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P.V.D.F.  Japan’s Edge by David Swendseid


Whether it’s 200 hundred dollar reels, fifteen-dollar jerkbaits or, fifty thousand dollar bass boats, tournament anglers are ever-seeking an edge over the bass they pursue.  If you are willing to pay for good technology, you will benefit.


Bass Angler’s Guide got a rare opportunity to “talk shop” with TORAY, one of Japan’s top fluorocarbon extruders and their distributor, Blackwater International, also creator of Shock Leader and Hollow braid to the US.  On the JB circuit (Japanese professional bass circuit), Toray is known as one the most technically advanced line companies in Japan. With fluorocarbon introduced to the US fairly recently, anglers are slowly becoming students of PVDF.   However, Toray is not the only Fluorocarbon company. Companies like , Varivas, Sunline and Khureha (Seagaur Japan) have line products widely used by the Japanese bass professionals


In 1971, a stark discovery came to the surface. Poly-vinyl-i-dene Fluoride technology was put into production by the Khureha Chemical Company of Tokyo, Japan.  Although the first P.V.D.F. application was only leader construction, it was the first time a filament of this type was used for fishing.  What followed shortly was the refinement of fluorocarbon as line for reel applications.


The company Toray was founded in 1921 as a producer of viscose rayon and quickly became a world leader in fiber, textile, plastics and other chemical technologies.  Today it is the world largest producer of carbon fiber and global leader of nano-technology (the study of controlling matter on a molecular or atomic scale to create stronger and lighter structures). To bring a little insight to what we are talking about… think about it like this….   Atoms are below a nanometer where as molecules range from about 1 nanometer and up.  This gives technicians the ability to manipulate molecules to precision and to have remarkable strength in relation to size.


Toray began building fishing lines in 1941. Forty-four years later Toray introduced fluorocarbon and by the early 90’s it developed the first fluorocarbon actually designed for lure and spinning application.



Two-time Japan largemouth record holder, Manabu Kurita has been using Toray line for years. An interesting fact, Manabu isn’t endorsed or sponsored by the extruder, maybe a true testament to high-end fluorocarbon all together. Recently Kurita’s world record largemouth was accepted by IGFA (an official WORLD RECORD-tie).









So What Is PVDF?


PVDF’s full name is Poly-vinyl-i-dene Fluoride, commonly called Fluorocarbon.  Fluorocarbon’s chemical structure comes from Carbon, Hydrogen, and Fluoride.  It is part of the Fluoropolymer family and has many applications.  The properties of Fluorocarbon make it extremely durable, resistant to solvents, acids, smoke and variances in temperatures (especially extreme cold).   Fluorocarbon not only is thermally stable, it has a high heat deflection and unaffected by UV and Gamma radiation.  This makes it excellent for creating protective barriers of insulation, membranes, coatings, or linings.


In a powder form Fluorocarbon has been used in expensive paints to create high gloss durability.  Fluorocarbon can be injected, molded, extruded, sprayed and welded. It is also used in biochemistry in a technique called protein immunoblot where proteins are transferred to a PVDF membrane for antibody detection.


So what does all that have to do with fishing?  Because fluorocarbon is a strong, dense, pliable material with excellent resistance to chemicals, and abrasion, it’s a natural for line application.


Fluorocarbon Line Advantages


Low Optical Density


Compared to nylon, a high quality fluorocarbon has distinct advantages.  It is the only line material presently with a refractive index closest to water, meaning it is a closer match to the clarity of water.  This has immense benefits to stealth fishing, thereby helping an angler get more bites.  Don’t believe it?  Pure Fishing debated entering the fluorocarbon market. One convincing study they cited was a line test in which they attempted to determine if fluorocarbon was more transparent than other lines.  Their researchers were under the same consensus that to the human eye, fluorocarbon looked as transparent as nylon lines.  Their test proved otherwise. They hung strands of monofilament and fluorocarbon lines in a large aquarium and monitored how often fish ran into each line. The researchers were astonished to discover that over a lengthy duration more fish more often bumped into the fluorocarbon. Since then there have been other convincing side-by-side trials.


