Fluorocarbon fishing line has a sticker price that steers a lot of novices to the bargain rack of monofilament line, but savvy anglers know the extra cost of fluorocarbon pays better dividends as a long-term investment.
Fluorocarbon line became the rage of bass fishing when anglers discovered its sensitivity and invisibility increased bites, especially on heavily fished waters. Japanese anglers began using fluorocarbon leaders on their heavy pressured home waters to give their baits a more lifelike presentation. Salt water anglers and fly fishermen in the United States then started using fluorocarbon leaders because of its low visibility, and bass anglers eventually adopted the line for the same reasons.
What Is Fluorocarbon Fishing Line?
Fluorocarbon is a polymer that is almost invisible to fish because it has nearly an identical refractive index (the degree at which light bends as it passes through a substance) as water. The polymer also resists deterioration caused by sunlight, gasoline, battery acid and insect repellents and doesn’t absorb water. The line also stretches less than monofilament which makes it more sensitive. The tightly packed molecules of fluorocarbon transmit more energy than monofilament so it sends more information from the other end of the line to help you detect light bites or if your lure is ticking the bottom. All of these qualities give fluorocarbon distinct advantages over monofilament in various fishing applications.
What The Pro's Throw
Many bass pros believe increased sensitivity is the main advantage of fluorocarbon over monofilament. They claim the line allows them to feel the bite a lot easier and feel the bottom a lot better than monofilament.
Bass are less wary of lures tied to fluorocarbon because it is more difficult for the fish to detect the clear line. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible in the water, which equates to more bites regardless to what kind of lure you use. The line is the obvious choice for fishing in any clear-water situation.
The denseness of fluorocarbon also allows it to sink faster and makes it abrasion resistant. Crankbaits or suspending stickbaits can dive about 25 percent deeper when fished on fluorocarbon because of the line’s tendency to sink.
Fluorocarbon’s density and sensitivity gives anglers the opportunity to fish lures deeper with heavy line. You can get away with using a little bit bigger line than monofilament because fluorocarbon will sink more and get the lure down deeper. The increased sensitivity makes it easier to detect strikes from bass in depths of 20 feet or deeper.
The Abrasive Nature Of Fluorocarbon Line
The abrasion resistance of fluorocarbon line makes it ideal for fishing around rocks, steel cables of docks and any other bass cover that can knick your line. I use it exclusively for fishing around the metal poles and steel cables of boat docks to prevent bass from breaking my line when the fish make runs under or behind the docks.
Fluorocarbon has about the same knot strength as monofilament, so no special binding is required. I have noticed clinch knots will slip some with fluorocarbon so I tie my lures to this line with a Palomar knot.
Fluorocarbon has lots of memory so it tends to work better on baitcasting reels than spinning models. The pros solve this problem by filling their spinning reels with a main line of braid and attaching a 6- to 8-foot leader of fluorocarbon.
Line watchers have to make some adjustments to see this low-visibility line. Some sunglass lenses show the line better. Some of the pros suggest amber lenses are best for detecting fluorocarbon line. Studying where the line meets the water and forms a v-shape will also help you keep your eye on the line better.
A Buyers Guide To Fishing Line
When buying line you should check to see if the product is 100 percent fluorocarbon or a fluorocarbon-coated version.
Fluoro-coated line is a copolymer line with a fluorocarbon outer coating that offers low visibility and easier casting but has less sensitivity and abrasion resistance. The line is ideal for fishing suspended stickbaits in the winter because it doesn’t pick up moisture which can cause your rod guides and baitcast reel spool to freeze in cold weather.
The Best Lures Use With Fluorocarbon
The strength, abrasion resistance and sensitivity of 100 percent fluorocarbon line makes it the perfect choice for flipping or pitching jigs and Texas-rigged soft plastics into thick cover such as flooded bushes or log piles.
Other popular techniques the pros employ with 100 percent fluorocarbon include cranking deep-diving crankbaits, slow-rolling magnum-sized spinnerbaits, probing deep water with football jigs or Texas-rigged soft plastics and deflecting square-bill crankbaits off of cover. The line is also effective for fishing swimbaits, swim jigs, soft plastic jerkbaits and shaky head rigs.
Fluorocarbon Line Reccomendations
6lb - Ultra clear water or finesse fishing applications or when targeting trout and panfish
8lb - Excels for shaky head and jerkbait bass fishing. Useful as a leader when fishing with braided line. Also a great all-around Walleye fishing line.
10lb - Jerkbaits, shaky heads, tubes, and crankbaits that you need to dive to maximum swimming depth.
12lb - All around solid line. Great for crankbaits, spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, Texas rigs, and Carolina rigs.
15lb - Perfect when fishing the same baits as above, but around hardcover and/or vegetation. Also better when flipping jigs.
17lb - Jigs, spinnerbaits, Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, and small swimbaits. Abrasion-resistant with strong casting ability.
20lb - Jigs, Texas Rigs, Swimbaits and any casting technique that requires heavy-duty gear. Very Abrasion-resistant with moderate castability.
25lb - The heavy-duty stuff meant for big baits, big jigs, and big old fish. Step up to the 25lb line when fishing heavy baits, in gnarley areas, or when you're targeting that super mega fish.
Updated November 17th, 2021 at 3:18 AM CT