Exploring Around the Next Bend

This section is meant to encourage those who are searching for better methods to fool their favorite prey. It may be on flies, presentation, obtaining impossible drifts, casting methods, or rigging lines and leaders for special uses. As we come across articles and stories of special interest we will present them here. If you have a 'special' method which works for you, please feel free to send it to the publisher@flyanglersonline.com

September 3rd, 2007

Take Me To Your Leader
By Landon Mayer

Fluorocarbon, fluorocarbon, fluorocar-bon! Oh, did I mention fluorocarbon? From my perspective, fluorocarbon is the name of the game for leader and tippet material. I have been able to successfully fool and land more giant trout with fluorocarbon than with traditional extruded-nylon leader and tippet material. The advent of this material for fishing application during the 1990s was a huge bonus for me and all anglers who stalk smart and wary big fish in clear water.

Unlike regular nylon monofilament, fluorocarbon does not reflect light in the stream's surface and subsurface. Skittish fish are less likely to detect the angler's presence and presentation. Fluorocarbon is also extremely resistant to abrasion. This quality is invaluable when tussling with big fish around leader-grabbing snags. These two advantages have been the saving grace in many of my trophy trout encounters. Whether it is a huge brown dogging down trying to pull me around a rock or trying to fool a huge springtime bow into taking a size 20 midge, this material will allow you to rise to the challenge of catching the trout of your life.

An age-old "x" system is used to identify the diameter of monofilament or fluorocarbon. The larger the "x" designation, the smaller the diameter and lighter the material; the smaller the x, the heavier and larger the diameter. For example, Ix is normally 10-pound test and 5x is normally four-pound test. When hunting for trophy trout, I carry an assortment of 6x to Ox fluorocarbon leader and tippet material. In rigging up for most western freestone rivers and tailwaters, I use 6x to 4x material. These waters are typically small, clear, and full of big wary fish subjected to a parade of year-round pressure from anglers. The resident fish tend to be leader shy, so using fluorocarbon in this environment is an advantage. In contrast, many Midwestern rivers and waters in Alaska, a majority of the fish are migrating from large lakes or seas, where they have been subjected to little or no pressure from anglers, the relative lack of wariness permits the use of 4x to 2x tippets.

My advice is to carry leader and tippet material in a range of sizes and be sure it's new and it's fluorocarbon! With an assortment of sizes, you will be prepared for all types of fish and fishing conditions. ~ Landon Mayer

Credit: This excerpt on fluorocarbon is from the terrific book, How To Catch the Biggest Trout of Your Life by Landon Mayer. The book is packed with good, practical suggestions which really will help you catch big trout. Check out a review of it in our Book Review section HERE.

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