Fluorocarbon Line Facts

This the first of a two part feature on the benefits and advantages in using Penn Fluoro carbon line. This first part explains what Fluoro carbon is and how it works.

I’ve been using Fluoro carbon lines since it was first introduced and it immediately improved my overall results in many fishing situations when used as hook snoods and rig body line, but also as a short leader when lure fishing.

I now use Penn International Fluorocarbon exclusively for general UK and overseas fishing situations, but often get asked when chatting to other anglers just what are the main benefits of using Penn Fluorocarbon in saltwater?

I won’t give away all the technical secrets but Fluorocarbon is manufactured from polymer of fluorine, polymer being a molecule that is formed from a multiple of smaller molecules, which is built up over carbon.

The main advantage of Penn International Fluorocarbon is that it comes much closer to the natural refractive index of water making it almost invisible in water. Notice I said “almost” as no Fluoro carbon is totally invisible in water as some sources have stated in the past, but it is much less so than standard traditional monofilament lines.

The composition of the line also gives it much less stretch than mono has making it the ideal hook length and rig body line for maximum bite detection.

Fluorocarbon does not soak up water like monofilament lines do, which can result in as much as a 30% decrease in mono line strength once water has permeated in to the mono. Again this limited water ingress increases the overall life of Fluoro carbon line as there is minimal breakdown.

Fluorocarbon lines have less buoyancy than mono and will sink faster than traditional lines making it ideal for presenting small baits hard on the seabed in light surf conditions as they will sink faster and stay deeper, plus bait presentation appears more natural. This also applies when fly fishing as flies will sink easier and swim more naturally during the retrieve.

Good quality Fluorocarbon, such as Penn International, has a harder surface texture giving it far more abrasion resistance. This is a major advantage when fishing over coarse sand when needing to fish fine diameter hook snoods to temp smaller spooky fish, also over rough ground when after shy bass.

Fluorocarbon is also slightly stiffer in character that mono for the same line diameter making it less likely to tangle in moving water such as surf tables and rough seas.

It also suffers far less from direct exposure to ultra-violet rays meaning it is far more durable to long term outside exposure and general day to day storage than monofilament is.

The more common knots, such as the tucked half-blood, can prove weaker when used with any Fluorocarbon line compared to mono and your knot type choice is crucial.

For example, I only use the Uni-knot with Fluorocarbon lines as I’ve found it the best and most consistent, but due to the stiffer nature of Fluorocarbon, I tie it using only four turns inside the knots circle before closing on lines of 25lbs and below.  I’ve never had this knot break during fishing!

Next week we’ll look at the fishing advantages of Fluoro carbon line and the situations where Fluoro carbon is most effective.

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