Predator anglers, sbirolino and fly fishermen ideally use a transparent and fast sinking leader. Much praised are fluorocarbon leaders. We have taken a closer look at this line wonder for you.
Fluorocarbon – Useful for many purposes
Fluorocarbons are carbon compounds that contain fluorine instead of hydrogen atoms. Originally used for cables and seals, the trend to use fluorocarbon as fishing line quickly became apparent. Due to its exceptional refractive index, such a line is more invisible than comparable monofilament materials. This makes its use particularly worthwhile in clear waters.
In contrast to monofilament line, Fluorocarbon line sinks rapidly. This benefits all anglers who fish with light bait. Be it mini wobblers, flies or streamers – they all reach the desired depth quickly. Even the most timid bites are easily felt with a low-stretch fluorocarbon leader and you can react immediately.
Especially when fishing for perch, zander and trout, Fluorocarbon is becoming increasingly popular. With sbirolino fish, for example, the low memory effect of such a leader can ensure that the connection between lure and sbirolino unfurls again and again as if by magic.
Fluorocarbon can also prove to be quite useful when fishing with Hegene. Due to the stiffer nature of the material, the reins stand out nicely from the main line and the risk of tangling is minimised.
Fishing for pike with Fluorocarbon
Anyone who goes fishing for pike or expects pike to be a regular by-catch should definitely refrain from using Fluorocarbon leaders. Such a leader cannot withstand the sharp pike teeth. It is easily cut through. In such cases you should use hard mono or, as an absolute safety measure, a steel leader.
Only conditionally recommended for perch
The much praised transparency of a fluorocarbon leader is only conditionally given. The thicker the diameter of the line, the more clearly the shadows of the leader are visible. So it can happen that with the right diameter of the leader, especially in clear waters, the perch regularly bump against the line, although the line should not be visible to predators according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, those who hunt perch with small line diameters and mini wobblers are well equipped with a fluorocarbon leader.
The first choice when fishing for zander
Zander are quite cautious predators and suck their prey suddenly. They know immediately whether it is real prey or an imitation. It is therefore of utmost importance that the first bite is prompt and that it can be taken over a longer distance. For this reason, a somewhat stiffer fluorocarbon leader is an excellent companion for zander anglers.
The advantages and disadvantages of a Fluorocarbon leader
Some important arguments are in favour of using a Fluorocarbon leader. For one thing, it is much more unobtrusive than braided line. Since Fluorocarbon has the same refraction of light as water, incident light is not reflected in the line.
On the other hand, the material sinks quickly and thus brings the lure quickly to the desired catch depth. Unlike monofilament lines, fluorocarbon has a high specific gravity and is therefore heavier.
For by-catch fishing, such as Hegenen, Fluorocarbon ensures that the side arms protrude well. In addition, the lack of memory effect speaks for the miracle line. If the line gets twisted, this spin is released relatively quickly.
The allegedly higher abrasion resistance compared to monofilament line often depends on the quality of the Fluorocarbon leader and can therefore not be seen as a general advantage. This material also tends to plane off and tear on closer inspection.
One argument against the use of Fluorocarbon is the lower load capacity compared to monofilament. Also the price often discourages the use of Fluorocarbon leaders. Due to its stiffness Fluorocarbon is harder to knot.
Which Fluorocarbon line is the right one?
Depending on the main line the appropriate fluorocarbon leader should be chosen. Here the attentive angler is spoilt for choice between different qualities and carrying capacities. It is not advisable to buy large reels from cheap suppliers, as these often have faults such as brittle spots or clouding. Here it is better to go for good quality – even if it is slightly more expensive.
When choosing the diameter you should choose a thinner line for the leader than the main line. Leader lines that are too thin have too little carrying capacity. Especially when fishing in waters with stony bottom, thicker fluorocarbon should be chosen.
Alternatives to the Fluorocarbon leader
Although a Fluorocarbon leader is often the perfect link between lure and angler, there are situations where alternative materials are appropriate.
Even though steel leaders are more visible in the water and often twist and turn, they have their place. Compared to fluorocarbon, steel has the advantage that it is absolutely pike bite proof even in thin diameters. If you have a problem with the fact that steel cannot be knotted and likes to bend, you can also use steel silk as a good alternative.
Thin titanium leaders are also an advantage if pike bites are to be expected. Compared to steel, titanium has the advantage that it does not bend and scores points due to its significantly longer durability. In addition, a titanium leader does not roll over so easily, even with lively casts.
Almost all fluorocarbon advantages also apply to the coated nylon line called Hardmono. Hardmono leaders are abrasion resistant, ring-free, stiff and quite transparent. However, even this material cannot really withstand pike bites up to a certain diameter. But it is more bite resistant than fluorocarbon. Compared to steel leaders there is the advantage that a hardmono leader is not easily recognized by the pike.
Recommended connections from fluorocarbon leader to main line
A fluorocarbon leader can be connected to the main line in different ways.
Once the use of a swivel is recommended. Compared to a direct connection of the two lines, this has the advantage that a swivel rotates with the twist and thus prevents this twist from being passed on to the main line. The situation can be defused even better by using a triple swivel. Especially those who fish with the spinner will quickly appreciate this. The fluorocarbon line is simply attached to the swivel with a clinch knot.
If you want to tie the leader directly to the main line, for example to avoid the additional weight of a swivel, the Albright knot is the best choice. Different line diameters and qualities can be tied with 90% line strength. The flat shape of this knot also glides effortlessly through the rings of the rod.
Alternatively, there is still the possibility of using a no-knot connector. The leader is attached to this with a Palomar knot.
Conclusion: Fluorocarbon can be quite impressive when used correctly
If the choice of the target fish is well considered, Fluorocarbon line will certainly live up to its reputation as a miracle line. Even if it is not quite as invisible as claimed in advertising, it is still ahead of other lines in this respect. However, with some predators, such as pike, you can confidently refrain from spending your money on expensive fluorocarbon leader material.