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Thread: Fluorocarbon leader material

  1. #1

    Fluorocarbon leader material

    Way back when Fluoro first became available I gave it a try, decided I didn't like it and went back to the Hardy Copolymer material I'd used for years for leaders.

    More recently Hardy seemed to mess about with the Copolymer material they made and it seemed to vanish, then reappear, then get rebranded and so on. I thought this provided another chance to give the fluoro a try and I've been doing some testing for about 3 seasons now.

    I normally fish 2 flies on a cast in, basically, the traditional wet fly style and because of wind (and let's be honest I'm a bad caster) I often fish quite heavy leaders. Some years back I took a visitor out for some Lewis moorland trout and she wanted to know if she should use 3lb or 5lb leader material and was totally stunned when I announced that I was going to use the same 15lb leader I'd tied on for salmon the previous day. Now she didn't have local knowledge etc. so it would be expected she might not do as well as me but the fact that I had a lot more fish than her for the day certainly gave a clear indication that the 15lb material wasn't a major problem.

    The more I fish with the fluoro, and the more people I talk to on the subject, the more convinced I become that it has some serious problems and that its performance may not be completely understood. This last season I lost a Lewis spring salmon in a mystery break plus I lost a sea trout where the leader (15lb BS, probably 2lb sea trout) broke with almost no pressure in the middle of a flat bit of fluoro well away from knots etc. I've also talked to a number of people, some who fish a lot more than I do, who are also moving away from fluoro because of unexplained events such as those I mention.

    Recently, after some discussion with a Lewis angler, I've decided to give the yo-zuri material a try. It claims to be a copolymer of fluoro and nylon and, even better, it costs about £7 for a 275 yard spool. I haven't fished with it yet but it seems like nice material to handle and it is relatively stiff, which is what I want.

    For a bit of fun I did some testing - I took some 7lb BS fluoro (Riverge) and put a simple overhand knot in the middle of it and pulled it apart. It came apart quite easily and with a pull rather than a good tug. I then did the same with some 6lb yo-zuri and even with a good tug couldn't break it as it was cutting into my fingers and was becoming quite painful. I then did the same with 12lb fluoro and found that it broke with a sharp tug. Not science, I know, but interesting.

    So far I've been impressed with the yo-zuri in terms of my simple tests so it will be interesting to see how it fishes as the season goes on. I'm pretty relaxed about my fishing as I've caught about as many fish as I need for a lifetime but it must be said that I would be reluctant to go back to the fluoro at this stage and it seems to me that it might not be the material to use for the fish of a lifetime, yes it works well a lot of the time but everyone I talk to has had "unexplained failures" of some sort. Of course I'd had breaks before going to fluoro but I could always offer some reason, usually I'd done something stupid, and this has not been the case during my testing with the fluoro.
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  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Like you, I fished with fluoro when it first came out, though on trout rather than salmon. After repeated mystery breaks I went back to Drennan Double Strength and consigned the fluoro to the bin.

    I will give the yo-zuri a try when the season comes around.
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  3. #3
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    It may still have broken at a knot...a wind knot...and wonder how many times my "unexpected" breaks were caused by that?

    However like Willie Gunn I don't use flouro anymore (tried it when it came out) and just use simple Grauvell Teklon Gold in varying strengths if I wish to make a tapered leader. Before that I used the green stuff that came in six hundred yard spools that I forget the name of!

    Regarding cost that's something I've never understood. That we try and save pennies on the cast when paying pounds on the other stuff.

    That we'll go out with our expensive Hardy rods or American rods (Marquis in 7' 6"; 9', 10' and 10' 6" and Elite in 9' and 15' 4" and 10' spinning) and expensive Hardy reels or American reels (Marquis #4, #6 and #7 and Sovereign 2000 #6 and #9/10 and a Silex) and then scrimp on paying pennies for the cast,

    When in reality the ONLY part that is vital is the cast itself. Penny wise...Pound foolish. The Grauvell Teklon Gold costs about ten to twenty pounds for three hundred yard boxes. That's cheap enough for me.

    Attachment 66361
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 07-02-2016 at 14:37.

  4. #4
    Have to say that I use it exclusively in the form of Seaguar Ace Fluorocarbon for my salmon fishing and can't ever recall having any issues with it snapping easily (on a fish). Mind you I change my leader quite often, at the first signs of any wear or wind knots then its replaced.


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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    It may still have broken at a knot...a wind knot...and wonder how many times my "unexpected" breaks were caused by that?
    That is possible and I certainly can't completely discount it but what makes it unlikely is that it was my first cast of the day and I'd only just put about 5 - 6 yards of line out so I'd really just stripped the line off the reel and laid it on the water. The spring salmon was even more weird as it broke at the knot attaching the fly to the line. The strange thing was that the knot came back to me still attached but with a small C shaped bit of leader, so it broke in the bit of leader that went through the hook eye. Of course it could have been a rough bit of metal in the hook eye etc. but I'm seeing too many of these weird things to continue with this.

    In terms of cost then I think you are correct, the leader is a bit like tyres on a car - people pay a fortune for 4WD trucks that they need for all their stalking access and then put the cheapest summer tyres on them they can find. However, the fluoro was about as expensive as it gets for leader and it didn't work. The yo-zuri is getting a good reputation with some salmon anglers from what I can see and the fact that it is relatively inexpensive when compared to fluoro can only add to the attraction. It doesn't seem quite so easy to get here in the UK and I think that it is mostly marketed to sea anglers but if I don't try it then I will never know.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
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  6. #6
    Grand Max 7x, 6x and 5x for 20 years now without fail for trout and Seaguar Ace Hard 12lb for bass spinning (leader attached to 1PE braid). Also use Seaguar for Salmon in various strengths depending on rod and fly etc.
    You can't use the same knots as with copolymer though and I don't think it is as forgiving of sharp shocks.

  7. #7
    I stopped using fluorocarbon for trout a few years ago after testing it and finding it was breaking well before it's stated breaking strain. I use maxima ultra green for trout and find it to be good. It broke after it's stated breaking strain during testing. Still use seagaur fluoro for salmon though. Maybe the problem is with the smaller diameter fluorocarbon lines.

  8. #8
    Fullers Mill fluorocarbon not cheap never had many problems.

  9. #9
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    The spring salmon was even more weird as it broke at the knot attaching the fly to the line.
    It might be that the bit of line that you wet with your mouth when tying the knot wasn't wetted enough or wetted in the right place?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    It might be that the bit of line that you wet with your mouth when tying the knot wasn't wetted enough or wetted in the right place?
    +1
    i have had this happen to me when the knot has maybe not been wetted enough, or when the knot has not be tightened enough. Apparently the knot being pulled tight by the fish can cause friction which weakens the material.

    imhave used Seagar Flurocarbon for salmon trout and sea trout and not had many problems with it.

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