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> > Fluorocarbon vs. Nylon

WbranchJune 2nd, 2018, 8:57 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2346
For decades, for dry fly fishing, I have been using a 9' 4X tapered leader with a piece of 5X fluorocarbon 3' or 4' long. (or a 5X leader with a 6X tippet)

This year I have been omitting the fluorocarbon tippet and just using a piece of Rio 4X 3'-4' long. I have noticed no difference whatsoever in the amount of rises I have been getting or the number, and size, of the fish landed.

I was wondering if anyone else has experimented with fluorocarbon versus nylon and if so what were the results of your testing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TimCatJune 2nd, 2018, 1:34 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Probably doesn't make much of a difference at all, but I use it. Mainly because it sinks better. I think in clear water with a sandy substrate (majority of my fishing) it can give you a legitimate advantage because you dont' have a ton of little dimples casting shadows down below from your leader or tippet floating on the surface. Other than fishing dries... whatever. And still, I've caught plenty of trout with dries on a nylon leader. I think once nylon gets a little wet, and you fully get all of the kinks/reel memory out, it still works just fine for dries.

"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
RleePJune 2nd, 2018, 1:53 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 346
I've seen the tests that purport the superior qualities of fluorocarbon under certain conditions and for certain applications. I guess my view is that fly fishing accessories are a business just like sneakers and if I'm willing for pay for it, there is always somebody out there willing to sell me a $300 pair of sneakers as well as a $15 spool of fluorocarbon.

The question is whether I really need either. So far, I haven't..
WbranchJune 2nd, 2018, 3:08 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2346
I agree about the cost issue. Most spools of fluorocarbon are around $15. TroutHunter is $22.00 which I think is nuts. My buddy has the Orvis Pro guide discount and he can get me the 100 meter Guide spool of Mirage fluorocarbon for $20. That is a great deal. But if I buy three spools of Rio fluorocarbon and it costs me $45 and I buy three spools of Rio nylon for $15 I'm saving $30 which is 2/3 of a tank of gas.

I'll be on my favorite Montana tailwater in 24 days and will try both materials under the same clear water spring creek like conditions and see if there is any discernible difference.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
AdirmanJune 3rd, 2018, 1:21 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 446
I use mono exclusively for dry flying and switch to flouro for wet/ streamer / nymphs. IMHO, mono works reasonably well for subsurface applications but flouro is slightly superior due to its sinking advantage whereas mono is a little better for surface presentations. I especially notice a difference when fishing for bass using bass bugs/ poppers
MartinlfJune 3rd, 2018, 7:45 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2820
I've gone back to mono partly because fluorocarbon does not degrade, which means if I leave a 2' piece of it up in a tree it will be there for a long time, potentially snaring birds etc. I once untangled a titmouse that was hung up in a piece of fishing line, and it wasn't pretty, though he flew off just fine after biting me several times with that sunflower cracking bill. And I've seen photos of other birds that didn't get free.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJune 4th, 2018, 4:28 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2346
Thank you Louis for caring for our wildlife.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
AdirmanJune 5th, 2018, 5:44 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 446
If I only could use 1 and the other , it would be mono because it’s deficits in subsurface applications as compared to flouro is less than the inverse on top; also, Martin makes a valid point with the wildlife issue. Although I don’t like using shot for streamers and wets because it affects their presentation IMHO, using a sink tip can overcome that and in that case or situation, mono can be used for tippet/ leaders probably as effectively as flouro. For nymphing though, I feel that flouro is superior to get your flies down as quickly as possible for a good and longer drift; moreover, it’s supposed to be less visible to the fish isn’t it?
Jmd123June 5th, 2018, 1:16 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2278
Louis, you're a good guy. If anyone ever says otherwise, they'll have to deal with me!

