We tested some of the leading flurocarbon line brands to see what the best fluorocarbon fishing lines in 2020 was. Find the results below along with an in-depth buying guide.
Every fishing fan knows how important their line is. No matter what kind of fish you’re hoping to catch or where you are, you need a good line to bring your prize in. Fluorocarbon fishing line, while pricier than other line types, is often the best choice. Features like its low visibility, abrasion resistance, sensitivity, and density make it ideal for a variety of fishermen and fishing situations.
What is the best fluorocarbon fishing line? In this guide, we’ll explore the top eight fluorocarbon fishing line products and buying considerations. We’ll also answer frequently-asked questions like if fluorocarbon actually works and if it’s better than braided and monofilament lines.
This top rated fishing line is made from 100% fluorocarbon material. As the name suggests, it’s essentially invisible in the water, so it’s perfect for fishing situations where the water is very clear. It’s also designed with good sensitivity. You’ll feel every little nibble from curious fish. In the past, fluorocarbon line was meant primarily for leaders, but thanks to new technology, it’s more flexible than ever. This line from Berkley is easier to cast and knot. It also has a non-absorbing design that keeps the line strong and abrasion-resistant in the water.
Whether you’re using a spinning or casting reel, this fishing line works well. There’s a variety of choices for strength. If you choose the 2-pound strength, the diameter is 0.006 inches. Your options go all the way up to 60 pounds with a 0.032-inch diameter. You’ll pay more for greater strength.
One of the best-rated fluorocarbon fishing lines, this product from KastKing won the ICAST 2015 award. It’s a combination between the Copolymer fishing line and 100% fluorocarbon coating. The benefit of this blend is that you get the near invisibility from the fluorocarbon and low memory and castability from the copolymer. This also makes the fishing line less expensive than if it used only fluorocarbon.
What else does this blend have to offer? It has great abrasion resistance, high density, and high strength. The diameters are thinner than the KastKing Copolymer line, which translates into greater depth with diving baits. It also sinks faster. Concerned about sensitivity? This line is sensitive, as well as versatile and strong. If you aren’t sure about fluorocarbon yet and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a premium fishing line, the FluroKote from KastKing is a great place to start. It works well for trout fishing.
There are many brands of fluorocarbon fishing line, but if you’re looking for a premium line, the Sunline Super FC Sniper is a good choice. It offers excellent abrasion resistance, so you can be confident the line won’t break. It also has a triple resin coating, which makes the line more manageable and flexible. You will be able to tie more complex knots. The line is also great for casting, even on windy days. The lighter lines are good for spinning, too.
Few things are as annoying as kinking in your fishing line. There’s a variety of reasons why this can happen, but some lines perform worse than others. There’s less kinking in this Sunline line, which is important because many fluorocarbons have problems with this. If you’re looking for a fluorocarbon line for bass fishing specifically, this is one to consider.
If you’re looking for lines you can use for freshwater fishing, this is a good choice. Seaguar advertises it on their website in their freshwater line, which has been formulated specifically for catching fish found in freshwater. It’s a decent choice for saltwater fishing, as well, since it’s packed in a big size. This lets you spend hours out on the water without running out. It’s 100% fluorocarbon, so it’s abrasion-resistant. Because of its clearness, it’s great for clear, open water. It can also be used for heavy-cover situations if you find yourself in one, thanks to its strength.
Kinking isn’t too much of a problem with the Red Label, though as with all lines, kinks become more common with wider diameters. You can choose from 6-20 pounds in various yard lengths starting around 175 yards. It works for both casting and spinning reels. Some fishermen also use it for a leader.
When you want to cast lighter lures and make a longer cast, spinning reels are a good choice. Spinning reels are also popular among beginner fishermen and fishermen who like to use live bait. This fluorocarbon fishing line for spinning reels from Berkley has low memory. Low memory means the line is less likely to curl on the spool, which leads to tangles and kinks. It’s easy to handle, sensitive, and easy to cast.
