July 23, 2020 at 2:37 pm #581
The Advantages Of Fly Fishing With Fluorocarbon
Posted by Peter Stitcher on January 29, 2020
Not all tippet and leader are created equal. Monofilament or nylon line has been around since the 1950s and while relatively inexpensive and excellent for fishing dry flies, it has some major disadvantages when fishing wet flies or targeting skittish fish. The answer to these problems came in the mid-’70s with the invention of fluorocarbon tippet and leaders. Is fluorocarbon worth the hype and the slightly higher price point? Well, let’s take a look at what sets fluorocarbon apart from the monofilament and why it is a tool every fly fisher should have in their fly pack.
The Advantages of Fluorocarbon
Fluorocarbon is Nearly Invisible to Fish — One of fluorocarbon’s greatest strengths is that it is nearly invisible in the water. As light passes through any substance (such as water, tippet or leader) the light bends or refracts off of the substances through which it passes, the measure of how this light reflects and bends is called the refractive index. In the case of water and fluorocarbon, the refractive index of both is almost identical, resulting in no distortion or shine off of the line that can spook shy fish.
Fluorocarbon has a Faster Sink Rate — Fluorocarbon is a dense material and it is made to sink! With trout doing 80% of their feed beneath the surface of the water, getting your wet flies and streamers to the bottom of the river fast means more looks from trout, more strikes, and more fish in the net! If you fish nymphs and streamer, you need to be fishing them with fluoro.
Fluorocarbon has Better Abrasion Resistance — Fluorocarbon is engineered to take a beating and keep on fishing! Whether you are bouncing nymphs along the bottom of the river or wrestling a big fish out under a long jam, fluorocarbon will maintain its power and integrity longer and help you land the lunkers.
Fluorocarbon has a Longer Shelf Life — Monofilament is notorious for breaking down over time and becomes weaker the longer it is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The sun has no effect on Fluorocarbon, meaning your fluoro tippet and leader have no half-life and will be ready for duty whenever you pull them from your pack.
Fluorocarbon Offers Increased Sensitivity & Hooking Power — Like hanging onto a live electrical wire, fishing with fluorocarbon gives the angler greater sensitivity and the ability to feel every tap and light take of a fly. Fluorocarbon is much denser than monofilament and doesn’t like to stretch which in turn increases sensitivity allows for a quicker, firmer hook-set.
In summary, YES, fluorocarbon is worth the hype! As the sport of fly-fishing increases in popularity and our waters become more pressure, fluorocarbon will reduce your chance of spooking fish, give you a better drift, and help catch more fish.
COMMENT: This is a nice summary off Peter Stitcher’s Blog on his website: https://ascentflyfishing.com/ I would like to add a few thoughts from my own experience of using it for many years, whether walleye fishing or fly fishing for trout. I pretty much use fluorocarbon for my tippet and at times, my leader when fishing in deeper waters. I find it especially useful in low clear water situations on the Snake River with both dry flies and nymphs. With medium to small dry flies, I grease up the tippet material. It is strong. 2 years ago, I landed around a dozen trout 20-24 inches all with 2 lb.(7X-8X) fluorocarbon tippet. As my brother would quip, “Woo-wee, aren’t you special.” IMO, it gives me an edge on low water trout fishing, usually in conjunction with a longer tippet-leader set up. I use Berkley Vanish® Fluorocarbon Fishing Line, because it is cheaper and I can get it in small spools of 2, 4, 6, and 8 lb. line to fit my needs. I have found that 2-3 feet loose end of spool line, particularly the 2 or 4 lb. lines, may get brittle over time, so one should double check it each season, like with any line.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.July 29, 2020 at 10:06 am #591CraftyParticipant
Pat, was trying fluorocarbon tippet last night for first time. I usually don’t have issues with my knots holding but with the fluoro it seems to be unraveling easier. Was using a clinch knot. Do I need to use a different knot or with improved cinch work?
GaryJuly 29, 2020 at 1:37 pm #592
Hey, Gary, there is nothing worse than losing the fish of a lifetime to a knot failure, so it’s always important to consider a knot’s true strength before selecting it as your go-to knot. And, the knots can be finicky from line to line, since the lines are are all just a hair different in their quality. Improved clinch and Davy (similar to Orvis knot) knots are ones I use the most, keeping in mind they are fast knots to tie. Of course, there are others out there that I am sure are preferred, but these work for me. Some of the Colorado guides I know rely on the Davy knot for use and judging by the monster trout they bring in, no doubt works. For mono to fluorocarbon, like leader to tippet or leader(mono) to butt(mono), I use a blood knot. With fluoro, it is important to slowly seat the knot to avoid friction heat. Like with the Improved Clinch, you might experiment with the number of wraps to get the best fit
July 29, 2020 at 3:56 pm #593CraftyParticipant
Thanks Pat! I like that Davy knot. Very simple. Will give that a try next time out.
GaryJuly 29, 2020 at 4:14 pm #594
U R welcome. Knots, like a lot of things in fishing require trial and error, and then some. I have been working on my cast for 40 years and its still not quite right, lol.
patJuly 31, 2020 at 3:09 pm #600CcdParticipant
I have fished with Davy Wotton and have used the Davy knot exclusively for 25 years. It works great – give it a try! If someone with my fat fingers can tie it you know its an easy knot. Tight lines!
Craig DirrimSeptember 12, 2020 at 8:27 am #611Jason MillerParticipant
A good friend of mine always uses fluorocarbon tippet material and I’d say we catch about the same amount of fish. After reading this, I think I will buy some fluor tippet material and give it a try on my next visit. Also, I have always used the improved clinch when tying wet flies to my tippet. Is the Davy knot better? Is its break strength equal / greater?
Jason MillerNovember 10, 2020 at 4:06 pm #703
As far as the breaking strength, the improved clinch knot (ICK) looks to have a better knot strength than the Davy, based on the literature. However, those knot tests tend to deal with higher pound fluorocarbon lines. From experience, the Davy knot is probably in the same ballpark, but where the Davy knot displays an advantage centers around the ability to tie small flies on the tippet, without the “bulky” wrap of an ICK.
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