Whenever winter comes around I’m left with a dreaded decision as to when to put down the crankbaits and when to pick up the blades. At the same time, I previously was making the decision to put down the fluorocarbon and pick up the braided reels due to the change in baits. This winter has been different, with some encouragement from Josh, I put an order in for the new Daiwa Brave spinning fluorocarbon in 6lb for the purpose of blading through winter.
I don’t normally fish 6lb leader, let alone 6lb spinning fluorocarbon and to add to that, have always found that I am comfortable fishing lighter classes of spinning fluoro compared to leader in similar situations due to its strength. I find leader knots are a greater cause of failure, heartache and stress than breaking strain in many instances. I do feel that using mono provides a better connection due to having one less knot. So for me, to beef up my line class multiplied by the reduction in the chance of knot failure, I jumped into the deep end knowing that I had some serious pulling power.
The 6lb has allowed me the chance to overcome another factor of fluorocarbon that I don’t experience with crankbaiting but had previously struggled to overcome when blading. The stretch in fluoro will often scare anglers away due to the loss of feeling, whether it be the vibration of a bait or subtle bites, fluorocarbon does require more angler attention (stick with it, it’s worth the change).
Fishing 6lb is comparable to fishing braid as the heavier (than I normally fish) line transmits the vibrations, bumps and scrapes more effectively than some lighter classes, while still having enough of a buffer, through its stretch, to satisfy my concern of tearing hooks from the mouths of fish.
Fishing 6lb spinning fluorocarbon on spin reels in some respects is asking for trouble. The heavier the line, the more memory and stiffer it is, representing a challenge for estuary sized reels (2000 to 2500). Packing the line on the reel is no trouble when initially spooling up but after a couple of casts, traditionally the outer layers under the spool lip are loosely packed and are an invitation for the dreaded wind knot.
The Brave fluoro did give me plenty of confidence though, the soft line packed onto my 2500 Caldia really well and with only the slightest bit of attention, I’ve avoided wind knots. The 6lb option has provided a lot more confidence for me in winter and rigging up before a day’s fishing is a breeze because I don’t have to tie anymore leader knots.
The heavier line class has also afforded me better abrasion resistance, while the Brave fluoro means I haven’t had to compromise, as it has been soft and long lasting. This setup won’t exclusively be a winter setup, a suggestion from Steve Morgan to use 6lb fluoro when crankbaiting heavy structure will mean that all year round, I’ll have at least one reel ready to use this line.