Best flouro? (17-20#) [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Best flouro? (17-20#)


juro
07-20-2009, 01:22 PM
I generally don't use a lot of flouro, off hours fishing / fast moving currents don't need it. But when it does play a role - for instance mid-day flood tides in bright sun, etc - I am looking for something that is as good as Maxknot Knotsense (Orvis) but in a higher strength / diameter than their max 15#.

Proven testimonials / recommendations? This stuff is expensive so I want to get a head start from your experiences before dropping a lot of coin to find out.

thanks

juro
07-20-2009, 01:39 PM
just remembered I have a spool purchased from lost creek flyshop in Onalaska WA last fall... it's not flouro... but this stuff is amazing for strength / diam and is made in a broad range from 5x to -05x (5# to 46#).

I'm ordering the 0x 16#, -01x 17# and -02x 23# and will report on my results.

BigDave
07-20-2009, 02:38 PM
I have tried a bunch of brands but the regular Mirage is the best I have used for local salt. I use 20# for everything except tuna, including sight fishing the flats.

The worst I have used is Seaguar Grand Max. The regular Seaguar floro is good but a little on the thick side.

Mirage seems to be a good comprimise between diameter and strength.

I also like the Rio Floroflex for trout.

FredA
07-20-2009, 04:34 PM
I use 20# mirage almost excusively for my striper fishing (casual attitude). Tried some others but the mirage seems to be the most consistent. Usually use an improved clinch, if I have a feeling I'll use a palomar, once in a while a loop.
Note that the key word is consistent. I suspect the flourocarbon materials are hard to control but whoever makes the stuff for orvis seem to have the process down.

blindcurvw
07-20-2009, 04:41 PM
I've used Mirage and Seaguar most. Mirage is a little nicer for knots but has absolutely horrible cold water performance in finer tipet diameters. Cost me a lot of landlocked salmon a couple years ago... Switched to Seaguar for that application and use a mix of both for bigger stuff.

I don't know where the temperature cliff is but suspect below 60F above which this is fine thread. Also, at the diameters your talking don't think you'll have a problem w/ Mirage, Seaguar, or Rio, with the later being the one I hear positive things about the most.

juro
07-20-2009, 04:55 PM
Mirroring Pete Vicar's recent experiences with finicky fish I've been having a better hookup ratio sight fishing to finicky stripers with finer tippet, but I am starting to believe it's not just about visibility but also livelier action.

Now that I have a viable double fixed loop knot I don't see myself using a fixed non-loop knot on the flats or with surface flies but I will stick with the palomar in surf, rips, etc. I feel the only weakness I present in the fish's favor with a fine tippet and a fixed double-strand loop knot is the tippet itself otherwise I would be fine with the 0x Knotsense.

I dropped by Orvis and checked out the 20# Mirage but was surprised that compared to the Knotsense Mirage 15# it's very thick and stiff. The two seem much further apart than a 5# test difference on the label. It feels almost as thick as 15# maxima which I already have a bulk spool of.

The Knotsense is also very supple and flexible - compare the two next time you're in the shop and let me know what you think. But they don't make it stout enough for us SWFF types.

I'm sure 20# mirage is good stuff but I declined on the purchase and will look for something that is more like the knotsense to explore the action 'edge' further.

Stroft may not be flouro but it's very thin, extremely strong but a little stiff. I have the 14# and will give it a road test with the double-bow-loop as soon as I can out back out there.

I have a spool of 12# Rio Sightfree which I was impressed with thus worth a follow up in the stouter diameters.

FredA
07-20-2009, 07:28 PM
You guys fish a lot more than me so I'll file this info in my memory banks 'til I get a block of quality fishing time to experiment. In sofar as action goes I've been tying my deep eels with unique hair rather than the stiffer superhair for a little more undulation. I now accept line tangle as a part of flyfishing and I stopped purusing the dishpans in the housewares dept of various stores, with clerks looking at me like I'm odd, in pursuit of the better stripping basket.

Juro, got your message but don't have your # handy.

jimS
07-20-2009, 08:22 PM
Seaguar fluorocarbon has been my "go to" for the past five years for tippet material on the flats. It is probably larger in diameter than Mirage for the rated pound test, but I like its abrasion resistance. if you use fluoro, why be concerned with diameter, unless it does restrict action of the fly. On the other hand, if the diameter is too small for the size of fly, then it won't turn over properly.

We all want that added edge, and on the flats, most drop down in diameter and use fluoro. I'm still not sure fluoro vs mono in the same diameter is worth it. It does sink faster than mono.

I'm thinking, loop knot, 10lb Maxima Ultragreen tippet and a size 4 crab for the flats; or forget it, and concentrate on the presentation.

BigDave
07-21-2009, 08:41 AM
You will not find pickier bass than the ones that were at Brewster this spring and they had no problem with the 20# as long as the presentation was head-on and the fly was in the sand. I realized about 1/2 way thru the spring that you really need to try and break their friggin' necks on the hookset when fishing crabs or the hook will not penetrate their crushers...and eventually fall out. I personally would not be able to do that on 10# without breaking off.

