July 3rd, 2000

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

'Fluoro' in Florida

By John Brazelton

Fluorocarbon, the mysterious 'must have' item for fisherman. We have all heard about the benefits of fluorocarbon leaders, tippets and shocks, but how do we know if fish can really see the difference? When and where are good times to use fluorocarbon over monofilament?

These are my opinions on the subject. I reached these conclusions during fishing outings where fluorocarbon may have saved me from losing fish.

I headed out early in the morning, planning on walking the beach for snook, tarpon and jacks. On the way down to the beach I noticed the amazing water clarity as I looked for snook in the gently rising and falling waves. Every minnow, rock, grassy patch and of coarse snook were completely visible with my polarized glasses. When would be a better time for an invisible leader material?

As I reached the inlet I noticed many snook laying under the rocks so I made a cast. Of course as soon as I begin to false cast the snook spooked. "That's OK," I said "there are plenty of fish past that drop off." I was right, a nice snook eats my fly and takes off for the rocks. I clear the line, get him on my reel and the battle begins.

After a series of short runs and jumps into the rocks I could feel the fish slowing down and began to gain some line. "Zzzzzzzzzzzz," the drag screams and the fish is back in the rocks. It went on like this for about five minutes and I was glad to have a 40lb fluorocarbon shock (I would have had to use 30lb mono). The fish eventually gave in and I eased him up on a smooth rock. As I did, the leader popped, but the fish was still on the rock. I lipped him, took a photo and released the nice ten pound snook.

If I would have used a 30lb monofilament leader (you can't go too much bigger with mono because in clear water the fish won't eat the fly if they see the leader) I would have lost the fish long before I landed him. The 40lb fluorocarbon is the same diameter as the 30lb mono!

Lucent Leader

I was amazed, after five minutes of barnacles, gill plates, rocks, coral and a notoriously abrasive mouth the leader held long enough (just long enough) to land a fine fish. I am, needless to say, a 'Lucent Fluorocarbon' fan for life and use nothing but fluorocarbon when conditions are appropriate. ~ John Brazelton, Redington Customer Service.

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