Fluoro vs. Mono. Who wins?

Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines each have their supporters, based on different tasks that the two lines perform better.

Fluorocarbon line has advantages, disadvantages

Bass fisherman Rusty Bowers is a proponent of fluorocarbon, a relatively new fishing line introduced in the 1970s.

Bowers said he always uses fluorocarbon for jig and jerkbait fishing because the line is “nearly invisible to fish,” which is important when fishing Lake Tillery’s clear waters. The presentation appears more natural because there’s no line visibly coming off the lure.

Fluorocarbon has other advantages over traditional monofilament line, which has been around since the 1930s.

Fluorocarbon has greater strength and abrasion-resistance and less stretch. Bowers said this enables him to pull a big fish out of heavy cover with less chance of line breakage.

Fluorocarbon’s ability to “cut water” and sink also translates into less slack for better hooksets. Bowers said that is beneficial when jerkbait fishing. Plus, the heaviness of fluorocarbon lets him get jerkbaits a little deeper. The sinking line complements bottom-scratching baits like jigs and plastics.

Fluorocarbon stands up better to exposure to water, chemicals and sunlight. Its denser quality helps anglers detect subtle strikes.

The downside

Fluorocarbon also has its limitations. It should not be used with surface lures, as the density and weight negates their action. Fluorocarbon does not work well on spinning reels, although Bowers uses it successfully with spinning gear for jerkbait fishing.

Fluorocarbon line has less knot-strength than monofilament and is more likely to “burn” and form a weak spot if not lubricated when the knot is tied. Baits can be cast greater distances with monofilament  because of its greater flexibility, and fish can be played more easily because of its stretch.

Photographer Carl McNeill questions whether fluorocarbon is more invisible than monofilament .

“Having filmed and photographed fish, leaders and tippets for over 10 years, I have never been able to see any appreciable difference between the two,” he said.

Fluorocarbon is more expensive than monofilament. Therefore, many fishermen use fluorocarbon as leader material or use filler line for backing before topping off a spool with fluorocarbon.

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