Technological improvements over the last decade or so have refined fluorocarbon, and now, it’s no longer just great leader material. Impressive pliability and lower memory mean that fluoro can now rival nylon monofilament as main line, and there are good reasons to consider switching.
For us, the strongest selling points of fluorocarbon start with its high density. The first advantage that confers is greater sensitivity than mono, and whether you’re jigging in deep water or casting a country mile into a flat, you’ll appreciate that extra feel.
Second, that density translates into an increased sink rate - though this is often over-hyped. As we’ve explained before, fluorocarbon sinks, but not like a brick. At just 15 seconds per foot, don’t expect miracles, but it is something to consider.
But there’s no doubt about the UV resistance fluorocarbon can provide, and while this may not seem like a big issue, your gear takes a beating in the sun.
Our research revealed that fluorocarbon is probably no more invisible than similarly colored mono and that its vaunted ability to vanish in clear water is more likely to be advertising-driven than real-world effective.
Ditto on its claims to low stretch: the various brands stretch more or less, but generally speaking, fluorocarbon stretches more than mono, just requiring more force to get it moving. Unfortunately, unlike mono, it tends to hold that stretch, permanently deforming as a result.
If you’d like to read more about fluorocarbon’s strengths and weaknesses, check out this article:
But one place where you’re unlikely to ever run into a problem with fluorocarbon is knots. Typically, fluorocarbons ties well and holds like superglue, forming tight, strong knots with little trouble.
That said, it is a very hard material, and that can limit its ability to grip in some knots.
Keep reading to learn which fishing knots are best for fluorocarbon fishing line and how to tie them.
Table of Contents (clickable)
- 1 Why Does Fluorocarbon Knot Well?
- 2 The Best Fishing Knots for Fluorocarbon
- 2.1 The Uni Knot - Best All-Around Knot for Fluorocarbon
- 2.2 The Kreh or Non-Slip Loop Knot- Best Loop Knot for Fluorocarbon
- 2.3 The San Diego Jam Knot - Strongest Snug Knot for Fluorocarbon
- 2.4 The Improved Palomar Knot - Best Terminal Knot for Fluorocarbon
- 2.5 The Snell Knot (Uni Version) - Best Snell Knot for Fluorocarbon
Why Does Fluorocarbon Knot Well?
Beyond the pliability necessary to form a knot, what allows any given material to hold a knot is what engineers and scientists term its “coefficient of friction.”
This is simply a measure of how much friction that material creates against itself, allowing it to bite and grip when doubled over and looped, for instance. And where materials like Dyneema and Spectra - the strands woven together to form braid - are notoriously slick, fluorocarbon offers plenty of friction against itself.
The result is a line that’s relatively forgiving of knot design.
The Best Fishing Knots for Fluorocarbon
The Uni Knot - Best All-Around Knot for Fluorocarbon
As a one knot to rule them all, the Uni knot is very hard to beat. Useful for everything from attaching line to your reel, to creating a snug connection to a swivel, to attaching a hook, this is a knot every angler should learn.
Reliable in fluorocarbon, the Uni offers a lot of advantages to the savvy angler:
- Strong - According to experts like Vic Dunaway, “the strength of the uni-knot isn't diminished when the line is pulled with a jerk, rather than with steady pressure. Some knots, which test at more than 90 percent on a steady pull, will break at 50 or 60 percent if subjected to severe and sudden jolts--such as might be administered by a big fish surging boatside.”
- Easy - The Uni Knot is very easy to learn and simple to tie, even under pressure or when your hands are filthy with slime and blood. That matters a lot in the real world, as a properly tied knot is much better than a “better,” but harder to execute, option.
- Fast - With just a few minutes of practice, you can learn to tie the Uni in seconds. It’ll get you back in the game in a hurry, and that’s something we can all appreciate.
- Pass your line through the eye of your lure or hook or around the object you wish to connect to (your reel, a piling, a cleat--whatever).
- Double over your line, giving yourself plenty of tag line.
- Make a loop and bring the tag end back along both the tag and main lines.
- Wrap the tag end around both the tag and main lines, at least five to seven times.
- Wet the knot!
- Carefully cinch down the knot and trim the tag end if necessary.
Take a look at this video tutorial knot session:
The Kreh or Non-Slip Loop Knot- Best Loop Knot for Fluorocarbon
Lure action is heavily dependent on the knot used to attach it, and common snug knots will deaden the movement and vibration you’ve paid so much for.
The Kreh Knot, by contrast, creates a non-slip loop that frees a lure to do its thing. It has other advantages, too:
- Awesome action - the Kreh Knot creates a loop that won’t slip, giving your lure room to breathe. In turn, this allows your expensive crankbait, torpedo, or jerkbait to really shimmy for all its worth, improving action and increasing vibration.
