What Is the Best Fishing Line for Trout?

Last updated on March 22nd, 2022

gear and fishing line for trout

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When it comes to deciding what is the best line for trout fishing, you must consider the biology of trout. Trout have a great sense of perception and can detect line very well based on sight, making the color and diameter of the line you choose important. Trout also put up a fight in most cases, frequently jumping and jerking which can cause the line to snap due to their teeth.

The rule of thumb that I have always followed is that the lighter the pound test you use, the smaller the diameter. The smaller diameters are harder for trout to detect which can increase your chances. If you often fish in areas known for larger trout, then you should use an appropriately rated line based on their weight.

However, you do not need to match the pound test to the weight of the fish precisely. I have caught many trout on fishing line that had no business landing a fish that big. There are three major types of fishing line that you can use and all of them are great for trout.

How you fish is what is going to determine which line is best. The three are monofilament, braided and fluorocarbon. All three have advantages and disadvantages depending on the application but are still great choices for fishing for trout.

In this article, we will have a look at these three types of lines and a few examples of what is available for purchase to hopefully give you an idea of what is out there and help you to be more successful on your next fishing trip.

Monofilament Fishing Line

Monofilament is a line that is in a singular strand that can come in a wide variety of weights and colors. A monofilament fishing line is great for spinning reels when fishing from shore or for crankbait use from the boat. It is light and depending on color and diameter is nearly invisible to a trout’s detection.

Monofilament is simplistic and effective in design making it a cheaper option as well. One key benefit of monofilament line is the amount of stretch it has, which is great for preventing the loss of your catch while landing it. Let us have a look at two angler-favorite monofilament options.


Berkley Trilene XT Monofilament Fishing Line

Berkley Trilene XT Filler 0.014-Inch Diameter Fishing Liner, 10-Pound Test, 330-Yard Spool, Clear

Berkley makes a great product and the Trilene XT is no exception. This spool is available in 4-pound test up to 40-pound test and can be bought in multiple yardages. This monofilament line comes in a non-visible green color which will help it remain undetectable in water regardless of color and murkiness.

This is a great go-to trout fishing line and spools up nicely with any reel. Because it is monofilament, it can rapidly wear from UV rays and extended use. And speaking of UV damage, here is a tip: one thing that I use for my reels that are spooled with mono is I cover them with a sock or a small cloth bag with a drawstring since it can tie around the reel itself very well.

Protecting your line in such a way while not in use extends the life of your line. One thing I’d like to point out that separates this line from the others is its ultra-abrasion resistance that can be great for fishing trout species due to their teeth and tenacity to jump and fight.

The only downside to being abrasion-resistant is that the flexibility and the stretch of the line will be lessened. Being a tradeoff, stretch versus abrasion resistance is a personal choice and should be decided based on how and where you fish.

One factor that monofilament line has is that it is a solid strand making it denser than braided but not as dense as fluorocarbon. Because of the moderate density of the monofilament line, it sinks rather quickly, making this line perfect for jigging and bottom bait setups.


  • Quick sinking
  • Durable no-snag design
  • Large variety of colors and pound tests


  • Does not absorb shock as well as other brands
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Stren High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line

Stren SHIQS10-15 High Impact Monofilament Fishing Line, Clear, 10 Pound, 1275 Yards

Stren is a staple fishing line manufacturer and makes a good product that anglers use all over the world. The Stren High Impact fishing lines are great for offering the flexibility and durability that you would expect from a fishing line and is available in many different weights. Weights that are sold in this product range from 10-pound test to 30-pound test.

This line can be ordered in clear, low-visibility green and high-visibility green as well as smokey blue. A high visibility line is useful for algae-heavy waters and areas where you are playing a current and need sight with your line.

In comparison, while Berkley offers a larger selection of pound tests and colors, this line is durable and maintains the stretch properties of regular monofilament whereas the Berkley line we discussed earlier does not.

One great application for the high visibility line is to use it behind a boat when trolling. It will help you maintain the line of sight with your line to prevent tangling your rods and may even help you avoid having to reel in all lines when fish get hooked.

This line is strongly recommended for other applications as well such as game fish of different species such as bass and perch due to its availability in smaller diameters and pound tests.


  • Durable design
  • High visibility option
  • Benefits of both durability and shock resistance


  • Limited weights and yardage options
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Braided Fishing Line

When it comes to trout, the pattern in which they feed is like a clockwise pattern in most areas. Because of this, you will be catching fish and then suddenly you are not catching anything and then you will be catching them again. When they travel in this feeding pattern, they stick to small currents that move debris as well.

Braided line excels at weaving its way through this debris easily and for that reason, if it is murky with debris I opt for a braided. Braided line is exactly what it sounds like, rather than one “mono” strand it is several braided together. Like a rope, it can handle more weight for its diameter than monofilament and fluorocarbon lines but at a cost.

We have all been fishing and seen that guy down the beach from you violently and desperately trying to get out of a snag. You cannot blame the guy, that is a 15-dollar lure that is at stake. With a braid, a snag results in only one of two outcomes.

You either successfully get your lure back or you cut your line and regret living so dangerously. Braided line excels in a trolling situation where snags are minimal and are great for strike detection as braid is extremely sensitive to strikes. I like using it in areas of moving water such as rivers where the line is going to be jerking around camouflaging a strike as a current.

Braided fishing line can be used with any reel, but it excels with baitcasting reels. Spinning reels twist your line as you reel in, causing an already sensitive memory to twist.

