drops down into the water. However, if you are ice fishing in shallow waters, then a monofilament line would work fine as long as is it is out a small distance of about 10 ft. while providing you with great sensitivity. More than 10 ft., and you will require a stiffer line.

Dead Sticking

Dead sticking usually uses a small minnow under a simple bobber and is suspended at the depth you think the walleye, crappie, and perch are patrolling.

The choice you have for getting the perfect ice fishing line is more flexible in dead sticking as compared to jigging. If the bottom of the lake or river is clean and there are no or little snags, then you can use an 8-pound monofilament. If there are vegetation and lots of snags, then you need a line that has a strength of about 10-12 pounds.

Types of Lines

The three common types of ice-fishing lines are:

  • Fluorocarbon
  • Monofilament
  • Braided

There are co-polymer fishing lines and tip-up lines as well. Let’s take a brief look at what they are and their pros and cons.

Monofilament Line

This line is durable, strong, and easy to handle in extreme cold and is, therefore, is the go-to ice fishing line. It has a low memory that prevents tangles and coils. The low stretch provides you with a solid stretch, and you have better control over your lures and baits. Mono is inexpensive as well. However, it is not very good at being abrasion-resistant and thus requires to be replaced frequently.

Fluorocarbon Line

The excellent invisibility and abrasion-resistance of the fluorocarbon make it great for ice fishing. It sinks fast, and you can take the lures deep into the water with a fluorocarbon line. It has a low stretch that makes it sensitive, so that bite detection becomes easy.

However, it has high memory that leads to lots of coils and tangles that become worse due to extreme weather.

Co-polymer

Co-polymer works well in freezing weather. A co-polymer fishing line has low memory and remains supple and straight. It is water-repellent and is abrasion-resistant. It has good sensitivity as well.

Tip-Up Line

A tip-up line resists kinks and tangles, and it comes off the spool easily and smoothly when the fish bites the lure.

Buying Factors To Consider

Visibility

In the winter season, the fish limit their movements so that they can conserve energy. From their standing position, they study the bait and decide whether it is worth the while or not. If you want to fool such observant fish, an invisible line is the only choice you have. If they see the fishing line, they are going to be spooked and won’t bite. Underwater, fluorocarbon lines have great invisibility.

Strength

You are going to fish vertically when ice fishing. The ice fishing lines have to be high-strength lines so that they can lift the fish out of the water easily, without fraying or breaking. Moreover, ice is sharp and abrasive and can weaken or cut your fishing line if it is weak.

Make sure that the line is strongly built with fibers and is weaved properly so that it has high tensile strength, is durable, and is abrasion-resistant. Check the strength to diameter ratio. High-strength fishing lines will not break even if you catch bigger Walleye. Get some strong fishing pliers to still be able to cut them when needed!

Brittleness

Fishing lines freeze and become brittle in extreme cold, and therefore are prone to breaking. If the fishing line has a water-repellent coating, it will not absorb water and will resist freezing and breakages. Look for a fishing line that remains flexible and supple even at extreme temperatures.

Sensitivity

The bites of fish in freezing water are subtle and thus are much harder to feel than in other seasons. A line that has low stretch and low memory will help you feel even the slightest of movements, letting you when you have to set the hook. Braided fishing line is the most sensitive when ice fishing, followed by a fluorocarbon fishing line.

Line Memory

The best line for ice fishing should have zero to no memory. This means that the fishing line doesn’t retain the coiled shape it acquires when it is spooled. It remains straight so that it can deliver the best bait presentation and can transmit even the slightest of bites and strikes from the fish. A line with high memory will have a lot of slack and reduced sensitivity, which is something you don’t want when ice fishing. Fluorocarbon lines have the worst memory, while the braided lines have zero memory.

Friction

There is a lot of friction involved when you are ice fishing. This leads to breaking and fraying of the fishing line. A good ice fishing line is made using strong fibers that give it a high resistance to abrasion and prevents it from breaking when it gets dragged against the jagged, sharp edges of an ice hole that has been drilled with an auger.

Weight

Fishing lines have weight ratings according to the weight they have been designed to handle. Make sure that your ice fishing line can handle the weight of the fishing rod, the weights for lure, and the size of the fish.

Walleye, crappie, and perch are relatively small to medium in size and are not heavy fish; still, you need to consider the weight rating. Because if you catch a 2 lb fish and are using a 6 lb line, the line will most likely break, and your fish will get away.

