Fluorocarbon fishing line has evolved into an essential tool for anglers of all skill levels. While it’s a little more expensive, it provides many advantages to the discerning angler. It’s easy to get carried away while you’re making a purchase decision with fluorocarbon line; the market has been flooded in recent years and there are countless types from which to choose. I’ve been fishing with fluorocarbon since my college years and I’m fairly certain I’ve tried just about every one on the market. Some have been great while others have been nothing but a headache.
Stick with me for a few minutes and we’ll go through the uses of fluorocarbon and suggested pound-tests and brands. Before we get too thick into the weeds, however, the following is the criteria by which I tend to judge my fluorocarbon when I put it through the testing process.
- Knot strength
First, let’s look at what fluorocarbon is and how it differs from other fishing line types.
OUR TOP PICKS
- Seaguar tatsu fluorocarbon – Buy from Basspro
- Sunline shooter fluorocarbon – Buy from Tacklewarehouse
- Daiwa j-fluoro samurai fluorocarbon – Buy from Basspro
- Vicious pro elite fluorocarbon – Buy from Basspro
- Gamma edge fluorocarbon – Buy from Tacklewarehouse
- Seaguar red label fluorocarbon – Buy from Basspro
- Yo-zuri t-7 premium fluorocarbon – Buy from Basspro
- Sunline super fc sniper fluorocarbon – Buy from Basspro
- Seaguar gold label fluorocarbon leader line – Buy from Basspro
What is fluorocarbon fishing line and why do I need it?
Fluorocarbon fishing line is a polymer fishing line that tends to be stiffer and contain less stretch than your typical monofilament lines. It doesn’t absorb water which allows the molecules to transmit more vibration throughout your retrieve. This might sound a little too fancy for your liking and I can understand that. But essentially, when you break it down to the basics, there are three important things you need to know about fluorocarbon: It has less stretch, it’s largely invisible underwater and it’s very abrasion resistant. This helps in a myriad of different bass-fishing situations and is also advantageous for saltwater angling and fly fishing. The entire fishing world has quickly caught onto this type of fishing line and for good reason.
So is it really worth the money? I absolutely think so. It’s very important that you take advantage of the low-stretch qualities of fluorocarbon line. There are a lot of situations when bass and other sport fish may not bite very aggressively, so the added sensitivity of fluorocarbon fishing line allows you to easily detect those subtle, hard-to-feel bites.
Fluorocarbon excels in clear-water situations. A lot of fisheries, whether they’re lakes, creeks, oceans or streams, have very clear water and the fish living in these waters become spooky and wary of our offerings. It can be tough to fool them with an artificial lure, but when they can see your line, it’s nearly impossible to trick them into biting. Because fluorocarbon has almost the same refractive index as water, the fish struggle to detect it which further assists our quest for more bites.
Fluorocarbon fishing line sizes and suggested applications
A lot of this comes down to personal preference, and of course, that varies from angler to angler. Some folks like heavier lines while others prefer smaller-diameter options. There are, however, some basic guidelines to remember when you’re choosing your next spool of fluorocarbon. Again, as you read through these, don’t think you can’t deviate from these suggestions and try something different. This is simply a rough outline of what has worked best for us over the years.
- 6- to 8-pound test: This size range is best for finesse fishing tactics on spinning reels. The smaller the diameter, the less memory your line will have which is a big deal when you’re using spinning gear. This translates to less memory, fewer tangles and a better overall fishing experience. In most situations, you can use it for drop shot, Neko rig, wacky rig, throwing a soft jerkbait, pitching a floating worm and skipping a shaky head around shallow cover. While it’s still thin enough to fool most clear-water bass, it also has just enough diameter to withstand an occasional rub against a dock post or rock pile.
- 10- to 12-pound test: These sizes work very well for treble-hooked lures such as crankbaits, jerkbaits and the such. Because fluorocarbon sinks, it’s not a good idea to fish it with treble-hooked topwater baits such as poppers and walking-style baits, so keep that in mind. But any subsurface lure equipped with treble hooks tends to be a great choice for this size range. I use it for flat-sided crankbaits, jerkbaits, deep-diving crankbaits, lipless crankbaits in open water and vertical jigging spoons. Again, if it has treble hooks and as long as its not a topwater lure, it’s a major part of my arsenal.
- 15- to 17-pound test: I suggest using this size for single-hooked moving baits such as spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits. Because these types of lures are made to be fished around cover such as wood and grass, it’s important to use a larger diameter in order to withstand repeated collisions with cover. Whether you are skipping underneath a dock or ripping a bait through vegetation, this size range will work excellently. When you put this size line on some sort of medium-heavy action casting rod, you’re arming yourself with one of the most versatile combinations in bass fishing. It works great for both reaction-type lures and bottom-contact presentations.
- 20-pound test and heavier: If you’re someone who likes to pitch and flip heavy cover in close-quarter situation, this is the line you’ll want to choose. I’ll put this line on a heavy-action rod with a high-gear-ratio reel and pick apart thick cover in any water color. Whether you want to pitch a jig, a Texas rig or anything in between, you’ll want to have a spool or two of this line. Because it’s thicker, it’s going to have more memory than the smaller diameters but remember, you’re not trying to make long casts with this stuff; just short and very precise pitches to nearby shallow cover.
Now that we’ve gotten through the minutia of it all, let’s get into the fun stuff. When you are in the aisle of your favorite tackle shop, what in the world should you choose? As I previously mentioned, I have extensive experience with each of the following lines and I’m absolutely certain you’ll be pleased with them.