Fluorocarbon – The Early Years

An early Bassmaster Seaguar fluorocarbon ad, circa 2002. Notice the capacity.

An early Bassmaster Seaguar fluorocarbon ad, circa 2002. Notice the capacity.

It kind of seems hard to believe now days, but it was just a dozen years ago or so when the majority of bass anglers had likely never heard of fluorocarbon line, and most certainly weren’t fishing with it. While it had been around in the saltwater market for years, mainly as a leader material, it wasn’t until the late 90s to early 2000s when it started to make its appearance on the bass scene. Kureha Chemical Corp, JAPAN, parent company of Seaguar, introduced the first fluorocarbon fishing lines to the market back in 1971. InvizX wouldn’t come around until 2004, and AbrazX not until 2008.

Some of the earliest converts were west coast drop-shotters like Aaron Martens. It also made an appearance as a leader for Carolina rig guys, but these early adopters started out as the minority. This was back around 1997-1998. BassFan had just two small mentions of the line back in 2001, and it wasn’t until 2004 that Field & Stream mentioned it in their bassin’ line reviews. One of the first TackleTour reviews I found also goes back to 2002, again for a mini-spool (leader material).

Part of the reason for this was the stiffness of the original leader material, basically rendering the line almost unmanageable to the point of being difficult to spool and cast on either spinning or baitcasting. Another issue with the early fluorocarbon lines was the cost. It was expensive enough that most manufacturers didn’t even manufacture what we would consider full spools of line. Most fluorocarbon spools averaged about $15 to $20 per 25-50 yards of line, not even enough to cast with in most cases. Only later, as manufacturing increased along with a host of line companies jumping into the game, did the costs drop and full spools became a reality, something we now pretty much take for granted.

A 2004 Field & Stream line review article, possibly their first mention of fluorocarbon.

A 2004 Field & Stream line review article, possibly their first mention of fluorocarbon.