Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon review

Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon is pretty much the poshest fluorocarbon money can buy, but how does it compare to others? And is it worth paying the extra over the already excellent Fulling Mill World Class fluoro?

Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon review
© Fly and Lure
Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon review
Fulling Mill Tippet and leaders Estimated reading time 6 - 9 minutes

What is Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon?

Fulling Mill says that its new Masterclass Fluorocarbon is the most advanced fluorocarbon on the market today and is "created with a premium grade Japanese raw material and produced with 21st Century German precision engineering".

Apparently, Masterclass Fluorocarbon has the lowest refractory index of any other fluorocarbon on the market, which means it's the one least likely to be seen by the fish when used to prevent your fly. The theory is, the lower the refractory index, the less visible the line and the more fish you're likely to catch.

It's also claimed to be the densest fluorocarbon on the market, which means that unlike copolymers and less dense fluorocarbon lines, it shouldn't hang around on the surface tension for too long and will quickly get sunken flies down to depth so you don't waste any time. That can also be helpful when fishing certain dry fly and emerger patterns, as it reduces the likelihood of the tippet creating a silhouette on the water surface.

It's hard to fault this stuff.

What diameter and breaking strains does it come in?

There's a very broad range of sizes available, from 7X with a 2.82 lb breaking strain for tiny wild browns, to 04X with a 23.17 lb breaking strain for larger salmon and saltwater fly fishing. There's also a bonus 5.5X model in the middle of the range if you want a bit of extra versatility for regular trout and grayling fishing.

Rating Breaking strain Length Diameter
7X 2.82 lbs / 1.28 kg 50m 0.110 mm
6X 3.73 lbs / 1.69 kg 50m 0.125 mm
5.5X 4.19 lbs / 1.90 kg 50m 0.143 mm
5X 5.03 lbs / 2.28 kg 50m 0.157 mm
4X 6.50 lbs / 2.95 kg 50m 0.185 mm
3X 7.12 lbs / 3.23 kg 50m 0.196 mm
2X 10.71 lbs / 4.86 kg 50m 0.235 mm
1X 12.21 lbs / 5.54 kg 50m 0.261 mm
0X 13.14 lbs / 5.96 kg 50m 0.275 mm
01X 15.32 lbs / 6.95 kg 50m 0.300 mm
02X 17.50 lbs / 7.94 kg 50m 0.325 mm
03X 20.86 lbs / 9.46 kg 40m 0.356 mm
04X 23.17 lbs / 10.51 kg 40m 0.385 mm

What are the diameters like on Masterclass Fluorocarbon?

Line diameters for the same tippet X ratings on Fulling Masterclass are generally very slightly thinner than the comparable Fulling Mill World Class or Airflo Sightfree G5 tippet materials. However, there's not much in it and the differences in diameter between these three lines pretty much imperceptible to the human eye.

Rating Masterclass World Class Sightfree G5
7X 0.110 mm NA NA
6X 0.125 mm NA NA
5.5X 0.143 mm NA NA
5X 0.157 mm 0.160 mm 0.153 mm
4X 0.185 mm 0.180 mm 0.179 mm
3X 0.196 mm 0.195 mm 0.203 mm
2X 0.235 mm 0.215 mm 0.228 mm
1X 0.261 mm 0.255 mm 0.254 mm
0X 0.275 mm 0.275 mm 0.279 mm
01X 0.300 mm NA NA
02X 0.325 mm NA NA
03X 0.356 mm NA NA
04X 0.385 mm NA NA

What's it like to use?

Obviously, I don't have a fancy Instrom machine to test line, nor the knowledge of physics to understand the output, but I have used Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon on over a dozen fishing trips and have nearly emptied four spools. It's a nice supple line and it knots well. I use a grinner or uni knot when tying on flies and it knots perfectly with a little saliva, so do three turn water knots when tying on droppers. Line strength seemed to be very good, too. It's a really nice tippet and leader material and it works very well.

The bigger diameters are excellent from the boat.

How does it compare to World Class Fluorocarbon?

Fulling Mill's World Class Fluorocarbon, along with Airflo's G4 and G5 fluorocarbons, are some of the most widely used fluoros among top fly fishers, mainly because they're all great quality, very effective and competitively priced.

It's almost three times the price of World Class Fluorocarbon, which can be picked up for £5.95 for a 50m spool... However, it's not the only expensive and high-end fluorocarbon on the market.

It's clearly (no pun intended) an excellent line, and I can't really fault it at all. However, if I am brutally honest, I think amateur fly fishers like myself could struggle to tell the difference in a blind test when actually using it alongside a line as good as World Class or the best of Airflo's offerings.

Good for any fishing situation.

What are the spools like?

Masterclass comes on very distinctive red spools. The 3D renders on the Fulling Mill website make these look quite large, but they're actually just the same diameter as regular tippet spools and hold 50m (or 40m on the largest two sizes). Like others on the market, the spools lock together, so they don't jangle about so much when attached to a tippet bar or lanyard, and there's a tippet taming spool band to prevent you from losing too much valuable tippet material.

George with a brown caught on Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon.

How much does it cost?

This is expensive stuff. The standard trout and grayling sized spools are £15.95 for 50m, while the thicker salmon, sea trout and saltwater sized spools are £17.95 for 40m. However, you'll struggle to find a better fluorocarbon. It's high quality, reliable and great to use.

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