Fluorocarbon isn’t exactly new in the fishing line market, but it is still relatively new when there are a lot of anglers out there with very little knowledge about its attributes. For that reason, monofilament is still the most popular choice.
There are pros and cons to both fluorocarbon and monofilament. Fluorocarbon is generally more expensive, but the price doesn’t make it better. Each situation is different, so you should choose your line based on the situation and not the price.
Monofilament line vs. fluorocarbon is a game of situations. The type of fishing you’re doing, where you are fishing, and the tackle you’re using all play a role. While fluorocarbon supporters love to point out its superior points, you might be surprised at where it fails compared to monofilament.
Monofilament line vs Fluorocarbon
Nylon monofilament line has been around for a long time and is a well-known commodity with veteran anglers. It’s familiar, functional, and effective for most uses, even where fluorocarbon is more efficient.
- Naturally floats and stays up top with topwater bait
- Far more stretchy than fluorocarbon
- Has low visibility
- Decent strength versus diameter
- Multiple color options
- Easy to cast, regardless of the reel
- The cheaper option
Nylon filament is a no-brainer when flyfishing and makes the most sense when you need to reach for topwater baits. It doesn’t have the low visibility of fluorocarbon, but its multiple color options negate that somewhat. It casts well, and thanks to its stretchy material, it’s easy to knot.
While fluorocarbon hasn’t been in the game for as long as monofilament, it has a dedicated fanbase all its own. Unfortunately, new anglers often choose fluorocarbon for the wrong reasons, assuming that because it is more expensive, it’s the better line.
- Sinks in the water (great for dredging the bottom)
- High abrasion resistance for fishing near rocks or underwater structures
- Harder and a little stronger than monofilament
- Resists UV
- Nearly invisible
Fluorocarbon line has more density than water, so it sinks easily and absorbs none of the water over time. Fluorocarbon is an excellent choice when fishing for bottom feeders or Tenkara angling. It’s also very strong. Monofilament has improved in that aspect, but fluorocarbon still has its number.
When to use monofilament
Monofilament has earned its GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) reputation and then some. It’s been around forever and still holds a place in every veteran angler’s heart. It also still has several uses that are superior to fluorocarbon, so it’s going to be around a while longer.
- Topwater bait/lures
- Fly fishing
- Hard jerkbaits
- Best for beginner anglers
- For backing on fishing reels
- Anytime you need excellent knot strength
When to use fluorocarbon
Fluorocarbon is still the new kid on the block although it has earned its place in any angler’s gear. Its strength and long-term useability are phenomenal.
- Best for worm and jig anglers
- Best for several crankbaits
- High abrasion resistance makes it good for rocks and underwater structures
- Tenkara angling
Line diameters of each
Fluorocarbon line have thinner diameters than monofilament lines of equal strength. A fluorocarbon line with a 20lb test will be visibly thinner than a monofilament line that’s also 20lbs.
Monofilament has made improvements in this area, which is natural when new competition forces innovation. But fluorocarbon is still the thinner material at equal strength.
Density and strength of each
Monofilament is the line of choice for fly fishing and topwater bait setups because it is buoyant, whereas fluorocarbon is denser than the water around it. That difference is one of the major factors why both lines are still in play today.
Mono vs. fluoro is less of a thing when it comes to these different aspects because each type of line has a use that makes it superior to the other.
Does Monofilament Fishing line Float?
It does. At least, it does for a while. Monofilament is useful for fly fishing and topwater baits because it floats. However, it will lose that capability over time as it absorbs water, something that fluorocarbon doesn’t do.
Monofilament comes close to losing its neutral buoyancy over time and with plenty of water absorption. As it does, it actually becomes weaker and won’t have the same strength as it did when you scooped it off the shelf for the first time.
Once you dig down into the positives of each type of fishing line, it becomes less of a “versus” and more of a “situational” consideration. Both lines have something to offer, especially for the versatile anglers out there.
The two line types even find a way to complement each other, with nylon monofilament backing fluorocarbon on the spool. So there are several ways to use either or, and neither will fade from the pages of history any time soon. The reality is, you should probably own both. That way you’re prepared for any eventuality.
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