Best Ice Fishing Line for Walleyes 2020/2021
Ice fishing in the winter requires a very different setup when compared to the other seasons especially for walleye.
A dedicated ice fishing rod and smaller diameter reel is usually required and a bunch of other gear that you will only use at this time of year.
The same can be said for fishing line for ice fishing.
Ice fishing puts a huge amount of wear and tear on a line especially if you are jigging. Super cheap mono from a department store is not the way to go here.
Ice fishing line needs to be as abrasion resistant as possible and a lot of modern purpose built lines are designed with this in mind.
That being said if you are on a budget then plain old mono can work, just bear in mind that it does have a lot of stretch in it so you will loose some sensitivity if you are jigging with very small jigs.
Best Ice Fishing Line for Walleyes
The two most common methods are either jigging or dead sticking when walleye ice fishing.
Jigging uses either small walleye jig heads or small spoons that have a specific flutter to them. When dead sticking you will normally have a small minnow suspended under a bobber.
A good ice fishing line when you are jigging is one that is low stretch and has a pretty thin diameter.
The low stretch allows you to have:
- Better sensitivity
- Better hook setting
Whereas the low diameter:
- Less drag if in moving water
- Potentially less visibility
Ultimately you want the line to have as little influence on the movement of the jig as possible. Heavy monofilament for certain will stop a small spoon from fluttering naturally as it descends down through the water column.
Some of the best walleye ice fishing lures require that they can move as freely as possible through the water without the line affecting there natural swimming motion.
However if you are fishing in really shallower waters then mono can be okay as too stiff a line can cause too much sensitivity when it is only out a small distance. Anywhere up to about 10 feet is okay. After that and you'll need something a little stiffer.
Some manufacturers have dedicated ice fishing lines and they all perform quite well however they can be a little on the expensive side.
Braid is also a decent option here as long as you use a small leader to the hook of either mono or fluorocarbon.
Dead sticking traditionally involves using a minnow suspended at either a foot off the bottom or at the depth you are sure the walleye are patrolling, usually under a very simple bobber.
For a clean bottom with very little snags you can use either a 8 pound mono.
If there are a lot of underwater snags or vegetation then you may need to beef the line up to about a 10 to 12 pound strength.
Berkley Fireline Micro Ice
Stronger and thinner than mono Fireline Micro Ice from Berkley is built to be as abrasion resistant as possible.
Nothing beats a line up more that continually rubbing off the side of an ice hole for hours on end as you jig as small flutter spoon.
Regular mono can tear easily when rubbed on by solid ice and at colder temperatures if can become pretty brittle.
Berkley's Fireline Micro Ice addresses all of these points and is probably the best walleye ice fishing line that you can get.
SpiderWire Stealth Superline
An absolute favorite of bass fishermen SpiderWire's Stealth braid is extremelt versatile as a main reel line.
Low stretch and super thin it slice through the water with ease. You get a lot of feedback through this braid so it is suitable for fishing quite deep.
Just make sure you get your knots right between the braid and whatever leader you choose to use.
Berkley Trilene XL Mono
Probably the best mono available the Berkley's Trilene XL has great sensitivity for a mono and is also quite thin.
For a mono it also has very low memory so you small arbor ice fishing reel will leave less of a mark on it than traditional mono.