Steve Schullery

fluorocarbon versus nylon leader abrasion test

55 posts in this topic

9 hours ago, Steve Schullery said:

Bonefishdick reminds me of something else that's always wondered me. It's kind of tangential, but since I started the thread, I guess it's OK.

 

Can someone explain to me exactly how it is that snook wear thru a leader? Their mouths are soft enough that you can lip them. I realize that the gill plates are very sharp, but that doesn't seem to be the problem. I'm not questioning the fact; I too have lost snook when I neglected to use a shock tippet.

Gill plates ? Bottom rubbing ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Steve,

 

Bill Logan was the terminal skeptic, especially about fluoro.  He would use Maxima in each and every situation in which the "convention 'wisdom' (or should I say 'currently favored unproven fact(oid)'" insisted that fluoro was "vastly" superior to nylon mono.  We took 4-5 yearly trips to Harker's Island for the (supposedly) visually superior tunoids....false albacore....and he would tie on 20# Maxima.  Now, for the record, we all know that Maxima got it's reputation for "strength" primarily based upon purposefully MIS-marking it's breaking strength such that 20#  Maxima really, to testing, broke at between 25 -30#. And it's true diameter was proportionately larger.  And so on down the whole line.  It also came/comes in three color options.  He did bend to the point of using the "clear" Maxima rather than the "chameleon" but he caught fat alberts equally to me on fluoro, and faster than most others around us.  He also, to disprove the "fast strip" theory, often just let the sinking line troll behind the boat while we drifted and I cast....and he again caught equal numbers.  Go figure.  He did use fluoro a lot, after convincing himself that visibility didn't matter, for it's other properties.  But abrasion resistance was not one of them.

 

The original "conventional wisdom" in SW FF'ing was that Hard mason was the most abrasion resistant nylon out there.  It was also quite stiff.  It also, I found out, was incredibly UV sensitive to the point that 5 days exposure to equatorial sunlight on Xmas Island reduced my WHOLE leader.....even down to the 40# butt section....to a fragile mirage that couldn't/wouldn't hold a bonefish of ANY size.  Ask me how I know.  Don't hear much about Mason these days.

 

The most abrasion resistant, to my general fishing experience take on that, leader I ever used was Maxima chameleon.  Back when I was fishing Chain Pickerel on poppers on the Cape, NOTHING available those days came close at 20# strength.....and cast a popper as well.  Out of curiosity, following Logan's lead, I tried Maxima Chameleon on bonefish on Xmas Island.  On an overcast, ever see a bonefish come to a dead stop, make a 90 degree turn out toward deep water, swim straight out the length of the leader, around the tippet/fly, and make a 180 and swim back to the original depth, and continue on it's original path.  They simply would not cross over Chameleon.  It often terrified them.

 

To my simple take on it, I think "abrasion resistance" for a given diameter, is a function of hardness....which also relates to stiffness.  Think of it as "nick-ability".  We all are aware of significant differences in cutting through various types of line with our nippers, especially as they get a little dull.  Some are harder and go "clink" when they finally separate, and the soft, supple ones go quietly.  THAT is abrasion resistance.  But, as in most things, there are trade-offs.  Hardness/stiffness can be overdone in butt sections for casting purposes.....and one often wants their whole leader to be abrasion resistant.  Ever see your line, then leader mow down a forest of staghorn coral on a bonefish run?  I also wonder whether the hardness relates to brittleness, vulnerability to shock breakage....which relates to lower stretchiness.  Some stretchiness comes in handy at times.  That is, after all, why we fight fish with a bendy rod.

 

But your point is well taken.  I have never thought fluoro was especially more abrasion resistant than mono of equal diameter....in fact the opposite (compared to Maxima Chamleleon) or other hard nylon.  But it has other pleasant/useful properties such as faster sink rate and relative UV stability such that I use it until I think that there are advantages to slower sinking, stiffness, and abrasion resistance and then I use a hard nylon......hopefully not decades old and stored poorly.

 

And maybe, just maybe, since everyone thinks fluoro is "invisible" under water......maybe the fish do too!  They must hear it enough.

Edited by Peter Patricelli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hufnagel Loop Knot - For 11 or 12 years when I lived in Ft Myers I used this knot for tying my flies and lures to bite tippets. The only difference was the knot was called the Improved Homer Rhodes Loop Knot. It is detailed in Larmouth & Fordyce's book "Tarpon of Fly". They also use a simple 3 turn Clinch Knot to attach the fly to the bite tippet.

