Fluorocarbon vs monofilament fishing lines
Today we’ll take a look at two of the three main line types for bass fishing while discussing the similarities and differences between line types Fluorocarbon vs monofilament fishing lines. You can fish the vast majority of bass fishing techniques using just these two types of line, although there are some things you can’t do without braided lines and others that braid is still more efficient with. But that conversation is for another day. Today, let’s take a look at fluorocarbon vs. monofilament.
Monofilament fishing lineoften referred to as “mono”, is typically made of nylon pellets extruded into a single nylon thread. Fluorocarbon line, or “fluoro,” is made from polyvinylidene fluoride pellets that are melted and manufactured into a single thread. So both lines are single strands of material, but these two materials have completely different characteristics.
You’ll notice that some of the same attributes of these lines are listed in both the pros and cons lists, such as the fact that the monorail floats. This is because some of these pros and cons are circumstantial. For example, when wanting to fish a lure along the bottom, the fact that mono floats is a bad thing and will work against your presentation. But when fishing with topwater lures, this mono feature is a good thing and will help keep your lure above the water.
The opposite is true for fluorocarbon. Since it dives, this is a much better line to fish bait along the bottom. But also because it sinks, you won’t want to use this line with topwater.
It is also circumstantial whether the extension of each of these lines is a good thing or not. Fluoro has less stretch, so it is best to set the hook on single hook baits and on long casts with treble hook baits. But the mono-hook extension is extremely useful when fishing in close quarters with a treble hook bait, because it absorbs the shock of a snapping hook and allows the fish to fight without the risk of ripping off the hooks.
When to use mono?
Monofilament is a great line for fishing beginners because it is much less expensive than most fluorocarbon lines (although there are modern fluoro offerings like Basix from Seaguar that offer high-quality fluoro at a more competitive price when compared to monofilament).
This line is also a little easier to cast, although the casting range is more limited due to the larger line diameters. It is also easier to tie knots with mono, and the strength of the knot is better. This takes a little bit of the need for experience out of the equation, making mono again often a better choice for newcomers to the sport.
The Mono is the best choice for topwater baits because it primarily floats. If you’re going to try to fish a topwater lure like a Spook on Fluoro, you’re going to have to run the lure with the rod tip up and make a constant effort to keep the line from sinking and pulling the front of the lure down.
Mono extension is also good again with topwaters like poppers, when fished close to the boat. These baits have small hooks and the fish are often full of energy when they bite. Therefore, the mono extension is very useful when catching hard-fighting fish and closing the boat with small hooks.
Because of its affordability, mono is also a great line to use to back your reel. Even if you have a presentation that fluorocarbon is better for, you’ll never need a full reel of it on a baitcaster. You can use mono to fill the spool about halfway and then use a double mono knot (or any other line-to-line knot) to attach the monofilament backing to your fluorocarbon. Then finish storing the reel with fluorine. By doing this, you will significantly reduce the cost of reel storage compared to the cost of using only fluoro.
- Higher knot strength
- More affordable
- Friendly for beginners
- More stretch
- Easier to handle
- Less sensitivity
- The line diameter is larger
- More stretch
- More susceptible to damage from ultraviolet rays
- More memory
When should you use Fluoro?
Because of fluorocarbon’s lower stretch, higher strength with smaller diameter, abrasion resistance, sinking properties and sensitivity, it is a great line for many single hook baits such as football jigs, swim jigs, and Texas jigs. Mono is sufficient for setting small, thin treble hooks, but when trying to generate enough force for an impact hook, the stretch of mono makes it difficult to hook fish with larger, bolder hooks.
These baits are often fished around cover, so the more abrasion-resistant fluoro wins here as well. Because many of these baits are fished several feet below the surface of the water, the fact that fluoro sinks allows the bait to go deeper and stay there. A thinner diameter helps with this as well, as the line can cut through the water faster than a larger diameter, and the equivalent pound test in mono will be able to.
The Fluoro’s thin diameter and sinking ability also helps reduce the arc in your line underwater, creating a more direct point of contact with the lure. In addition to fluoro being already more sensitive than mono, this greatly increases the sensitivity of your presentation as a whole, giving you the ability to maintain bottom contact better, as well as feel differences in bottom structure and detect bites more easily.
These same attributes also make fluoro better for medium depth and deep diving offshore baits. Fluoro’s thin diameter and innate ability to sink work to the advantage of presentation where the thick monochrome that floats works against it.
Using a 12-pound Fluoro with a deep-diving crankbait versus a 12-pound monobait adds several feet to the depth range of the bait, helps it reach the bottom faster, and allows for a much longer cast. All of this means that the bait will stay in the strike zone longer. And because fluoro has better abrasion resistance, it is less likely to be damaged as it moves across rocks, wood and other cover along the bottom.
Mono can be better for some shallow cranking and small wake baits. With a wake bait, you’ll want the bait to stay right along the surface. So using a larger diameter monofilament that floats will help here. In the same way, a 20-pound test mono with its larger diameter will allow you to move a square bill across a shallow area easier than a 15-pound test fluoro, by removing a little of the lure’s ability to dive.
High pressure situations
Fluoro has less memory than monofilament and is a smaller diameter, making it easier to use on spinning reels. Because fluoro almost disappears beneath the surface of the water, it is a much better line for finesse techniques in high-pressure situations.
The smaller diameter of the equivalent pound test and the added abrasion resistance of fluorine also allows you to use a smaller pound test than you can with mono test, making line spotting more difficult in high visibility, high pressure situations, such as bass fishing. Rig or drop into ultra clear water.
These high-pressure situations don’t translate into finesse fishing with spinning gear alone either; This is another reason why fluoro is better for flipping and bed fishing when action hooks make fluoro the obvious choice already.
- Less extension
- More sensitivity
- Decreased vision
- More resistant to corrosion
- Less susceptible to damage from UV rays
- Smaller line diameters
- Less memory
- Low knot strength
- It is difficult to tie knots
- More expensive
Rounding font options
Although fluorocarbon lines are becoming increasingly affordable and monofilament lines are more transparent than ever, there are still a lot of stark differences to note when discussing fluorocarbon lines versus monofilament lines. Abrasion resistance, smaller line diameter and bottom stretch are among the key aspects that make fluorocarbon the best choice for a wide range of baits. But the ease of use, extensibility, and buoyancy of the mono make it the better choice sometimes, too.
The key is to not get too involved in this conversation and instead improve your crafting skills over time. Ultimately, each of these lines is serviceable in many of the same situations. So don’t think you need 10 stock reels with a variety of line sizes in each line type to start with. You can do a lot with a single reel spooled with either 15-pound test mono or 15-pound test fluoro, and you can fish the majority of bass fishing techniques fairly well with a combination of those two.