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Braid vs. Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
By: Brad Wiegmann

 In the past, anglers had only one type of fishing line to select when deciding on fishing line.  It was monofilament, and every fishing line company had different styles to choose from.  All you had to choose from was extra tuff line for flipping or areas where it was an abrasive environment, or a soft or supple fishing line for spinning reels in areas of open water with little or no snags. 

  In today’s market place, fishing line companies have numerous lines available, depending on the environment the anglers fishing in to choose from.  New technology has taken fishing line to a higher level.  So how does an angler decide on which fishing line to use?  Two extremely popular fishing lines sold today are braid and fluorocarbon.  Each of these has its own special characteristics, but can just a single type of fishing line work for all your fishing needs? 

  Let’s compare Grand Slam Braid to HI-Seas 100% Fluorocarbon line.  (See for more information on fishing line.)  The list of positive attributes for the braid fishing line: no memory, great casting distance, super thin diameter, floats on top the waters surface, and zero stretch.  These qualities allow for long cast, superior strike detection even with the most subtle of bites, and superior hook sets.

  Fluorocarbon line on the other hand does not come manufactured with Spectra fibers; in fact, HI-Seas 100% fluorocarbon line is made from pure polyvinylidene fluoride and extruded to specific standards.  100% Fluorocarbon Line has the same refractive light index rating as water make it almost invisible under the waters surface.  Also, 100% Fluorocarbon Line does not absorb water so it sinks faster than mono and abrasion resistant.

  In general, anglers prefer to use braided fishing line when fishing aquatic vegetation, or main line for flipping, drop shot, or Carolina rigs, while Fluorocarbon line can be used for leaders on flipping, drop shot, or Carolina rigs, and for sinking line applications.

  An interesting compromise has developed among anglers who have from a combination of the 2 lines perform superior to just a single line itself.  Anglers will spool-up with braided fishing line then use a fluorocarbon leader to the lure or terminal tackle.  This compromise retains the sensitivity, abrasion resistant, and invisibility qualities.  A popular technique where anglers use this combination of braid for the main line and fluorocarbon line for the leaders are on spinning rods while fishing shaky head jigs with finesse worms.

  The knot an angler ties with both of these lines will determine their success rate for landing fish.  A popular knot for tying braided fishing line to fluorocarbon fishing line is the “Uni to Uni” knot while the “palomar” knot or “Uni” knot can be used when tying braided line to terminal tackle or lures.

  So what fishing line should you purchase?  Your best bet would be to select both braid and fluorocarbon using each or a combination of both when appropriate for the environment you are fishing.  

Brad Wiegmann is a professional fishing guide on Beaver Lake and outdoor writer.  Contact him at (479) 756-5279 or by e-mail at