Which fluorocarbon is best for barbel fishing?
I HAVE had a lot of questions from my Facebook friends about the best fluorocarbon to use. Not quite an easy question to answer, as there is a great variety of these high-tech lines available, all having lots of different characteristics.
I like a very hard and abrasion-resistant fluorocarbon when I am fishing amongst boulders and quite snaggy swims, but very fine and soft fluorocarbon when I am fishing more open, snag-free areas of a river.
The two that I thoroughly recommend, having used them for a few seasons, are: P-Line Halo, which is as tough as old boots, and Grand Max Soft-Plus, which is at the other end of the spectrum.
I only use these fluorocarbons for long hook links. If I am using a bolt rig with a short link, I use sinking braid.
There are two trains of thought when it comes to barbel rigs, especially on southern rivers.
One option is to fish with a very short braided hook link and an in-line lead, with the addition of a back lead several feet above the rig, to pin everything down.
The alternative is to use a long fluorocarbon hook link, as it sinks very well, hugging the bottom, and a semi-fixed lead.
I like to use 6 ft fluorocarbon hook links and, to ensure that the hook link straightens out, I attach a small PVA bag of freebies onto the hook, as they will catch the current, making sure that the bait sits directly below the lead, 6 ft away from it.
Both methods work very well, and it usually depends on the type of swim that I am fishing when it comes to deciding which one to use. I have to say, I do favour the longer hook link when I can get away with it. What I don’t like doing is using fluorocarbon on a short bolt rig, as I don’t think it is as effective as sinking braid for this set-up.
Regarding the knotting of fluorocarbon, I attach one end to an inline swivel using a five-turn grinner, and a knotless knot on the hook.
With the extra stiffness of fluorocarbon, it’s sometimes preferable to use a lighter, separate hair, but I will still use a knotless knot to attach the hook, even with this addition.
With the season well and truly on the turn, I am now looking forward to some predator fishing, especially on my local rivers. I’ll let you know how I get on…
Two of Andy’s favourite fluorocarbon hook links for barbel fishing.