Line and Leaders for Trout

If you’ve ever wondered why they called the big girls “Gator trout,” it isn’t because of their tails. Spotted seatrout have several large teeth, including two prominent canines that they use to snatch prey. What this means for your line is you need to be careful when targeting seatrout, because those sharp teeth can easily cut weak or thin line, resulting in a lost fish.

Offshore trout fishing.

In general, anything from 2-lb. (ultralight enthusiasts) to 14-lb. test line is appropriate for seatrout, with leaders common in the 20-lb. test range.

Fishing Lines for Seatrout Fishing

There are many different options of fishing line available. Here are the most common types of lines, and their associated pros and cons associated with targeting seatrout.

Monofilament line for Seatrout Fishing

Monofilament is a good choice for targeting seatrout because of its price and versatility. Perhaps the best thing about monofilament line in regards to seatrout is its slow slinking rate – it sinks slower than both braided and fluorocarbon line – and is therefore good for using topwater plugs, a very effective lure.

Using Fluorocarbon for Seatrout Fishing

As previously mentioned, seatrout are toothy. Fluorocarbon line is recommended as a leader for seatrout, because of both its invisibility in clear waters and its resistance to abrasion from those sharp teeth.

Fluorocarbon line for catching trout.

Braided Line

As with all lines, braided line has its benefits as well. Braided line is an excellent choice for targeting seatrout because of its casting ability – a very important factor for not spooking fish. Braided line is actually much smaller in diameter than monofilament or fluorocarbon of the same pound test, and allows the line to be cast much further than the latter two. Braided line also lacks stretch of any kind, and so will allow for better hook sets when using lures with big thick treble hooks.

Wire Leaders

When waters are murky, a wire leader is fine for seatrout fishing. Wire leaders will certainly ensure that those sharp teeth do not cut your line. Not only does this save the fish, but also the lures, which don’t often come cheap. Wire leaders work best for using spoons or soft baits in the deeper water columns, as it will help keep the line in steady sink.

Trout wire leaders.

Final Notes About Seatrout Lines and Leaders

Whenever you have a toothy fish such as a Spotted seatrout, you sometimes have to venture into thicker lines than you would normally use. If you want to take the risk however, using lighter lines and leaders will almost always result in more bites than using thick, or especially wire components.

The Online Fisherman

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