Fluoro vs Mono - do you catch more fish?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Ryan Bradfield, May 27, 2013.

  1. Ryan Bradfield

    Ryan Bradfield Member

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    Sorry if this topic has been repeated,could you please point me to some good links regarding my topic title.
    Is there scientific evidence that fluoro catches more fish than mono?
     
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I have never used Fluorocarbon tippets/leader. I catch enough to keep myself happy. If you get your fly in front of a fish he will probably take your fly, but then again it will refuse it.
     
  3. BRsnow

    BRsnow Member

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    it fishes different in the water column, so it is another tool, sort of like asking if floating line catches more than sinking. They all have their uses. BR
     
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  4. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

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    I fish a lot for steel, so yes it makes a difference, it sinks faster to get your fly in the correct zone in the drift. It is more transparent for the spooky fish. so I say yes.
     
  5. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't.

    Sorry for the vagueness, but that's the correct answer.
     
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  6. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman Phil 4:11-13

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    Evan is right. Easily spooked fish or clear water conditions, yes it helps. It's more durable that's for sure.

    Just pull the trigger on buying some and see for yourself. It is worth the $3 more per 250 yrd spool. From there, just put some on empty tippet spools.
     
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  7. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    If I can have 18 lb fluoro for the same diameter as 8 lb mono I will take it every time, with a sink tip or skater.

    Dry flies, no chance...
     
  8. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Ryan, depending on its manufacturer, mono is either slightly buoyant or neutral in water. Fluoro is slightly heavier than water, causing it to slowly sink.

    Some claim the refractive index of fluoro makes it bit less visible in water, a feature most manufacturers are quick to seize on in their advertising as a justification for its greater price. Personally, I find fluoro to not be worth it's premium price, so I stick with mono and still manage to catch my share of fish.

    In practice, mono is cheaper and more versatile if you switch between surface and subsurface patterns. If all you do is fish subsurface, fluoro could be a better choice, even affordable considering the money you'd save by not buying or tying dry flies.

    If you find any "scientific proof" that one or the other is more effective, do please share.

    K
     
  9. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman Phil 4:11-13

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    I've been fishing with fluoro for over 20 years. I don't have any problems fishing fluoro with dry flies. Then again, I'm not fishing from a drift boat where your line is on the water for longer periods of time.

    Kent is right though. Fluoro will sink faster. So if you are fishing dries at a lake, or from drift boat, maybe it would create a problem. I fish mainly rivers from shore and have not had it sinking too soon be an issue for me. That being said, I agree with Kent that on the surface, it probably makes no difference "camouflage" wise.

    Kent, years ago there was a home made video from "Joe Shmuck", that had a huge fish tank with Bass and trout in it. This guy took seven different lines, all the same size, and tied them across the middle of the tank. As the fish swam from one end of the tank to the other, the only two lines that the fish ran into were the fluoro lines. The five other ones were mono. Which proved two things: Maybe the fluoro isn't as easy to see, and that fish have a bad memory. :p

    Those fish from one end to the other kept running into the fluoro... :confused: Seems to me, in the 90's there was a fishing show that had the same thing on it. Not sure how you can "manufacture" those kind of results, unless you are a fish whisperer. ;)

    One other advantage to fluoro, is that it is 100% UVA and UVB resistant. It has a shelf life longer than than of a Twinkie!
     
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  10. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    I suspect that most folks who have an opinion on this subject, whether pro or con, have nothing other than anecdotal evidence, combined with whatever predilection they may have for whether to justify spending a few extra bucks on additional tippet material.

    The statistical 'noise' (or variance, in the scientific sense) that comes from so many contributing factors influencing a person's success on any given outing means that, unless someone fishes A LOT and keeps VERY ACCURATE records, no one can say with any confidence (not certainty, mind you, and not 'confidence' in the colloquial sense, but confidence in the statistical sense) that flourocarbon tippet makes any difference whatsoever.

