Does changing to 2lb line catch more trout than using 4lb, or even 6lb line? Will, in most trout fishing situations you are unlikely to notice any difference in catch rate between 2 and 4lb lines. Even 6lb barely makes a difference.
I have caught my biggest trout on 6lb line. All wary wild brown trout, most of which were living in clear water. Sometimes when fly fishing, I use 7lb or even 8lb tipper and are still able to catch trout. If the diameter is thin enough, they do not seem to care.
In saying that, trout can become line shy, and dropping down in diameter can help. If you are targeting heavily pressured fish in very clear water conditions. I feel using 2lb line will result in more fish caught.
What are the best ultra-thin lines for trout fishing?
There is not a lot of true 2lb lines on the market. I can highly recommend 2lb Maxima Ultragreen. From what I have heard from other trout anglers, this might just be the most used 2lb line on the market. Berkley Trilenle XL also comes in 2lb but I do not have any personal experience with it. Both of these lines have a diameter of 0.05”.
Alternatively, you can go for a slightly thicker 2lb Trout Magnet SOS or 4lb Sunline Super Natural which have a diameter of 0.06”. This is still significantly thinner than most 4lb lines which typically measure 0.008” in diameter. The trout Magnet SOS is also the most affordable ultrathin line.
For more information on the best monofilament for trout fishing, I suggest checking out my guide here.
Where to fish 2lb line?
2lb line is very light, and easy to snap. Most anglers use it to catch stock trout in ponds and lakes with clean bottoms. Unless you want to lose lures, it is not a good idea to fish with 2lb line around weed or structures. Most snags will result in a snapped line.
Unless you want to prolong the fight time for sporting reasons. I suggest only using 2lb line in very clear stillwater. It can give you a slight edge when targeting trout late in the season when they have started to become line shy.
Where to fish 4lb or heavier trout lines?
4lb and 6lb line is the staple of trout fishing. It is the breaking strain most commonly used. I advise using 4lb over 2lb in the following conditions
- – In streams and rivers
- – When the water is dirty
- -When fishing around weed or structure.
- -When the trout are larger than pan size.
- -When the water is warm, and you need to finish the fight fast.
- -When you have less than perfect knots
- -When you are fishing with expensive tackle you can not afford to lose.
Advantages of thinner line
Thin line is harder for the trout to see, it also creates less resistance through the water. This means it does not dull the action of a lure as much as heavier line.
1) Trout have excellent senses, not only can they see the line. They can also sense the line, thicker diameter lines create more vibrations through the water, which can give the trout the impression that something ‘large’ is lurking nearby. Trout do not know what it is, but they are less likely to leave the relative safety of their lay to strike when there is an unknown presence in the water.
2) Fishing line, excluding braid but including monofilament and fluorocarbon is nearly invisible in the water. But the shadow the line casts is real, and has the potential of spooking fish. I will go as far to claim, that more trout will be spooked by the shadow of the line than the line itself. Again, the shadow is an unknown, and trout are rarely willing to take any risks. So a thinner line, creates a thinner shadow which is less likely to spook fish.
3) Thicker line can dull the action of lures which can discourage trout from striking. Most lures work best when they can move freely and ‘dance’ through the water. Thick line can weigh down a light lure dulling it action.
4) Thin line casts further than thicker line. This is even more apparent when we are trying to cast out tiny lightweight lures. Casting distance is not always important, but sometimes it is essential. The further away from the trout we stand, the less likely we are to spook them. Being able to cast further is nearly always a positive.
5) Tiny hooks, require thin line. If you are planning on fishing flies beneath a bopper, or even tailing one behind a lure. Sometimes the eye on the flies hook is so tiny that it requires a small diameter line. It can be challenging to thread 8lb monofilament through the eye of a size 20 dry fly. Having 2lb line on your reel certainly makes it easier to tie on tiny flies.
6) Thin line provides slightly more sensitivity. It is easier to feel slight movements and bumps at the end of the line.
Disadvantages of thinner line.
1) The main disadvantage is that thinner line is easier to break. It is also less resistant to abrasion. When trout fishing with 2lb line a lot more care needs to be taken to keep the line free of damage. Even a tiny nick can result in a lost fish.
2) Thinner line is generally more expensive. Not only does it take more line to full a spool, it also needs to be replaced more often.
3) Thin line can be difficult to see. Which can make tying knots challenging.
Not all 2lb lines are created equal
There are plenty of 4lb lines, with the same diameter as 6lb lines. I have even seen so called 2lb line which is just as thick as 4lb lines. What is written on the boxes can not really be trusted.
For example 2lb Trout Magnet SOS is the same diameter as 4lb Sunline Super Natural. The reason why, 2lb trout magnet is actually a stronger line. It is closer in strength (and thickness) to 4lb than it is to 2lb.