The line also has great shock strength and abrasion resistance, so it won’t snap. Like all fluorocarbon, it’s practically invisible. You can also use this line as a leader if you want. The smaller diameters are best. The line remains strong, so you get great knots that connect the leader to your mainline. The Berkley Trilene comes highly recommended from pros and has been around for a while, so it’s proven its worth.
Baitcasting is when your fishing rod uses a specific reel. On these, the spool is parallel to the rod, as opposed to perpendicular like with spincast reels. With a baitcasting reel, you can cast jigs, crankbaits, and spinner baits with significantly more accuracy. There is more drag resistance, so there’s more skill involved. A skilled baitcaster needs a great line. The Abrazx from Seaguar is made with Level Wind Technology. This is exclusive to the brand. They spool the line on its side. It’s very smooth, as well as strong and basically invisible.
Fishing in an area with lots of rocks and weeds? This is the fishing line for you. It is a bit on the pricey side, but it’s designed for serious baitcasters, so if that describes you, it’s worth the money. Abrazx also works with spinning reels if you don’t want to buy a separate line.
Made from 100% fluorocarbon, this line is very strong and sensitive. You’ll feel little bites as soon as they start, so you can get ready to bring your catch in. Invizx is designed for freshwater fishing but works in saltwater, as well. Made with Level Wind Technology like the Abraxz, it’s soft and supple. It’s got advanced hook setting power and abrasion resistance. Fishing in very cold water? The best fluorocarbon fishing line should be durable. Abrazx is tough, and manageable, as well. It’s also UV resistant.
Like all fluorocarbon lines, Invizx is essentially invisible, so there’s no need to worry about alerting fish to your presence. This is especially important for crappie because this fish has great vision. Because this particular line is fairly lightweight, you’re best off avoiding fish that fight you. The line works for both casting and spinning, so it’s versatile.
Smooth and strong, this fishing line from Stren casts like monofilament, but it’s made from 100% fluorocarbon. It’s very smooth and sensitive, so you’ll feel little nibbles as fish inspect your bait or lure. The line also knots well (always wet the line!) and has shock strength for hard hooksets. Thanks to its high density, lures can sink deeper, which is great when you’re looking to catch the fish that like deeper waters. Lures also sink faster with this line, so you can be confident that your lure hits where you cast it.
One of fluorocarbon’s defining traits is its transparency. This Stren line is no different. Choose from lines with pound tests between 4-17. If you’re curious about fluorocarbon but partial to mono lines, this is a great product to try out. It handles like mono but comes with the benefits of fluorocarbon.
What characteristics should be on your mind when you’re shopping for fishing line? Not all fluorocarbon fishing lines are created equally, so here are some buying considerations to keep in mind:
The fluorocarbon material doesn’t absorb water. This non-permeability helps the line stay strong. You want a line that resists rain, the sun, humidity, and water temperatures. You should check the line’s breaking strength, which in the US is usually measured in pounds and kilograms.
That means a line with a 12-pound test equals 5.4 kilograms. Comparing break strengths across brands is tricky. Fishing lines with 12 pounds may actually be different from one another. It’s kind of like how clothes sizes can vary by brand. To get a better idea of strength, you should also look at the diameter.
Thicker diameters give a line more strength, which makes sense. The downside is that thicker lines are more visible. If you’re fishing in very clear water for freshwater fish (which all usually have pretty good eyesight), you might want to trade a little strength for a thinner, less visible line. Thinner diameters also make the line more sensitive.
If you’re fishing around rocks, docks, and other structures, how well your line holds up matters. Fluorocarbon is a harder material, which makes it ideal for these environments.
That resistance to abrasion is mostly due to one factor: its density. It’s denser and therefore more durable than monofilament. That density also makes the line sink faster. That makes it less ideal if you want your bait/lure to stay higher in the water.
You want to be able to tie good knots in your fishing line. In the past, you would always see fluorocarbon line for leaders, but not as the mainline. Fluorocarbon was really stiff. Tying knots was more difficult.