    That said, the first time you take some flouro out to that unnamed lake with the beaucoup big fish and catch the fish of a lifetime, you will be convinced forever that flouro is the way to go. Of course, you have no control on that experiment, so you can't say that you wouldn't have caught it on mono. AND, if the first 18 times you don't catch squat, you won't remember those days, and you certainly won't blame them on having used flourocarbon tippet, but when that big fish comes along (or that day when you can't keep fish off the line), then you will be convinced, but it still won't mean anything (especially that day when you can't keep the fish off, because that day you could have been caught fish using sisal twine for tippet), because you will have no possible data for comparison.

    So, knock yourself out - fly shops need the business - go ahead and buy two sets of tippet in each of several diameters for your dry fly and wet fly fishing, and believe what you want to believe.

    While you are at it, start keeping VERY ACCURATE records of the conditions, length of time fishing, flies used, air and water temperature, phase of the moon, and astrological alignment, carefully fishing equal numbers of days/hours with both flouro and mono, and maybe after 50 years of keeping records, you will be able to answer a query on WFF like this one and enlighten all the rest of us. Of course, most everyone will be set in their opinion then, just as most everyone is today, and it won't make any difference to anyone...

    D
     
  11. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman Phil 4:11-13

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    Another advantage is that it has little to no memory, which is really nice. When you pull it off the spool, it's as straight as it can be. That's nice when you want your leader to lay out nice and straight, on fish that tend to spook easy. :)
     
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  12. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I don't have any memory either, which is nice some of the time but makes it hell to pay others!

    K
     
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  13. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    When it comes to subsurface stillwater fishing, I know when the fishing is tough, the flouro does make a difference. I have absolutely no scientific proof, just my personal experience and that of my fishing buddies. I don't need no stink'n scientific proof if it works for me :D

    On the other hand, when fishing moving water I don't think it really makes a difference.
     
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  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    When you're fishing for "weary" fish, it doesn't matter what kind of leader material you use.
     
  15. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman Phil 4:11-13

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    Know what Richard, that's a great idea! That's exactly what I do (minus the star chart and moon phase).

    Don't take this wrong, but unless you have done all the things you just said, and have seen no real difference (using fluoro)... I don't think you can (or have the right to) make that kind of assumption. I mean really, you just can't make that conclusion, unless you have actually
    done it. Granted, like anything, there are going to be places that it just doesn't matter. You know that, I know that, God knows that.

    I take my fishing to different levels sometimes, and get teased for it. However, if you do your own homework, I believe the results pay off. Have you ever spent hours upon hours just watching the behavior of bugs at a lake or stream? I do that, and try different tactics and different gear/line/clothing. Some fish, and really, really big fish - I mean stupid big fish, are easily spooked.

    One of many examples: I fished three different lakes on three different days, four different ways. Weather and barometric pressure differences were nominal between the three days. I changed my tactics and gear three times on each lake. The results were all the same, exactly the same. One of those constants was fluorocarbon line.

    You don't have to believe it, nor does anyone else. However, if someone here wants some tips, and those of us who have actually done our homework want to pass it along, then I say it's for the benefit of others. If you, me or someone else has not spent entire days, weekends, or even weeks trying different things, then he or she doesn't really have any say.

    You are right about the remark about catching the fish of a lifetime, then swearing the only way to catch big fish, is by "this method or that", depending on how you caught it. That's funny, but often true for some.

    However, if you haven't spent the hours and days doing just what you mentioned, then you can't make that assumption.

    Simple question: What if someone did everything you said, then came back and had results to share about a product or tactic? Would you believe them then? Or would you just add to that long list of things that they "didn't actually try" thus making their test results incomplete?

    What if they did most of what you said, but left out the "stars and moon phase". Would you disregard it as foo foo or chance then, because it didn't meet your qualifications?

    Look, sorry to take this out on you, I really am. However, I am actually one of those "weirdos" if you will, that is willing to sacrifice time, and a few bucks, if theirs a chance, just a chance, at catching not just the "fish of a lifetime", but catching those fish on a somewhat regular basis.

    I limit out (3) almost every time out steelie fishing, and if I'm not catching trout 17" - 20" or larger - every time out, it's a so so day for me. I don't have very many "so so" days.

