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Published Oct. 1, 2021

Fluorocarbon fishing line is a relatively new introduction to the freshwater fishing market. Its popularity has grown exponentially, as its advantages include minimal visibility, low stretch, and high levels of abrasion resistance. Without getting too deep into the science behind it, Fluorocarbon line is extruded in a single strand, which is similar to nylon monofilament. However, the molecules in fluoro line are packed together more tightly, so the line is denser and heavier than mono. If you’re looking for the best fishing line, this is great place to start.

With the growing popularity of Fluoro, there’s also a growing variety of lines to choose from. There are lines in a wide range of strengths and spool sizes, along with brands and formulations dedicated to specific techniques and angling situations. Fluorocarbon may not be as consistently manageable as monofilament fishing lines — or as strong as braided lines of the same diameter — but it also offers advantages over both of those options. Serious anglers, and those who want to improve their overall game, need to include fluorocarbon line in their arsenal.

Best Premium Fluorocarbon Line: Seaguar Tatsu

Key Features

Strengths: 4-25 lb. test

Spool Sizes: 200 yards; 1000 yards

Color: Clear

Why it Made the Cut

Tatsu, meaning “Dragon” in Japanese, is the best of all worlds: incredibly clear and abrasion-resistant, but nevertheless far more manageable than most “off the rack” fluorocarbons. Of course, all of that softness comes at a price. If you balk at paying premium amounts for line that you’ll go through relatively quickly, consider using it as a leader affixed to braided line.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Low stretch creates incredible sensitivity
  • Monofilament-like high level of manageability
  • In-between sizes available: like 17- and 22-pound test 

Cons

  • Higher price than even other premium lines
  • Limited number of spool sizes

Product Description

Until recently, Seaguar’s Tatsu Fluorocarbon was only available in Japan. Its construction is more labor-intensive than that of comparable lines, using a “double structure fluorocarbon” (DSF) technology that combines two custom resins. It sinks quickly and doesn’t get distorted over time.

Best Fluorocarbon Line for Anglers on a Budget: Spiderwire EZ

Key Features

Strengths: 2-15 lb. test

Spool Sizes: 200 yards

Color: Clear

Why it Made the Cut

For anglers just dipping a toe into the world of fluorocarbon line, this is a good entry point. Spiderwire EZ, the best fluorocarbon line for anglers on a budget offers value at a price comparable to even monofilaments, without sacrificing manageability. It’s not complicated — and may not be available in a wide variety of spool sizes — but it gets the job done and can be used even by more advanced anglers.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Bargain priced
  • Spiderwire has a history of making quality lines across various categories
  • Widely available

Cons

  • Limited number of strengths available
  • Only one spool size

Product Description

Spiderwire made its name in the braided line space, but since then they’ve branched out to offer not only a variety of braids, but also monofilament and fluorocarbon. That means they can potentially offer one stop shopping for all of your fishing line needs, and this clear fluorocarbon is remarkably supple and smooth without breaking the bank.

Best Fluorocarbon Line for Moving Baits: Sunline Crank FC

Key Features

Strengths: 8-16 lb. test

Spool Sizes: 200 yards; 660 yards

Color: Clear

Why it Made the Cut

Fluorocarbon was originally seen as an ideal line for fishing jigs and soft plastic presentations, covering the gamut from ultra-finesse all the way up to flipping heavy cover. Fluoro sinks, which is a benefit when fishing crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits, but its lack of stretch needs to be tempered for hard hooksets and treble hooks. This line helps with that issue.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Specifically designed for horizontally-moving lures
  • Long-lasting
  • Slick surface allows for long casts

Cons

  • Limited range of strengths
  • No bulk spool options
  • Not ideal for all presentations

Product Description

Sunline’s Crank FC has a little bit more stretch than typical fluorocarbons, which is by design to allow for more secure hooksets and to prevent surging and jumping fish from throwing your lure. Sunline claims that their “Plasma Rise Technology” makes the line slicker, which enables longer casts and a greater lifespan.

