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13 Mar 2017
by Terry Hearn
Fluorocarbon: good or bad?
We ask Terry Hearn...

Question

Julian Cundiff: I never see you writing about fluorocarbon Terry yet it’s something I love if the circumstances allow it. Is it down to the waters you fish, topography etc. or do you not rate it as a main line?

Lewis Read: Have you ever given pure fluorocarbon a good trial?

Both Julian’s and Lewis’s question are very similar, so I’ll answer them together. I’m afraid it’s a fairly short answer too, as I’ve never used fluorocarbon. Maybe it has its advantages in some situations, the fact that it’s pretty tough and wiry in the heavier strains being one of them, but I’m afraid I don’t believe it’ll get you more takes and that includes when it’s used for hooklinks, like for Zigging and what have you. I’ve got away without needing it for many years before it came on the market, and I’ve got away without needing it for many years since.

I guess that whether it makes much difference compared with normal monofilament depends greatly on the monofilament that you’d normally use. My first choice has been GR60 for a long time now, which in the heavier strains already sinks very well. It’s also about the least visible line I’ve ever used, plus it’s incredibly strong. To be honest it’s already everything I’ve ever wanted in a line, heavy enough to sink well, tricky to see and incredibly tough and resilient. In fact, if it’s possible to get a product that I’m 100% happy with then GR60 is it. When something already suits your way of fishing to that extent, and you’re already 100% happy with it, there’s no need to change or try anything different, is there?

I’ve landed several good fish over the years that have run me through snags, around mussel infested branches etc., that with a little patience I’ve still managed to land, but if I’d been using most other lines I’m pretty sure I would have lost them. One particular capture springs to mind and that was the Causeway Fish. When I had the take and picked up the rod I could feel my line running through something horrible only a few feet from the bank, and to cut a long story short I ended up playing the fish all the way back to the snag from a distance of 90yds or more. Fortunately, at that point the line pulled free from whatever it was snagged on and I went on to land the great mirror, but it was a lucky one and the damage to the line had to be seen to be believed. I actually kept a 2-3ft section of the damaged line coiled up in a little film canister for a while after the capture and everyone I showed it too agreed that anything else would have resulted in a loss. The line was seriously frayed and shredded, in places down to probably less than 4lb breaking strain, not surprising really as it turned out that the snag was an old barbed wire fence. If I’d been using 12lb GR60 instead of 15lb then I’m certain I would have lost it.

The thing with me is I don’t like change. Obviously I’ll change from a pop-up to a bottom bait if I think it’s going to get me more action, or the size of my hooks for example, but if something’s already working perfectly well then I won’t change it. It’s all about confidence I suppose, and when it comes to main line, having used GR60 on a variety of different waters over the past 18 years, I’m already as confident with it as can be.

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