Monday, January 12, 2009

Mono vs. Fluorocarbon


Monofilament is popular as a line material because of its low memory and suppleness, which make it easy to cast and handle. Furthermore, mono boasts excellent knot strength and abrasion resistance, and has an inherent stretch that makes it forgiving when subjected to sudden strain. It's also fairly inexpensive. But stretch can also be perceived as a disadvantage of monofilament, since it may reduce the sensitivity needed to detect subtle strikes, as well as limit the angler's ability to set the hook solidly in certain situations, such as when bottom fishing in deep water. Mono also absorbs water, and can lose as much as 15 percent of its rated breaking strength when saturated. Lastly, mono weakens considerably under repeated exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Fluorocarbon's biggest selling point is its low visibility. This is due to its refractive index - the degree to which light bends or refracts as it passes through a substance - which can be as low as 1.42. That's very close to the refractive index of water (1.3). The refractive index of nylon monofilament is higher than that of fluorocarbon, coming in at about 1.52. Braided lines have virtually no stretching capacity. On one hand, this has the great advantage. When you are fishing at greater depths you always maintain direct contact with the bait. On the other hand, when you are fishing with the light power rods you must adjust the drag more softly than when using monofilament lines of the same breaking strength. Braided lines are 3 – 4 times stronger than monofilament lines of the same diameter. They are perfect for sea and surf fishing.


Fluorocarbon also contains more material than mono, is non-porous, and has a harder finish. It's virtually a solid material that's denser than water. That means it sinks and doesn't absorb water, the latter quality enabling it to maintain its rated breaking strength whether wet or dry. Furthermore, it has a diameter that's comparable to or smaller than monofilament of the same strength, and also has very little stretch. Both features enhance fluorocarbon's sensitivity and hook-setting ability. Lastly, fluorocarbon is very abrasion-resistant and less susceptible to damage from the sun and chemicals. On the down-side, original fluorocarbon is much stiffer than nylon monofilament and retains a fair amount of memory. That's why fluorocarbon has excelled as a leader material, but hasn't been manageable as a fishing line. Another drawback has been price, since fluorocarbon leader material costs considerably more than monofilament and braided lines.

1 comment:

  1. Very good article! I cant seem to find Fluorocarbon line anywhere in the local shops around where I live it sure is popular nowadays for a very good reason as you explain in this post! Nice Blog keep up the great work on your crankbaits that's neat stuff!