The Benefits of Fluorocarbon Leader for Fly Fishing
When it comes to catching tricky fish on the likes of Menteith, Rutland or Chew, I believe that refining your tackle, thinking a little deeper about your choice of fly line, and the diameter of your fluorocarbon leader can make all the difference.
It’s not uncommon for a fish to be caught several times over the course of its lifetime, however, each time the fish is caught it becomes a little wiser and harder to tempt the next time. You see competition anglers adjusting to this usually in the form of fly choice. A classic example is to tone down the colour of blob to more washed-out looking patterns that appear less spooky to them. I believe this is such a large factor in modern-day fishing and have decided to develop a range of fly lines to be as ‘spook free’ as possible to the pressured and resident fish, and I’m 100% sure this has had a noticeable impact on my fishing.
During the past several years in fly fishing, I have noticed over time the size of stocked fish seems to have crept up and the amount of catch and release practised on almost all venues whether stocked or wild waters has jumped significantly. What this basically means for the angler especially on stocked waters is there are now larger and more spooky fish than ever.
A huge factor in tempting these fish must be in our choice of fluorocarbon. For me, the fly, leader, and fly line is where the rubber meets the road, if we get this trio right, inevitably we will be more successful on the water and hopefully manage to tempt the larger resident fish as well as the freshly stocked fish.
I am fortunate to have had access to Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon Leader since before it was launched. Almost three years down the line I still find myself using it for the majority of my fishing. I guess over time you build trust in a product and with that trust, confidence grows. I predominantly use the 0.196 and occasionally the 0.235 when I’m experiencing lots of double hookups or fishing for seatrout and grilse. So why do I use the 0.196 Masterclass so much? For me it combines a lot of properties critical for modern-day stillwater fishing.
The 0.196 offers huge strength versus diameter, it’s the perfect balance to deal with most eventualities on the water. Let me explain, the 0.196 offers superb sight free and most important spook free properties at this relatively thin diameter fluorocarbon leader. The strength is superb and under testing, it has proven itself stronger than other fluorocarbon leader that claim a higher breaking strain and are thicker in diameter. Coupled with the size and strength the material is very clear indeed. It vanishes in the clearest of water and is not affected by strong sunlight reflecting off it. Another feature that’s critical in a fluorocarbon is the suppleness, too supple and the droppers just spin round the cast, to rigid and the flies act artificially in the water. For stillwater fishing, the Masterclass has reached this nice balance. The material has also proven very abrasion resistant standing up to being stood on in the boat and dragged along the boat keel while playing large fish.
So have a little think about the tackle that hits the water, in essence, the tackle the fish are exposed to. Correct fly choice, leader and fly line will make a huge difference which is only magnified when we fish for those wiser fish.