Best Fishing Line for Trout

best fishing line for trout

Did you know trout are considered to be one of the toughest fish to catch?


Well they’re picky eaters, have keen eyesight, and put up a tenacious fight.

The right choice of fishing line will be your key to success on the riverbank this year. Making the wrong choice in fishing line will leave you empty handed and disappointed.

At the end of the day, your line is the only thing between you and the fish.

In this article you’ll find a list of lines that are effective for trout fishing in pressured waters. We also included a quick reference guide towards the end on how to choose the right line.

Best Fluorocarbon Line For Trout

5. Seaguar Red Label

If your looking for a line that’s reliable, catches fish, and comes with reasonable price tag. Then Seaguar Red Label is a very solid option.

Seaguar fishing lines are known for there suppleness. It’s very important that you have soft line because it will prevent line chips that are often present in poorer quality fluorocarbon lines.

The formula used in Seaguar lines promotes durability and strong knots without sacrificing the integrity of the true fluorocarbon line.

4. Seaguar Blue Label

Seaguar makes some premium products to say the least but this line is the superior version of their red label product.

This biggest perk of this 100% pure fluorocarbon line is its ability to sink quickly.

This ensures that your rig gets into the strike zone when it really matters. In addition to being fast sinking Seaguar made this line more outstanding by improving its knot and tensile strength.  

3. Berkley Vanish

A 100% fluorocarbon line that takes the two great features of the first two Seaguar lines and combines them into one.

This line does a great job with being able to sink quickly and also with Berkley’s secret recipe this line provides great abrasion resistance. Another unique feature of this line is its ability to be non-absorbent.

With lower quality fluorocarbon and monofilament line the line can take on water and cause the line to act differently over time.  

2. P-Line CFX Fluorocarbon

P-Line is by far one of my personal favorites. It never fails and always delivers.

This line comes at a great price and showcases all of the great features of a fluorocarbon fishing line.

A distinctive trait of the P-Line CFX is its refractive index that is nearly identical to that of water. Making this line virtually invisible.  

1. Seaguar STS Trout/Steelhead Fluorocarbon Leader

Finally, the number one fishing line on the list of the best fishing line for trout.

Seaguar STS Trout/Steelhead, this is going to be your best bet for trout fishing.

Why it may be a little more pricey than the other lines it is worth every penny.

The line was developed specifically for trout and salmon fishing.

This line is extremely tolerant for abrasions. And also is extremely heavy which gets your bait in the strike zone!

Also for a fluorocarbon line it ties a knot effortlessly and has matchless knot strength.

Another great feature that goes unnoticed about this line is the case it comes in.

A lot of Seaguar product share this trait and it’s a “spool case” that makes it really easy to get the line and put away without it unspooling in your tackle box/bag.

In conclusion, all of these lines are great lines. Every fisherman knows that the line is the only thing separating you from the fish and it’s by far one of the most important parts of your fishing ensemble.

Quick Reference Guide to Picking Out the Right Fishing Line.

You walk into a place that sells fishing line. You look at the rather large wall of options. Now you need to make decision.

But how do you make the best decision?

Picking out the right line doesn’t have to be a chore.

In fact, it can be done in four simple steps:

  1. Pick a line type
  2. Determine the line weight you need
  3. Choose the right line diameter
  4. Select the best color

When it comes to fishing for trout a high-quality fluorocarbon line can go a long way. A common set up for fishermen is a monofilament main line(the primary line on the spool) with a fluorocarbon leader.

The leader is a 12 – 18 in piece of line that you tie onto your main line. This way you get the best the of both worlds.

With mono as your main line you’ll benefit from its key features of abrasion resistants, knot strength, and the elasticity.

Having the fluorocarbon leader is important as well because it will be nearly invisible to the fish. Its smaller line diameter and light refraction properties are some characteristics that mono cant duplicate.

When picking out fishing line, make sure its the right line for your reel.

On a fishing reel you’ll find numbers on the spool that indicate the recommended line capacity for the spool.

They might read something like “Mono. 4/255, 6/145, 8/130” or “Braid 6/275, 8/190, 10/160.

What this is saying is if it reads mono 4/255 this means you can fit up to 255 yards of 4lbs monofilament line on the reel.

For this process, I’m excluding trolling, and fly fishing. Both of these styles of fishing deserve their own post for fishing line with all of their nuances.

The first step let’s pick out a line type


Different line types include: Monofilament, Braid, Fluorocarbon, Lead-Core, High-Viz, Copper, and the list just keeps going…

The first three are the most common line types.

Braid is great for anything in the bass family or any other bigger predatory fish. It’s perfect for when you’re using heavy tackle or top-water lures.

For trout fishing, monofilament and fluorocarbon are going to be the two line types to focus on.

Monofilament Line

Monofilament often called mono for short is a line that has a lot of great features and by far the most used line type in the world.

The most notable characteristics of monofilament are its versatility and price.

It’s the cheaper, fatter, and more generic version of its cousin fluorocarbon.