Surface Structure & Longevity


Another clear (no pun intended) advantage is the apparent harder shell of pure PVDF.  Fluorocarbon is designed to resists abrasion better than nylon.  PVDF lines have denser surfaces and do not absorb water or light, where as nylon structures degrade, especially over time when exposed to moisture, sunlight and heat.  In a recent interview with B.A.S.S. Elite professional, Yusuke Miyazaki identified “longevity” as an important consideration when choosing a line. “I fish many days per year… before fluorocarbon, I had to change line each tournament day.  If you have high quality fluorocarbon line you will keep your line on your reels longer” said Yusuke. Yusuke has seen his professional peers change out their line every night during a tournament. TackleTour.com who conducts product reviews spoke of benefits to PVDF line. In one product study they use the same spool of Japanese fluorocarbon (Upgrade) for nearly a year



Specific Gravity Increases Sensitivity


Professional anglers have caught on to fluorocarbon’s sensitivity.  This is due, in part to the hardness and density of the material. In fact, PVDF nearly weighs twice as much as nylon.  This allows angler to fish his bait deeper faster.  Its density also attributes to its ability to have better elongation at lower tension, transmitting vibration better.



Does Fluorocarbon Grow On Trees?


Granules, Hopper& Extrusion


Toray specialists report the integrity of a high end more expensive PVDF line begins with the integrity and selection of the raw materials.


To get what we call fluorocarbon fishing line, a process called extrusion takes place.

 The company’s resin is made in pellet form, mixed with proprietary raw materials  to create batching. Each company has their own recipe of raw materials to produce their specific strengths ratios, particulate clarity, and manipulation parameters. These batches go through evaporation, into a melter at a certain consistency then through a tool and dye at the specified circumference and specified stretch, finally cooled fairly quickly on cooling flats.  The line is place on to giant spools and in some cases eventually precision wound for better protection against line impressions or crush zones.


 There are approximately five resin manufacturers (Kureha, Daikin, Atonfina, Solvay, and 3M Corporation) and about 10 extruders (Kuraray, Kureha, Duel, Unplass, Sunline, Unitika, Toray, Rhombic, Pure Fishing and Monfile-trechink) globally. Believe it or not, your fluorocarbon formulas and lines most likely come from one of these entities. With 35 plus labels selling domestically you can see how fancy marketing can mislead the angler.  Second, be assured, your private label line is not going to be of the same generation as the original manufactures.  Recent tests have shown a difference between the expensive lines and lines specifically designed to for the budget minded.



Are There Really Differences Between Lines?



Professional Help From Japan’s Big Guns


Input from Japan’s best is always considered in the advancements of bass lines.

Japanese Professional, Katsutaka IMAE, is considered Japan’s most decorated tour professional and has captured nearly every award a pro-angler could capture in Japan.  Some say shortly after his birth in 1964 he was bassfishing.  He is considered a technical expert in line management and tournament presentations and is consulted on Toray’s line advancements. 


Toray also seeks consultation from the man who was credited with inventing drop shotting (Tsunikichi Rig); now a global presentation, Haruhiko Murakami is a light-line expert.  His expertise obviously found favor in the USA. From Aaron Martin to Zell Rowland, B.A.S.S. and FLW pros have been employing the drop shot technique for nearly 20 years.


Yusuke Miyazaki, a Japanese pro now fishing in the US has become a B.A.S.S. Elite Tour regular purported Japanese fluoros receive regular assessment for the purpose of advancement.


Discrepancies in line integrity and manageability varies significantly between company brands and can even vary with in a company, said the US distributor of Toray.  As we know fluorocarbon is different from nylons but differences between other fluoro manufactures comes from selection processes (the quality of raw materials), advances in technology and stringent manufacturing. “Some companies offer two types of fluoro (commonly, a leader and mainline).  While another manufacture may offer a series of technique specific lines, catering to the angler who faces multiple fishing scenarios,” said Mr. Kuroye


