Monofilament vs. Fluorocarbon

Jon Kleis of Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine wrote this insightful article about monofilament and fluorocarbon for the Colorado Springs Gazette that we wanted to share….  and it is totally applicable to our tailwater PaCoChuPuk at Ridgway State Park .

On the Fly: Is fluoro worth the cost? Depends on where you fish

By Jon Kleis Special to The Gazette Updated: November 20, 2014

During guide trips, I’m often asked the difference between monofilament and fluorocarbon leaders, and whether those differences justify the price gaps.
Even though fluorocarbon has a different name, it’s simply another type of monofilament. The differences between fluoro and traditional mono are numerous, but the biggest selling point for fluoro is the fact that it’s almost invisible when submerged in water. This is because the chemical processes used to make it give fluorocarbon the same refractive index as clear water.
If you’re fishing in an area that receives as much pressure as Elevenmile Canyon or the Dream Stream, using an invisible line gives you a huge advantage when presenting your flies to educated “leader-
shy” trout. This quality becomes quite important during winter when the water is low and clear.

Fluorocarbon is denser with fewer air bubbles trapped in it, giving it a negative buoyancy. It sinks faster than traditional monofilament, making fluoro great for nymph fishing because it will help your flies drop quickly through the water column. Mono is neutrally buoyant, which is why it takes a second to sink after it hits the surface. Because mono floats better, it’s the practical choice if you’re using surface/dry flies.
Anglers can get away with using fluorocarbon for dry flies, but there’s no reason to when you can save money using a line that does a better job of keeping that tiny size 24 blue-winged olive parachute afloat. For Colorado fishing, I try to keep spools of fluoro from 2x-7x, and spools of mono from 4x-7x.
There are a few other things to consider when selecting your leader material. Fluorocarbon is stiff and, because… READ MORE