The monofilament line, under a microscope, is a line that has very tiny air pockets. Which allows the line to either float or be neutrally buoyant. This is beneficial when targeting fish like trout that require a very precise delivery lure presentation (or how the fish sees your bait in the water).

This is really important in float/centerpin fishing.

The downside to this unique feature is it makes the line more visible in the water. Fish are pretty smart creatures and more often than not a monofilament line won’t cut it in crystal clear waters. Fish can be easily spooked by something like fishing line because it doesn’t mimic something in the nature that the fish would be accustomed to.

Mono can also be differentiated by its elastic properties. Unlike braid, or fluorocarbon, mono can stretch.

Setting the hook with mono may cause you to miss a strike here and there. While you may give it a good jerk to hook the fish, that energy is lost in the span of the line as it stretches. But when you do hook a fish, fighting a fish becomes a little easier. That line stretch is more tolerant of a fish fighting and jumping in the air.

Something to consider with monofilament line is that it has a shelf life. Monofilament is prone to UV exposure which deteriorates the line and makes it brittle over time. In all honesty, it’s not to big of a concern if you change out your spool at least once a season.

The last but most notable characteristic of a mono line is the unrivaled knot strength. When tying a fishing knot you’ll often experience your line being stretched out and warped, this is commonly known as Line Burn.

Line burn is what happens to your line when there is an excess amount of friction that causes the line to be over stretched.

Why is this bad?

The friction creates a weak spot in your line. It doesn’t take much to snap the line and lose your fish with the lure.

Fluorocarbon Line

Fluorocarbon is a pure version of monofilament.

There are no air bubbles in the line which means less stretch and the line naturally sinks.

No stretch means better hook sets on the fish.

But the downside is that the hook can either be torn through the fish’s lip or the fish has a better chance of getting off the line.

Therefore the stretch that you get with monofilament makes it easier to reel the fish in because if the fish bolts, the line goes with them instead of snapping right away.

An easier way to understand this is if you had a 10-pound weight and a string tied around it and you yanked the string it would most likely snap(fluorocarbon = string).

Now if you take the same weight and tie a rubber band around it and yanked the rubber band it would stretch a not snap (rubberband = monofilament).The same concept can be applied to the hook, hooking. But in this case, fluorocarbon is better.

Now that doesn’t mean you will always lose the fish or that this is a bad line to fish with. The better the hooksets the more hook ups you will have and the more fish you will land. You can compensate for the no stretch in the line by adjusting your drag on your reel.

The biggest pro of fluorocarbon is hands down its ability to refract light. When fluorocarbon enters the water it is nearly invisible.

While this may be one relatively small perk of this line it holds a lot of weight.

For fishing for more sensitive fish or high pressured fishing areas or really clear water, this line is a must have. With the great pros of fluorocarbon, there are a couple downsides.

The big one is the line is fragile. It can be more prone to line burn if you are not careful and the line can also chip.


Yes, I said chip.

Picture fishing line to be a solid plastic pipe.Solid plastic pipes can be chipped by things. Now In the same scenario with fishing line its abrasions from rocks, fish biting the line, and lures getting tangled that end up chipping the line.

Another downside to this type of line is that it sinks. A sinking line is not necessarily a good line.

Unless you’re doing any type of fishing like float fishing

Let’s move on to the second step choosing our weight

line weight for trout

Sometimes referred to as the test, the weight of the line determines the tensile strength.

The higher the weight the stronger the line and visa verse. A good rule of thumb to take with you all throughout fishing is “fish with the lightest tackle possible”.

To make the selection for the weight of the line you should be using you should always think about how much weight are you going to be applying to the line.

If your punching through lily pads and weeds and planning on dragging a 5-pound bass back through the weeds a very heavy line is appropriate.

Use a lighter line if you are fishing for a fish that live in a relatively brush free area.

Or if you’re fishing for trout who are a very finicky fish you should use a very light line for the smaller line size.

Which brings me to the next point…

Step number three pick a good line diameter

Referring to the size of the line it really doesn’t need much of an explanation.

It’s similar to the weight of the line and it’s equally important.

But both size and weight are often proportionate to each other.

I think this goes without saying but the smaller the line the harder to see and the bigger the line diameter the easier it is to see.

When looking through the types of line you will see the proportions (by proportion I mean weight:line diameter) are different based on what type of line.

While monofilament may be considered a thicker line. A braid or fluorocarbon line may be considered thinner.

For example, You will notice that a 15 lb braid may be equivalent in size to 4 lb monofilament.

And finally,

Step four: pick a color

for this post I’m not really going to dive into color. While it is an important factor in picking out line. The color for most fish and trout especially is going to be clear

To narrow down the right line for trout.

It’s worthwhile knowing that the species is known to a rather difficult fish to catch.

The fish has the tendency to be very easily spooked.

So being as invisible and as normal looking as possible is our goal. A normal setup when for fishing for trout would either be a spool of pure fluorocarbon line or a spool of any line with a fluorocarbon leader.