I have read that Bonito and Albies are leader shy but 20# seems to work just fine there too. Then you can catch and release without feeding the crabs.

I'm still going with the no-slip loop on everything from bones to big tuna and as far as I'm concerned, it's money :razz:

salmo
07-21-2009, 08:55 AM
Most of fluorocarbon tippets on US market, including those distributed by Rio, are made by Seaguar Japan, the company who invented fluorocarbon polymer.

Rio Fluoroflex plus has fine diameter, is softer and stronger per diameter. I use it very successfully on Henry;s Fork ( 5X ) or 4X with larger fly like Green Drake. As long as the fly is dressed with floating no problem with sinking.

For heavier flies ( salmon, large Alasakn Rainbow) I use Rio FluoroFlex which is stiffer and provide better turnover ( 0X-12lb, 0.013"-15lb, 0.015"-17lb etc.)

quinn_canfield
07-27-2009, 12:15 PM
I know this is going to get flamed but....
I use either Vanish or Seaguar floro in the 300 yard spools intended for filing fishing reels. I have tried everything for King/Koho salmon fishing and big steelhead. After lots of trial and (unfortunately error) I've settle on those. I use anything from 8 - 12 pound test depending on the fish I am after. The 300 yard spools are WAY cheaper then leader material. I spend a couple of weeks a year fishing the Salmon River in NY and you can go through a lot a leader on that river so cost maters. The rest of my leader is mono (again from bulk spools). I stopped using fly fishing leader material a couple of years ago (except for trout fishing) and don't miss it at all.

Quinn

JR SPEY
07-28-2009, 09:56 AM
I know this is going to get flamed but....
I use either Vanish or Seaguar floro in the 300 yard spools intended for filing fishing reels. I have tried everything for King/Koho salmon fishing and big steelhead. After lots of trial and (unfortunately error) I've settle on those. I use anything from 8 - 12 pound test depending on the fish I am after. The 300 yard spools are WAY cheaper then leader material. I spend a couple of weeks a year fishing the Salmon River in NY and you can go through a lot a leader on that river so cost maters. The rest of my leader is mono (again from bulk spools). I stopped using fly fishing leader material a couple of years ago (except for trout fishing) and don't miss it at all.

Quinn

I just hope all the leader that's being used isn't ending up in the river by being stuck on flies that get caught in rocks or wood. One of the issues with FC is that it essentially lasts forever. It's one reason why I don't use it for steelheading. I can see why indi guys like the stuff, but there really is no advantage to using it for swinging flies. If you're talking about how often you change flies and that most of the FC is ending up in your pocket for proper disposal later that would be different. Even swinging flies around here (Wisconsin and Michigan) though, I break off too many flies. One solution is to use a very good knot to tie your tippet to your leader and a weaker one from the tippet to the fly. That way, when you break off it's almost always at the fly and no tippet material is left in the water. Another problem, though, with using FC is that knots connecting FC to nylon mono are normally very weak. That increases your chances of breaking off at that connection. A three turn surgeon's works well, but the ligature knot is stronger yet for that use. A standard blood knot will fail at little more than 50% when used to connect nylon to fluorocarbon, especially if lubricated with saliva as most guys will do.

I agree that SeaGuar is the way to go, although they have almost a dozen different versions of the stuff. Standard old Blue Label has been my choice for almost everything. For stripers, alberts, and the like it can't be beat except by other brands that spool the same stuff under their names. I'd swear that SeaGuar Blue Label and original Rio FluoroFlex is the same stuff. If not, they're very close. Vanish must have been improved as of late as that was the very first FC I tried many years ago and it was brittle to the extreme.

juro
07-28-2009, 10:13 AM
What a very important point about creating "line pollution" with flouro!

I use flouro when sight fishing mid-day flats and never dispose of tippet in the water. I don't think I go through a single small spool in an entire season in fact probably close to two and I think people use large quantities unnecessarily.

My experience (and that of others I know and fish with) has been that the red&gold label Seaguar pops easily and is inferior to other brands on the market. I haven't tried (or seen) the blue label.

In field trials I've had much better break resistance with Orvis Knot Sense and G3 Sightfree to name a couple. For non-flouro the Stroft is amazing stuff for the diameter, and the old standby maxima ultragreen is a staple for strength and stealth in my kit.

But there are times when everything matters and I will put flouro on the tippet portion. I blood knot to maxima and have never had a failure at the blood knot.

JR SPEY
07-28-2009, 01:56 PM
What a very important point about creating "line pollution" with flouro!

I use flouro when sight fishing mid-day flats and never dispose of tippet in the water. I don't think I go through a single small spool in an entire season in fact probably close to two and I think people use large quantities unnecessarily.

My experience (and that of others I know and fish with) has been that the red&gold label Seaguar pops easily and is inferior to other brands on the market. I haven't tried (or seen) the blue label.

In field trials I've had much better break resistance with Orvis Knot Sense and G3 Sightfree to name a couple. For non-flouro the Stroft is amazing stuff for the diameter, and the old standby maxima ultragreen is a staple for strength and stealth in my kit.

But there are times when everything matters and I will put flouro on the tippet portion. I blood knot to maxima and have never had a failure at the blood knot.

