Best Fishing Line For Trout in 2020

By Josh Hassell / December 26, 2018

Do you know what kind of equipment you need to catch trout? Did you know that you can’t use just about any fishing line? Luckily, several types of lines on the market are often recommended as the best for trout.

Mono-filament, fluorocarbon and braided fishing lines are the most common choices. It’s hard to tell which is the best since it’s up to you to decide which one works the best for you. However, some are more common than the others.

Top 5 Recommended Fishing Lines For Trout

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1. Seaguar Blue Label 25-Yards Fluorocarbon

Incredible Impact and Abrasion Resistance. Fast Sinking, Superior Tensile and Knot Strength...
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2. KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

It's a combination of the No.1 selling KastKing Copolymer Fishing Line with high-tech 100% fluorocarbon coating that reduces the line's visibility when immersed in water...
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3. P-Line Floroclear Clear Fishing Line

With Floroclear's fluorocarbon coating the line is virtually invisible once it enters the water. This gives anglers the advantage of a more stealthy presentation...
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4. Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon

Product with a triple coating that gives it a softer feel and is more supple when handling. It has low memory, which makes casting easier...
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5. Stren Fluorocast Fluorocarbon

THE SMOOTH CASTING FLUOROCARBON Don't be fooled by "fluorocarbon coated" imitations, FluoroCast is a true fluorocarbon that casts like a nylon monofilament...
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Have you ever been in a shop or tried shopping online for a fishing line? You’ve probably noticed countless types of different fishing lines. Quality stores have huge collections to choose from which isn’t always the easiest thing if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

The best type for trout is the one you cannot see. In most cases, it’s the fluorocarbon though others could work just as well in specific situations.

We’ve prepared a list of the best fishing lines for this shy fish. Continue reading to find the best kind, as well as all the important things to consider when shopping for a quality product.

Seaguar Blue Label 25-Yards Fluorocarbon Leader

This is most probably the most popular brand as it’s the “go to” line of many experienced fishermen. It’s made of a 100% fluorocarbon leader material and is smaller in diameter than most others on the market. It’s been around for the longest time which is why most people have tried it before.

It’s among the best choices for trout which is no surprise since Seaguar has invented this type of fishing line back in 1971. It has remarkable tensile and knot strength with impressive abrasion resistance. On top of that, it also absorbs shock very well.

Because it’s made of pure fluorocarbon, it’s practically invisible once under the water. Trout can’t spot it because it’s not reflective. Other types such as Monofilament look invisible but are quite reflective in water.

This Seaguar line is ideal for freshwater and saltwater fishing. It’s sturdy and can withstand rough resistance of the trout.

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KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

This one isn’t actually pure fluorocarbon such as the one above. However, it performs similarly since it features a 100% fluorocarbon coat. The fact that it’s just coated with the material reduced its price significantly. In fact, it often costs about a half of the price of the full fluorocarbon.

The KastKing FluoroKote is best for when you’re fishing in warm weather and deep water. It sinks fast, and it has exceptional abrasion resistance. It’s also crucial to mention that it doesn’t absorb any water. It works well for all kinds of situations and baits you can think of.

The material under the coating is a copolymer that helps with its invisibility when under water. It doesn’t stretch, has higher density and works with almost all techniques and situations.

This is a good choice if you’re on a budget since it performs similarly at a fraction of the cost.

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P-Line Floroclear Clear Fishing Line

If you want the ultimate knot strength, you should definitely consider the P-Line Floroclear. This is actually a hybrid of fluorocarbon and nylon which gives a softer touch.

Another thing that’s quite amazing apart from the strength is how great you can cast it. P-line has created a tough product, and they’ve got it just right. It’s also crucial to mention that this one has low stretch so it won’t curl as most fluorocarbon do.

You can use it any way you like though it works the best as the main line. Its small diameter makes it ideal for trout regardless of the season you’re fishing in.

