View Full Version : A new debate?? Mono vs. Fluoro

Gerry Romer
08-23-2007, 11:13 PM
Here's a new topic/thread/debate for y'all. :smile:

Tippet material... mono or fluoro, which is better and why??

I've tried to find a serious discussion on the web and all I come up with are manufacturer's web sites that are all designed to sell you their latest offering.

Let me explain where this is all coming from:

A few weeks back I reported on a fishing trip that Brett and I made to the Clinch in Clinton, behind the church. The few of you who may have read it might recall that, at one point, we were both throwing para adams dries with midge droppers into the same pool at the steps. He was catching fish on every cast while I was merely fishing on every cast. The following week he told me that he had figured it out... he was fishing a Frog Hair 5x fluoro tippet, while I was fishing a 6x Frog Hair mono tippet.

So I wanna know what y'all think. Does fluoro beat mono for invisibility in gin-clear waters? (or even in non-gin clear waters) Could it make that much of a difference? Where you could fish the same pool with the same flies and one catch while the other merely fishes?

The Great Debate: Mono vs. Fluoro :biggrin:

I don't just wanna take a poll here, I want some serious, knock-down, drag-out discussion......

Gerry Romer

David Knapp
08-23-2007, 11:36 PM
Fluoro for subsurface flies definitely. On the trip out west, a guy we fished with in Colorado got me started on some new stuff, Seaguar Grand Max. I'm sure Trevor will chime in on this one so I'll let him tell the best story about it. However, I will say that the fish ate our flies without any hesitation and this stuff is incredibly strong...

08-24-2007, 12:11 AM
here I am, chimin' in for you!

yeah, this guy we fished w/ in CO told us to buy seaguar grand max tippet; he said it was incredibly strong, and is apparently all the rage around there. he wasn't lying. I bought some of the 7x, used it, caught many nice fish and never broke off. I even caught a 22in brown that bulldogged me for 15 minutes and landed him on that 7x! I'm telling you, when I was fighting that fish, I was hearing strange noises in my rod ferules ... thought he would snap the rod before that tippet went.

I haven't used it long enough to tell whether I actually catch more fish on it, but many people seem to believe their catch rates go UP when using flouro for subsurface. what happened with you and your son fishing side by side may be about the best proof you could get!

another factor to consider, which is very slight, but I suppose could make a difference in certain situations .... is that flouro supposedly sinks, whereas mono WANTS to float. that's what I've heard at least, don't hold me to it. IF this is true, it's possible that brett's midge (or whatever dropper he was using) could have just been floating deeper in the water column than yours.

it also could be that your son is just a darn good fishermen. if so, you should be proud!

08-24-2007, 01:19 AM
Yep, Trevor, you hit the nail on the head......Just a darn good fisherman!!! I gloat.....Lies lies lies....and more lies! Dad's blood pressure just smacked bottom or he's laughing his head off!!! If i'm not mistaken, on that particular day I had a new pattern tied up....I had three of everything I tied that day and gave dad the very same fly! Dad would fish a spot, to no avail, and I'd fall in behind him and clean out his hole! It really had him mad, and had me laughing....I tried helping the poor guy out but nothing seemed to work.

As far as "figuring it out" I'll tell the quick version. Dad and I had went that week and I cleaned up while dad got the skunk! Later in the week I had another brother in law enforcement come over on his meal break for supper while I was off. He had been ragging me about catching "such small fish", "DINKS" I think is how he refered to them....He is an avid bass fisherman and loves to see me get red over calling my latest catch a dink....So I got frustrated and asked what LB line he used...His reply of course being 20 LB..As my eyes rolled I got out the thickest thing of tippet I had being 5X flouro frog hair! Of course he wasn't impressed still ragging me on my dinks....The next day I was tying flies at our dinning room table, preparing for the next days trip to the Clinch when I remembered something someone had told me about using flouro after seeing the tippet lying were I had left it from the show and tell! Exactly what PA said about upping the fish count....I immediately called dad and told him he needed to hurry up and get to LRO before they closed to pick himself up a spool.

Dad went to LRO picked up the last two spools....Empty stock always meens something!! We went fishing the next day and he didn't get skunked....While it appeared that everyone else was! There was only two fish landed in the entire 6 or 7 hours we were out there. I think dad landed 3 or 4 and I landed 4 or 5!!!!

