Over the past couple of years, I’ve been using braid with a fluorocarbon leader on my spinning rods. I was a bit curious to see how it would compare if I tried using straight fluorocarbon, and in this post, I’m going to share the results I had.
The simple answer is that you can use fluorocarbon on a spinning reel if the line is under 8 lbs. Anything above that will result in a lot of tangles and poor casting distance. If you need to use something stronger than an 8 lb test, you should go with braid to a fluorocarbon leader. This is the setup I use 90% of the time and prefer it over straight fluorocarbon.
Using braid to a fluorocarbon leader will catch you fish in all situations and I like it because it’s versatile. That being said, there are a few key times when straight fluorocarbon performs slightly better. It’s a lot easier to deal with because you don’t have to tie as many knots, it performs better in windy conditions, and it’s better if you need to keep your bait super still. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details (skip to 3 minutes).
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Best Fluorocarbon For Spinning Reels
When it comes to picking the right fluorocarbon for your spinning rod it’s pretty important you have the right one. You need to make sure you’re using the right strength of line and you need to make sure you’re using the right brand of line.
Like I was saying before, I’d only recommend you use fluorocarbon as your main fishing line if it’s under 8 lbs. You could get away with using 10 lbs but the majority of people will probably run into some problems. The first issue is that the heavier line won’t cast as well on a spinning rod. The second issue is that you’ll probably get a lot of tangles.
If you’re going to be using a lighter line then you need to make sure you’re using the right fluorocarbon. Some of them work well for leaders but make a terrible main fishing line. I normally use Seaguar Red Label as my leader material but I’d never use it as my main line. Here is some good fluorocarbon on Amazon.
I haven’t been able to try every single type of fluorocarbon on the market so I don’t know if it’s the best, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and it’s worked well for me. Let me know if you have another good option.
When To Use Fluorocarbon On Spinning Reels
As I said earlier, I use braid to a fluorocarbon leader 90% of the time but there are a few situations when straight fluoro works better. I’m not saying it’ll result in more fish but I found fluoro to feel a little better and could result in a few extra bites.
The first thing you need to make sure is that you’re using line under 8 lbs. We’ve already talked about this but you’d be surprised by how many people still do it (I’m sure you’re not one of them though).
One of the main situations where I think using fluorocarbon will be slightly better is when it’s windy out. Braid is thinner and lighter than fluoro and the wind can mess with it when it’s going through the air or in the water. That could result in less casting distance, poor accuracy, and it can even move your bait when it’s in the water.
The second situation where fluorocarbon could be better is when you need your bait to be as still as possible. Braided line has no stretch in it (which has its benefits) but it could be a bad thing if you need a super quiet bait. When you’re fishing with braid and you move your rod tip or the wind moves your line, it’ll move your lure quite a bit. That could be a bad thing. Fluoro has some stretch in it and that could help you land a few more fish.
A lot of the time in the fall and winter, fish will prefer going after the smaller and slower-moving objects. That’s why a lot of the ice fishing lures out there are so small. When I’m fishing with smaller crankbaits, swimbaits, or something like the ned rig, I like using fluorocarbon because it’ll stop me from moving the lure around too much. When you use braid, every single time you twitch your rod it’ll move your lure more than you probably think.
Why & When To Use Braid
I’ll start off by saying, you could use braid to fluorocarbon when it’s windy out or when you need your bait to be still. You’ll still catch fish but I do think you’ll get slightly better performance by using fluoro. Any other time, I’ll use this setup. Here’s a post on braided line and how to spool it properly.
There are a number of benefits to using braided line but the main reason you’d use it is when you’re going after bigger fish. You don’t want to put 20 lb fluoro or mono on a spinning reel because it won’t cast well. 20 lb braid will be completely fine though since it’s a lot thinner.
This setup is also a lot more versatile and will save you time (or money). What I like about braided line is that I can use 20 lb test as my main fishing line and that’ll be able to handle pretty much every fish I’m fishing for. All I have to worry about is changing the leader. I could toss on 4 lb fluoro if I’m fishing for rainbow or 15 lb if I’m fishing for lake trout. I normally use Sufix 832 braid and Seaguar Red Label fluorocarbon (don’t use this as your main fishing line).
Another reason I like using braid is that it’ll last longer and it’s also stronger (compared to same diameter fluoro/mono). We talked about how you can use a heavier line since it’s thinner but another cool thing is that it’ll last quite a bit longer on your spool. I’ve had the same braid on the rod for the past couple of years and it’s still holding up.
One of the main reasons I like using braid is that it’s more sensitive (since it doesn’t stretch as much). In some cases, this could be a con but it’s a positive in most. When your rod is more sensitive you’ll be able to feel what your lure is bumping into or when a fish is playing around with your bait. It also makes a cheaper rod feel a lot more expensive.