Call us toll-free at 1-800-661-6954

Welcome to The Fishin' Hole Canada's source for tackle and sport fishing equipment. Try us for all of your sportfishing needs...In store, on-line or toll free. You'll get hooked on the service!

Tackle Matching


During ice fishing season, as much any other time of year, anglers will benefit by matching fishing tackle to the species being sought. This can and in most cases will, dramatically improve results. The interesting thing I've found is that there is no one perfect system and there is no one perfect line. The following are my preferences for lines and rods for each species and the reasons why. We'll start with mono line and then look at superlines.

Mono and Light Action Rods

The advantage of mono is that it stretches and therefore, acts like a shock absorber. The light action rod further enhances this shock-absorbing theme through its substantial bend and flex. This gives us a system that's designed to give and take, tempering the explosive power of a hard running fish while still maintaining that all important continuous contact. Stretch and shock absorption performs a double duty in that it maintains a soft, but steady pressure. The benefit of light pressure is huge on a species like trout and lake whitefish. The soft pressure and easy flex is largely responsible for keeping hooks from pulling out of their soft mouths.

Target Species - Trout and Whitefish

Whitefish are a prime candidate for the light action rods for their soft mouths. Hooks can and do pull through the mouth tissue quite easily if too much pressure is applied. The trout, on the other hand, are athletic and are capable of wild runs, last minute body rolls and twists that would pull out many hooks if there weren't some shock absorption going on. My favorite mono for trout and whitefish is either four or six pound test.

Superlines and Medium to Medium-Heavy Action Rods

The advantage of superlines is that they don't stretch. The advantage of a medium to medium heavy rod is a positive hookset and the muscle to bring in big fish. My favorite superline is Berkley's Fireline. No stretch is exactly the opposite of mono, but no stretch has its place. Deep water jigging comes to mind. A light jig dropped 20 feet or more below makes it increasingly hard for strike detection. But when the stretch factor is removed, it becomes much easier to pick up deep-water bites. The trick is to use the lightest superline for the situation at hand. The thin line makes it hard for fish to see and easier for us anglers to pick up bites. When I go deep with light jigs, I use four or six pound Fireline. When I move up, using larger baits in search of bigger fish by I'll switch all the way up to 14 pound Fireline so I've got the muscle to set the hook and wrestle the fish in.

No stretch also has its advantage in the hook setting department. No stretch means immediate hooksets and solid connections. When it comes to setting hooks into hard mouths, no stretch and a stronger rod is the difference between trying to set the hook and setting the hook. No stretch means good hook penetration and more fish caught.

Target Species - Pike, Walleye and Lake Trout

All of the above three species can grow big and have hard mouths. This plays into the strengths of using no stretch line and heavier action rods. The line will help in strike detection and hook penetration for deep-water walleye, often found in 20 feet or more. This line is also particularly handy in picking up lake trout bites, which can happen in a hundred feet of water or more. Many of the lakers caught through the ice at Cold Lake are located that deep. Fireline also has an abrasion tolerance well beyond mono, which means it can often, but not always; withstand a direct hit from a pike. That said, when I'm targeting Northerns, I'll tie on a small, thin black steel leader, which takes their nasty teeth right out of the equation.

So What About Perch?

Perch are a funny because ice fishing for them often means finding deep water to catch this little, light-biting critter. Mono down deep makes it next to impossible to pick up a bite due to all the line stretch. Using light Fireline down deep can also be a problem as the light 1/64 ounce jigs simply aren't heavy enough to take the hook down to the fish and allow for effective strike detection.

Having confronted this problem head on, here are a couple of my solutions. The first is an old fashion solution. I've added a good-sized split shot three feet up on four-pound Fireline, which is enough weight to pull the line tight. With a tight line there is now a direct connection to the hook and any light biting perch. The second solution is a little more electronic and it involves fish TV. If it is within your means, beg, borrow or buy an Aqua-Vu. It's an underwater camera that allows you to see...well...underwater. What I do is drill two holes five feet apart; drop the Aqua-Vu down one hole to watch my bait in the other. With this set up I can actually watch the perch come in to bite my hook. If they looked small, I can pull the hook away and if they are big, I can add a subtle lift or wiggle to entice them to bite.

There's a lot more to this tackle-matching thing, but this is a great place to start. Matching tackle to the fish being sought will definitely improve your fishing.

