For some trolling applications in clear water, using fluorocarbon as the main line makes a lot of sense. While fluorocarbon sinks it does so very slowly and doesn’t impact on the trolling depth of crankbaits and other gear. What fluorocarbon does do is disappear in clear water making it a favorite of trout and salmon fishermen who are often faced with trolling in very clear water.
These days we’re getting more and more questions about using fluorocarbon line as main line instead of just leader material. Monofilament is rather buoyant and floats. This is one of the major reasons crankbaits trolled on monofilament don’t fish as deep as we would like in many situations.
Fluorocarbon lines are more dense than monofilament and they sink. Lots of anglers want to know if they can get their favorite lures to dive deeper by simply fishing fluorocarbon line instead of monofilament.
The staff of Precision Trolling Data put this theory to test some years ago and discovered that the sink rate of fluorocarbon is so modest that it has next to zero impact on how deep a crankbait or other piece of trolling gear will dive.
That’s the bad news. The good news is fluorocarbon has lots of properties that make it a great trolling line. The real advantage of fluorocarbon line isn’t the ability to get things deeper, but the nearly invisible nature of fluorocarbon line in water. The ultimate line for fishing in clear water, fluorocarbon line also has a little less stretch than monofilament and is also very abrasion resistant.
For some trolling applications like downrigger fishing in the Great Lakes for example, using fluorocarbon line makes a lot of sense. In stained to dirty water the benefits of using fluorocarbon as a main line are pretty much a wash compared to monofilament.
Because fluorocarbon is almost twice as expensive as monofilament, this line is still best used as leader material in many applications. Anglers can use fluorocarbon as leader material when fishing super braids and also monofilament. Fluorocarbon is also the best material for leaders on lead core, copper line and weighted steel line set ups.
The best knots for joining these lines is the Double Uni Knot and also Albright Knot. Both of these knots are small but very strong and they easily passes through the rod guides and the line pick up on trolling reels.
One last word on fluorocarbon fishing lines. Not all of these lines are created equal. The best fluorocarbon for trolling applications are 100% fluorocarbon line. A number of fluorocarbon coated lines are on the market and these have few of the advantages of pure fluorocarbon. The price on these lines is attractive compared to 100% fluorocarbon, but they are a compromise at best and serve little purpose in trolling.