This could lead to a good debate....There is an article that was done in a magizine dad gave to me....It's a saltwater magazine, not sure which....But it showed a wide array of flouro, mono, and mixed bag tippets in different depths....Flouro was by far alot less visible than anything else out there especially on the surface and in really deep conditions!
The magazine was~Saltwater Flats Angler

Oh and Ttas thanks again for the smile! That would be the "over" statement of the year.

08-24-2007, 08:52 AM
I'll vote for flouro! I started fly fishing 4 years ago here on the SoHo. Late in that first year I was having trouble getting any fish to take. So I switched from 6x to 7x and I was back into fish. A friend of mine said you don't need 7x you just need to switch to 6x flouro. At first I was worried about the expense, but decided that I really had being going through that much tippet and so I would give it a try. I know that I did better with the 6x flouro than the 6x mono, I also know that I did just as well with the 6x flouro as with the 7x mono and I believe that I may have even done better. And now I'm not worried about that tiny 7x. Three years later I haven't fished anything but flouro, I don't even carry any mono and I also don't carry any 7x, I do however fish 6x exclusively here on the SoHo. Just my experience, but it was enough to convince me.

08-24-2007, 11:33 AM
I vote for fluorocarbon. The refractive index is very close to that of water which makes it harder for fish to see. The specific gravity is about 1.75 thus it breaks the water surface tension and sinks faster than mono.
That said, if your happy with what you use then by all means don't change.

08-25-2007, 11:19 PM
when the new flouro first came on the market i had sticker shock and refused to pay the high price. so i was fishing the cumberland about 5 yrs. ago drifting along side 2 friends they were catching fish and i was having a hard time catching any fish after a while i pulled along side of them and ask what were they using and they showed me the same fly that i had on. so we contuined on fishing they were catching lots more than i was. so i pulled along side again ,alright something is going on what is it ? same fly same depth under indicator alright guys you are not telling me, whats different? so they tosed a spool of tippet so i changed at that moment. made a believer out of me. now to this day when a nymph is tyied on so does rio flouro. only brand to buy , tryed others but have problems with knots or pig tails . not with Rio

08-26-2007, 09:42 AM
Having used both mono and flourocarbon, I can't easily say that there is a huge change in catch rate for me. That being said, I use flouocarbon more times than not. I think one of the advantages of flourocarbon is confidence. If you have more confidence in flouro and feel it is an advantage, you will fish better and that will cause your success rate to increase.

The two advantages that I see are that it definitely sinks quicker than mono (a detriment if using a dry however) and in the heavier sizes (40-80lb) it straightens much easier than mono. In the past with mono, tarpon flies needed to be pre-rigged and placed in a strecher. Now you can just tie on a new piece of flourocarbon, knot on a fly, give it a good pull and all of the coils from line memory disappear and you are good to go.

Byron Begley
08-26-2007, 11:03 AM
Hi Guys,

I use fluoro mainly due to it's abrasion resistance. If you get a nick it doesn't affect the integrity of the material that is left. It's kind of like ripstop nylon. Or at least that's what I've been told. It is made of strands somehow compounded together. I'm getting ready to meet with a Raz Reid a Rep for Rio, Sage, Simms, Umpqua and other companies in a few minutes, (on Sunday?). I'll verify that with him.


Gerry Romer
08-26-2007, 11:29 AM
MtnMIke, IR, Bill, Drew, Byron --

This is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Sure, I can always take my son's word for it when he's out-fishing me 10 to 1....

Any more out there?


appalachian angler
08-26-2007, 09:20 PM
I am becming more and more fond of Flouro...specifically Frogs hair. It also knots well to Frogs Hair mono leaders. Some mono leaders don't take well to flouro it seems. I stick with mono leaders for the floating aspect, and the fact that I may switch from dry to wet/nymph and then back several times on an outing. The only drawback I have found with flouro is that it seems stiffer for a given tippet size. I like the fact that it sinks faster; especially since I fish alot of soft hackles that would otherwise tend to stay on top when I need them to be just under the surface.


08-28-2007, 06:04 PM
For anything under the surface, fluoro is the best. I like to fish a dry fly as an indicator, so I use mono down to the dry and Fluoro for the dropper. When I'm numphing, it's all fluoro. The problem comes when you want to change from nymph to dry to nymph, etc. You have to keep changing tippet, but it's worth the effort.
Another problem is topwater fishing for smallies or 'gills. If you use fluoro with a popper, it sinks too fast and gives the popper poor action. Greasing it doesn't seem to help much. Fluoro is great for a slider and a must for streamers, but it's a pain for poppers.

08-28-2007, 07:10 PM
flouro on the bottom
mono on the top