There are so many different ways to fish for trout, so the best trout fishing line can vary depending on the method you are using.
The three main types of fishing line (mono, fluoro, and braid) can all be used for trout fishing, but the different characteristics of each line type will mean you’ll need a specific type for different trout fishing methods.
If you fly fish for trout, then you will want to look at the different types of fly line that are best for trout fishing.
I’ll cover this, and the best options for each type of line for trout.
Using monofilament line for trout
One of the main benefits of using monofilament line for trout fishing is the stretch factor it has. Trout are extremely lively fish, and as soon as they are hooked, they will jump out of the water and thrash around to try and shake that hook.
The stretch in the mono will absorb that wild thrashing of the trout and will make it harder for them to shake the hook. You won’t lose as many fish in this situation when using mono line.
Mono line is also fairly hard for any trout to see, and this is important as trout are easily spooked and if they sense that anything is wrong they will avoid your lure/bait/fly completely and won’t give it a second look.
For most trout fishing you won’t need to use heavy-duty line, so often 3 or 4 lb. mono line is sufficient, so it will be quite thin and easy to manage.
The floating quality of mono also makes it the best option as a leader line if you are fly fishing and want to present a fly on the surface.
Mono is suitable for a variety of trout baits and techniques, and that versatility makes it something that any trout anglers should keep in their tackle bag as an option, whether it is for main line or a leader.
The best mono fishing line for trout
Here are a few of the best options for mono line when fishing for trout.
1. Berkley Trilene TransOptic Monofilament Fishing Line
– Color-changing monofilament line
– Changes from clear to gold in sunlight – hi-vis above, clear below
– Solid shock absorption – holds well under hard hook sets
– Easy to manage
– Versatile mono line, suitable for various baits and techniques
– Very strong and durable.
2. SpiderWire Ultracast Ultimate Monofilament Fishing Line
– Superior strength-to-diameter co-polymer is 33% stronger than the average mono
– 15% stretch for incredible sensitivity and hook setting power
– Thin diameter allows exceptional bait action and high line capacity
– New smaller filler package
– Clear spool, less weight, less waste
3. KastKing Premium Monofilament Fishing Line
– Low memory – made with Paralleled Roll Track technology resulting in better reel capacity
– Comes in a range of colors, all hard to see underwater
– Strong and durable design
– Excellent quality mono line
– Great value
Using fluorocarbon line for trout fishing
Fluorocarbon line is a favorite for trout anglers because of its almost invisible-like qualities underwater.
A lot of trout fishing is done in very clear water and trout spook very easily, so using fluoro in conditions like this makes a lot of sense.
One thing to mention early on is that fluorocarbon line sinks, so if you are wanting to present a bait on the surface then you should not use fluoro; mono would be your best choice for this situation
But for any sinking baits and lures, then fluoro is a great option. It does not have the stretch quality that mono line has, so it is more sensitive, and you will feel the smaller bites more easily than if you were using mono. You will also be able to set the hook harder.
But the lack of stretch will also mean that it will be more susceptible to the trout throwing the hook when it jumps out of the water and does those manic head-shakes that trout are known for.
So you will have to be aware of that, but you can counteract that somewhat by choosing a rod that has a ‘Moderate’ to ‘Moderate Fast’ action, as the rod tip will then absorb some of the head shakes.
Another thing to be aware of if you want to use fluorocarbon line for trout fishing is the price, it’s more expensive than mono line. But even if you don’t want to use fluoro all the way through as your main line, you can still use it as a leader line so that you still get the benefits of it, without having to buy so much.
The best fluorocarbon line for trout fishing
1. Seaguar Abrazx Fluorocarbon fishing line
– Super clear line
– Quite soft and manageable for a fluoro line
– A good option for both main line or leader
– Super sensitive for feeling bites
– Very strong and durable line
2. P-Line Fluorocarbon fishing line
– Constructed of 100% pure fluorocarbon crystals
– Virtually invisible in water
– Unbeatable knot and breaking strength
– Low stretch, minimal memory
– Excellent sensitivity
– UV resistant
3. KastKing Kovert Fluorocarbon fishing line
– 100% fluorocarbon
– Virtually invisible underwater
– Perfect as main line or leader
– Fast sinking
– High sensitivity for feeling bites
– Comes in a line dispenser package
Using braided line for trout fishing
Braided fishing line is not going to be suitable for some trout fishing techniques, as a lot of trout fishing is done in very clear water such as streams, where braid can be seen quite easily by the already line-shy trout.
But there are some situations where braid can be effective for trout fishing, as long as you are using either a mono or fluoro leader.
Trolling for trout and using deep water down-riggers is one example of where braided line can be effectively used.
Deep water jigging on lakes is another situation when braided line is very effective, and probably the best option when fishing for trout this way. The ultra-sensitivity of braid will ensure that you feel all of the bites, even when your lure is deep, and when paired with a fluoro leader you have a great combination.
Fishing for stocked trout is another situation where braid can be used. Stocked trout are nowhere near as finicky and shy as trout in the wild can be. So as long as you use a mono or fluoro leader on your braid main line, then you will be fine.
1. Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided fishing line
– Made in the USA
– Very good casting ability
– Super sensitive
– Great value
2. Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid fishing line
– High abrasion resistance
– Quiet and long casting ability
– Virtually no stretch
– 32 weaves per inch
– 1 Gore and 7 Dyneema carriers
– 30% higher Palomar knot strength
3. Piscifun Onyx Braided fishing line
– Superior abrasion resistance and durable
– Strong knot strength
– High sensitivity
– Minimal stretch
– Great casting distance
– Extremely strong line
Using fly line when fishing for trout
Fly fishing for trout is very specialized and can be extremely rewarding when you get a grasp of the different techniques required.
The art of fly fishing is to land the fly on the water in a very subtle way so that it doesn’t spook any fish close by. As the flies themselves have minimal weight behind them, it is the actual fly line that carries the weight that is required for casting. You wouldn’t be able to cast a fly very far when using any of the three other lines mentioned on this page
There are many different fly lines that are suitable for trout, and you can get a better understanding of the variations in my article about different types of fishing line
The best fly line for trout fishing
1. RIO Grand In-Touch Fly Line
– Incredible casting performance
– SureFire color-coded system for accurate distance control
– Low-stretch ConnectCore increases sensitivity for easy line lift
– Good for setting the hook hard
– High-floating performance
– Very durable fly line
2. Scientific Anglers Buckskin Frequency Trout with Loop
– Casts well, with good distance and accuracy
– Slick line that floats high up on the water
– Half-size heavy design loads fast-action rods
– Turns over large dries streamers and split shot with ease
– Welded Loops produce smoother casts and easier turnover
– Braided multifilament core
– Great value for money
3. Orvis PRO Trout Smooth Fly Line
– AST Plus treatment provides slickness that works longer
– Eight times slicker than any other additive
– Improved flotation and performance
– Orvis Line ID quickly identifies the line with the taper, weight, and functionality
– Enhanced welded loop makes leader attachment easier