We get a lot of email here at FAOL. The whole range
of subjects and questions. For instance, "I can't get
the fly line through the eye of the fly!" "What does
it mean, attach the thread to the hook?" "I don't
understand fluorocarbon, is it worth it?" I don't
have all of the answers, but here is how it looks
at this point.
I did not want to ask a manufacturer to write something,
you can see what they claim in any ad. Most fly-fishers
are not scientists and feel unqualified to attest to
any features of it. That leaves me. I like it, use it
and plan on continuing to use it.
At first, when it came out, I was solidly against
fluorocarbon. The 'word on the street' was it
had a half-life of about forever. If any got tangled,
lost or thrown away, it would be there for the next
millennium. As time passed, I tried some for silver
salmon. It was a pretty good test as I have been
fishing them of the coast of Washington with the
same fly, (The Castwell's Marblehead to be exact)
for a number of years and knew about how many
hook-up's to expect.
All that was available then was tippet material. When
I switched to fluorocarbon I felt absolutely I got
more hits. Absolutely, more hits. Where I
fish there is not much for a salmon to get tangled
with as far as abrasion problems, I had no idea if
it was any better or worse as far as abrasion went.
Some wondered about knot strength, some confused it
with the braided lines. For me, the only failure I
had was on a streaking bonefish on Andros Island.
The knot from leader to tippet was a double surgeons
knot. It broke. Remember, this was from fluorocarbon
to a mono leader. I re-tied using a blood knot and
had no further problems. Does that say, or prove
anything. No. It is just what happened. I still
do use the blood knot now though. Is it better?
I have no idea, but just try to get me to switch.
Today you can buy a knotless, tapered, fluorocarbon
leader. Do I use them? You bet I do! A complaint
seems to be the high price. Nonsense. With all
I have invested in equipment and any value I place
on my fishing time, the few pennies difference
between a length of fluorocarbon and mono is ridiculous.
I figure ten bucks for thirty yards. That equals at
least thirty tippets, probably more. Divided into
ten bucks makes them cheap.
In the clear water of the Pacific ocean I have watched
my fly before I made my first cast. To me, the leader
is invisible, or nearly so. It seems to be that way
to the salmon too. It does sink much faster than mono
with the number two streamer I use and this is a good
thing for me. As far as bone fish, I have not seen
any shy from fluorocarbon, but then that is now a
subjective comment. I think I get more hook-ups
from bonefish when I use fluorocarbon too.
There are the small flies to contend with also, the
drys. Yes, I use it for my dry fly work. Does it work
better? I don't know. It works just as well and that
is good enough for me. I think it is stronger for it's
diameter and presents a fly well. What more can I
ask of it?
Some of the claims are that it: does not lose strength
when wet as does mono, is more abrasion resistant,
unaffected by ultraviolet light, is nearly invisible
in the water, is stronger for it's diameter and sinks
I do know this, it is not all made in the same factory
as some would have you believe, not even the same country.
It definitely is not all the same, the stuff can
be controlled in many ways. It can be made to many
standards, if you know what I mean. Some material
was once coated and sold as 'coated with fluorocarbon,'
not good. Look for even more improvements in strength.
One maker has one out now that is considerably stronger
than last years product. I am not here to try to tell
you which brand is which, just that it is good and you
should at least give it a try. Perhaps someday I will
do a product review or get a maker as a sponsor.
I probably have left out some things, but for now,
this is my view on the stuff. I hope I have not
aggravated some manufacturer by leaving out some
important information, but that's how it is.
My opinion, go for it. ~ JC