P-Line has been on the market for quite a while and hordes of gear fishermen can attest to the incredible performance of their copolymer CX and CXX fishing lines. They are known for their low memory, abrasion resistance and superior breaking strength. Relatively new on the market however is their CFX fluorocarbon leader material. After listening to gear fishermen rave about it all season and watching it fly off of our shelves at work, I decided it was time to put it to test in some fly fishing applications. While the line is too thick for use as tippet, it is ideal for use as a level leader for fishing larger bugs such as streamers and winter steelhead flies.
At $13.99 for a 25 yd spool it is cheaper than most other fluorocarbon materials, but what what about the quality? Out of the box it is surprisingly supple. Keep in mind that is comparing it to other fluoros… not tippet! I’d rate it around the same as Maxima Ultragreen on memory and overall flexibility. No breakthroughs here but better than some for sure.
Where this stuff really shines though is in its durability, knot strength and overall breaking strength. Some fluoros are brittle and hard to tie knots with. The friction from the material tightening on itself leaves your leader kinked and vulnerable to breakage. Not P-Line! I put it to the test on an all day streamer expedition and it performed admirably.
Fishing with a 7 foot tungsten versi-leader, the low visibility nature of the fluorocarbon allowed me to cut my tippet down to a mere 18″ of 10lb CFX. Swinging through a shallow run my sculpin looked as if it was swimming all by itself! I connected the versi-leader to my fluoro tippet with a perfection loop and attached the fly with a uni-knot with a 1/4″ sliding loop for more movement in the water. I had no problems with the knots at all, in fact they tied butter smooth with no kinks or frays.
Breaking strength? At one point I snagged up on a log and had to walk backwards up the bank with my rod pointed at the fly, pulling with all my might to break free. My fly popped back into my face… the pressure had bent an extra heavy #2 streamer hook completely straight. Did it say 10lb test on the package?
Needless to say that little test gave me the confidence to put the pressure on every big fish that I hooked in and around the same logjams. I didn’t give a trout an inch, and my leader saved me more than once when an angry lunker drove head on for a big rootball or tangle of limbs in heavy current.
All in all I am very pleased with the way this stuff performed. At the end of the day I had caught several very nice fish and didn’t break off once despite getting in some pretty hairy situations. As for applications, i’d say CFX is perfect for anything where big flies, big fish, heavy cover and clear water are involved.
Thanks P-Line for a great day in the river and some wonderful memories of the ones that didn’t get away 😉