Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Questions about Saltwater Fishing

Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Postby Questor » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:55 pm

I've been using braid with a fluoro leader for years, and haven't looked at mono much. But something caught my eye in the catalogs: full fluoro fishing lines, like Seaguar Invisx and Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon.

Can you tell me anything about the overall properties of these lines, like stretch, knot strength and abrasion resistance? Do they compare favorably with a good mono while giving lower visibility as an additional attribute? Thanks!
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Re: Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Postby Henry Schmidt » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:50 pm

Too knot sensitive for me. Burns and weakens. There are studies out now that say floro isnt as invisable as is claimed by its manufacturers. After one good fish it can be stretched to a point that it turns opaque enough to be more visable than mono. Any line that cant be reliable with a simple knot dont in field conditions and real time, isnt for me.
Last edited by Henry Schmidt on Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Postby sonny.barile » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:57 am

I stopped using fc leaders a long long time ago. The connection to braid is not reliable and the cost for leader material is phenomenal. I started using good quality spooled mono and I havent looked back since. To me the whole fc leader material thing is more like a status thing rather than real science.
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Re: Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Postby Questor » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:14 am

I'm going to try a spool of Seaguar Invisx spooled on my new saltwater baitcaster outfit. We'll see how it works. This reminds me of the early days of braid when there was a focus on one or two aspects of the line that didn't consider it's total set of properties.

The things that intrigue me about fluoro as a system are the abrasion resistance, reduced visibility, resistance to sunscreen and bug spray and UV light. My spidey senses tell me that the newer formulations may have solved a lot of the earlier problems and the stuff is "ready for prime time", i.e., suitable to fill a reel with.

One thing I'll focus on here is visibility. The difference between refractive index of fluoro and mono isn't that many percent, so I was skeptical about it. I also saw pictures from various articles, like one from Florida Sportsman, that showed different kinds of line in water. Fluoro was clearly visible, so I figured it was just hype. One of the fly fishing magazines has studied fluoro a lot and concluded that the can't see much difference between fluoro and mono.

So I tried it for myself: I clipped a few inches of Trilene XL, Trilene XT, Vanish, and InvisX, and Seaguar leader material all in 10 or 12# test, with the fluoros being the heavier lines. I put the pieces in a clear glass bowl without any labels on the pieces of line, dunked them so they would sink, and then looked at the lines in different light conditions and with different background colors.

Bottom line is that the fluoro really is drastically less visible. Some factors magazine photos can't convey well are things like movement. The mono looks like shiny tinsel when it's being rotated in the water, while the flouro is a lot less visible. There were several cases where I thought I had lost a couple of strands of the fluoro because I couldn't see it anymore. The objective of the test was just to play "myth buster" for my own knowledge, and I came away convinced that the visibility claims for fluoro are true to the extent that visibility is significantly reduced. It is not invisible in all light and motion cases, however.

By the way, there is a significant difference between Vanish, a low cost fluoro, and Seaguar premium fluoros. Vanish is much more visible, but not as visible as the mono.

Another thing is knot strength, with a lot of people complaining about weak knots with fluoro. This seems to have been solved by using different knots. A doubled-line clinch knot and the Trilene knot are observed to be good knots for fluoro. Personally, I've never had knot problems with Seaguar leader material, and I usually use an improved clinch or no-slip loop with it to attach hooks, and uni-to-uni when attaching to braid.

Anyway, if you've got some mono and flouro around the house, try my little experiment. It's a fun diversion and quite illuminating.

About the InvisX, they market it for use on spinning reels, but the 12# gave me the first impression that it would be too springy for a spinning reel. I haven't tried this, but I've usually been right when I got this kind of impression.

When will I use it? Initially just for my clear water application. I think braid with fluoro or mono leader continues to make sense for my murky lake and river applications. If I had any applications where I tended to lose lots of line, I'd prefer mono.

For fly fishing, I quit buying tapered leaders, and have been making them from Seaguar leader material for a couple of years.

For fresh water, I've been using Vanish from small spools as leader for my braid for a few years. I like it. Cost is quite low too. I also tie my lightest fly tippets with it. Good stuff.

It seems like the more I use fluoro, the more I trust it. And the more I prefer it to nylon.
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Re: Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Postby dahlberg » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:15 am

Hi q
My tests results are similar to yours. Light angle is HUGE. Also HUGE variety between brands.
It's interesting to note that Seaguar is the only line company that actually produces the raw material.
The two biggest advantages I've found are abrasion and less stretch.
Just for fun, try looking at a round glass rod and a square one under water. Anything round becomes a lens. Square can disappear!
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Re: Fluoro line (as opposed to leader)

Postby RhettWheeler » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Questor, i've found the trilene knot to be a strong, effective knot for just about any line I use. It's become my go to knot because it's easy to tie and works well with all forms of line. So i think you're onto something when people say they can't get a strong knot using fluoro. When walleye fishing all of my leaders are tied with fluoro, any time i bass fish i make sure to use a good 18" section leader of 8# fluoro, and any time i saltwater fish it's always braid with a fluoro leader. I really have zero complains on the material that seaguar kicks out. I've always found it to be a great tool in my fishing arsenal. I don't really view it as a status symbol using fluorocarbon. When used in leader material applications etc.. the price difference doesn't really matter that much because it goes a long way.
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