    I know that last part sounds very self serving, but when I hear comments like what you posted, from someone who probably hasn't spent the time that I have - no just "on the water time" but studying every little detail, then it irks me. I know you haven't with fluorocarbon, because if you had, you'd completely agree with me.

    Please, if you haven't spent the time, done your homework, don't say anything. It's kind of a "slap in the face" to those of us who have. A gentlemen asked for input, I've done my homework, I tried to help.

    Live like a bug, think like a fish.
     
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  16. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Dave, that certainly wasn't a slam at you, or anyone else. I know there are people who take that sort of approach to fishing very seriously; most don't. I opened my post my post with "most folks who have an opinion on this subject, whether pro or con, have nothing other than anecdotal evidence." I think you would agree with that.

    My, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, rant comes from the perspective of a scientist, responding to an OP who asked about scientific evidence. Most non-scientists have no idea just how difficult it is to gather data that are unbiased by the sort of environmental variables that I joked about in that post. Most 'data' from fishermen, even, or especially, those on a fly fishing forum, don't come anywhere near close. Even being as aware of that as I am in my occupation, I'm fully susceptible to it in my fishing.

    I'm sure I don't put in as many days on the water as you do (or as Gary LaFontaine did), but I've kept notes for many years. That being said, I don't feel compelled to do that kind of controlled research on fly fishing. As a result, the fly that tagged the big fish the last time out suddenly takes a place of prominence in my fly box.

    I fish flouro on lakes, not because I have any evidence it works better, but because some folks I trust think it does. I fish mono on rivers, where I predominantly fish dry flies for trout.

    My chest pack is crowded with spools of tippet and I'm happy to help keep my local fly shop in business...

    While I wasn't speaking about you, or criticizing you for your previous post, I will say that I don't appreciate your telling me not to "say anything." It really goes against the whole notion of a 'forum' for our community to communicate about fly fishing. If everyone had to meet your standard for a posting on here, it would be a pretty lonely place.

    Dick
     
  17. jordan101

    jordan101 Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I too have wondered about the original question of "scientific evidence". Does anyone know of a link from a neutral credible source?

    thanks,

    Rowland
     
  18. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    What has not been mentioned in this thread is the safety of the fish and being able to use stronger tippets - leaders to be able to play fish fast for a good healthy release. people using 2 and 4 pound test to fish 3 year old rainbows 3 to 6 pounds and playing them to death, then releasing them. many bait fisherman do this.

    I have also fished stillwater steelhead above boni (columbia) in crystal clear water for around 20 years and try and tell everyone about fluorocarbon so they can use 8 and 10 pound tippets while fly or bait fishing these spooky fish so natives are not played to death on 6 or even 4 pound test - to be released just to die later on.

    I see it as a product to help use stronger lines-leaders for the health of the fish and I too have tested it over and over in the said conditions as well as trophy rainbow fly fishing in still waters. if you don't want to use it than fine! but lets be responsible with our choices of leaders we use for the size of fish we catch - if you have to drop to 6 pound test for steelhead or even 4# in mono maybe you should just leave that fishery alone and fish different fisheries that fish are not so keyed in on leader visibility. If you fish a fishery where fish are spooky try it and do your own testing, it can't hurt you but it can hurt the fish, not learning, or trying a different product for the health of the fish.

    I too do all kinds of testing - including fins and scuba masks in the summer swimming miles of the rivers I have floated for steelhead for 35 years and diving and seeing why the fish lay where they do in the runs I hook them in. yeah - some of us are crazy!!!
     
  19. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman Phil 4:11-13

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    Well once again.... I'm here saying "my bad". I actually went back and reread your post, and there was the disclaimer (for a lack of a bettter word) that you did mention most.

    I tried not "flaming" you, but it kinda looks like I did. Sorry about that. I get kind of passionate when I hear someone say, or comment on things when in fact they haven't even really tried. <- I guess that's obvious by now :oops:

    Anyway, all I'm gonna say is this: If you don't use Seaguar 100% fluorocarbon line, you will not only not catch fish, but you will suffer financial troubles, and die early. :p

    Sorry for the rant,

    Dave
     
  20. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I find a #4 splitshot at the tippet knot makes mono sink like a mofo.
     

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