What’s Your Line Part Two: Fluorocarbon
by Jerry Purviance
August 22, 2019

This is far and away my favorite line to use when jig fishing. It is pretty common knowledge I’m a Crappie junkie. I love fishing laydowns, submerged trees, and brush piles. Coaxing them big slabs up and out of tangled up messes on an artificial bait is a challenge I live for. Fluorocarbon is the only line I trust to get the job done.


What is Fluorocarbon?

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because fluorocarbon covers a broad family of compounds, including organics comprised of fluorine, chlorine, and carbon, along with synthetics made from hydrocarbons, and has been used in everything from Teflon to Freon. It’s extruded in a single strand similar to nylon monofilament. But because fluorocarbon’s molecules are more tightly packed, the line is denser and noticeably heavier by size. It also differs from mono in visibility, stretch, and durability, all of which affect how it performs in the water.

First and foremost, fluorocarbon is dense, so it is a sinking line. Compared to mono that floats, fluorocarbon gets your jig or bait down where you want it, fast! Also, it being dense makes it practically invisible underwater. Light is not visibly distorted as it passes through it, and it has about the same refractive properties as water itself. Now, I talked about bouncing off submerged trees and limbs earlier.

Sometimes you have to, as crappies can hold really tight to cover some days. Fluorocarbon is incredibly abrasion resistant. If you’re rubbing up against bark and rocks all day, this is the line for that. Many times, bass guys will use Fluorocarbon tied to a mainline of braid as a leader for this very reason. Fluorocarbon is very sensitive. I fish by feel, so it is very important that my jig, my line, and rod are in tune with one another so I can paint a picture of what the terrain is below the surface. Fluorocarbon allows me to feel different scenarios under the water that I can’t see. Is it a rocky bottom? Is it mud? Am I on a weed bed? Am I knocking against a log? Like a telegraph, the fluorocarbon is transmitting back soft or hard thuds to my rod and to my hand as I bounce along.

Now of course no line has it all, so there are some drawbacks. Fluorocarbon has a memory problem once the air temp gets around fifty degrees. Memory, what’s that? Basically, the line retains the shape as it lays in a circumference around your spool on your reel. You cast out your line and it will look like an old fashion handheld phone cord. Anybody under thirty will have to google the prior reference if they are reading this.

Fluoro sinks faster than mono, so it’s not the best fishing line for topwater lures and small baits you want to suspend in the water column. It’s an absolute no-no if you are fishing with a bobber or a float. The line will sink between your rod tip and the top of your bobber, making it move, not stay on target, or worse, get tangled on something below the surface.  

In two weeks, check back to see Jerry’s thoughts on the catfish angler’s favorite choice, braid. 

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