Presenting the Much Anticipated and Highly Overdue TackleTour Fluorocarbon Showdown!!
Introduction: There is perhaps, not one single component of a fishing combo more important than the line. Afterall, this is the one real link between yourself and the fish. Yet, many anglers take this vital component for granted opting for the most affordable line they can find. Still others take it to the other extreme spending upwards of forty dollars or more for a single spool of line sufficient for just one reel. Throw into this mix, the current generation of high tech, fluorocarbon offerings and witness consumers running the entire gammut of scared, confused, fiercely loyal, and even, unconvinced. We receive countless notes, requests, and emails for tests on these and other lines and our response is always, "we're working on it." Well, the wait is finally over. The following are our findings from an investigation into this seemingly simple, yet ultimately mysterious market segment. Presenting TackleTour's Fluorocarbon Showdown.
Our Group of Test Subjects
In this article, we present, the results of our in-depth lab tests on some of today's more prominent fluorocarbon lines looking at such factors as abrasion resistance, cost per lineal yard, tensile strength, rated strength vs actual strength, and so on. These data points are compared to one another to help de-mystify and validate claims made by many of the manufacturers so that you can make more educated decisions when choosing your next or even your first fluorocarbon line.
Fluorocarbon lines originate from one of two countries, Germany...
Background: Are all fluorcarbons created equal? Industry insiders tell us all fluorocarbon lines are made in one of three factories in the world. Two of these factories are in Japan, the remainder is in Germany, and no, they are not created equal. If not, then what are the differences? This is what we set out to find.
... or Japan
The Good: So why fluorocarbon? For years we've heard the claims fluorocarbon is more abrasion resistant and has less stretch than both copolymers and monofilaments. In addition, due to its unique light refraction qualities, fluorcarbon is virtually invisible under water. Lastly, it is resistant to water absorption, so the properties you get out of the box, should translate into the properties you experience on the water. Sounds like the ultimate fishing line doesn't it? Well, not necessarily.
One of fluorocarbon's alluring
characteristics is the claim of near zero visibility
The Bad: The number one complaint we hear about fluorocarbon lines is their poor knot strength. Secondarily we hear claims the line is unmanageable due to high memory characteristics. You can purchase line conditioners that make your fluorocarbon lines less memory intensive and therefore easier to manage, but why? Well, for starters, all the claims in the previous section titled "The Good" - assuming these claims are true. But the latest generation of fluorocarbon lines claim to address all these issues. True or not? Sounds like a job for TackleTour!
When fluorcarbon breaks, it's not pretty and often sounds like a small explosion
The Ugly: Just about any way you cut it, fluorcarbon lines are expensive. In some cases, they are prohibitively expensive when compared to monofilament lines. To get to the bottom of this fluorcarbon mystery, we purchased a bunch of spools from different manufacturers, but of course, finding comparative products was not easy. We could not simply purchase a set line rating of say, twelve (12) pound test because not all lines are rated equally. From varying diameters to overrated breaking strengths, we sifted a bunch of spools all in an effort to come to a reasonable compromise.
Among the many claims straight from the package of one of our fluorocarbon test subjects
Section: The Players