In more recent times, the technology has advanced so you can now get fluorocarbon fishing line as your mainline. It’s more flexible and easier to tie knots. Be sure to check the purpose of the line so you aren’t accidentally getting leader material when you want a mainline.
When you pull your fishing line off its spool, does it hang straight off or curl up? If it curls, it’s “remembering” how it was curled around the spool. Lines that curl like this are more vulnerable to kinks and knots when you’re reeling it in.
You want a fishing line with low memory. In general, fluorocarbon lines have more memory than mono or braided lines. If the line is just coated with fluorocarbon material and made from mono or copolymer, it will have less memory.
The kind of bait you like to use factors into what fishing line works best. Fluorocarbon works very well for deep-diving crankbaits because of how fast and deep the line sinks. It’s also great if you use lures like worms or jigs where sensitivity is a must.
If you’re not familiar with fluorocarbon fishing lines, you might have some questions about why it’s a good choice and if it’s worth the price. Let’s answer some of those frequently asked questions:
Is fluorocarbon all it’s cracked up to be? Especially considering the price tag? The main thing you’ll hear about this material is that it’s “virtually invisible.” This is especially appealing if you’re fishing in freshwater. Freshwater fish living in clear water tend to have good eyesight. They see colors very well, which is why a clear line is vital to your fishing success. Tuna and crappie have great eyesight, so a visible line gives them a warning to stay away.
Fluorocarbon, while not totally invisible like you may be hoping, is clearer than other types of line. It doesn’t reflect sunlight like monofilament does. Even if you don’t use fluorocarbon for your mainline, it’s worth using a fluorocarbon line for leaders. Fluorocarbon also sinks very well, it’s very resistant to abrasion, and it’s very sensitive. For these reasons, yes, it does really work.
Whether fluorocarbon is “better” than braided line depends on the situation. Braided lines have pros and cons. It’s very strong, but slippery, so tying knots is tricky. It’s also very visible in the water, so if you’re fishing in clear water, fluorocarbon is much better. Braided line also floats, while fluorocarbon sinks, so unless you want to fish in the topwater, fluorocarbon is better.
The biggest reason fluorocarbon might be better than monofilament is that the mono line absorbs water. This makes the line more relaxed, but also weaker over time. Fluorocarbon is also less visible than mono. On the other hand, mono line is more manageable and flexible, so if you want a line that’s really easy to use, it’s a great choice. It’s also the most affordable type of line, so if budget is your main concern, mono line is better than fluorocarbon.
Speaking of budgets, why is fluorocarbon fishing line so pricey? It comes down to the material and manufacturing process. PVDF resin is the main ingredient for fluorocarbon. It costs around five times as much as nylon, the main ingredient in monofilament. Actually making the fluorocarbon line is more expensive, as well. These two factors mean brands must sell the line at a higher price.
How often you change your line depends on how often you use it. If you fish a lot, it’s a good idea to change it at least three times every year. If you only fish occasionally, 1-2 times a year should be fine. For shelf life, fluorocarbon lasts 7-10 years. Look for signs of weakening like fraying or mildew spots. Discoloring is also a sign that your line is getting tired, but considering how clear fluorocarbon is, you’ll most likely not be able to see this. Fraying will be more obvious.
Fluorocarbon fishing line is a newer type of line compared to braided and monofilament and comes with benefits. The main one is how clear it is. This makes it a great choice for fishing in clear freshwater where fish have great eyesight. When it first came out, fluorocarbon line was meant only as a leader because of how stiff it was. Now, the technology has progressed, so you can use fluorocarbon as a mainline, as well!
In this guide, we covered eight of the top picks (which includes an affordable fluorocarbon-coated line) and what to consider when shopping. Factors like strength, diameter, and density can help you make the best choice for your fishing needs. Because of the material used and the manufacturing process, fluorocarbon is the most expensive type of fishing line. If you’re serious about fishing and want an essentially invisible line, you’ll most likely be satisfied with fluorocarbon.