The recent ICAST show in Orlando was loaded with new and improved products, which in some cases is the last thing I want to see. More times than once I have switched from my tried and true fishing item to the new and improved version only to be disappointed.
I found one product at ICAST 2014 that does have new characteristics that are beneficial to anglers. The newest chemistry of Trik Fish Fluorocarbon is something every angler needs to know about.
Fluorocarbon line has always been desired because of its relative invisibility and lack of stretch, but it has a reputation for being pricey, stiff and hard to tie. If those last three items were improved, most anglers would likely give fluorocarbon another look. Dave Burkhardt, Trik Fish president, was on hand at ICAST to educate folks on the many improvements in fluorocarbon technology.
Burkhardt has been selling fluorocarbon line in the U.S. and around the world for many years and understands the market as well as anyone. “There are many improvements in fluorocarbon that anglers should know about,” comments Burkhardt. “It is much easier to tie now, even in the heavier pound test lines, knots will hold and the line will maintain tensile strength. It has great abrasion resistance for leaders and fluorocarbon has a greater stealth factor than mono.”
Because the first fluorocarbon lines were harder and stiffer they had some knot holding issues. Especially in the heavier pound test line it was not uncommon to hear anglers complain of slipping knots. Trik Fish fluorocarbon, according to Burkhardt, is softer and more flexible, it ties easier and holds knots better.
Another feature of fluorocarbon is that it is twice as dense as mono. “Fluorocarbon is a closed cellular material and it weighs more than mono. If you take a very precise scale and weight the same diameter lines, the fluorocarbon weighs about 1.8 times the mono. At almost twice the weight the fluorocarbon sinks faster.” The faster sink rate helps get the bait in the strike zone quicker when needed.
“Density also relates to strength and resilience,” says Burkhardt. “The new fluorocarbon lines are soft and flexible, but they remain very dense and strong. That density translates to toughness as far as abrasion resistance is concerned.” Anglers fishing around heavy structure or simply targeting rough mouth fish like snook will benefit from the toughness delivered by fluorocarbon.
Experienced anglers know that some fish can be extremely leader shy. “Especially for the saltwater guy with the leader shy fish, fluorocarbon is the way to go,” says Burkhardt. “Gosh what a difference it makes. My personal experience with yellowtail and other leader shy fish shows the fluorocarbon bite ratio, versus the monofilament, to be over the top in favor of the fluorocarbon.” It is a matter of stealth and that is where fluorocarbon pays big dividends because it is less visible in the water than mono.
The pricing picture has also improved considerably with fluorocarbon over the last few years giving anglers a more economical choice. “The Trik Fish 25-yard leader reel dispenser comes in at a very competitive price compared to what it was several years ago,” states Burkhardt.
Add up the benefits of flexibility, stealth, abrasion resistance, less stretch, better knots and competitive pricing and serious anglers should agree that fluorocarbon does deserve a second look.