 

Abrasiveness of Snook mouths - Well if your catching 18 - 24" snook lipping them causes little damage to your thumb or hand. However when you up the anti to 20 lb plus snook its a horse of a different color. I bought a gripper to deal with these larger snook after my hand turned to a bloody mess on several occasions while trying to subdue these brutes. I used to fish at Lakes Park in Ft Myers or Bass after the freeze we have 8 or so years ago. The bass fishing was great and there was an occasional snook. As time went by the bass fishing declined and the snook fishing exploded. I lost many spinnerbaits to large snook that frayed right through my 20 lb test line, sometimes on the strike. I saw a snook of about 10 lbs engulf a Rattletrap feet from the bank and leave me with 3" of frayed 20 lb test line.

 

Flouro bite tippets - For me their main redeeming feature was the ease of straightening out heavy bite tippets. In fact I read that this ease of keeping bite tippets straight had made Tarpon Leader Stretchers obsolete.

 

Flouro always seemed to turn white where even the slightest abrasion occurred while mono remained undeterred.

 

I think that fouro makes a difference when fishing for freshwater trout and SW tuna (not that I have done a lot of this) but for everything else I just use Ande Mono.

 

If you are targeting larger snook with a fly rod I would recommend at least  a  30 lb bite tippet (40 preferred) to at least have a chance to land these brutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Steve Schullery said:

I'm not convinced about the visibility thing, either. I can see it in the water just as well as I can see mono; are my eyes lying to me? I think it's the same for fish. One of the first things I did after buying my first spools of fluoro was to snip off a few bits and drop them into my aquarium. The fish all came hustling over and repeatedly inhaled and spit out the pieces as they settled to the bottom, just as they would any other bogus potential food item they (and I) could see perfectly well.

 

I know there's an immense amount of anecdotal lore out there featuring people who have suddenly started catching fish after switching to fluoro. Can it possibly outweigh the anecdotal experiences of all the people who have suddenly started catching fish after not switching, I wonder? Or, people who were using fluoro and suddenly stopped catching fish.

 

The theory is that because fluoro's index of refraction is closer than mono's to the index of refraction of water, light passing from water into fluoro will notice less difference, and so will be refracted and reflected less and thus be less visible. The question I have is, are the indices close enough that the visibility difference is perceptible? I think not. I have seen the experiment in which a mixture of liquids having precisely the same refractive index as glass was very carefully prepared. When a glass beaker was immersed in it, the beaker DISAPPEARED, no ifs, ands, or buts. I don't recall the specifics, but we were told that the indices had to be matched very closely.

 

Stop being insightful and scientific! You make too much sense. :) I, too, started gravitating back to mono for leaders on all types f fishing. I like fluoro tippet for trout nymphs and mono for dries.  I tied blackfish rigs in both mono and fluoro and my catch rate was the same for both with mono being a lot cheaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 mins ago, Peter Patricelli said:

He did bend to the point of using the "clear" Maxima rather than the "chameleon" but he caught fat alberts equally to me on fluoro, and faster than most others around us.  He also, to disprove the "fast strip" theory, often just let the sinking line troll behind the boat while we drifted and I cast..

I don't hyper strip either.  Albies are fast, the food they eat, not so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 mins ago, snookster said:

I think that fouro makes a difference when fishing for freshwater trout and SW tuna (not that I have done a lot of this) but for everything else I just use Ande Mono.

I use mono for everything nowadays. Including tuna (from albies to BFT). I do not see any point to use fluoro. I just keep the leader/tippet material in shade and change often if there is heavy UV light.

 

I think the visibility thing is a marketing trick. If you fish spooky fish, use clay to remove the gloss finish and you're better off since you will have less sun reflection of the surface of the line.

 

 

The only advantage I see with fluoro is that it sinks faster (if that is needed in the fishing in case).

 

All heavy fluoro that I have encountered break relatively easily and the broken part frays.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Peter Patricelli said:

Steve,

 

Bill Logan was the terminal skeptic, especially about fluoro. ... He did bend to the point of using the "clear" Maxima rather than the "chameleon" but he caught fat alberts equally to me on fluoro, and faster than most others around us.  He also, to disprove the "fast strip" theory, often just let the sinking line troll behind the boat while we drifted and I cast....and he again caught equal numbers. ...

I think that Logan may be one of those special cases whose test data almost don't matter; he's just a good fisherman who is going to catch fish no matter what.

 

2 hours ago, Peter Patricelli said:

 

...  To my simple take on it, I think "abrasion resistance" for a given diameter, is a function of hardness....which also relates to stiffness.  ...  I also wonder whether the hardness relates to brittleness, vulnerability to shock breakage....which relates to lower stretchiness. 

