Is Fluorocarbon Leader Really Stronger Than Main Line? [Test Results]



Wait until you see the results of this fluorocarbon fishing line strength test…

It shocked everyone on the team here at Salt Strong.

Quick backstory:

With the rising popularity of fluorocarbon lines, we’ve had numerous Salt Strong Fishing Tribe members have asked about the difference between the material in a fluorocarbon leader line compared to a fluorocarbon line designed to be in the reel’s spool.

This question is coming up because there is a large price difference between the two.

In fact, it is very common for fluorocarbon leader line to be 5+ times more than fluorocarbon main line when measured on a price-per-yard basis.

Fluorocarbon Leader Price

Screenshot of Fluorocarbon Leader priced at $0.49 per yard.

See what I mean above?

As shown in the screenshot above, the price per yard of this Red Label Fluorocarbon Leader line is $.49 cents per yard.

This is much higher than the cost of the same brand that is sold as main line…

Fluorocarbon Main Line Price

Screenshot of Fluorocarbon Line at $0.07 per yard.

The cost of this Fluorocarbon Main Line in this offer is just $0.07 per yard.

This is a special offer, but the normal cost per yard of this same line is typically just ~10 cents per yard.

So what is the justification for such a big (500%) price difference when both lines are both 100% fluorocarbon line?

Is some fluorocarbon better than others?

These are the two primary questions that I set out to answer.

Why Is Fluorocarbon Leader More Expensive?

After some research, it seems like the most common answer to the reason for the increased price of fluorocarbon leader is due to it being more resistant to abrasion.

And the importance of that makes complete sense because the leader line gets exposed to rough surfaces so much more than the mainline due to it being in contact with a fish’s mouth as well as any sort of structure that a fighting fish will seek out for protection.

So a line that’s more abrasion resistant would give anglers a huge boost, which makes paying a higher premium a valid choice.

But that led me to this next question…

The big elephant in the fluorocarbon fishing line room…

Is Fluorocarbon Leader Extra-Abrasion Resistant?

If you go with the chatter in online forums, the answer to this seems to be an absolute Yes.


I have personally not seen any documentation on exactly how much stronger fluorocarbon leader line actually is (if any at all).

So I decided to build a line testing tool that would allow me to actually test the abrasion resistance of lines against one another so that I could know for sure.

Here’s what the line testing platform looks like:

fishing line test assembly

This line testing assembly allows for an accurate abrasion test because it isolates the two lines on the same surface (sandpaper) with same tension (weights of equal magnitude).

And although the oscillation is controlled by hand (vs. machine), any inconsistencies of oscillation speed will not interfere with the overall results because any imperfect motions will impact both lines equally at the same exact time.

Here are the steps I took for each fluoro line test:

  1. Tie each line to a screw at the top of the line tester
  2. Tie each line to a weight with the same length of line so that their swing rates are equal
  3. Place each line over the sandpaper slowly so that it doesn’t cause any wear on the lines
  4. Oscillate the sandpaper pole back and forth until the lines break
  5. Document which line broke first (aka. which line was the weakest)
  6. Document how many more oscillations the winning line could take

And the final step was, of course, to report the findings to you in the video below.

Note: To make sure that all was recorded properly, we filmed the entire test so that we could spot any anomalies.

The Fluorocarbon Leader vs. Fluorocarbon Main Line Test

Since this seems to have been a heavily discussed topic, we thought it would be helpful to share the video of the experiment with you so that you could see exactly how it was performed.

Here’s a video that shows the experiment along with the final conclusion that was quite the surprise:

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

To get notified of future tests like this, go to our Home Page and join the Fishing Tribe.


This first line test taught me to be cautiously optimistic about what I read in online forums.

Because the major theme that seemed to be the dominant answer to why fluorocarbon leaders are more expensive (or better) than fluorocarbon main line was because it’s more abrasion-resistant.

But given the results of this test, there doesn’t appear to be true for all lines.

Given that just two lines were analyzed in this test, we, of course, can’t draw any conclusions about the abrasion-resistant capabilities of other fluorocarbon leaders…

All we can conclude right now is that not all fluorocarbon leaders are stronger than their equivalent main lines.

More lines will need to be evaluated, so I’ll be sure to perform more tests.

And if there is interest generated from this post, I’ll be happy to film the future tests so that I can show the results as they come in.

Leave a comment below with any line brands that you’d like me to try next if you would like to see more tests like this…

I plan to perform many more tests so that we can know which ones truly are the best at withstanding the rough mouths of our favorite fish for when we hook up to a fish of a lifetime.

And if you have ideas for how we can improve this analysis, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Fish On!

P.S. – If you want to see more posts like this, make sure to join the Salt Strong Insider Club by registering on our Homepage… CLICK HERE.

See More Fishing Line Tests/Reviews


Related categories:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
henry W edwards
9 days ago

thanks. i have recently started usind mainline flouro for a leader. i haven’t done it long enough to draw a conclusion. but, after seeing this will use mainline flouro from now on for specks.

Kieran McArdle
4 months ago

Well done experiment!

Marshall Alderman
8 months ago

I linked to this video from the one where you tested floro leader against mono leader, would it be possible for you to do this same test with mono main line and mono leader?

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago

Luke- As this test is a couple of years old, I was wondering if you have done any more testing. Do you still use regular line mono as a leader?Do you think the ‘visibility’ factor makes flouro a safer choice if price isn’t that much of a factor? As I don’t fish that much and don’t go through tons of line, if there is any chance that using flouro leader line gives me an advantage, I will use it. However, like most people, I don’t like getting ripped off. Thanks

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thanks for the info Luke. You still have flouro left after 2 years. I guess you, like most of us, build up giant inventories!

George Layton
1 year ago

Use the main line in murky water & Vanish leader in clear water as it is a true (soft) Fluoro that is as close to invisible in water that any other leader. (IMHO) Love the tests Luke !

Larry Carr
1 year ago

Wondered myself over the years, and I even know the reps.

Michael Van Laanen
1 year ago

Thanks for re-sharing this video again. Missed it in my first run through the tips and tricks list. And thanks bunch for doing these. Really nice to get some non-partisan info on gear and tackle.

George Murphy
1 year ago


Steve Szenay
2 years ago

Luke great video showing test results. Love how Salt Strong is very neutral giving us fisherman some great advise, I have been buying Leader line instead for reasons I was not as informed as I am now so thank you. Great job you and your team is doing. Glad to be a Salt Strong member

Mark Hedl
2 years ago

I found this video right before hitting “Add-To-Cart” on a spool of fluoro leader. I normally just use fluoro main line as my leader material but was considering buying the dedicated leader instead. A quick google search found me your video. I realize the tests *may* not be conclusive given only two lines tested but they confirm my own belief. I now have 10X as much leader material 🙂

Thanks guys, tight lines in 2019!


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

Paddle Board Fishing: 3 “Must Know” SUP Fishing Tips [VIDEO]

Have you tried paddle board fishing? Thinking about it? Well, here are three must know paddle board fishing tips for anglers of all experience levels.
See Full post

Gulp Shrimp: Are You Rigging Them Upside Down By Accident?

We've received a ton of comments about our recent Gulp Shrimp rigging video... and I think many anglers might be rigging their shrimp upside down... Enjoy!
See Full post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x