Fluorocarbon vs Nylon Tippet Discussion

Steeltrap

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I'm looking to replenish my tippet materials for the spring, and have a few questions that experienced members here may answer.

A few articles comparing the two types essentially state that Nylon has the edge for strength and even if stretched, has better "rebounding" properties than Fluro.

Cost? I see Fluro going for $18 for 30 yards and Nylon can be had for roughly $7 for 30 yards.

Maybe it's brand? What say you experienced guys on which do you use more....which I would assume you then believe it's "more better" than the other.

Thanks!!
 

Skeet6

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I prefer Flouro for nymphing and streamers, as it sinks well. Nylon for dries.
Mike B
 

redietz

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I prefer Flouro for nymphing and streamers, as it sinks well. Nylon for dries.
Mike B
Flouro's main advantage is that it sinks. For nymphs, that may very well justify using it. With streamers, I doubt that either makes much of a difference. And if you want your leader to float, say to suspend a wet fly an inch under the surface, I don't believe adding floatant is going to keep flouro from sinking.

Forget "flouro is less visible". I've seen enough photos of flouro underwater to know that's simply not true. Floating nylon is less visible. OTOH, floating nylon can cast a shadow, whereas sunken flouro doesn't. If shadows on bottom are a problem, maybe flouro might be in order. I don't know, since I refuse to pay the cost difference.

I've been catching fish on nylon leaders for almost 60 years. I see no compelling reason to switch.
 

Bamboozle

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I have no issues with either although I am fussy about brands ( I will only use Orvis Super Strong Mono and Seaguar or Orvis Mirage in Fluorocarbon).

However, one thing I really don’t like about mono is how it flat spots if it gets tangled, resulting in curly cues that defy straightening out. For that reason, I switched to all fluoro years ago and never looked back.

Any reported issues with it (sinking dry flies, lousy knot strength, doesn’t break down) are exaggerated or easily overcome and I like the abrasion resistance, strength and the fact it doesn’t “go bad” like mono, so I don’t worry about all of the old spools I have lying around.

As far as cost goes, yea it’s expensive but how much tippet do you use on a typical outing, two or three yards? If so, that comes to about $1.50 an outing or about $37.50 less than I would typically spend on gas, beer and cigars on that same outing and that doesn’t factor in lost indicators @ $1.25 each or lost flies @ 2.00 a pop.

I’m not rich, but I don’t sweat $1.50 spent on tippet if it gives the performance I'm after.
 

redietz

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However, one thing I really don’t like about mono is how it flat spots if it gets tangled, resulting in curly cues that defy straightening out.
You're certainly right about that, although some brands seem more prone to it than others. Ironically, given that you endorsed it, the latest version of Orvis Super Strong seems to be one of the more prone brands. I no longer use it and have switched to SA Absolute nylon. (So Orvis is still getting my money.)
 

Bamboozle

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I never tried the latest iteration of Orvis Super Strong mono and never will, but I used the original Super Strong for decades ever since it first appeared on the market as one of the first Japanese manufactured tippet brands a LONG, LONG time ago.

It was always very strong and supple, which I guess also means soft. That probably explains its propensity for flat spotting. When I used it I remember how I would cringe if I got snagged in a tree or my leader got wrapped around my rod in a tangle because I knew no matter how careful I was trying to un-snag or untangle it, there would be a curly cue...

That one issue was enough to get me to switch to fluoro and I couldn't be happier with how it performs and the time I save not having to rebuld my leader after a tangle.
 

afishinado

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I posted this video a while back. It gives a lot of info about nylon vs fluoro tippet material.


I generally use fluoro for nymphing and nylon for dries.
 

Bamboozle

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Flouro's main advantage is that it sinks. For nymphs, that may very well justify using it. With streamers, I doubt that either makes much of a difference. And if you want your leader to float, say to suspend a wet fly an inch under the surface, I don't believe adding floatant is going to keep flouro from sinking.
I use floatant on fluoro tippets all the time and even on the fluoro fishing line I use as a level Tenkara line with excellent results.

With light tippets (6X-8X) when using small flies, once they get greased intentionally or accidentally (by handling the tippet with fingers having residual floatant on them) it is hard to get them TO sink if you wanted to as the tippets have almost no mass and the dry flies are so small, they just don't sink.

5X & 4X tippets may be a little more prone to sinking necessitating a second greasing however, it is rare I use 4X for dry flies unless they are BIG flies and then, the fly is usually keeping its own head above water.

On those occasions when I do want my fluoro tippet to sink, (fishing small unweighted stuff just under the surface) after an intentional or unintentional greasing, I end up using a leader sinking product like Orvis Mud or Gehrke Xink just like I did with mono tippets.

Also as I am sure you know, mono absorbs water, fluoro doesn't so mono sinks too, it just sinks at a slower rate then fluoro.
 

pcray1231

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When you say nylon. There are monos and copolymers in the nylon category. Some leader materials like maxima are true monos. But almost all tippet nylons are copolymers and I'll assume you are talking about them.

My experience, there are 3 big differentiators between fluoro and nylon copolymers.

1. Suppleness. Copolymers are less stiff. Less drag. There is a range for both between brands, and they may overlap some but fluoro is stiffer.. This is why, on tiny flies in drag shy situations, you can get away with a 6x copolymer but need 7x or 8x fluoro, for instance.

2. Abrasion resistance. Fluoro is much better here. Copolymers weaken considerably when rubbing against rocks, fluoro holds up better. Also toothy critters.

3. Stretch. Copolymers stretch, fluoro does not. This means when nynmphing fluoro keeps you in touch better. But on truly big fish, like steelhead, a little stretch can help protect tippets..

I have tested in my aquarium. I see zero difference in visibility. In fact on the surface fluoro is more visible as it sits lower in the water. In general for dries its 100% copolymer for me, I see no advantage to fluoro. For a nympher I get that there are advantages and I do use it on occasion. My steelhead rig is actually nylon portions (for stretch and the protection it gives) with a fluoro tippet (for abrasion resistance on teeth). Its a step short of wire leaders.
 
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as pcray indicated abrasion resistance is the #1 reason i use flour for underneath. all other factors are minor. always use nylon for dries. the abrasion resistance allows me to keep the flies in the water longer since i change tippet less often. this also somewhat ameliorates the cost difference
 

troutpoop

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I have been using the RIO powerflex plus for several years and like it. I actually have confidence to use 7X if I need to throw teeny BWO. I'm not sure its better than the competitor. There are so many great tippets out there as compared to 15 years ago.
 

moon1284

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I never found a floro that I liked. I've used maxima probably for 30 years. No reason to change. Chameleon for streamers, ultragreen for everything else.

I hear abrasion resistance a lot. It's really not something I worry about too much. If I'm in a situation where I'm concerned with a trout busting me off on rocks I use heavier gear.

For flats fishing where reefs are in play I can understand the abrasion concern.
 

wbranch

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While I may use fluorocarbon sometimes it is only because I might have a few spools in my vest. Normally I use Rio Power Flex nylon for everything. From the smallest #22 dries to #1/0 streamers.
 
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