I’ve been fishing for trout for more than two decades and have met many trout fishermen in that time. All too often I notice that trout fishing lessons fishermen are using fishing line that’s entirely too heavy for trout fishing. This is not only a pet peeve of mine; it is also a big reason why trout fishermen don’t catch trout. Using light line should be one of the first things that are learned by trout fishermen, a class called trout fishing 101, if you will.

In the past two decades I’ve learned that one learn to fish of the biggest factors in fishing for trout is the weight of your fishing line. This is true for two reasons. Number one trout have very keen eyesight and can detect your line under the water if it’s too heavy. Number two trout are found in cold, clear water most of the time, which makes your line that much easier for the trout to see under the water.

For these reasons light line should always be employed when trout fishing. I personally use and suggest four pound test monofilament. My favorite name brand is Stren Original in the clear/blue color. This line is invisible under the water, but visible to the angler out of the water. Being visible out of the water is key in my favorite trout fishing technique. Six pound test is passable, especially for beginning trout anglers, but any line heavier than six pound test should be avoided. Some trout fishermen use two pound test monofilament, which is effective, but difficult to tie knots with. The bottom line is that four pound test is the perfect light line for trout fishing.

Depending on your favorite trout fishing technique, the name brand of your fishing line isn’t all that important. Any well known name brand fishing line should suffice, but I’ve always found Stren monofilament to be perfect for trout fishing.

Here’s a real world example of how the weight of your fishing line effects whether or not trout will bite your offering. My favorite trout fishing technique is to use live worms rigged on a set of gang hooks. One day I was fishing in my favorite trout river with live worms rigged on gang hooks tied on six pound test line and having very little success. I had caught a few small trout, but that was about it. I ran out of pre-tied gang hooks and was going to call it a day, when I decided to tie myself a set of gang hooks on the river using four pound test, just to see if it would make a difference. I almost immediately hooked and landed a 16 inch rainbow. Then five or so minutes later landed an eighteen inch rainbow.