Many people say that P-Line works like mono with fluorocarbon specifications. This also makes it great for brass. Also, it costs less than pretty much every 100% fluorocarbon.

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Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

If you’re using both casting and spinning reel, the Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon is one of the best ones to opt for. It’s versatile mostly because the manufacturer used triple resin processing.

The high-quality materials used in this process give it some remarkable characteristics. Sunline is resistant to abrasion, doesn’t stretch and has a uniform diameter. This means that there won’t be any thin spots, knots, defects or any kind of issues when you’re fishing.

Castability is impressive thanks to its overall strength low memory. It sinks quickly and is probably the best for heavy cover applications.

It’s strong and durable, but its best specification is probably the fact that it doesn’t tangle or stretch. You’ll feel the trout bite that very second, and you’ll have no issues pulling it out the water.

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Stren Fluorocast Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Another popular choice is this all-American type. It’s made in the USA, and you’ll often see people use and recommend it as one of the best for trout.

The Stren Fluorocast Fluorocarbon is strong, as it’s made of 100% fluorocarbon. The abrasion resistance and toughness of this one are mostly why fishers use it. It sinks quickly so all your lures will go deeper in less time. If you know the way these work, you’ll know what to expect from Stren Fluorocast.

Many people say you’ll get best results if you pair it with an 8 or 10-pound braided line. It does a great job as a leader, especially for trout fishing. Its small spool design allows it to work with a tackle box.

It’s as invisible underwater because it’s made of 100% fluorocarbon. Its best specification is impressive abrasion resistance. For this reason, you can use it in all kinds of situations and both salt and fresh water.

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Why Fishing Line Setup is Critical

The only way you’ll be successful in catching this shy fish is by selecting the best fishing line setup. Without it, it doesn’t even matter which bait or technique you’re using.

Fluorocarbon is undoubtedly the most popular choice and for several reasons. Trout is actually quite shy which is why fluorocarbon is a much better choice than the braided fishing line for example.

These fish have amazing eyesight that’s probably better than any other fish. They have similar eyes like humans with a better ability to see ultraviolet frequencies.

This is the type that’s nearly invisible when underwater, so the shy trout is less likely to notice it. Braided might be better for other fish such as golden perch and yellow belly fish.

Trout have amazing sight so they can spot most lines quite easily. For this reason, fishing with monofilament might make it harder to actually catch any.

This fish has monocular and binocular vision which allows them to see in the opposite way of where they’re swimming. More so, they see in practically every direction at the same time and can move their eyes independently.

Can Trout Spot Fishing Line?

One thing you should remember is that trout can definitely see fishing line. It’s funny, but they’ll be suspicious of even the slightest showing of the line regardless of the lure you’ve attached.

It’s crucial for your success to keep in mind that this fish is easily scared. Choose only the line that’s invisible once in the water since all your chances depend on this.

Luckily, most lines made for freshwater fishing are barely visible. Combine this with an appropriate lure or bait, and you’ll have much higher chances of catching trout the next time you’re in the water.

Why Fluorocarbon Line is Better

We’ve mentioned the three fishing lines most commonly used for catching trout. Still, the one people recommend the most is fluorocarbon especially if you’re fishing in streams. Some work better than others though you can always choose based on your preference.

Trout is among the shyest fish that exists in freshwater. Many people say it’s impossible to catch it with a braided fishing line for example. For this reason, experienced anglers recommend fluorocarbon.

The choice is a vast one so that you can select among many brands and manufacturers. It’s important you pay attention to choosing the one that’s the most invisible. Other types are suitable for other fish. For example, you can catch a yellow belly fish using a braided fishing line, but there’s almost no way you find trout.

You also have to think about the season since some lines work better for summer while others are better for winter. It’s a matter of considering all the important factors.

As we mentioned, this fish has remarkable eyesight. More so, it won’t bite if it notices just a slight hint of your line. You can attach any lure or bait you can think of, but trout won’t bite if they can see the line.

For this reason, fluorocarbon is probably the best choice for this best for Trout.

Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon is almost entirely invisible underwater, so trout cannot see it. It has no color and is completely clear plus you’ll feel the bite quite clearly.

This one is very similar to monofilament in terms of stretching abilities. It’s not elastic so you can feel when the fish bites pretty much the same second. Also, fluorocarbon sinks better, so it’s the best if you want to place the bait deeper in the water.

Probably the only downside is that this type is a bit more expensive than most others on the market. If you’re just starting out, it might be too much when you’re buying all your equipment. However, if you’re looking to catch trout, you should try these if you have a chance.

Monofilament Fishing Lines

Monofilament is another popular type of line trout anglers use. It’s mostly recommended to beginners since it’s versatile and works for all kinds of fish. On top of that, it’s affordable so and usually much cheaper than fluorocarbon option.

It’s more elastic, and though people often think that’s bad, it’s not. Lines that aren’t elastic at all might break easier when the fish bites. Monofilament will stretch just enough instead of breaking. For this reason, it works well with most species.

It’s also important to note that this one won’t sink as fluorocarbon does. It actually floats which can be both good and bad depending on the bait you’re using. You might need to do some more in-depth research on this if you want to be sure you’re doing it right. Still, if you opt for topwater baits, choose monofilament. Otherwise, fluorocarbon is a good choice.

Pay particular attention to the drag setting of your reel. Because it stretches, it could snap quickly unless you use it with care.

Another thing you should know is that mono has high memory. If you don’t use it for too long, it will most definitely curl up on your spinning reel. This will make it practically unusable. Also, make sure to avoid bright colors since trout will spot them from afar and you’ll just end up throwing your money.

Try it out several times in different weather conditions and see if it works for you. It’s possible to catch trout with it, but you might have to try a bit harder.

Braided Fishing Line

You might think there’s you should avoid it altogether, but there’s a smart way of making them work for catching trout. Most anglers opt for it for spinning reels and will always recommend it as a good way of saving money.

Regardless of whether you’re fishing with lure or bait, you can use braided fishing line in combination with either fluorocarbon or monofilament. The trick is to use braided as your main line and one of the other two as your leader line. This will save you some pennies, but you’ll still be able to catch some trout.

Using a full fluorocarbon as the main line is a bit expensive for some especially if you’re just starting out. Braided lines are stronger but have the same thickness which is exactly why as many people opt for it.

It’s also a bit faster since it doesn’t stretch and has a thinner profile. This allows you to feel the bite very well. Plus, it has low memory, so it’s ideal for spinning reels. It’s also long-lasting as it has great abrasion resistance.

Its most significant setback is the fact that it’s highly visible. For this particular reason, it’s not recommended as a leader line. Trout will spot it every single time since it has no transparency whatsoever.

Using a long leader line on a short rod is a bad idea if your main line is braided. You’ll have lots of trouble with accuracy and probably no success in catching trout. However, you can make it work by pairing it with a fluorocarbon leader. This will help not to scare trout though it will do very little for the accuracy.

As you can see, there’s a way of making the braided line work for trout. It’s an affordable solution, but you’ll most definitely have to pair it with another kind. On its own, it does no good, and trout most probably won’t even come near it.

Lead Core Fishing Line

Lead core is the last thing people reach for. It’s meant for trolling so they’re perfect if you’re on deep lakes.

It has a core that runs through it which explains its name. It’s great for lightweight lure because the core adds more weight to it. This helps the lure go deeper than it normally would even without any down-rigger setup.

This is used to measure the length of the line without a counter reel. This might catch you some trout only if you go deep in the lake. Using a fish finder will definitely help with this.

However, it’s best you avoid lead core if you’re a beginner. Plenty of other options on the market work far better for trout and aren’t as complicated to use. It’s not impossible to catch this fish using lead core, but it’s definitely tricky. Unless you have some experience, it’s best you opt for something else.

