In this, the second part of our Fluorocarbon line feature, we look at its fishing advantages and the situations where Fluoro carbon gives us the most advantage.
WHEN AND WHERE TO USE FLOURO CARBON LINES
Due to its refractive qualities making it far less visible to fish in clear water, it is a major advantage to make your shore rig bodies, and especially your hook snoods, from Penn Fluorocarbon when fishing in broad daylight in shallow sunlit waters over clean sand, a typical scenario when bites will be very few and far between.
Keeping the diameters of your rig body and hook snoods to the minimum will also add to the days catch. Dropping down from 60lb mono to 25lb or even 20lb Penn Fluorocarbon rig bodies, and reducing your hook snoods from 20lb to 12lb Fluorocarbon, will make the difference in catching smaller fish such as flounders, dabs, rockling, pout and small school bass in shallow, clear water.
Try it if you’re sceptical and you’ll soon realise just how good it is in these difficult circumstances. Match anglers when close range fishing use this technique as well as the more experienced freelance anglers, which is why they rarely blank because they read the situation and adapt their rigs correctly. Remember though to use a rig body line strength compatible with the size of lead weight you need to cast with safety in mind.
Also remember that with the Fluorocarbon lines sinking faster than normal mono lines they keep baits tighter to the seabed. This is ideal for fishing the tiny baits needed when scratch fishing for small fish with fine diameter hook snoods and lightweight hooks in sizes 4 to 8 during early spring and high summer.
Fluorocarbon snoods are also the best choice when both day and night fishing in the surf tables for bass too, as the bass see your terminal gear less and therefore take your bait with more confidence. Also, being slightly stiffer than mono, Fluorocarbon is the best hook snood choice as it is less likely to tangle than mono of the same diameter and gives good bait presentation.
I also choose to use 25lb Fluorocarbon for my bass hook snoods when fishing crab over rough ground by day. This is because it has a much higher abrasion resistance than the mono I used to use and loses me less fish, plus has the low visibility factor for bass that in shallow clear water can be very spooky. It also produces a slight increase in bite detection, especially when I choose to use a Fluorocarbon leader tied direct to the hook snood via a small swivel with the lead swivel link carrying the weight running free on the leader to give me direct contact to the hook when fishing at close range.
PLUG & LURE FISHING
When plug and lure fishing and using braid main line, it also pays to add about 8ft of 15lb to 20lb Penn Fluorocarbon between the braid and lure. Bass can be put off by standard mono when attacking surface worked plugs and sub surface spinners in gin clear seas, especially when there is a good cloud base that silhouettes the line against the surface brightness as the bass attacks initially from below prior to interception.
When fly fishing for bass again I only use Fluorocarbon leaders. From the moment I switched over to Fluoro carbon my bass catches on the fly improved. I noticed more positive takes, the number of successful hook ups improved, and the number of fish following behind the fly without attacking diminished.
I don’t use tapered leaders for saltwater fly fishing either, just a single length of Penn 12 to 20lb Fluorocarbon, the length dependent on the day. Longer in bright clear water conditions up to 12ft, shorter around 8ft, sometimes less if there is a little colour in the water in windier weather. Breaking strain depends on the size of the fly and the size of fish expected.
I also choose to use Penn International Fluorocarbon 15lb to 25lb traces when fishing artificial eels and shads below flying collar booms over reefs and deep water wrecks, and 12lb to 15lb when fishing live sandeels for bass over inshore wrecks and reefs. This has produced a definite advantage with increased catches and more positive takes when fishing clear water, plus fewer tangles.
I also use it as a short leader between my main reel line and the lure when trolling over shallow reef ground for bass with both artificial eels and plugs. Again my overall hit rate has improved.
THE LAST WORD
As you can see, the argument in favour of Penn International Fluorocarbon over mono in many fishing situations is very one sided. Use standard mono for hook snoods, fly leaders and lure leaders when the water is clear and calm and youre chances of catching are much reduced!