A lot of anglers ask me which fluorocarbon is the best, and I am still trying to figure out a definitive answer. The vague response would be whichever brand you can rely on. I know that doesn’t seem entirely helpful, but my own meandering experience, through trial and error, has led me to certain conclusions.
Does spending the most mean a pleasing result? Not necessarily. However, with fluorocarbon, I do believe spending more gives you better quality and better reliability. Obviously, we are not all millionaires; we can’t afford to shell out a king’s ransom of cash for our everyday shore fishing. It simply isn’t economical, and some of the prices on the market seem insane.
Back in 1971, Kureha pioneered and developed fluorocarbon line (PVDF), and promptly launched Seaguar. Seaguar quickly went on to become one of the world’s leading fishing line manufacturers. Fluorocarbon has the qualities of stiffness, or resistance to tangling, and has an appearance that is nearly or completely invisible when submerged in water. These are its principal advantages to ordinary monofilament lines. They also have excellent abrasion resistance. If you run a knife against fluorocarbon and your blade isn’t razor sharp, it will slide off. In terms of a hook length or as a line directly to your lure, it is the premium choice for many fishing applications.
Some of the better brands like Seaguar, Momoi, and Yo Zuri – popular with big game anglers abroad – offer a pink fluorocarbon that they claim is virtually invisible in deeper water to fish. I have no way of carrying out an analysis and telling you if that’s the case with 100 per cent certainty. I can tell you that some of the offshore hunters frequenting warmer climes choose the stuff ahead of any other line as the connection between their bearing swivel and lure. The trouble is, in my humble opinion, these lines are not accessible to all anglers, as they carry a significant price tag per metre.
What I have repeatedly purchased and trusted over the years is Berkley Big Game or Trilene fluorocarbon leader. I have never had a bad batch, buying as low as 6lb breaking strain for mullet and as higher breaking strain as 80lb. The consistency and quality have always been the same. I have had no reason to doubt it whatsoever. I have got through dozens of spools of 20lb, 25lb, 30lb and 40lb in the Berkley Big Game for lure and bait fishing. To be perfectly honest, if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it. I have trusted it for a decade and I think it offers some decent value for money. It’s also easily accessible when ordering online.
MORE THAN JUST THE PRICE
In terms of the more expensive options, I have used Yo Zuri, Momoi, and Seaguar. Part of me thinks, if Seaguar invented this stuff, probably having a 10-year patent on it and a headstart on everyone else, surely, they are the best? One issue with Seaguar is not only the price: I have often found it out of stock or that I have to order it from the USA or Australia, with hefty carriage rates and sometimes significant import duty. I feel the same about Yo Zuri to some extent. In my opinion, it doesn’t help anglers when a brand is selling so many variations of fluorocarbon. It doesn’t seem easily decipherable information when looking online and trying to pick the best option for my fishing applications. The exception here is Momoi, who have forged their reputation almost exclusively in big game fishing. Sure, their marketing and presentation look the part, but they are trusted by many charter skippers abroad, and gripes about performance are almost unheard of. I have purchased spools of their line from places like Rok Max, purely for trips to the tropics and northern Norway when I can justify shelling out a bit more money. It has always performed, abrasion resistance is good, it knots well, and it has never failed me.
Most anglers have neither the time nor the money to do their own knot and abrasion resistance tests and need to know what they buy isn’t going to let them down when they need it most.
In conclusion, I have the following advice: Save your money as UK anglers and if you are using breaking strains from 4lb to 40lb, I would seek out the Berkley Big Game fluorocarbon as it’s perfect for a hook length or lure leader. Now, if you are chasing bigger stuff, going abroad and chasing tuna, amberjacks, halibut or cod and are prepared to pay top dollar, then consider Yo Zuri, Seaguar and Momoi. If, on the other hand, you’re on a budget for a trip away, then you may find that Varivas Fluorocarbon 100% Shock Leader is a little kinder on your wallet and offers sound, reliable quality. I have used the 130lb variety and have no complaints.