Best Fluorocarbon Line for Leader Material: Daiwa J-Fluoro Fluorocarbon Leader

Key Features

Strengths: 2-150 lb. test

Spool Sizes: 50 yards; 100 yards

Color: Clear

Why it Made the Cut

For anglers looking to maximize effectiveness while reducing costs, the best solution is often to use a main line of braid with a fluorocarbon leader. The latter can be anything from a short section to absorb shock up to an amount slightly longer than your longest possible cast. Daiwa is best known for their rods and reels, but this import covers all of your leader needs without breaking the bank.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Tremendous range of strengths available
  • Spool band dispenses leaders cleanly
  • Strong value
  • Impeccable consistency

Cons

  • 50 yards is shortest spool amount
  • Cannot fill most reels fully with appropriate line

Product Description

Daiwa’s leader spools are just shorter lengths of their top grade 100 percent fluorocarbon line. Making them especially convenient for traveling anglers, or to stick in a backpack or pocket, the spools are smaller than normal, and feature a spool band that prevents your valuable line from unravelling at an inopportune time. No matter what you’re fishing for, or what you’re using to catch them, this series offers a leader option of the perfect strength and consistent quality.

Best All-Around Fluorocarbon Line: Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Lines

Key Features

Strengths: 4-25 lb. test

Spool Sizes: 110 yards; 200 yards; 2000 yards

Color: Clear

Why it Made the Cut

Berkey has been a leading light in line development for generations, first under the direction of founder Berkley Bedell, and more recently under the guidance of the scientists and engineers in Spirit Lake, Iowa. This widely-available line is their entry in the “premium” category, yet it comes in at a price lower than many of their competitors charge.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Available at a wide range of retailers
  • Filler spools and bulk spools both available
  • Highly manageable

Cons

  • Not quite as supple or manageable as some other premium fluorocarbons

Product Description

The fact that a wide range of bass pros rely on Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon for all of their fluoro needs should speak volumes. The company compares this to their highly abrasion-resistant XT mono, and claims that their proprietary formula is processed to maximize impact strength, so breakage on bone-jarring hooksets are a thing of the past.

Best Versatile Fluorocarbon Line : Sufix Invisiline Castable Fluorocarbon

Key Features

Strengths: 3-20 lb. test

Spool Sizes: 100 yards; 200 yards; 600 yards

Color: Clear

Why it Made the Cut

After trying subpar or unmanageable fluorocarbons for the first time, many anglers decide that the line’s advantages don’t outweigh the hassle factor. For those who’ve sworn it off forever, this is a good olive branch, a way to get some of fluorocarbon’s best attributes while also behaving like lines they are used to.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Comparatively inexpensive
  • Less stretch than monofilaments

Cons

  • May be tougher to find than some other options

Product Description

Sufix recognized that some anglers might be missing out on the fluorocarbon train so among their several existing fluoro offerings they added this version. It’s a compromise solution that doesn’t compromise many advantages. It’s still low stretch and sinks fast, and works equally well with both baitcasting and spinning tackle. Its unique characteristics result from the fact that it’s extruded differently than other fluorocarbons and wound onto the spool in a manner that keeps it relaxed and supple.

How We Picked the Best Flurocarbon Lines

Over the years, I’ve fished plenty of fluoro line myself, and I’ve also taken careful note on which lines the pros use for fishing different applications in tournaments. When evaluating fluorocarbon lines we look at a variety of factors, including diameter, strength, memory, and transparency. At least one of the lines in this roundup will fit your preferred fishing style and the techniques you use. Picking the right line isn’t about brand loyalty, it’s a complicated balancing act of matching your fishing style to a line’s characteristics, and then factoring in price. And at the prices some manufacturers charge, it’s worth doing your homework.

FAQs

Answers to your fluorocarbon-related questions.

Q: Which is better, fluorocarbon, or monofilament?

Both types of lines are good for particular purposes. Fluorocarbon is typically less visible, has less stretch, and is more abrasion resistant, but also may be more difficult to manage.

Q: Can you use fluorocarbon on a spinning reel?

Yes. Many expert angler use fluorocarbon on a spinning reel, sometimes by itself and sometimes a main line of braid with a fluorocarbon leader.

Q: Which is better, fluorocarbon, or braid?

Both lines have advantages and disadvantages. Braid typically has less stretch but is more visible underwater, making it great for use in vegetation, while fluorocarbon excels in finesse presentations.

Final Things to Consider Before Buying

As a general rule, fluorocarbon has more stretch than monofilaments and less stretch than braid. Under the water, it’s typically less visible than either one, even in comparable strengths. Using it properly may require adjusting your rods, reels and mechanics in order to get the most out of your line choices. If you’ll be using it just for leader material, choose smaller spools, but when you find a line you like and that you’ll be using frequently you may get a better value if you investigate bulk spool options.

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