Previous Fishing Articles
(1) Your Next Fly Rod
(2) It’s OK to Be Little Bitty
(3) Exploring Tundra Waters
(4) The Jewel at First Ice
(5) Fly Fishing Bucket List
(6) Guided or DIY?
(7) Pond Power
(8) Caddisflies
(9) In the Good Old Summertime
(10) A Southern Escape
(11) Springtime in Alberta - Can Thrill You to the Bone
(12) Sunny Day Rainbows
(13) New "Fishing" Year Resolutions
(14) Five Fine Places to Find Trout
(15) Catfishing Revisited
(16) Discover Squamish, an Outdoor Playground
(17) Falling for Cutthroat
(18) New Water and Old Friends
(19) My McLeod
(20) Temperature and Trout
(21) On the Road Again
(22) Tips That Will Make You a More Successful Fly-Fisherman
(23) 5 Ways to Catch Your Trout
(24) The Difference Maker - Reading Trout Stream Waters
(25) Rollin’ on the River
(26) Windy Day Pike
(27) Cures for Cabin Fever
(28) Snowbirding with a Fishing Rod
(29) Alberta’s Spring Creek Browns - Blessings and Curses
(30) A day on our foothill streams
(31) Fly Fishing Crowded Waters
(32) Fly Leaders
(33) In the Zone
(34) Learners Permit
(35) Flies of Summer
(36) Selecting the Right Boat
(37) The Italian Job
(38) Making a difference
(39) Pass the Salt
(40) Hopper Time - Fly-fishing’s Second Season
(41) Pike on the Fly - Fishing New Waters
(42) Fall brings the big walleye out
(43) Hoppertunity Time
(44) Becoming a Better Dry Fly Angler
(45) Make Your Own Fishing Adventure
(46) Early Season Fly Fishing
(47) Walleye Logic
(48) Fly Fishing in the Desert
(49) Grammy’s Fish
(50) Top 10 Trout Lures
(51) All I Want for Christmas – Neil Waugh's Yule Tide Fishing Gifts Wish List
(52) Muskies - The Ultimate Predator
(53) What to expect when fishing the West Coast
(54) Tips & Tricks for Fall Fly Fishing
(55) There’s No Place Like Home
(56) A Golden Opportunity
(57) The Observational Trout Fisherman
(58) Un-matching the Hatch
(59) Alberta Super Bugs
(60) Glass is Back
(61) The Bull Trout of the Athabasca
(62) Speed Kills
(63) Entering the Twilight Zone
(64) Old Man River
(65) The Pink Salmon of the Squamish River
(66) Small stream BT fishing
(67) Fly fishing beyond Trout: getting started
(68) In The Walleye Zone
(69) Zoo Trout
(70) Fly Selection for Beginners
(71) Fly Fisher's Christmas
(72) New Waters
(73) Big Bad Burbot
(74) Looking Back
(75) Out of Africa
(76) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams
(77) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish
(78) The Browns of Autumn
(79) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons
(80) Walleye Town
(81) River Fun - One Bite At A Time
(82) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers
(83) Going With The Flow
(84) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman
(85) Swinging The Fences
(86) A View From The Aerie
(87) Dixieland Delight
(88) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts
(89) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon
(90) Montana's Cool Missouri
(91) Pretty Is As Pretty Does
(92) Toothy Critters
(93) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake
(94) Top Ten Flies
(95) Northern Exposure
(96) Home Water Lessons
(97) Chicken Of The Sea
(98) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish
(99) Deep In The Heart Of Texas
(100) Keep It Up!
(101) River Fishing for Fall Walleye
(102) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the 2013 flood
(103) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity
(104) Hawg Holes
(105) Saltwater Salmon
(106) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing
(107) Down a Lazy River - A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan
(108) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead
(111) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver
(112) Canada's "Other" Salmon
(113) Fall Walleye
(114) Wet Flies
(115) Versatility the Key to Success
(116) Grayling of the Boreal
(117) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish
(118) Size Matters
(119) Fly Fishing Small Streams
(120) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time
(121) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel
(122) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas
(123) The Point Of It All
(124) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day
(125) Fall Fly Fishing
(126) Personal Pontoon Boats 101
(127) Big River, Big Fish
(128) Bottom Bonanza
(129) Fishing Small Flies
(130) So Many Choices, So Little Time
(131) Four Seasons of the Bow
(132) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot
(134) Trout Hunting New Zealand style
(135) Don’t Leave Home Without Them – 10 Lures That Should Be In Everyone’s Tackle Box
(136) Edge Walleye
(138) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge
(139) Four Corners – Four Waters
(140) Chasing Pothole Trout
(141) Springtime Stoneflies
(142) The Torrents of Spring
(143) Drift Boat Fly Fishing
(144) Bust Them With Bait
(145) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book
(146) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months
(147) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout
(148) Terrestrials
(149) Fly In For Fishing Fun
(150) Rocky Mountain High
(151) Reading the clues
(152) Where the Trout Are The art of locating feeding trout in rivers and streams.
(153) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin
(154) Fly Fishing 101
(155) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod
(156) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay
(157) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder
(158) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead
(159) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital
(160) Eliminating the Spook Factor
(161) Trust Your Electronics
(162) The Most Important Hatch of the Year
(163) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout
(164) Finding Success for Ice Trout
(165) Walleye can be Humbling
(166) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed
(167) Winter Flyfishing
(168) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Fishing Gem
(169) Hot Fall Pike Action
(170) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down
(171) Reading Trout Stream Waters
(172) Frequently Asked Questions
(173) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout
(174) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice
(175) Deep Water Perch
(176) Post Spawn Brookies
(177) A Fisher's Life
(178) The River's Last Stand
(179) The Big Ones Come out at Night
(180) Coho on the Coast
(181) Chasing and Catching Halibut
(182) Summer in the Mountains
(183) Peak Walleye Season
(184) Slow and Steady Wins the Race
(185) Last Ice Rainbows
(186) The Burbot Event
(187) Tackle Matching
(188) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light
(189) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location
(190) The Lure of Brook Trout
(191) The Shallow Water Hunt is On
(192) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now
(193) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies
(194) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan
(195) The Vesatile Plug
(196) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout
(197) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures
(198) Good Fishing at Last Ice
(199) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations
(200) Daily Fish Migrations
(201) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn
(202) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star
(203) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing
(204) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing
(205) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser
(206) The Fun in Ultra Light
(207) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines
(208) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure
(209) Never Stop Learning
(210) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot
(211) Jigging through the Ice
(212) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline
(213) Rainbows on Ice
(214) The Season of Ice Begins
(215) Red Hot Fall Pike Action
(216) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman
(217) Facts On Cats
(218) West Coast Adventure
(219) June Walleye Frenzy
(220) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories
(221) First Fish of the Year Pothole Rainbows and Browns
(222) Northern Exposure
(223) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish
(224) Early Season Pike On The Fly
(225) Man Overboard
Canada Boating License