Why Fluorocarbon is My Go-To Line

Bassmaster Aug 8 -11 2014 - John Overstreet
Photo by James Overstreet

I use Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line about 70 percent of the time. I only use monofilament with some top water lures — those that need a floating line to perform properly — and braid for a handful of especially heavy, tough situations.

Here’s why: It has less stretch than monofilament. That gives me a better and more secure hookset.  I don’t have to worry about the give in the line taking the penetrating power out of my hookset.

And, the lack of stretch allows me to feel everything that’s going on under the surface. If I pick up a tiny piece of vegetation on a crankbait, I can feel it immediately. One quick snap of the rod and I’m back in business. With a jig or Texas rig I know exactly what’s on the bottom. That’s a big deal.

It’s invisible. I don’t have to change the color of my line to match the current water conditions. Regardless of what’s happening, or has happened, I know the fish can’t see my line.

Now, I know that some of you think that doesn’t matter, that fish don’t pay any attention to the line on a lure. That may or may not be true. I’m not sure either way. But it doesn’t matter if they can’t see it anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon
Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon

It’s much more abrasion resistant than monofilament. The importance of that is obvious. Fewer line breaks mean more fish in the livewell.

That saves money, too. Fluorocarbon costs more than the other lines but if it last longer, and you have to retie less often, much of that increase disappears. Over the course of a long season it might actually be cheaper.

Regardless of everything I just said, however, the number one reason I fish with fluorocarbon line is that it’s dense. It sinks, and because of that lures have more and better action. That’s true of every style and design of bait on the market.

You can test this easy enough for yourself. Tie two Havoc Flat Dawgs on to two identical test-weight lines. Make sure one is monofilament and one is fluorocarbon. Rig the Flat Dawgs with a couple of VMC hooks. Any style will do so long as both baits are rigged identically. Make sure you run the hook through at the same place.

Toss them into a swimming pool side-by-side and watch them fall. The bait that’s hooked to fluorocarbon line will look more natural and have a truer death quiver than the one tied on with monofilament. The difference will really get your attention.

Havoc Flat Dawgs
Berkley Havoc Ike’s Flat Dawg

What’s actually happening is that the bait is pulling the monofilament line down as it falls. It puts a drag on the lure. The fluorocarbon line, on the other hand, is the one doing the pulling. The bait doesn’t have any drag at all.

This effect is even more pronounced in moving water. Find a pool with a couple of water jets in it. Throw right into them. You see exactly what I’m talking about. Think about that the next time you fish a river or a stream.

I even use fluorocarbon line — 20 or 25-pound-test — when I’m punching mats. It just performs better. The bait has a more natural fall and fluorocarbon doesn’t have the noise of a braided line. That’s a weird concept, I know, but braid really does have more noise — water movement and displacement.

One final thought: Some anglers will tell you to use braid with a fluorocarbon leader to save money and make your tackle more manageable. Don’t do it. You lose the total effect of fluorocarbon line when you do. You spend a lot of time and money to go fishing. Why mess it up to save a couple of dollars?

If you want to catch more bass, buy a couple of spools of Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and give it a try. It won’t take long before you see exactly what I’m talking about.

8 thoughts on “Why Fluorocarbon is My Go-To Line

  1. Question= On a shaky head rig, I like braid spooled to floracarbon leader. the braid is forgiving and the floracarbon leader which may star out 6 -8 foot long allowing for multiple reties , is invisible compared to the braid. I have a he’ll of a time with floracarbon spooled on spinning reel. so I over come this rigging this way.
    What is your rigging when you shaky head or drop shot fish ?
    Is it key to go to the 6 to 7 pound floracarbon, I have tried 10 seaguar yellow soft type. Help help Mr.Ike

    1. Uni-Knot. Fluro is abrasion resistant but it stretches less than Mono. Less flexibility and stretch makes Fluro susceptible to breaking. The Uni-Knot does not bite down on itself. Other knot’s like the Polymer knot cinch down on itself and break the line at the knot.

      The UNI is an easy knot and it’s strong. It’s my go to knot for any line.

    1. It’s all about the action and presentation of the lure. You need to go as light as possible. The lighter the line the more alive the lure will appear to the fish. So in this case it’s trial by fire… I would start with light test and move up.

      I’m throwing a lot of jigs, so I like a little bit heaver line, so I can pop out of the snags. 25 Pound Fluro, but I might upgrade to 30.

  2. MIKE, GOT A QUESTION I HOPE YOU CAN ANSWER FOR ME. I LIVE IN NY & DO A LOT OF MY BASS FISHING ON THE NYC RESERVOIRS UPSTATE IN THE CATSKILLS. I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU KNOW ANY GOOD LAKES & PONDS IN THE CATSKILLS THAT HAVE GAR IN THEM. CAUGHT THEM IN FLORIDA, WHAT A FIGHT!! LIKE FRESHWATER BLUEFISH.. SO PLEASE IF YOU KNOW ANY BODIES OF WATER IN THE CATSKILLS THAT HAVE GAR PLEASE LET ME KNOW, REALLY APPRECIATE IT. THANKS A MILLION, HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON, JEFF COSTIGAN.

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