 

Hardness does indeed relate to brittleness and shock breakage. In my former life, one of my first jobs was in the Polymers Department of the GM Research Division, where we were laboring to discover the perfect plastic composition for dashboards. I spent my days measuring hardness, brittleness, stretch modulus, and impact resistance, looking for something that would neither soften and sag in the sunlight nor shatter upon a sharp impact. What you say about abrasion resistance relating to hardness makes perfect sense, except I'm not sure it's right. I recall reading other test results several years ago in which Hard Mason was shown to have terrible abrasion resistance. My hunch is that the problem relates to what happens at the microscopic level once that first nick occurs. In a soft material, that may be the end of it, whereas in a hard material the nick may constitute the start of a crystalline like fracture that will propagate effortlessly through the material. Also, some speculate that the stretchy material can move out of the way of a potential abrader.

 

In any event, here, for extra credit, is a photo of me in my aforementioned former life at GM--in case there was some doubt about whether I ever had hair.

 

 

first and last job requiring wearing a tie - reduced.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, sms said:

 

 

"I think the visibility thing is a marketing trick. If you fish spooky fish, use clay to remove the gloss finish and you're better off since you will have less sun reflection of the surface of the line."

 

I've seen the gloss spook fish more'n once on flats,some folks laugh but remove the gloss and there are less refusals

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about the visibility issue but I wouldn't go back to nylon mono for anything except maybe dry fly trout fishing but I don't do much in freshwater.  From my anecdotal experience flouro turns flies over better on the cast and resists abrasion better than mono.  Not all flouro is created equal though.  I have much better luck with seaguar than orvis mirage for instance.  The mirage is thinner and sinks better but when tarpon fishing they seem to gnaw through the mirage much more quickly.  You can also use 40# seaguar and get the same or better abrasion resistance as 60# mirage.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Steve,

Just to introduce another (friggin') variable......is/could there be a significant difference in "abrasion resistance" (which we all know what we want to mean, but remains somewhat fluidly unidentified) based on the amount of tension put on the material.  Certainly in real life there is a serious amount of difference in tension between a tippet (including a bite tippet) coming out of the fish's mouth, under RARELY more than 4-5# tension.....and the tension of the same poundage leader material right angled around staghorn coral with the fish going one way and the angler pulling the other.  Speaking chemically and polymerically (if I might presume)....are those the same critters?

 

I want to see a test whereby the same diameter fluoro versus hard nylon are put under 10-15# tension and then equal pressure of a razor or knife blade.  That might also speak to the "brittle fracture" of hard material you allude to. 

Edited by Peter Patricelli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Peter Patricelli said:

Steve,

Just to introduce another (friggin') variable......is/could there be a significant difference in "abrasion resistance" (which we all know what we want to mean, but remains somewhat fluidly unidentified) based on the amount of tension put on the material.  Certainly in real life there is a serious amount of difference in tension between a tippet (including a bite tippet) coming out of the fish's mouth, under RARELY more than 4-5# tension.....and the tension of the same poundage leader material right angled around staghorn coral with the fish going one way and the angler pulling the other.  Speaking chemically and polymerically (if I might presume)....are those the same critters?

 

I want to see a test whereby the same diameter fluoro versus hard nylon are put under 10-15# tension and then equal pressure of a razor or knife blade.  That might also speak to the "brittle fracture" of hard material you allude to. 

Peter,.

I think the simple test procedure in the video that started this thread permits the abrasion test you want. Just change the weights used. However, resistance to slicing by a razor or knife would not qualify as abrasion. I think that would be called something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

"resistance to slicing by a razor or knife would not qualify as abrasion. I think that would be called something else."

 

Perhaps...."the mysterious coral/barnacle effect?"  ??

 

 

 

 

Edited by Peter Patricelli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Peter mentioned a bonefish swimming around his Maxima Chameleon leader, I discovered an odd thing the other day when using an old spool of it to make weed guards, I decided to prop up a guard that was at the wrong angle with UV acrylic and when I hit it with the light, the mono lit right up, maybe the bonefish was reacting to the effect of UV on the leader?

JC

Edited by JonC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 mins ago, Peter Patricelli said:

"resistance to slicing by a razor or knife would not qualify as abrasion. I think that would be called something else."

Perhaps...."the mysterious coral/barnacle effect?"  ??

 

 

abrasion versus laceration, perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

      Ahah!  I have determined the problem.  YOU are using the precise scientific P-chem definition of "abrasion" and I am using the plebian, common meaning once one's leader is severed by contact with 'environment".  That softens the blow somewhat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.