Mono vs. Fluorocarbon
There’s a new controversy erupting whenever experienced Great Lakes anglers meet to discuss tactics, techniques, hits and misses. Which is the better line to have tied to your lures? Is it nylon monofilament line in the tried and true brands which have been around since the 1950s or the relatively new breed of monofilament, called fluorocarbon?
The difference between them is the visibility of the line to fish in their underwater environment. For a variety of reasons I’ll not delve into at this time, fluorocarbon line is less visible. That fact is unequivocal. If you are fishing in ultra clear water, that fact may be the sole difference between catching fish and just fishing. Or not.
Some days the fish are hot and eager to bite. You could tie your lure to a quarter-inch nylon rope and they’d bite just as well. Most of the time, the fluorocarbon will give you an edge, but not a miracle!
I’ve had enough experience here in the Great Lakes, on inland fishing excursions and in saltwater, to become a fluorocarbon believer. I’ve out-fished fishing partners many times until I loaned them a hunk of fluorocarbon line to use as a leader. Once outfitted he caught as many fish as I. I was on a “head” boat off the coast of California one day with two friends. Fluorocarbon line had just been invented. Not only did my friends and I outfish the other 21 anglers on the boat, we won first, second and third in the big fish pool. We went back a year later and almost everyone on the boat was using fluorocarbon leaders.
So why the controversy? Fluorocarbon isn’t as forgiving as monofilament. I don’t think it has the knot strength. A nick or kink in mono is no big deal. In fluoro, it’s a line breaker. A few sickening break-offs, losing fish and fishing lure is enough for some anglers to swear off the stuff.
You can compensate by checking knots and line and replacing the line or leaders frequently. I try to do that and I’ve also moved to 25 pound test leaders on copper, lead core and diver sets instead of the 20 pound mono I used for years.
If you want or need an edge on your next fishing trip, give fluorocarbon line a try.