Don’t let the name fool you. The best fluorocarbon line isn’t part toothpaste and part carbon fiber.
Fluorocarbon fishing line is actually a very useful tool for many anglers, and can be used as a primary line or a leader to add extra strength and response.
So what is fluorocarbon line?
Fluorocarbon fishing line is made of many fluoride, carbon and hydrogen atoms linked together to form a special plastic line.
Specifically, it’s referred to as polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF for short). PVDF isn’t limited to just fishing line, but actually several applications.
It’s used as electrical wire insulation, in lithium ion batteries, audio transducers and industrial coatings just to name a few.
Not all fishing line is created equal, either. Monofilament, braided line, wire, fly, and fluorocarbon all have their strengths and weaknesses in the water.
Fluorocarbon pros and cons
Fluorocarbon is not water permeable. This means the line is not stretchy and has very little slack when submersed in water.
This equals a more responsive line — one that retains strength throughout the day after being submerged for long periods of time.
It has little-to-no memory because of this characteristic.
Another benefit is that good fluorocarbon line has a higher density than water, allowing baits to reach lower depths, which is ideal for crankbaits. (Many sites have reviews about the best fluorocarbon line for crankbaits.)
While at those lower depths, fish won’t be able to easily recognize that line either, since fluorocarbon is practically clear. This can be beneficial to catching fish that are shy to lines in higher visibility water.
Fluorocarbon line is more durable than monofilament, so it can take a beating in heavy cover without fear of it snapping.
Fluorocarbon is also more UV resistant. The line will last through more fishing sessions and maintain its strength longer while exposed to the environment.
Humidity, hot, cold — it can take whatever’s thrown at it much better than monofilament.
Finally, fluorocarbon is more durable and offers much less abrasion in heavy cover than monofilament, allowing for less worry if the line collides with anything. On top of that, this quality will allow for a longer lifespan for the line and on the wallet.
Many trout fishermen will use a fluorocarbon leader to dredge the bottom, and this works perfectly due to its higher density.
With all those perks, what’s not to like about fluorocarbon line?
Well, it’s no jack-of-trades in the fishing line world, as shown below.
Considering the density of fluorocarbon line for bass fishing with topwater lures, it’s not very suitable since the line will sink.
This is really a job for braided or monofilament line due to their lighter density and float.
Fluorocarbon’s higher density also means its sway and movement in water is not as organic as monofilament’s, which can be a problem when going for bones.
The rigidity of fluorocarbon is excellent for a subtle response for bites, but fluorocarbon line for spinning reels is generally not suitable due to the stiffness in the cast.
The stiff quality of fluorocarbon line also means knots need to be persuaded into the right position or else they’ll slip and break.
Some anglers will use a small drop of super glue to ensure the knot stays put, and doesn’t come undone.
Price can be another con of fluorocarbon. It tends to be a lot more expensive than monofilament, sometimes twice as much.
Price differences do not dictate a quality difference; that’s a huge misconception.
The cost of fluorocarbon is reflective in its manufacturing process, specifically.
With all these varying characteristics, it’s easy to see that fluorocarbon has specialized talents in certain fishing situations.
Using the best fluorocarbon line for bait casters to catch line-shy fish is an excellent example of its use.
However, fluorocarbon fishing line is a special tool in the anglers arsenal, and not all tools can be used every day.