Which fluoro­car­bon is best for barbel fish­ing?

Anglers Mail - - Anglers -

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.

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