Mono vs Fluoro for Trout Fishing: Which works best?

Trout can be very finicky, so it’s essential to use the right line. We’ll explain key differences between monofilament and fluorocarbon line, and give you our picks for the best line for trout fishing.

If you’re in a hurry, here are the best trout fishing lines:

  1. Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament
  2. Sufix Advance Clear Monofilament
  3. P-Line Floroclear Clear Flourcarbon
  4. Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon

Monofilament vs Fluorocarbon

There are 2 types of fishing like that are predominantly used in trout fishing, monofilament (mono) and fluorocarbon (flouro). There’s also a third option we’ll discuss later. Both mono and flouro have different attributes, strengths and weaknesses.


Monofilament is probably the type of line most fishermen are familiar with. Mono is a single strand line and does not have multiple filaments like braids or other lines that are strung out from multiple strands and intertwined, fused, braided, or bundled together.

Monofilament is very easy to handle and work with. It’s flexible or “limp” and works great in a multitude of fishing situations for a wide variety of species, including trout.

Monofilament stretches by up to 25% which means the line is capable of great shock absorption when you set the hook. Mono is typically also the cheapest in cost when compared to other fishing lines. Some downsides to mono is the lack of sensitivity due to its stretchy nature, along with sensitivity issues it’s also weaker in terms of tensile strength.

Fluorocarbon line

If the name Fluorocarbon seems familiar to you, it’s because it’s used in everything from teflon to freon and many other products and materials on the market today. Like mono it is extruded into a single strand, but unlike mono the molecules of Fluorocarbon line are more densely packed together, making the line heavier and stronger than mono.

Fluoro is stiffer and due to its stiffer nature is much more sensitive and allows the angler to feel light bites.

Some of the downsides to fluoro are that its harder to manage due to its stiffness. That makes the line gain “memory” and will coil after its been wrapped around a reel for an extended period of time. A line with too much memory can cause issues if you need to fix a tangle on your spool while your in the water or on shore.

The lack of stretch also means it doesn’t have the shock strength of monofilament, but it makes up for it by having a higher tensile strength.

One of the most important aspects of Fluorocarbon is its visibility “or lack thereof” fluorocarbon is virtually invisible in the water and is unparalleled when fishing in ultra clear water for fish as finicky as trout.

Other considerations for choosing trout line

Line strength

Line strength is one of the most important considerations when trout fishing, and this depends on an individual anglers’ needs. For instance if you are fishing native brook or stocked brown trout in the small rocky rivers or winding forest creeks in the upper Midwest, you might only need 6 pound test monofilament.

This might be different if you are fishing the Great Lakes tributaries for larger rainbow trout, or the very large brown trout that migrate up river to spawn in the spring, requiring stronger line, in this instance fluorocarbon may be your best option.


The same could be said of fishing ultra clear deep lakes for large Lake Trout where invisibility and strength are of utmost importance. Take into consideration your local fishing waters and species when making a decision on what strength and type of line to use.

Our picks for best trout line

Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament

Berkley Triline is designed with a thinner diameter compared to other monofilament lines for  the same ratings in strength. This gives the angler added benefits in reducing the visibility of the line underwater, and allowing for larger amounts of line to be spooled on the reel. Just as important, it has greater impact strength over similar lines on the market.

The line has been tested relentlessly by professional anglers and field testers to ensure that it will hold up to the rigors of angling. The line is also incredibly supple and easy to work with, this also increases casting distance and enhances lure performance.

Sufix Advance Clear Monofilament

Built using a process known as proprietary magnetic extrusion, hyper copolymer nylon and HPME molecules are blended together. This creates an ultra abrasion resistant and very durable line, Without sacrificing flexibility, ease of use, or limpness when compared to other monofilament lines on the market.

The line also features great hook setting power and sensitivity to aid in bite detection. Sufix Advance mono offers anglers extreme knot strength and knot tying is easy and user friendly, this isn’t your old school style of mono fishing line!

P-Line Floroclear Clear Flourocarbon

P-line is a standard for anglers of a wide variety of species when it comes to the top fluorocarbon lines on the market. It’s extruded from the highest quality Japanese Fluorocarbon crystals. Giving it some of the best breaking strength, abrasion resistance and best knots on the market today.

The refractive index of this line is almost the exact same as water. That makes it completely invisible to underwater eyes and helping entice wary fish like trout to bite.

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon

Super FC is a high performance fluorocarbon line that can be used in a wide variety of Trout fishing situations. It features triple resin coatings for greater ease of use, giving it extra flexibility and limpness. That makes the Sunline easier to manager compared to other fluorocarbon lines that store a lot of coil memory.

This line also has lower memory and better casting properties when compared to other fluorocarbon lines on the market.

The coatings also help by giving the line better abrasion resistance, giving the angler more confidence when fishing places with brush or timber. This line is almost comparable to monofilament lines, giving the angler the best of both worlds.

Fishing Line Tips

When using a line such as mono, one of the best things to do is to keep it out of the sun whenever possible, along with minimizing exposure, dry rot after long periods of use can make the line weak and brittle causing it to break easily, or have knot fails causing a loss of lures and fish. Luckily mono is cheap and it’s a great idea to replace your line every season.

Applying line conditioner to fluorocarbon can be a great idea. Line conditioner helps the line when it comes to gaining memory after long periods of being wrapped around a spool, and it will also help greatly when it comes to casting distance as well, which in larger rivers or lakes can be a huge plus.


Trout fishing can be a tricky affair, but the choosing the best line will give you an advantage.

Take your target species size and water conditions into account, but you really can’t go wrong with monofilament or fluorocarbon lines for trout. Both will lead you to success and both have a time and place.

Now that you got the right line, check out our guide to the Best Fishing Rods for Trout.

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