- Strong - Don’t worry about chasing 100% knots with fluorocarbon; that won’t happen. But the Kreh gives you roughly 83% of your line’s test strength, and that’s plenty.
- Fast - A strong knot that takes forever to tie can be great until the pressure’s on. I like knots that I can tie right now, in the heat of it, because 9 times out of 10, that’s when you’ll need to tie a new one!
- Easy - Speed and simplicity work hand in glove, and the Kreh is the easiest non-slip loop knot to tie.
- Six or seven inches from the end of your tag line, tie a simple overhand loop.
- Tighten it down just a bit, leaving plenty of gap.
- Run the tag end through the eye of your lure.
- Run the tag end back through the overhand loop on the same side that it left from on the overhand knot. This is critical!
- Take up most of the slack in the tag end, and pull the overhand knot tighter, but do not tighten it down!
- Holding the overhand knot and tag end between your finger and thumb, loop the tag end around the standing line 5 times.
- Bring the tag end back through the overhand loop in the same orientation as before! This is critical!
- Wet your knot.
- Cinch it down carefully by pulling the tag and standing ends simultaneously.
The San Diego Jam Knot - Strongest Snug Knot for Fluorocarbon
Snug Knots have their place, and in fluorocarbon, none are better than the San Diego Jam:
- Strong - The San Diego Jam will regularly hold 95% of the line’s rated test strength, which is simply awesome!
- Fast - While maybe not quite as quick as the Modified Uni, the San Diego Jam can be tied in just seconds, getting you back to fishing when time is essential.
- Easy - Speed and simplicity work hand in glove, and the San Diego Jam is pretty easy to tie.
- Pass your line through the eye of your lure or hook, giving yourself plenty of tag end.
- Grip the tag and main lines about 4 inches from your lure, and turn the remaining tag end back toward the eye.
- Wrap the tag end around both lines 5 to 7 times, running back toward the eye.
- Pass the tag end through the loop closest to the eye.
- Then, run the tag end back through the loop you’ve been holding.
- Wet the knot and carefully cinch it down.
- Trim the tag end.
The Improved Palomar Knot - Best Terminal Knot for Fluorocarbon
Whether you run fluorocarbon as main line or as a leader, you’ll need a rock-solid connection to a hook. None is superior to the Improved Palomar knot in this regard, and there are clear reasons why it’s so popular:
- Strong - A good knot offers more than just strength, though the Palomar is among the best on this front. Notably, it’ll hold in all line types, making it extremely versatile. And because it’s nearly impossible to “pull out,” it’s probably the top choice for bare hooks and swivels that are going to experience tremendous strain.
- Easy-to-tie - A poorly tied knot isn’t strong, and though knots like the Bimini Twist might be nominally stronger, they’re much, much harder to tie well. The beauty of the Palomar is that it’s remarkably simple and hard to get wrong.
- Fast - Ever need to retie your line when the action was really on? Every second felt like an eternity, right?
A knot that’s strong, easy-to-tie, and fast is as good as it gets, and that’s the essence of the Palomar.
- Double-over your line and pass it through the eye. Make sure to double 6-8 inches of line so that you have a loop long enough to pass over the lure, swivel, or hook.
*To tie the Improved Palomar for fluorocarbon, simply wrap the eye twice with your doubled line, proceeding normally after that.
- Bring your doubled tag end back to your doubled main.
- Tie a simple overhand by passing your doubled tag over and through the doubled main.
- Pass the doubled tag line over the entire lure or hook.
- Wet your knot and gently cinch it down.
Be sure that your lines lie parallel to each other. They should not cross!
The Snell Knot (Uni Version) - Best Snell Knot for Fluorocarbon
When you need the hook on your fluoro leader or main line to be oriented properly for ideal hooksets, nothing is better than a Snell Knot.
The good news is that this knot works very well in fluorocarbon and offers the following advantages:
- Proper orientation - The Snell Knot keeps a circle hook’s shank straight and parallel to your mainline. That may not sound like much, but it’s essential to the proper function of the hook, and no other knot does it as well.
- Fast - While not as quick as many simple knots like the Uni or Palomar, the Snell makes up for the extra second or two by being perfect for its purpose.
- Easy - The Snell Knot may look complicated, but it’s remarkably easy to learn and tie, even on the water.
- Pass the tag end through the eye of your hook, running parallel to the shank.
- Form a small loop.
- With the tag end, wrap the mainline and shank 5 to 7 times, running away from the eye. With braid and fluorocarbon, 7 to 10 wraps are better.
- Wet the knot and cinch it down carefully.
- Trim the tag end.