Monofilament vs Fluorocarbon Fishing Line: Key Differences, Pros & Cons

Thomas Krik

Written by

Thomas Krik

Marc Lowe


Marc Lowe

monofilament vs fluorocarbon fishing line

Every angler knows that the thrill of the catch starts with the right fishing line. With so many options available, it can be tricky to choose the right one. As such, the heated debate about monofilament vs fluorocarbon fishing line has been pitting anglers of all skill levels.

Both types of lines are valuable in fishing, but there are some situations in which one type works better than the other. Thus, this article will focus on that matter. We’ll highlight the distinctions, benefits, and drawbacks of each line.

Take a look at the following table to quickly grasp the differences between fluorocarbon vs monofilament lines.

Monofilament Fluorocarbon
Visibility in the water More visible Virtually invisible
Sensitivity Less sensitivity Better sensitive
Density – Neutral buoyancy

– 1.15g/cm3

– Can sink deeper underwater

– 1.78g/cm3

Strength Permeable and unresistant to outside elements Thinner yet stronger material
Stretchability Flexible and stretchy Stiff and less stretchy
Knotability Superior Average
Color Various color options Transparent or clear
Lifespan Shorter Longer
Cost $ $$

Overview of Each Line

1. The Classic Monofilament Fishing Lines


Often shortened as mono, monofilament lines dominate the shelves in every tackle shop. They are made from a single strand of material, usually either nylon or a mixture of different plastics.

Despite their affordable price, monofilament lines come in various tensile strengths, thicknesses, and colors to meet every angler’s fishing demand. They also appeal to anglers due to their accessibility, ease of use, and effectiveness in most situations. The nylon also boasts incredible buoyancy, making it perfect for topwater fishing.

Generally, many beginners choose a monofilament line as their first fishing line. These lines are known for their knot strength and are easier to handle for those new to fishing.

2. The Enduring Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines


Do you wonder how seasoned anglers make those clear waters look like a playhouse full of fish? Their secret might be the choice of a fishing line, the fluorocarbon!

Abbreviated as “fluoro,”, a fluorocarbon line is made from polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF). This type is best used as a fishing leader line in saltwater, although you can use it in freshwater as well.

One distinct characteristic of fluoro lines is that they are nearly visible in the water. In addition, these lines offer minimal stretch, transmitting even the slightest bites straight to your palms.

Mono and Fluoro Lines: Full Comparison

In the unending rage between mono vs fluorocarbon lines, understanding the nuances can help you make an informed choice. Read on these key differences to tip the scales in your favor:

1. Visibility


Ever lost a fish due to your line betraying your lure’s presence? Fluorocarbon lines have a nearly similar refract index to that of water, so they’re virtually invisible when submerged.

Though still effective, monofilament lacks the same cloak of concealment. However, using this line can be beneficial in murkier waters.

2. Density


Fluorocarbon lines have a density of 1.78g/cm3, much higher than monofilament’s 1.15 g/cm3. This disparity means the former can sink faster – perfect for bottom fishing or when you want your lure deep quickly.

In contrast, monofilaments suspend in water and won’t sink without added weight. The lighter weight is also advantageous for casting distance and accuracy, making it suitable for topwater baits and presentations.

3. Strength


Looking for the strongest fishing line? A fluorocarbon line might be in your alley. Besides being resistant to UV light and abrasion, it doesn’t absorb water when soaked for extended periods. In other words, this material maintains its potency despite repeated use underwater.

Meanwhile, a monofilament fishing line absorbs water over time, thus gradually losing some strength. In addition, the material is susceptible to damage when exposed to harsh sunlight, intense heat, or rain.

4. Ease when tying knots


Monofilament lines shine in knot tying because of their superior flexibility. Due to its stiffness, fluorocarbon proves slightly more challenging in this area. However, with proper techniques and care, you can still ensure strong knots with fluorocarbon.

5. Stretchability


The stretchability factor brings a significant difference in feel and strike setting. Monofilament lines offer considerable elasticity, which can buffer aggressive fights and sudden lunges. This makes them excellent when targeting trophy fish. That said, its pliability also makes it susceptible to memory issues, so it’ll curl up eventually.

As it’s not very pliable, fluorocarbon has minimal stretch. However, the added stiffness and strength can be valuable for more powerful hooksets. What’s more, its stiffness protects it from memory issues, ensuring that it won’t coil and tangle.

6. Color options


Apart from visibility, color preference can impact your success on the water. Monofilament lines offer diverse colors, including options for better camouflaging. Fluorocarbon is only limited to transparent color, but its low-visibility properties help to balance the equation.

7. Application


Monofilament lines are easy to handle, so they’re best for casting and spinning reels. If attached with a weighted bait, they’re also an excellent choice for bottom fishing, considering that their stretchability will absorb the shock of a fish striking, thus reducing the risks of the line breaking.

Fluorocarbon fishing lines, meanwhile, are great for fishing in open water due to their excellent casting distance. Plus, they’re pretty popular for jigging.

8. Cost


Typically, monofilament lines are quite budget-friendly – you can get 500 yards of this line for just $8.

In contrast, fluorocarbon lines demand a more expensive investment; you’ll need to shell out roughly $20 for only 50 yards of this type. However, their durability and performance might outweigh their heftier price.

9. Pros and cons of each line

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each line:


  • Excellent stretchability
  • More affordable price range
  • Easier to handle and knot
  • Perfect for topwater baits
  • Available in various colors and strengths
  • Can’t withstand abrasion
  • Its visibility can spook fish
  • Susceptible to memory issues

Fluoro lines

  • Virtually invisible underwater
  • Lesser line memory
  • Sink faster and deeper
  • Suitable for powerful hooksets
  • Not budget-friendly

Which Line Should You Use?

fluorocarbon vs monofilament 

There is no clear answer to this question. However, there are a few aspects you can consider to come to a conclusion.

If curious about when to use monofilament lines, they can be a boon if:

  1. You go fishing in low visibility and turbulent waters.
  2. You like targeting topwater or aggressive fish.
  3. You plan to use worms or jigs in fishing.

Alternately, opt for fluorocarbon if:

  1. You aim for bottom dwellers and line-shy fish.
  2. You like fishing in clear waters.
  3. You plan to do fly fishing with nymphs and streamers.
  4. You need a line for ice fishing.

In the end, the best line is the one that complements your fishing requirements and objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which line material is best for spinning reels?

Fluorocarbon, monofilaments, and braided lines are all great on spinning reels, depending on your fishing situation. For example, if you’re fishing in low-visibility waters or need superior stretchability, monofilaments are better options.

Why do fluorocarbon lines cost more than monolines?

Besides durability, the manufacturing process for fluorocarbon is more complex and demanding. These factors contribute to their steeper price in the market.

What is the best leader fishing line?

Fluorocarbon lines make an awesome leader since they last longer and are less prone to tearing. Also, the material is almost unnoticeable in the water.

Reeling It In

In conclusion, there is no definite answer on which fishing line is best. Each line has unique strengths and weaknesses and can work well in specific conditions.

The debate about the superiority of monofilament vs fluorocarbon fishing lines will remain. However, we hope this post has helped you pick the right line for your hobby. Throw on the right line and make a splash on your next fishing expedition!

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