I predominantly fish with fluorocarbon and occasionally with braid and with the release of the Daiwa Brave Fluorocarbon and many other brands of fluorocarbon with less line, many people have asked me about the 80m spools that the Brave is sold in compared to the 100 or 150m of line that other manufacturers offer.
Let me assure you, I have never got to the end of the spool when casting or fighting a fish but initially, I was pretty scared I’d get there. When you consider how far 80m is (4/5 of the length of the most popular sized footy fields), you consider that original thought as a bit ill-conceived.
Consider your High School maths, when you learnt about Pythagoras Theorem (a2+b2=c2), in 4m of water you’d need to make a cast of over 70m to get even close to the end of the line. Sure, there is the chance of hooking a fish once you cast that far and being spooled but when you can get a 70m cast out with a light tackle rod and setup, maybe you can start to think about it then.
When I spool my shallow spool reels (Daiwa reels sized 2004), the advantage is that I don’t need any backing but when I spool my deep spools (2000 and 2500s), I fill the spool till I can top-shot the same amount of line as the 2004s anyway, so has the same depth as the shallow spools.
Even with a relatively deep wind knot or tangle, you’ll still get through a day of fishing without too many hassles. One thing to remember is that if you do get a knot or use enough of the line, you’ll eventually have to re-spool.
Top shotting is something that is done on many bigger styles of reels and makes perfect sense for smaller reels too. There is no need to spool up with 100s of metres of braid or fluorocarbon and takes less time and less winding to get setup but will also hurt less when you reach into your wallet.
The other thing to remember, especially with fluorocarbon is that after several sessions in the sun, the fluorocarbon will begin to break down and get brittle, making the extra 50-70m of line you spooled up from the 150m spool a waste regardless.
Now when you do come across a trophy fish that is a bit bigger than the line class you’re fishing, don’t panic but you have to make a quick decision, either risk the spool of line on the slim possibility you’ll land your prize or grab your spool and bust off the fish (remember the line should break at the weakest link – your knots) and save your line. You can probably guess what I’d do, considering how comparably cheap fluorocarbon is compared to the possibility of a fish of a lifetime.