Yep, as a kid I always heard "fishing line strangles baby birds!!" and always chopped up my old mono with scissors so no momma bird would try to line her nest with it. Same thing has to happen with sixpack plastic beer rings!! They are killing sea life. Apparently a plastic bag was photographed at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, a.k.a. the deepest spot in the ocean (about 7 miles). Plastic bags kill leatherback sea turtles, who mistake them for jellyfish and eat them until their stomach is literally full of plastic with no room for food...Plastic is actually more of a curse than a blessing sometimes. But until someone figures out how to make fly lines and leaders out of something else (back to silk and horsehair??) we'll be using them, and need to be responsible with them.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TimCatJune 5th, 2018, 4:46 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Catgut maybe Jonathan? Ha... but that brings me to my original thought after reading some of the replies: there are many ways to skin a cat (contradicting to the original saying, I know). Lol. Some want their tippet/leader floating when fishing dries and some don't. I don't, but maybe if I were to try skating a caddis then I'd prefer nylon. Maybe it also doesn't matter much, but it's fun to think about these things.

*edit* I also keep a reserve pocket in my vest for garbage right by my nippers for granola and protein bar wrappers, and tippet that I snip. Makes it pretty easy not to lose any to the river or woods.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
WiflyfisherJune 12th, 2018, 2:45 pm

Posts: 598
I tested some 4x & 5x fluoro vs mono over a 3 week intense fly fishing. I kept loosing head-shaking large trout almost instantly with fluoro. I went back to mono and no issues like with the fluoro. I chucked the fluoro for trout and will stick with mono. Between the extra cost and the lack of proof it makes a difference to trout I will stick with mono for trout fishing.

As Louis pointed, out there are issues when leaving any type of leader scrap on or along the stream. I recently picked up all kinds of plastic crap along my favorite stream and filled my vest back pouch in one outing, including beer cans. It is pathetic how some people treat our precious resources.
John S.
MartinlfJune 13th, 2018, 8:24 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2820
Glad to hear stories about folks packing out garbage. I keep a bucket in the garage for fishing line I've removed from stream banks, and when it's full I burn it all into a less dangerous mass.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJune 13th, 2018, 1:24 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2346

How did you hook up with Elke? He is very much involved with the plight on native Americans.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfJune 13th, 2018, 4:34 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2820
Matt, my nephew found the Todd Moen video about fishing salmonflies on the Deschutes with him. I looked up Elke and asked if he had any days free to guide when I'd be heading to Oregon. He did, we booked, and he put us on fish all day for two days and suggested places to fish for when we weren't with him. I really liked him and his wife; they pretty much pointed us in the right direction and then left us alone--until it was time to move. We talked about everything when we were in transit, the environment, history, geology, you name it. We floated one day and went 4 wheeling the other, seeing a lot of the reservation. Starkly beautiful country.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TNEALJune 15th, 2018, 4:22 pm

Posts: 268
the only difference I have ever seen is ditching fluoro completely has caused me to ride a little higher in the wallet...
WbranchJune 15th, 2018, 5:29 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2346
the only difference I have ever seen is ditching fluoro completely has caused me to ride a little higher in the wallet...

Man, isn't that the truth. $4.95 for a spool of Rio nylon versus $14.95 for a spool of the Rio fluocarbon. I use about two spools of 5X and 6X fluorocarbon every year and one spool of 4X. Some of my friends use the Trouthunter fluorocarbon at $20.00 per spool which I think is insane. That is a $50 savings. A tank of gas and lunch.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
WiflyfisherJune 16th, 2018, 6:09 am

Posts: 598
After getting some new mono and hooking several 20+" trout all in one evening. I will definitely not try the fluoro 4x or 5x again. And I will save a lot of money too.

Matt, I agree with you, $20 for a spool is insane!
John S.
PlanettroutJune 24th, 2018, 8:52 am
Los Angeles, CA / Pullman, WA

Posts: 52
I use both Nylon and Fluorocarbon. These are the brands I stick with:

Trouthunter and Seaguar for Fluoro.

Puglisi "Powerful" and Stroft for Nylon.

I generally use the Fluoro for fishing sub-surface and Nylon for fishing dries. However, several of the largest stillwater Trout I have ever taken, while fishing sub-surface, came on using Puglisi "Powerful":

...and that was when it was packaged this way back in the early 2000's - Go figure...

Daughter to Father: "How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"
MartinlfJune 25th, 2018, 9:35 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2820
I think the Stroft is stronger than the Puglisi, which I used for years. Try comparing them.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TNEALJune 27th, 2018, 3:59 am

Posts: 268
Too many pf those products one the market now. I have partial spools of lots of stuff... whatever happened to Gladding?

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