My mate and I fish identically – same bait, similar rigs and on the same syndicate. I’d say we were were pretty evenly matched in ability too, and yet he always catches more than I do. The only difference in our approach is that he uses a fluorocarbon mainline - could this be getting him extra bites?
I have used fluorocarbon A mainlines a lot down the years and I do think they provide more positives than negatives. If you are focused on any kind of distance work then fluorocarbon is not going to be your best friend. By their very nature, fluoros are stiffer and more wiry than standard mono and this makes them tricky to use for range work. There are some good ones about that are softer than others but none are quite as soft as mono.
For most of this season I have been using the new ProLogic HDC Spectrum fluorocarbon and and this is by far the easiest casting version I have ever tried. It is limp and supple straight off the spool.
The second aspect to be aware of is that fluorocarbons can be much more visible in the water than normal lines. They seem to attract sub-surface particulate and algae like iron filings to a magnet.
It is often the case that anglers reach for the fluoro first and foremost because of its perceived invisibility. But while it might disappear nicely after casting, after a short time in the water it can look like tow rope!
The main reasons I choose fluoros are for the tactile feel (down to the slightly lower stretch than normal monos) and for their outstanding ‘sinkability’. Nothing I have ever used sinks quite like a fluoro, and when sunk properly, it is almost like being backleaded! The other thing is that even when fished fairly slack, the resistance the line gives to a taking fish is massive. This is down to the really high density of the material and I think it likely that these two factors (weight and density) are contributing to a higher success rate for your friend. When a fish picks up a rig attached to a fluoro mainline, the drag and resistance from the line as it sags through the water is significant. I really think that this helps to aid the process of hooking the fish and obtaining a good hookhold. Another point worth bearing in mind is that if you are dropping the lead quickly after the bite then the fish can be left attached to a limp and fairly resistance-free line - in those few moments it takes you to reach the rod, it could shake the hook out. The added weight of a fluorocarbon mainline will undoubtedly cause the fish more problems, which can only be good news for us! On some venues, particularly small and intimate ones, fish can be very line aware. On this type of water, line concealment can be an edge and while I tend to lean away from super-slack lines as they can negatively affect indication and rig efficiency, I do like a fluorocarbon, as it will sit very low to the bottom where it will be harder to detect. I have also had good success with fluorocarbon hooklinks. The material offers just the right degree of stiffness and here we do get more of the invisibility advantage because as the link is actually on the bottom it doesn’t collect sediment in the same way. To summarise, if the only difference between you and your mate’s approach is the fluorocarbon, I suggest you get on it – it could provide a vital edge!
Fishing with a properly sunk fluoro is almost like being backleaded!
Success from a very pressured water using a fluorocarbon mainline.
The new HDC Spectrum fluoro I have on test – I like this stuff a lot.