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The Best Fishing Line for Trout: Hook More Trout With the Right Line!

best fishing line for trout

Nothing is tastier than throwing some freshly caught trout on the grill!

Trout are a great species to fish because they're easy to catch and put up one heck of a fight.

As anglers, we’re always looking for something to give us an edge. Well, today I’m going to tell you the best fishing line for trout, what kind of bait will have you catching them all day, and just about everything else about trout!

Quick Top 5 Fishing Lines for Trout

*Keep reading for full reviews below

What are the Different Types of Trout?

Rainbow Trout:

Originally native to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Range, they have since been stocked in rivers and lakes all over the United States and are the most fished trout.

Rainbow trout are easily distinguished from other fish thanks to their pinkish stripe that runs across their body along with any number of black spots. They commonly grow up to 12” and do best in colder waters, though they can survive in warmer waters too.

Known to jump when hooked, Rainbow Trout are excellent fighters.

Brook Trout:

Also known as the speckled trout, the Brook Trout is found in colder water and distinguished by its white leading edge and black lower fins. Only growing to around 8”, Brook Trout aren’t usually stocked.

Brown Trout

Originating from Western Europe, the Brown Trout includes populations that are purely freshwater fish, as well as some that are sea trout. Sea trout only return to freshwater when they spawn.

Though the can grow up to 44lbs and 39”, most brown trout are going be around 2lbs. Brown trout are some of the most suspicious and hard to catch trout. They can be spotted by their brownish-yellow color and the black, red, and orange spots on their sides.

Can Trout See Your Fishing Line?

Yes. In fact, trout are about as line shy of a fish as you’ll find. Thus, brings on the debate of what’s the best line weight for trout. If the trout catches so much as a glimpse of your line, he’s not going to bite.

This is why presentation and technique are so important when fishing trout. It also essentially takes braided line out of the question. Mono or Fluorocarbon will both work, however, with the ladder, you’ll be able to use high pound test line.

Choosing The Line Weight For A Perfect Trout Fishing Setup

This depends on where you’re fishing and how big the trout are. For instance, if you’re fishing with monofilament then the most you can get away with before the line becomes easily visible to the fish, is 2-4 lb test. This is fine if it’s early in the season and most of your trout are a couple of pounds.

If you fish with fluorocarbon, though, you can set your reel up with 8-10 lbs test. If you plan on bringing in some good sized fish, then this is what you need.

What You Should Take Into Consideration

Which Fish Could Take Hold of your Bait

If you’re fishing early or very late in the season with natural baits, like corn, then you might end up with something other that a trout on your line! It wouldn’t be crazy to have a 10lb carp on the other end that, if your line weights to small, is going to snap it pretty much from the get-go.

Be Honest About Your Skill Level as an Angler

If you’re a beginner, you have probably already experienced a fishing trip ruining snag a time or two, and we all know it sucks. Your line weight can plan a huge role in the levels of your frustration during any given snag.

When you’re just starting out and don’t know how to fight a fish, or how to save a lure from a submerged log, you’ll be best served with a stronger line.

One of the reasons we love fishing trout so much is the incredible fight they produce—even the small ones. If you’re not experienced reeling in a strong fighting fish, then you'll experience a lot of heartbreak at the snap of a line.

Plus, a more robust line will give you a better shot recovering your expensive lures from the unforgiving bottom of a river.

Which works best: Natural baits or lures?

To know which bait will work best, you need to think about where you’re fishing and if the bait your using would look like a natural occurrence to the trout. You also need to think about your style as an angler.

Some prefer to cast out spinners all day, while anglers—like myself—prefer to throw some out some enticing natural bait and let the fish come to us.

Some of the best Natural Baits:


Minnows are as natural of bait as it gets. No need to worry about presentation or anything, just hook the minnow right before its tail or through its mouth and cast it out.

These naturally small fish—and natural prey to fish for trout and bass—will do the rest of the work for you. The issue with using minnows, though, is they are a pain to store. You need water filled buckets with an aerator, just like a fish tank, to keep them alive while you fish.

Night Crawlers

Easy and inexpensive, night crawlers have been a favorite of fishermen forever. Night crawlers will stay alive in the water and give off a lot of movement enticing the trout to bite.

The trick to fishing with worms is in the way you hook them. Make sure to leave a good portion of their tails hanging off the hook so they can move around, just be ready to set the hook when the trout bites!

Salmon Eggs

Salmon eggs are a favorite of wild trout. Since they don’t move in the wild, salmon eggs are a natural trap that you’ll be ready to spring on any hungry trout that come your way.

Salmon eggs are delicate, so they're ideal if you’re just going to be fishing right off the shore. If you cast out with a lot of force, you run the risk of losing them mid-flight. To set them up on your rig, pierce them through the middle making sure to completely cover your hook in them except the end.

Sweet Corn

A well-kept secret of trout fishing: Trout go nuts over corn. In fact, in some areas it’s so effective it's been banned! I couldn’t tell you if it’s the strong scent of sweet corn or the eye-popping color, whatever the reason if you can use it in your local pond it’s a sure fire way to catch a lot of trout.

Some of the Best Lures:


Spinners are the best hard lures to use for trout. They are small, and the light reflecting off the metal “blade” does a great job catching the eyes of a trout. The trick to fishing with spinners is to:

1.) Make sure they spin. To do this, give your line a quick jerk before you reel to free your blade if it's stuck.

