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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replace my leaders after every fishing trip. I’m using fluorocarbon now but I’m considering using mono to save a few bucks. I go through about 6’-12’ of leader material a week.
The water I fish in is turbid. What are you opinions? Pluses and minuses to using mono.
 

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Mono is less abrasion resistant. It also offers more flex, which can be good for lures with treble hooks like topwaters and diving plugs.
 

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I’ve used Trilene Big Game clear 20# mono as leader material on my braided line spinning reels and baitcasters for over a decade with no issues. Flourocarbon has more density so it sinks and the abrasion resistance and clarity is really not worth the extra cost in my opinion. I will use Seaguar blue label for fly tippets but that’s about it.
 

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I throw mono when.... I run out of fluoro. I replace as needed; when the leader has too much abrasion due to oysters, rocks, teeth, etc.. and is too short to properly use. Trust your knots, if you're starting with 24" of leader (a lot), use until it gets down to less than a foot...

no idea about you kids with mangroves, we don't have those up this here way. :D
 

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Nylon and fluorocarbon leaders both catch fish. I got comfortable with fluorocarbon long ago and just stick with it, but I’ve also had spools of nylon leader degrade becoming very weak so that might color how I feel about nylon. I know I can leave around fluorocarbon leader material out in the garage and it’s going to be good for years and that hasn’t been true for me with nylon. I think most people never have had nylon monofilament go bad on them, but I have read about others that have had it degrade, so I guess it’s like the lottery. As much as the OP reports using in a week, the nylon may never have time to degrade.

If you stick with fluorocarbon, Hi-Seas fluorocarbon leader has worked well for me and costs about 60% of Seaguar blue label. I’ve got a 50 yard spool of 15# Hi-Seas I’ve had for about two years now and still has plenty left. Cost me $10.99.

It’s hard to know if one or the other material is better. I never know until the day of if I’m fishing shell or no shell or clear or dirty water plus I like long fluorocarbon leaders when I’m fishing a little deeper so fluorocarbon just fits better for the overall fishing I like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why replace after every trip? They will last a good while, just replace or cut back if you notice any chaffing or nicks.
It’s not a hard and fast rule but if I cast a few hundred times with a rod I cut off about 6’ of braid and add a fresh leader.
 

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I wonder how many world records where set with mono. I think Ande mono has some abrasion qualities. I have used both and generally used what I have. I wonder what the next fishermen catching line will be
 

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The marketing people will tell you fluoro has a density close to that of water so it is harder for the fish to see verses mono. Personally after many years of fishing I have not seen a big difference on the number of strikes I get between the two. My only rule of thumb is if I am fishing top water I use mono because it is more buoyant and if I am fishing on the bottom I use fluoro because it sinks better. One thing I have learned is do not buy off brand fluoro especially "Diamond Presentation." I have lost several fish when my line broke at the back of my loop knot with the Diamond brand. I have had good luck with Bass Pro fluoro and is less expensive than some of the name brands. On mono I always use Ande.
 

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Fluorocarbon has one big advantage over mono- particular in the heavier sizes... Monofilament leaders always come with a bit of a coiling problem - and you really have to work at it to straighten them out. With fluoro, no matter how "coiled" up it is all that's needed is to anchor the leader to something and pull hard once and it straightens out.. and stays that way.

Since at times we're using 40, 60, and 80lb leaders that makes a difference - particularly with fly leaders.
 

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I can only speak for fly leaders not spin leaders. As Viking1 said, mono for top water and fluoro for everything else. However, fluoro doesn't seem to sink as fast in salt as it does in fresh (just my observations) due to salinity. I just saw some videos comparing the abrasion resistance between two like diameter lines. One being a brand name fluoro and one being a brand name mono. Although manufacturers sometimes say fluoro is better against abrasion, it wasn't in this test. They also tried a second brand name fluoro and it still was less abrasion resistant than the mono. Surprising. If this is accurate, I may still go with fluoro and just go up a size because I do think that it is less visable.
 

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Fluorocarbon has one big advantage over mono- particular in the heavier sizes... Monofilament leaders always come with a bit of a coiling problem - and you really have to work at it to straighten them out. With fluoro, no matter how "coiled" up it is all that's needed is to anchor the leader to something and pull hard once and it straightens out.. and stays that way.

Since at times we're using 40, 60, and 80lb leaders that makes a difference - particularly with fly leaders.
Do you think this applies more or less to "hard" mono? I see videos of Capt Chard extolling the virtues of Hatch hard mono for use in tarpon leaders. (understanding of course that he is on the pro staff)
 

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I use Fluorocarbon almost exclusively except with using topwater plugs or flies. The mono floats and has a little added stretch for treble hooks in the plugs. Outside of that, Fluro gets the nod for my hand tied fly leaders or when using a leader to braid on spinning tackle. Be sure you are using the right knots and wet before setting. Hard Mono like Mason is a slightly different animal but has its place.
 

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Almost all of my pre-tied big fish leaders use Mason Hard Mono -but only for the tippet (breaking strength) portion of that leader... All of my fly lines have a permanent butt section spliced directly onto the fly line - that butt section is usually either Ande premium mono or Sufix Superior. Each butt ends in a loop - and the fly leader is looped to that. Here's a pic of the loop end of a typical big fish leader with a bimini twist and a doubled surgeon's loop at the butt end of things...

this is all hard Mason 20lb...

Back to the big fish leaders... each hard Mason tippet has a fluoro bite tippet on the end (also called a shock tippet by some). Here's a pic of various leader wheels (pre-tied fly leaders done in pairs, each joined by a common 30" bite tippet, then the pairs are looped together to form a continuous chain).

The first number is the tippet strength, the second the fluoro bite tippet. In use you simply pull off a leader to get to the extended bite tippet then cut the bite tippet in half so you have a ready made big fish leader with a 15" bite tippet that will tie down to around 12" or a bit less for IGFA purposes...
Once the fly is attached the leader is looped to looped to the butt section - a very quick change proposition...

Back to the butt section for a moment since it's critical... Here's how I set up butts on various sized fly lines...
6 or 7wt - 3-4' of 30lb mono
8 0r 9wt - 4- 4.5 ' of 40lb mono
10 wt - 5' of 50lb mono
11-12 wts - 6' of 60lb mono Remember you'll be attaching a 3 to 4 foot leader to the butt section so add that amount to the numbers given for a total leader length....

All of this is for the dark waters of the 'glades - or for fishing at night... leader lengths change considerably if you're fishing places with super clear water like the Keys.... where you need much longer leaders
 
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