It’s the time of year for me when the spools of braid tend to get put back into the cupboard (unless I’m fishing topwaters), and the spools of fluorocarbon get pride of place on my reels. Summertime crankbaiting is my favourite technique. Do a search of this site, and you’ll find countless articles about the technique and all its intricacies.
Over the last 5 or so years I’ve used quite a number of different fluorocarbon lines. All of them in the 3 and 4lb class, and let me tell you, the quality of the lines out there can vary greatly.
For the last two and a half years, I’ve been using Daiwa Finesse Brave Fluorocarbon line in 3lb & 4lb.
When testing a line or trialing a new one, it can take a while to be able to make a good assessment of it if you aren’t using it regularly. Given that I fish with spinning fluorocarbon line a lot! In fact, maybe 80-90% of the time through the spring, summer and autumn, I can make a pretty good assessment of a line quite quickly under those conditions.
Initially the Daiwa Brave felt quite supple, and cast extremely well, which is a fairly major consideration when choosing a spinning fluorocarbon line. Rigid, brittle or “springy” line can cause fairly major line management issues that result in unwanted knots, birds nests and ultimately extra expense to respool your reels. Supple line, with minimal memory on the other hand, will flow off the reel more smoothly, aiding casting distance and minimizing frustrating line management issues.
From a technological viewpoint I’ve been happy with the Daiwa Brave because it maintains its clear appearance for longer than some other brands. All fluorocarbon lines will go white over time as a result of abrasion and exposure to heat but the Daiwa Brave seems to be more resistant to this. Why is this important? Fishing with Fluorocarbon is a finesse technique. The way I fish, the line needs to remain clear, so that it is not easily detectable by the fish, because it is fished parallel to the structure. This is one of the reasons I don’t fish braid in these circumstances, because it is highly visible.
Fluorocarbon line that has gone white through abrasion and heat exposure, is not only more visible, but likely it will have lost some of it’s integrity and strength also.
The Daiwa Brave maintains it abrasion resistance and good knot strength, even after prolonged use. Even still, it’s a good habit to get into to check your line regularly during a fishing session. Running your lure parallel to structure, over and around snags and rocks will eventually take its toll on your line with nicks and cuts becoming evident over time. Detecting damage to your line is easy, and doesn’t take long. I run the last meter or 2 of my line through my fingers, and if it doesn’t feel smooth, I cut it off, and retie my lure.
As I’ve already mentioned, fluorocarbon line is important to my style of fishing from a “visibility” point of view – it prevents the line from being detected by the fish and is a great option when finesse tactics are required Just as importantly though, Fluorocarbon line is critical when fishing for Bream using small hard body lures that have small, fine gauge trebles.
Bream have hard mouths, so the fluorocarbon line is an important factor in hooking these wary fish, and keeping the hooks in during the fight. Armed with the correct rod, that loads slowly, the stretch in the line avoids pulling the small hooks out of the fishes mouth during hookup, and cushions the trebles against surges and lunges from the fish during the fight.
The Daiwa Brave Fluorocarbon has been reliable, quite durable, with good knot strength, supple and it casts very well.