Ice fishing refers to the practice of using the necessary fishing equipment in an opening of ice to target the fish beneath it.
Before embarking on your ice fishing trip, you must ensure that you are equipped with all of the gear and essentials that are required for an enjoyable and successful experience.
The environment of ice fishing is more demanding than your standard fishing location and whilst it is important to ensure that you are kitted out in the gear that will protect you from the elements, this will also need to be reflected through the quality of the fishing gear that you select.
Ice fishing line generally tends to be stronger with less line memory. Both open water and ice water fishing share few similarities, hence why many anglers will often use the same rod and reel for both types.
The line holds the lure which attracts the species that you are targeting. When fishing in ice water, the fish have more time to inspect the lure so there is a greater chance that this will swim away before you can catch them.
For this reason, you will find that there are several types of clear line that are not as visible to the fish when it has been cast into the water.
The temperature of the water can also alter the condition of the line as can the conditions of the icy environment. Because of this, the line must be able to handle said conditions without compromising on the performance.
The sharp edges of the ice along with any rocks beneath the surface of the water can affect the quality of the line, potentially presenting the risk of it getting destroyed.
As such, your chosen line must be strong enough to combat such conditions.
Typically, the majority of ice line manufacturers treat the line with an anti-freezing compound which as expected prevents the line from becoming frozen and damaged.
Fluorocarbon tends to be the preferred option for ice fishing in comparison to other varieties such as monofilament.
This is because a line of this kind possesses more strength and is abrasion resistant so it will refrain from becoming damaged or deteriorating in quality when exposed to the conditions of the ice water environment.
It sinks at a fast pace too. Despite this, monofilament still provides a worthy option for ice fishing.
Similar to fluorocarbon it is strong and copes well with colder temperatures. Furthermore, monofilament line offers less memory. A braided line provides another excellent option for ice fishing.
Aside from having an ultra-small diameter, it is tough too. However, braided line is prone to icing up so it may struggle to endure the elements for prolonged periods.
You will also require a certain color line for ice fishing. Your line should be visible to you and invisible to the fish that you are attempting to catch.
A fishing line that is clear colored will appear transparent to the fish so that they will not be able to see when they are being targeted. There is also blue line available that shows up against the surface of the snow.
To gain an understanding as to which type of fishing line is the most practical option, it is important to develop an awareness of the characteristics of the line that is required.
Ultimately, above all else, the line must be strong. One that is poorly made will struggle to endure the elements. Additionally, it should also be harder for the fish to detect once it has been cast into the water.
Lines intended for ice fishing should also have less line memory. This will reduce line coils to prevent it from slacking.
Can you use a regular line for ice fishing?
Often many anglers will use their regular fishing line when they go ice fishing.
If you regularly take to the open water to fish but have now decided to venture into ice fishing, you may be questioning whether it is a good idea to follow suit and use your regular line for ice fishing.
While it is possible, it isn’t advised for all types of lines. As mentioned, the line will be exposed to harsher elements so it must be able to cope with these conditions whilst resisting damage.
Although open water fishing gear is sometimes used interchangeably with ice fishing gear, this doesn’t necessarily apply to the shared use of regular fishing lines because the coldness of the water and risk of abrasion caused by the surrounding ice is likely to cause the line to deteriorate sooner.
It must also refrain from freezing even when held under the water for lengthy periods. A line that fails to do so is going to hinder the success of your fishing trip.
Manufacturers specifically formulate ice fishing lines so that they can handle the icy temperatures much more effectively.