by Bob Jensen

I went fishing last week in eastern Wisconsin with smallmouth ace Mike Gottheardt. The wind was blowing and it was chilly. It felt more like hunting season, and for many outdoors-people it was. We heard frequent gunshots. A weather front was going through, and that can often create tough fishing. But when you're fishing for smallmouth, much of the time if you put a bait near a bass, they'll eat it. On this day, just like the frequent gunshots, we had frequent bites from bass. But, we needed to refine our presentation to get those bites. What I learned on that day will help me catch more fish in the future. If you put this information into play, you will too.

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In some situations, fluorocarbon will help you present a bait better, meaning you'll catch more fish.​

Down through the years I've had the opportunity to use a lot of different fishing lines. Monofilament line is what I've used the most of, followed by a variety of braided Super-Lines. Several years ago, I was introduced to a new line that was referred to as "Fluorocarbon". I tried it a couple of times and went back to the monos and braids. I reverted to the mono and braid for two reasons.

Reason #1: I am resistant to change. Much of the time I miss out on good stuff because I just don't like to change. I resisted computers and digital cameras for way too long. My reluctance to accept change has bitten me several times.

Reason #2, and the best reason why I didn't switch to fluorocarbon a few years ago, is because the product that I was introduced to wasn't very good. In fact, it was bad. Knot strength was unreliable and it didn't handle well. "If this is fluorocarbon, I don't want anything to do with it", I said to myself.

Then last week Mike introduced me to the fluorocarbon that he uses. It's called FC Sniper and it's made by Sunline. Mike's pretty straight forward with his likes and dislikes for stuff. When he told me this was good line, I believed him, but I still wanted to see for myself. Trust, but verify.

While we were waiting to get on the water, I spooled up with some twelve pound test FC Sniper. I tied on a jig and we went fishing.

The weather system had made the smallmouth a little skittish. We had to make long casts to get them to bite, and much of the time the bass would hit as soon as our jig touched the bottom. Due to the low stretch of fluorocarbon, we could feel the strikes easily, and we could also get good hooksets handily, much better than we could with monofilament line. And, it's nearly invisible underwater. That's three points for FC Sniper.

We were fishing around a lot of rocks, and snags were common. I put a lot of pressure on my line trying to get my jig out of those rocks. Knot strength and line strength were outstanding. You had to pull and pull and pull to get the jig out or break the line. This is reliable stuff. Line strength and knot strength: Two more good points.

Last selling point for me. This fluorocarbon casts very well. Initially I put too much line on my reel, like I always do. Once I took some off, casting performance was excellent.

I will still use mono and braid for some situations, but I know that I will be using a lot more fluorocarbon due to my experience with this one. You should consider doing so also.

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