2.) Let the spinner sink towards the bottom before reeling in.

3.) Also, since trout face upstream, you need to cast upstream.

4.) Don’t stay on the same color lure for too long if they aren’t biting.

5.) Finally, don’t forget to change up your retrieval speed from slow to fast and everywhere in between.

Power Bait

Power bait is incredibly popular because it uses a strong odor to draw trout from far away to it. This means, you don’t have to pick your spots that well, and can instead rely on the bait to do a lot of the thinking for you.

Available in any number of colors, you can pick the color best for your area. It’s always a good idea to ask around at the fishing shop what colors work best where you are.

Power bait floats, keeping it just off the river bed, and since trout prefer to be about 6” off the bottom, it puts it right in their line of sight.

Best Time to Fish Trout

Time of Year

The best time of the year to catch big trout is late spring. However, trout can be fished all year. Most lakes and rivers will get stocked with trout early in the winter. This gives them a chance to grow to a respectable size by the time they start getting more active.

Time of Day

To find the best time of day to go trout fishing, you need to consider the water temperature and cloud coverage. Trout are going to be most active in waters that range from 39-67°F. With their most active feeding coming just after the water temperature rises exactly one degree from 40°, 45°, and 49°.

Trout’s eyes aren’t meant to stand up to intense light. So cloudy days, where the water is cool are going to be the best days to catch trout. If there’s no cloud coverage, try and fish under the shade of a tree or dock or right before the sun comes up/down.

How to Catch Trout:

How to Set up Your Fishing Line for Trout

If you’re going to be fishing with natural baits, then a Carolina rig will work best. Carolina rigs work to keep your bait suspended off the bottom of the river, which is where trout like to feed.

To set up a Carolina rig, thread your main line through the hole in an egg sinker, then tie a swivel to the end of your line. Next cut a piece of fishing line 6-12” for a leader and tie it to the swivel. Finally, tie your hook onto the end of your fishing leader.

ALWAYS Cast Upstream

Always cast upstream and let your bait or lure drift downstream. Trout hang out waiting for easy food to come floating to them as you can see in this video of trout feeding.

Listen to the Weatherman

The whole idea behind fishing is simulating what the fish sees in the wild enticing them to feed on our bait. With trout, it’s no different.

After a good rainstorm, trout will normally be fishing on worms washed into the river. While on a windy day, they will be feeding on insects as they get blown into the water.

Use this knowledge to formulate a lure plan of attack!

The Best Fishing Line for Trout

The FluoroKote Fishing Line by KastKing is made from Copolymer Fishing Line with a 100% fluorocarbon coating that works to hide the line when it’s in water. This unique line does a great job of avoiding the always suspicious trout's eyes.

The copolymer makes it a low memory line. An active and durable line that is available in tests from 4lbs all way up to 30lbs. However, for trout, you’ll be best at4-6lb test with this fishing line.

Since this line is thin, you’re able to keep more on your reel. Plus, it's incredibly fast sinking. The strength of the line helps keep the integrity of your knots, which translates to fewer rigs lost to underwater brush!

The Vanish Fishing Line by Berkley is a 100% fluorocarbon fishing line. It works by refracting light that's a similar color to the water. The line is non-absorbent and stands strong against abrasions.

Tests ranging from 2 lbs to 14 lbs, this is a great traditional trout fishing line. Vanish works well for fly fishing trout or river fishing. It works especially well when you’re fishing clear waters, though. The trout never see it coming.

A strong line that holds knots well. This line fishes best with flies or casting out natural baits. When using hard lures or spinners, it’s a little too stiff. Keep in mind; you can’t use traditional monofilaments knots with this kind of line.

You need to use knots like the surgeon's knot or Davy knot.

Invizx by Seaguar is fantastic at landing trout. 100% fluorocarbon fishing line that is strong enough to set the hook on even the biggest of trout! This is a soft and sensitive fishing line, so you’re able to sense the second a fish hits your bait, which means more catches!

Practically invisible in the water, the line is also UV resistant and chemical resistant making it extremely durable. Since it’s non-absorbent, the line quickly sinks in the water making it a good fit for deep baits.

Holds knots well, and works best when using Palomar knots and improved cinched knots. You’ll love the low memory as well.

P-Line Floroclear Fishing line gets its name from being clear as water. Once in there, it’s almost invisible. It’s a fluorocarbon coated fishing line that’s available in tests from 2 lb to 30 lb.

Its strength makes it a great knot tying line, so you don’t have to worry about losing and rigs. It features reduced memory and casts well. Works great on any reel too, it also works great as a leader on your fly rod.

The small diameter of the line only adds to its invisibility in the water; it makes your baits look like they are an easy snack for any trout!

Another solid fishing line by Seaguar that will catch you a BUNCH of trout. Made in Japan this 100% fluorocarbon line is unyielding and sensitive. You’ll be able to feel a big, even in choppy waters. Plus, its abrasion resistance makes it perfect for fishing rocky rivers.

It has all the features you’d expect from a Seaguar Fishing line: UV and chemical resistance, good to fish in fresh or saltwater and non-absorbent. With this line, if you want to avoid breaks at the knot you need to lubricate it before you tighten it all the way.

This will relieve a lot of the friction and save you from a lot of headaches. Also, if you’re looking for a good inexpensive leader, this is the best there is.


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