What I call Blue Label used to have just a blue label on it. The same material has been repackaged so that the label is a different shade of blue with an orange vertical stripe down it. It's simply called 100% fluorocarbon leader material. I also like original Airflo Sightfree. The G3 is a little limp for the uses I have for FC. I think I might have been the first US dealer for Stroft. I love the stuff, but I have to tell you that several of my customers (including two guides) had trouble with it. It seems to break at really random times. Situations where you wouldn't expect a problem. Part of it is due to the fact that it's about a fussy with knots as most FC materials, but some of the breakoffs were not at knots. I finally realized, after hearing from at least six guys, that I'd rather not sell it any more. Truthfully, I've never had trouble with it myself, and I still use it on occasion (I had a bunch left over in inventory when I decided to not sell it again.) I got at least two different batches from the distributor (UNI in Canada) and had both the ABR and the GM in various breaking strengths so it wasn't just a bad batch. If you're using it and not having problems, I'd definitely stick with it, but if you have a breakoff out of nowhere you'll know you weren't the first. Good knots to the fly were Trilene, palomar, various forms of the non-slip loop, and the pitzen. I would think your Birmingham double loop would also work well. Knots to avoid (IMHO) are the improved clinch, various forms of the turle, and also the uni-Knot.

juro
07-28-2009, 02:38 PM
Thanks for that advice... I will pay attention to the stroft performance, thus far it's been really impressive for the diameter. Curious what type(s) of angling the stroft was used for, and whether they chose by diameter or test rating for their application.

Also, I do use a double turle on loop eye salmon hooks with fair results (but not on any other style of eye). What alternative behind-the-loop 'clasping' knots do you use in the turle's place?

JR SPEY
07-28-2009, 07:42 PM
Thanks for that advice... I will pay attention to the stroft performance, thus far it's been really impressive for the diameter. Curious what type(s) of angling the stroft was used for, and whether they chose by diameter or test rating for their application.

Also, I do use a double turle on loop eye salmon hooks with fair results (but not on any other style of eye). What alternative behind-the-loop 'clasping' knots do you use in the turle's place?

There were two types of angling that particularly caused problems. I had one customer who took a bunch of Stroft to Alaska for salmon and steelhead and had numerous breakoffs. I don't remember the specifics as it's been several years, but I know I asked him a whole bunch of questions and he gave all the expected responses. He emphasized the same thing that most of the rest of them did: It didn't happen during any particular stressful part of the fight or during a jump. It just sort of happened out of nowhere. It's one of those things I'd chalk off to user error EXCEPT I heard the same thing almost exactly from all the guys. One of the guides was using the GM that tests out at about 11.6lb for carp fishing on the Lake Michigan flats with a client. He described the same exact problem. So did a guide who fishes for steelhead on the Wisconsin tribs. These guys know what they're doing and are using the correct strengths for the fish they're pursuing. Believe me, with close to fifty spools of the stuff in inventory, it was not a decision I made lightly. I didn't even want to try and blow it out the door at 50% off. I made mention in my newsletter what the problems were and that anyone who had bought some from me were welcome to return it for a full refund. One guy took me up on that, and I think he was the one that fished Alaska and had all the trouble. All I know is that I haven't had any trouble myself, but I find I use it less and less often these days.

The question of the knot is really puzzling. The answer is that there isn't one. One of the guys who I know who still uses it (in fact he was the one who got me onto it in the first place) just uses a Trilene knot and doesn't worry about it. I know I'd be more tempted to use a Duncan hitch than a turle, but I doubt that either of them would test very high. My solution these days would be to use a loop knot instead of a behind the eye clasping knot for Stroft. My actual solution was to go back to Maxima.

FredA
08-20-2009, 07:29 AM
Mirage redux...

I had bought a spool of mirage 20# "IGFA certified, garunteed, whatever" and found it thin, supple and easy to break. I'm going to toss it. Label says it's the same diameter as the standard mirage 20# but my fingerchrometers tell me it's thinner. And the stuff easily strains plastically (pig tailing) when knotting.

For striper fishin give me the stiff, fat 20# regular mirage. You can put the hammer to a fish that wants to run confidently.

juro
08-20-2009, 08:55 AM
Since it's very easy to confuse...

I wanted to clarify that the material I've had good luck with is the KNOTSENSE (mirage) tippet which:

- only goes as high as 15#
- is not the same as any other "Mirage" marketed stuff
- probably comes from a completely different source than all the other tippet at Orvis

Companies who re-brand under their own (Orvis, LL Bean, Cabelas, etc) might have completely different products labelled the same based on their sourcing strategy.

I have personally only been impressed with the knotsense for flats fishing or other cases where a stealthy tippet plays a role. I doubt in the 15# thin-thin diam it's suitable for striper fishing over rocks or might even be too light for use on boats because of the gunwhale gymnastics. But standing up to my cajones in the striper's playground it's been really good to me.

Again I am a maxima ultragreen guy 99% of the time but when I go for flouro for mid-sized gamefish in salt this has served me well and I'll gladly spool off a length for you to try if we bump into each other on the flats.

(no affiliation w/ product or vendor)