Important Things To Consider

Now you’ve probably figured which type works the best for this fish. Still, there are different factors you should always consider before you opt for any particular line.


Believe it or not, you actually have to pay attention to how heavy it is. It should be the first thing you check which is why it’s always stated on the box.

There are all kinds of weight to choose from, and you should try to go for the bigger numbers. For example, a fishing line that’s 2lb. is quite thin and breaks easily. However, a line that’s this thin is a great choice when the water is low or clear since trout won’t be able to spot it as easily.

If you’re in doubt, opt for something that’s not too thin or too thick. Fluorocarbon that’s from 4 lb. to 6 lb. is probably the best. Larger trout won’t be able to break it. If you’re using mono, go for 2 to 4 lb. test since that is least likely to scare your fish.

Overall, there are no rules, and you can choose whatever you think it will work best for the situation. The weight of the line mostly depends on the location you chose as well as the weight of trout.


We’ve already mentioned how shy trout is. It has a perfect vision which is why it’s probably the shyest freshwater fish.

This is exactly why you can’t just use any line you come across. It has to be something that won’t be visible underneath the surface of the water.

Monofilament might be a bad choice since it’s highly visible while braided also might not work. Fluorocarbon is often the best for trout, but you can probably make others work too if you combine them in some way.


Strength is another important factor to consider. The lighter line is usually the best for trout since it’s the least visible. However, light one is generally also thin and not as strong.

This is where you want to think twice about how light and strong your line is. Think about how heavy the trout might and that might give you an answer to the strength you should choose.


Color isn’t just randomly there but can actually help catch certain fish. However, trout are easily spooked and won’t come near anything with color especially if the water is clear. The slightest hint will scare the fish regardless of the kind of lure you use.

If you aren’t sure, it’s best you stick with the translucent kind. Trout is less likely to spot it underwater, so your chances of catching it are higher.

Water clarity

If you’re in darker water, you might be able to get away with a colorful line. However, if the water is clear, then you should definitely opt for translucent.


There are different kinds of trout just like there are several rod lines. Each trout is different, and you’ll probably find at least one type in the nearest water. Some are bigger and shyer than others, so certain lines work best for the specific kind of fish.

Rainbow trout is the most popular in the USA, and you can find them in waters all over the country. However, it’s native to the west of the Sierra Nevada Range. This fish will put up a fight once it’s hooked which is why mono is probably the best choice. Fluorocarbon will also work with 4-6 lbs test.

Brown trout is the trickiest one to catch. This is sea fish that only comes to fresh water to spawn. It’s not native to the USA but to Western Europe. It can grow up to 39’’ and 44 lbs. Brown trout have red, orange and black spots on each side. It’s best you use copolymer or fluorocarbon with this one.

Brook is easily distinguished by its black lower fins and white leading edge. These are usually about 8’’ so pretty much any will work as long as they can’t spot it. Brook trout aren’t stocked and is usually found in cold water.


Trout is the kind of fish you can find throughout the year. However, if you want the biggest catch, you’ll have to wait until it’s late spring.

Rivers and lakes usually get stocked in early winter since the fish is most active when the water temperature is 39 to 67°F.

Choose a cloudy day to go fishing because of the sharp eye-sight we’ve talked about. Even shade of a tree can make a difference, and if that’s not an option, you can always wait for the sun to go down a bit.

Final Thoughts

Knowing a little about the fish you’re trying to catch is always a good idea. Trout is specific, and unless you get to know some facts and characteristics, you’ll probably struggle to catch it.

While you have to consider many factors, getting the right fishing line is probably the most important. Fluorocarbon is often the best and easiest to use since this species has excellent sight and is shy. Others might work too but require a bit more experience.

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About the author

    Josh Hassell

    There's nothing better than going out to the lake early in the morning, and catching some fish! Like many other anglers, I find fishing to be very therapeutic. I've been fishing since I was about 10 years old, and fell in love ever since. I hope to share my expertise and knowledge with the community, and help everyone become better anglers.

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