Fluorocarbon fishing line has become the standard for low visibility fishing leaders. Whether you fish with braided, lead core, or even monofilament, you’re likely using fluorocarbon as your leader. It’s extremely low visibility in the water and high abrasion resistance make it an obvious choice to act as a leader for any rig. But what is the best fluorocarbon line out there? The choices are numerous, but we’ve narrowed down the selections to three we find as top of the market. We’ll also go over all the benefits to using fluorocarbon line and some of the drawbacks.
The Top 3 Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
P-LINE 100% FLUOROCARBON
Smooth, Soft, Tough
List $19.99 (6 lb Test)
Affordable, Great Performance
List $8.92 (6 lb Test)
Best Fluorocarbon Line
List $25.99 (10 lb Test)
What is fluorocarbon fishing line?
Fluorocarbon line is a compound of tightly packed molecules comprised from natural and synthetic carbons. For what really matters to anglers, fluorocarbon fishing line is a stronger, less visible, waterproof, more sensitive line that’s ideal for leaders. Because of its composition, however, fluorocarbon is denser and noticeably heavier by size. Fluorocarbon line is not recommended as main line for spinning reels because of these characteristics. But it can be used as a terrific line for conventional reels.
Pros to using fluorocarbon line:
- Low Visibility – Fluorocarbon line is nearly invisible underwater thanks to its low refractive index (almost like water). Refractive index is the measurement of light distortion when passing through an object. Water has a refractive index of 1.3330, where fluorocarbon has a refractive index of 1.42. Monofilament, for instance, has a refractive index of somewhere between 1.53 and 1.62. This kind of low visibility is great in clear water or when pursuing particularly skittish fish.
- Sensitivity – Because fluorocarbon is made of tightly packed molecules, they transmit energy much better which gives you a more sensitive feel. Now, the smallest bite or touch of the bottom will be felt much more clearly than mono. Fluorocarbon sinks much faster than monofilament, limiting the slack in the line between lure and rod tip.
- Abrasion Resistance – Less abrasion makes this line ideal for thick cover. Because it’s harder to see underwater, anglers can use heavier pound test which improves strength to help getting into tight spots.
- Waterproof – Due to its tightly packed molecular structure, fluorocarbon does not absorb water like its monofilament counterpart. Because it doesn’t absorb water, you can expect the same strength, handling, and sensitivity on each cast.
- Toughness – Fluorocarbon is immune to harsh UV rays that break down nylon over time, making this a line you can truly feel comfortable using for many seasons.
Cons to using fluorocarbon line:
- Sink Rate – Because fluoro sinks well in water, it’s not the best line for topwater lures or lures that are meant to be suspended in the water column.
- Shock Strength – Shock strength is the durability a line possesses during a hard hook set or headshakes. Mono continues to be the leader in this category, but anglers using fluoro can compensate a bit by adjusting the drag.
- Manageability – The biggest disadvantage to fluoro line is its memory. Fluoro line is stiffer and has more memory than mono or braided line, thus making it near impossible to manage on spinning reels. Modern fluorocarbon lines have improved in this category, so anglers can use fluoro as their mainline so long as they don’t overspool their reel or use inappropriately sized test.
- Knot Strength – Without wetting fluorocarbon, a knot will fail. Properly wetting and cinching a simple palomar knot will provide excellent knot strength.
P-Line 100% Fluorocarbon – The Top 3 Best Fluorocarbon Line
P-Line’s 100% Fluorocarbon fishing line is in our top 3 because of its reputation as one of the softest fluorocarbon lines on the market. While so many floro lines deal with memory issues, the soft yet strong P-Line 100% FC is the most “spool ready” fluorocarbon line. Reasonably priced in the fluorocarbon line, the P-Line is a great choice for any angler looking to use Fluorocarbon line for more than just a leader. P-Line Fluorocarbon comes in 2 – 20 pound test sizes. You can buy a regular spool of 250 yards or up to 2000 yards. It comes in one color; clear, to best camoflauge itself from your targeted fish.
Berkley Vanish – The Top 3 Best Fluorocarbon Line
I decided on the Berkley Vanish because of their reputation as a tried and true brand of fishing line as well as their price point. Easily the most affordable fluorocarbon on our list, the Vanish series does a great job for many anglers. Offered in a wide range of pound tests, Berkley expects the Vanish line to be used for light tackle up to giant bluefin tuna fishing. Very castable, I still recommend this line as a leader option however but you can get away with using this as your main line for certain reels. With all fluorocarbon, you need to make sure you stay within the limits of your reel and definitely don’t overspool. I advise going to a size below the maximum your reel can take (i.e. reel is rated for 10lb test, spool 8lb test MAX fluorocarbon line)
Seaguar Invizx – The Top 3 Best Fluorocarbon Line
Our favorite fluorocarbon line has to be the Seaguar Invizx. A North American Fishing Club approved line, the Seaguar Invizx is everything you’d expect from a fluorocarbon and more. It’s soft, which gives it low memory and more castability than other leading brands. Incredibly sensitive to feel those really light bites. This is a quality line that can be used as a main line if you want it to be. Smooth, tough, nearly invisible in water, and durable- a leader among fluorocarbon lines. A little more expensive than other fluorocarbons but you’re paying for quality, justifying the additional expense.
What is the best fluorocarbon line?
Our pick is Seaguar Invizx, but the purpose of this guide is to give you a top 3 so you can choose one that best fits all your needs. While our favorite is Seaguar, Berkley Vanish and P-Line’s 100% Fluorocarbon are both incredibly well done fishing lines, fully capable of delivering top performance. We understand there are many choices out there for anglers, but we feel you cannot go wrong with any of these choices. We do suggest you follow these simple recommendations when trying to use fluorocarbon line:
- Limit use to leaders. There are some very good fluorocarbon lines that can be used as main lines, but unless you’re absolutely sure how to spool your reel and what weight limit your reel has, it’d be best to avoid that use altogether. There are many negative reviews regarding issues anglers have had when spooling their reels with fluorocarbon and it almost always comes down to improper use. Again, you absolutely can use fluorocarbon as your main line, but we suggest you just use it for leaders.
- Wet each knot before cinching. Another big complaint I’ve seen involves knots coming undone on fluorocarbon lines. The key to a good knot is using the right one. We show you how to tie some of the best fishing knots that will work with all sorts of lines. For leaders, we recommend using a UNI to UNI knot when tying lines together of similar diameter.
- When topwater fishing, use lighter fluorocarbon. Because it sinks more easily than mono, you’ll want to use a lighter fluorocarbon if using topwater lures like poppers or stickbaits.
Next time you’re fishing a clear lake, or maybe when you’re looking to haul bass out of thick cover, be sure you have some fluorocarbon tied to your lure. It’s an incredible advancement for fishing line and an obvious choice when targeting trophy fish. On a day when the bite seems to be difficult, it may be the difference between no fish and the best day of your life. If you haven’t yet, try out some fluorocarbon fishing line. You’ll be very pleased! Tight lines!