Color

Fish in the cold waters are more vigilant and observant when it comes to baits and lures. They take their time before going for the bait. Invisible fluorocarbon fishing lines are helpful since the fish don’t get spooked by them. However, lines in colored hues like green, red, and orange give an edge while ice fishing since it can be hard to feel the small bites and nibbles from the fish in ice.

Resistance to Cold

Ice fishing lines need to withstand the extreme and freezing temperatures. Regular fishing lines become stiff and snap. Look for fishing lines that have a water-repellent coating and are anti-freezing.

Regular Fishing Lines vs. Ice Fishing Lines

The first question that comes in your mind is why you cannot use a regular fishing line. Why do you need an ice fishing line? The reason is that since the circumstances are going to be different, you need a fishing line that will withstand the tough circumstances.

Line memory is very important when it comes to ice fishing. In the cold, the fishing line tends to retain the coiled shape and straighten outs slowly. Hook power and sensitivity decrease if your fishing line has lots of kinks and loops in it. Moreover, ice holes are going to be sharp and can shear and break your line. Thus, a specific ice fishing line would be better than a regular ice-fishing line that is not designed to withstand these conditions and circumstances.

The Best Ice Fishing Lines – Our Top Picks

When you are ice fishing, you will experience certain problems. It is certainly not an easy task to cast the line when it has been in the freezing waters for quite some time. It is very disappointing to have your reel freeze on you, and that’s why you have to be very careful while choosing the ice fishing line that will help you get fast and smooth casts.

In this article, you will know what to look for in the best ice fishing line and impartial reviews of the top 3 best ice fishing lines. Let’s go through the quick reviews of the top 3 best ice fishing lines for walleye, crappie and perch so that you can get to fishing with any problems and issues.

Two girls ice fishing, using some of the best ice fishing line

The Best All Around Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch

Best All Around Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to cast
  • Easy to handle
  • Low Memory
  • Good sensitivity
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Changing lures takes some time with this line

The KastKing Braided Fishing line is perfect for ice fishing due to its low memory and high resistance to abrasion.

It comes in different thicknesses and strengths. The materials that make this ice angling line are top-notch when it comes to quality. The tensile strength ranges from 10lb-150lb. With high-strength braided strands, you will be able to cast better.

The round and smooth surface of the ice fishing line ensures that you have an increased cast distance, and you don’t feel any backlash while angling. It is resistant to friction as well. Not only that, it is UV resistant as well, but this also adds to the overall durability and lifeline of the fishing line.

With low memory, zero-stretch and ultra-sensitivity, you can ice fish using this line easily, quickly, and tension-free. What makes this fishing line perfect for ice fishing is that it is super-thin in diameter and has a water-repellent coating on it.

The Best Value Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch

Best Value Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch

Pros

Cons

  • Works well under extreme conditions
  • Prevents water absorption
  • Durable
  • Clear
  • Low Memory
  • Low sensitivity

The second ice fishing line on our list is the Suffix Ice Magic. It works great when it comes to ice fishing since it is water-repellent and doesn’t freeze when the temperatures fall below zero.

Ice also doesn’t accumulate on the line. It is light in weight and has a low density. The line sinks pretty quickly into the water.

Since it is a clear fishing line, the fish will not be spooked by the line and will bite the lure easily. If you install the line properly, the fishing line will not tangle or coil as it has low memory.

Finally, it secures its spot because of its great price/value. It is a cheap ice fishing line, that does its job just great.

The Strongest Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch

The Strongest Ice Fishing Line for Walleye, Crappie and Perch

Pros

Cons

  • Small diameter
  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Water Repellent
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Slightly stiff

The Sufix ice braid fishing line has a small diameter and is very strong and durable. It has an 8-fiber construction that has 7 Dyneema strands and a Gore performance fiber, which adds to the strength of the line. It has high-sensitivity, which makes it perfect for ice fishing.

To ensure that the line doesn’t freeze underwater, it comes with water-repellent coating. The line doesn’t absorb water, nor does it allow ice-formation on the line. Moreover, it is resistant to fraying and abrasion. All these characteristics add up and make it a great ice fishing line.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Since ice fishing differs from regular fishing both in conditions and angling techniques, you need an ice fishing line that will be specifically designed to withstand those conditions.

Fishing lines differ according to the species you are catching. However, Walleye, Crappie, and Perch can be fished with the help of one fishing line only.

The weight of your fishing line depends on the type of species you are going after. Even though crappie and perch are not very heavy, some walleye can be heavy in weight. So, it is better to get a fishing line, which will be able to withstand the weight if you catch a larger Walleye.

Check out our ultimate fishing line guide. Or check out the great forum in-depthoutdoors for a good discussion on ice fishing lines.