One trick that I use when trolling is to let all my braided line out of my trout spinning reel and drag it behind the boat for ten minutes without any lures or swivels. Ten minutes of mother nature’s current straightens my line for further use.

Braided line is a great line for bait cast and trolling situations, and we will go over a couple of highly-rated lines that are available today.

SpiderWire Stealth Superline Fishing Line

Spiderwire SCS15G-125 Braided Stealth Superline, Moss Green, 15 Pound, 125 Yards

One problem with any fishing line is that UV can wear it down and fade any color that it once had. Not with SpiderWire Stealth Superline. This line features a color-lock technology that adds a very thin extra coating to the line that adds extra protection from the elements. This is a good option if you are not like me and you do not want to use socks to cover your reels when not in use.

This color-lock coating also reduces friction in the line making for a great distance reaching line. The threads of this line are made from fluoropolymer materials that resist fraying which is helpful for threading eyes. This anti-fraying feature is great but not invincible and because of this line’s polymer material, you can fix it when it does fray.

Simply take a lighter or any flame and dance the tip of your line in and out of the flame to melt it and create a single end to tie with saving you from having to cut and waste line.


  • Color-lock technology
  • Fluoropolymer material durability
  • Large variety of buy options


  • Limited color options
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Piscifun Onyx Braided Fishing Line

Piscifun Onyx Braided Fishing Line Advanced Superline Braid Lines 150Yd 8lb Green

Piscifun Onyx is a great braided fishing line for low-resistant fishing line. Low resistance and surface friction are good for braided line and extend the life of your line. As we have discussed above, braided fishing line has advantages for certain fishing applications.

The Piscifun brand excels in making a fishing line that has minimal stretch and this is handy for fishing in areas where it is hard to detect a strike. This brand offers their line a large variety of colors that can match up with any water you are fishing in.

The line is also available in just about any test you could need ranging from a 6-pound test to a 150-pound test, which is nice if you are buying it for fishing other species in addition to trout.

In my experience, deciding on what pound test you need with braided must be more precise. With monofilament, you can catch a 10-pound trout with a 6-pound test because of the stretch that monofilament has. With a braided line, it is different, and you should try to be more precise about what you are fishing for.


  • Huge variety of weights
  • Multiple colors
  • Low resistance


  • Low resistance line can be hard to tie
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Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon was first used in fishing leaders and became a popular fishing line for its durability like braided fishing line and its single strand design in the way of monofilament fishing line. Fluorocarbon is the best of both monofilament and braided and it is a great line for fishing for trout. One downside to fluorocarbon is that its durability is its downfall in terms of action and sensitivity.

High altitude trout fishing finds that trout have longer teeth that can cut a line with ease. Therefore, they used fluorocarbon for leaders in the first place. With a leader, you had the protection of a fluorocarbon while still maintaining the action and feel of a lighter line.

Fluorocarbon is great for trout fishing specifically when you are fighting the fish. The sturdiness allows for firm action and protection against broken lines. Here is one of the very best lines on the market and a trout angler favorite.

PowerFluoro Fishing Line

RUNCL PowerFluoro Fishing Line, 100% Fluorocarbon Coated Fishing Line, Hybrid Line - Virtually Invisible, Faster Sinking, Low Stretch, Extra Sensitivity, Abrasion Resistance (300Yds, 12LB(5.4kgs))

The RUNCL PowerFluoro Fishing Line is a good jack of all trades fluorocarbon fishing line. The durability of fluorocarbon with a clear color will match well with your water environment. This line is sold in a 32-pound test which is a bit excessive for trout in most areas, but other tests are offered by this company as well.

If you are fishing for trout using a sinking or jigging method, then the larger pound test may be a good option for sinking the lure faster and more accurately. Overall, this is a great line for those who need the stability of a strong line with the ability to reach a great distance with every cast.


  • Clear color matches well with most environments
  • Great for bottom fishing
  • Freeze resistant for ice fishing


  • Limited action due to higher pound test
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Things to Consider When Choosing a Trout Line

Fishing line choice boils down to how you would like to use it. There are many different lines out there other than the ones we have discussed here and all of them have advantages and disadvantages. Monofilament is a good fishing line for angling for trout in general but does not have the lifespan of other types of line.

Braided line is great for trolling and use in water that is moving such as a river or a creek. For ice fishing where I live you must use fluorocarbon to protect your line from freezing. I recommend buying a few extra spools for your reel and have a spool of all three types that you can easily change out in the field.

Another factor to consider is that even though a fishing line is a good candidate for where you are fishing, you may not like using it. Hopefully, this guide has helped you to better understand the different products that are out there and the different applications that they can be used for. Try a few out and see if they suit your fishing style and needs.

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2 thoughts on “What Is the Best Fishing Line for Trout?

  1. Shawn

    Looks like I will need fluorocarbon line as I’m about to go on a little fishing adventure with some buddies of mine up in Blue River, CO, my buddy has a cabin north of Denver and I’m taking advantage of the lower priced plane tickets and flying out there from Georgia.

    1. Nathan Blackburn

      Thanks for reading! I know you do not know me but I am still a little insulted that I wasn’t invited on the Colorado trip… That fluorocarbon is going to work wonders on the river but you may still come across some calmer waterer to fish as well so pack a good mid-range mono or braided line with your to change things up! Buy a few extra spools for your model of reel and have a spool of each. You can even wear the spools around your waist like a super hero, we won’t judge. ????

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