😁 So I corralled Brian and away we go:
1. Most of us – or all of us – understand what fluorocarbon does as a mainline and leader, and we have our favorites. But it seems like the leader part is something many of us don't understand – like what type of fluoro is best for leaders for certain techniques. Is that fair?
> "I think that is a fair question. Fishing line in general is very...personable. People like different attributes with their line. And the same thing goes for a leader line.
> "For example, somebody fishing a very light braid is not going to want a very thick or stiff leader material. They're going to want something very thin, just like the braid they're fishing...more supple to allow lightweight baits their action. That's a prime example of when Gold Label [fluoro leader] would excel and be beneficial to an angler."
2. Other than things like toughness – like AbrazX – and overall "betterness," like Tatsu vs Red Label, what should guys be looking for in a fluoro leader?
> "The difference between a mainline and a leader line is key. A mainline is obviously intended for casting. So it's going to be a line that's more supple or has less memory to it. Meanwhile a leader line is a short section of line so the fish can't see your bait – so it has a tendency to be more abrasion-resistant, have better impact strength and better knot strength.
> "So using leader material is better [for leaders] than just using a regular mainline."
Follow-up: Should things like the conditions – water temp or wind – affect the choice of fluoro leader type, not just line size or breaking strength?
> "Fluorocarbon by nature does not absorb water and therefore wouldn't freeze. So if you experience stiffening in water that's probably because you're not using 100% fluorocarbon."
[He said wind would not be a factor.]
3. Do different fluoros handle knots differently? And what's the best direct knot and leader knot for fluoro in your opinion?
> "To my knowledge, speaking in terms of Seaguar, the different fluorocarbons we offer handle knots the same. We do offer a knot guide at Seaguar.com, but I often tell people the best one you can tie is the one you can tie with your eyes closed.
> "Personally I like a Palomar knot for tying directly to a lure, and for a braid to fluoro knot, I like a double uni or crazy Alberto. I find they're very strong and fairly easy to tie, and when tied correctly I haven't had any issues with them.
> "A lot of people swear by the FG knot...just more of an advanced knot than the average angler would spend the time to learn how to tie."
Follow-up: What about the stories about Palomar knots breaking fluoro?
> "When we launched our Flippin' series of products [no longer available], I fished with Denny Brauer [who helped design 'em]. He's a legend, he's won tons of money fishing a jig and he ties a Palomar knot.
> "When I was fishing with him, I retied a jig.... He picked up that rod, looked at it, and asked if I'd tied that Palomar knot. ...he said the knot was no good. When I was tying that knot, I crossed the lines when I was cinching it down, and that will cause [the knot] to break. He said you have to keep the lines parallel when you're cinching it down to prevent it from biting on itself and breaking.
> "I've found that lubricating the knot, pulling on the tag end slowly...prevents that from happening."
Here's Denny's fave Seaguar lines for power fishing: