Published Jan 3. 2009 - 14 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

Fluorocarbon tippets

A happy new year to everyone,
I have always used regular mono tippet material in the past , but I'm considering trying fluorocarbon this coming season, and would like to hear some of the good and bad experiences before I spend the 15 € for a spool of tippet material. 90% of my fishing is done on the danish coast for seatrout, does the salt or cold water effect it in any negative way.


I haven't had any problems with using fluorocarbon for tippet material. I fish mostly with furled leaders and will use 5 to 7 feet of fluorocarbon for my tippet. In a couple of scenarios, fishing for smallmouth bass/pike in Ontario on my summer vacation or in salt water, I'll use a straight piece of 20-30 lb fluorcarbon, 6 to 8 feet long. One disadvantage as you've noted is the price. One way I get around that is pick up a spool or two of fluorocarbon fishing line, particular for the times when I'm fishing for fish that are not leader shy. Depending on the test of the line, I can often pick up spools from 100 to 200 yards for the price of a small spool of tippet material. I would say that fluorcarbon specifically designed as a tippet material has a smaller diameter that a comparable sized fishing line. For trout and tippets from 5X to 12X, I'll break down and pay the money.

Hy Paul,...

Hy Paul,

a happy new year as well.

About the Fluorcarbon theme. I use it since years in different situations but not in general. The first situation is the use while I fish for seatrouts on the baltic sea. I use about 70-100 cm Tippet, depending on the length of the leader, size of the fly and the wind conditions (shorter if windy, longer if calm). If I have windy conditions, I prefer fluorcarbon because it sinks under the surface and keeps the fly fishing nearly immediately after it touches the surface. I use that if a Polyleader is not needed so far. Selfunderstanding I can regulate the depth the fly should fish by using weighted flies additional. Also I keep on my mind how the waterdepth is in general in that specific situation. Normaly I use diameters 0,26, 0,28 or 0,30 max. I want to pronounce that I don´t use fluorcarbon in that situations because it is nearly irrestistable. Because in my opinion the seatrout is not so shy or spooky that stealthy presentation is needed. A calm behavior on the waters on the other hand is selfunderstanding always sinnfull.

On the rivers for trout, grayling etc. I use fluorcarbon while nymphing, fishing wet flies or little streamers. Diameters are between 0,14 and 0,18-0,20 max. But I guess everybody should find it´s own individual set-up, depending on skills and gear.

For salmon fishing I use it as well up to 0,45 dia. depending on line class and fly size.

In general I used Reverge Grandmax. It has the best knotstrength by far, but is very expensive and just a little stiff. I changed to Egor Fluorcarbon from Guideline. It costs just 50% from the Grandmax, is a little softer and theknotstrength is good as well.

My colleaques, friends and I tried also other stuff but it is clear that especially the cheaper fluorcarbon is always just a gimmick.

I hope, I could help a little.

Regards, Frank

You would not want to use...

You would not want to use fluorocarbon on dry flies I would not think. It is especially good to use fluorocarbon in the summer, when you want your flies to sink a little lower. Sometimes I just buy a roll of fluorocarbon, and cut off what I need. (conventional fishing rolls) You can pull off a few feet, roll it up, and stick in into a plastic zip lock bag, and then stick in your vest. That way is much cheaper than buying the regular fly fishing tippet.


There are basically four points that separate fluorocarbon from standard mono-filament lines:
1) Invisibility
2) Density
3) Abrasion Resistance
4) Strength

So, if you are thinking of switching, weigh these items first. Durability is often one of the key items for me, as I fish a lot of rocky areas with toothy critters. In this situation, I can fish a slightly bigger diameter to maintain breaking strength, and worry less about grating against rocks and loosing fish to cutting. It's not foolproof of course, just an extra edge. The fact that it sinks faster is a nice bonus most of the time.

The other time I have found fluorocarbon useful is dry-fly fishing in calm waters. The fluorocarbon will sink instantly and remain invisible for fish that are startled by surface disturbances. Note that your fly needs to be buoyant enough to support the line somewhat in order for this to work, so it may not be the best for midge patterns.

For larger diameters, the bulk spools for casting/spinning rods will be a better value, and breaking strength is not likely to matter quite as much. For smaller diameters, it is probably worth the extra money to buy some quality tippet.

One more note: If tying a clinch knot, I have found fluorocarbon works better without the final "tuck" of the improved clinch knot. Your experience may vary - easy enough to test with whatever brand you end up with. It is very important to lubricate the knot before tightening though, even more so than with regular mono-filament. Some more research may turn up better knots.

So, fluorocarbon isn't the end-all, but definitely a useful tool in the right situations.

TIght Lines



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