JK School of Higher Fishing Education Presents: The 4 line choices for Bass Fishing Part 3: Fluorocarbon

JK School of Higher Fishing Education Presents:
Bass Fishing Basic Course 100
Today’s Class is on:
The 4 line choices for Bass Fishing part 3 Fluorocarbon

Alright class everyone stretch their legs? Welcome back! We have covered Monofilament and Braid, now let’s delve into Fluorocarbon. The positives outweigh the very few negatives of floro, its clear under the surface, sinks, it’s very sensitive and has superior abrasion resistance. The cons are its price point, it’s up there, knot strength and memory are its major drawbacks but floro has a friend, more on this later. Let’s get to the gritty kitty.
Let us first talk some science; Fluorocarbon is an extruded line like mono, but, it’s made from polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF for short). Mono is made from nylon plastics, very small molecules that are very hard to align and pack together. PVDF on the other hand, has very large molecules that are much easier to align and can be packed very tightly together. Why is this important? Because the reason the issues that mono brings to the table are from its inability to become tightly packed and air fill the voids. Fluoro on the other hand does not have this issue, due to it being packed so tightly and stabilized it doesn’t allow any “air” to fill the voids. Making its low visibility, sink rate and strength a wonderful thing. But, the downside is that because the molecules are so tightly packed and aligned in a straight line, make its knot strength and memory an issue, sometimes.
Now that the science has been talked about let us get into the pros of Fluoro. First, its low under water visibility is a major factor. In clear water is where this shines as the light reflectivity becomes a significant issue with other lines, but because Fluoro is dense and doesn’t have “air” to allow light reflection this is a non-issue.
The next major advantage that floro has over other lines is its sinking ability. To be honest it is not that floro sinks, its more along the lines that floro isn’t buoyant. This is important to understand, as it doesn’t want to float, nor does it really want to sink means that when using a bait like a jerk bait in the wintertime where you want that bait to basically sit and not move, floro is the key to this. This also means that it should be used whenever your bait or presentation is below the surface, and the exceptions to this are few. This non-buoyancy is why floro is so sensitive, no bow in the line means that there is a straight line from the bait to the rod tip and is one of the reasons that if you use floro as a leader on braid (and have recommended this in the first class; The 4 rods you need to start kayak bass fishing) you need to use enough leader to keep the braid from being IN the water, if possible. Now if you’re in 30 ft. of water then trying to keep the braid out of the water isn’t going to be worth it and will be best to use straight floro. The image will give you a breakdown on how to find the length needed:

The sensitivity that floro gives you as mentioned earlier is due to its direct line and how it’s made. Floro being as dense as it is, transmits what the bait is doing very efficiently. Therefore, it is used when feel is very important, the feel of the bottom as well as the action of the bait. For example; when fishing a vibrating jig, you will feel the blade shake back and forth, but when it isn’t moving you will feel it immediately, allowing you to snap the rod to get the obstruction off. Many times, you will snap that rod and find out that a bass has eaten the bait and you would have never known if not feeling the vibration deaden.

The abrasion resistance is all about the way it’s made. Again, due to its denseness as well as the properties of PVDF making it very smooth make it able to handle a good amount of abuse before it breaks. Now floro is special in that many of the diverse styles out there that it doesn’t need a “coating” all the previous lines are usually given an outer layer coat to either make them more supple, stronger, or to give the line a color. That fraying you feel on your line is often that outer layer breaking up or getting nicked, and many times that outer coating is where the true strength of the line is coming from. With many floros’ out there being non-coated means that when you feel a fray or nick it doesn’t mean the end of the line. (but for consistencies sake you need to address it) leaving you the ability to keep fishing nor worry if that big ole bass is in the nastiest brush pile, that you are going to get her out.
What about that friend? Ah yes, the friend to floro, but first let’s look at knot strength, one of the biggest “cons” of floro. Floro for all its greatness has a huge weakness and its line burning. When tightening a knot with floro and mono as well, will create friction, friction creates heat and will change the molecular alignment of the line, hence why it will curl and twist where the knot traveled. When floro is made, it is heated, stretched, rolled and cooled to align and “temper” the molecular alignment. This is completed using very small temperature changes, so imagine the amount of temp change you are using when you crank down on that knot. The second issue is something we haven’t talked about and that’s floros lack of cross strength. Imagine that the molecules on floro to be like those of a can. Cans of food are insanely strong if you push on the top of the can, but, if you dent the side of the can then put a force on it again you will find that the can will buckle. Same thing with floro, if you can keep from denting the side of the “can” you can keep the knot as strong as the line. (an upcoming class will breakdown the 4 knots you need)
The Friend? Okay, okay. The friend of floro is line conditioner. Again, using the can reference, if you take a stack of cans and try to bend them without something to support the stack of cans they don’t want to bend, right. But if you, let’s say wrap the stack in plastic wrap then try and bend them the stack will bend. That is what line conditioner does, as well as makes the molecules “relax” making the line feel softer allowing for better casts and now that the line has a little extra protection will keep it from fraying. There are a lot of line conditioners on the market, find one you like and keep it in your pocket, a few sprays every so often when you notice the line becoming stiff will help to keep things just like when you spooled the reel.
Floro on bait casters is only natural, but, on spinning setups can be an issue, thanks to line twist. We discussed line twist earlier in the braid segment. The main difference between the two is that braids issue is that its softness makes the line build up loosely while not under tension. But with floro, you still want to only reel in the line under tension as it is just good practice, but the reel issue is line twist. There are as many factors in line twist as there are bodies of water. So, we are going to list the reasons:
• The lure or weight spinning on the retrieve-this is the biggest cause of line twist, and the easiest way to fix it this is to add a very small ball bearing swivel above the bait. NO OTHER SWIVEL WILL DO, do not try and go cheap on this. Another way is to just hold the lure off the rod tip and let it spin the twist out. This is not as effective.
• Manually closing the bail-self-explanatory, close the bail with your free hand, do not use the auto bail closing mechanism otherwise you will have a ton of twist. Also, this makes for certain that the line is seated onto the Roller on the bail.
• Bad roller on the bail- this is something overlooked and is simple to diagnose but can twist your line quick, fast, and in a hurry. All you need to do is take a sharpie to the roller on the bail making a reference mark. (if you don’t know where it is, look at the schematics for the reel, but in reference its where the line is seated on the bail as it is spun onto the spool) after that mark is made then go ahead and just spin the roller like you would a bait caster, it should spin freely, if it doesn’t then add some oil or grease. If that doesn’t work then have the reel serviced.
Those are the top 3 reasons for line twist and their remedies. With some careful consideration and planning of time you can keep all your lines from twisting on spinning reels. Floro is the perfect choice if you are just starting off in the bass game as its no stretch, and low visibility under the surface and eliminate negative factors. If you keep the things in this last class in mind it will last you a long time and help you land a lot of fish!

With that class we are almost done, so let’s take another quick break and when we come back we will delve into Co-polymer lines. Meet back here in 15 minutes. See you in a bit.

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