Additional Benefits of PVDF


Surface Tension


Diameter and density affect line and lure performance.   Water is a dense medium, actually significant barrier to material like nylon.  Lines that are slower to penetrate the surface tension of water are also slower to descend through the barrier.  A quick observational study is to cut 2-inch lengths of nylon and fluorocarbon, carefully place them flat on top of water, you will discover both lengths will float, not breaking the water’s surface (a.k.a. surface tension). Turn the lines on end and they will continue to float (vertically).  However, push lengths below the surface and both sink, but at distinctive rates.  The fluorocarbon sinks nearly twice as fast as the nylon (diameter has little to do with it).  Whether you cut 4 lb. test or 12 lb. test lengths, the fluorocarbon sinks faster than (for example) 8 lb. nylon.  How does this translate into better angling?  Your bait descends deeper quicker with faster sinking line. 


Fluorocarbon is more effective at breaching water tension, making a great difference when cranking, drop shotting, and ripping.  Lighter density lines float, suspend, or slowly sink, causing trouble with strike detection.  When making long casts, nylon line tends to float, creating a belly in the line.  This “bowing” of line can cause latent reaction times to strike detection.






A Pro’s Edge


US anglers have spoken (historically) about the importance fluorocarbon has to their game.


 Yusuke Miyazaki, has reeled in over 34 top 50 finishes and most of those successes coming from using fluorocarbon.  Yusuke strongly recommends, “When studying fluorocarbon you must understand the important relationship between raw material quality and stringent production assurances. Not every manufacture will endure the expenses or cost to complete this.  Even today, PVDF is an expensive material to produce. You will feel more comfortable fishing fluorocarbon designed for balance and longevity”.


Fluorocarbon advancements of today give us more options.  With high-end 100% fluoro you change lines less, gain sensitivity and provide stealthier presentations. In addition, you now can fish deeper (faster) with smaller diameters without increasing elongation. Enough evidence is out there showing technically advanced line development can now provide an edge to all anglers.









By: Jeff Miller


This is a bait that I call the fish finder. Rather than just catching fish it does one of the most important things in fishing and that is it finds them!

A jerkbait is my number 1 bait in the early spring(pre-spawn) to early summer(post-spawn) to find either a solo fish or better yet WAD’S of fish. For this time of the year I believe a hard jerkbait is the best search tool in the tacklebox as long as the water clarity is clear or semi clear meaning at least 3 foot of visibility. There are hundreds of different sizes, colors, and styles of hard jerkbaits to choose from but I believe the best thing you can do is try the old saying “match the hatch”. What I mean is to know the forage that the bass is eating rather it be a largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass you might be targeting on the body of water that you are fishing.  For example in the Great Lakes I would be trying to match in size and color of a perch, spot-tail minnow or alewive pending on what time of the year it is. On inland reservoirs I would try to throw a jerkbait that might resemble a bluegill/sunfish, gizzard shad or a blue herring.


Colors and Styles


With so many different manufactures and different colors on the market where do you start? First and foremost I want a jerkbait that I can cast a long distance even with wind in my face. What I mean by this is a want a jerkbait that has a internal weight system on the interior of the bait. Small lead, steel, or brass beads that slide in the bait from the tail of the bait during the cast and then slide back to the center of the bait for level buoyancy when working it in the water. Almost all of the JDM jerkbaits on the market today have this weight system. The jerkbait that I chose for early in the season when water temps are in the mid 40’s would be a Lucky Craft Staysee 90. This jerkbait has a long bill and dives anywhere from 6 to 10 foot depending the line size you might be using. When working this jerkbait I will be pulling then pausing for at least 6 seconds with the rod rather than jerking it violently like I would when the water warms up. The colors that I try to stick with at this time of the year and this bait are nishiki, chartreuse shad, and wakasagi pending on water clarity. When the water warms up in the mid 50 degree mark I reach for a Megabass x-80 trick darter and a Lucky Craft pt. 78. These little 3 and 4 inch baits have a ton of action and really match’s the hatch when bass are defending their territory for the spawn. The retrieve for these baits I like to use is a snap, snap, pause for 3 seconds than snap again. Not only do these baits catch them but it really shows you where they are! With all the colors for these baits I try to stick with a few that I have confidence in.  For Megabass x-80 I like Cosmic shad, Ayu and Hachiro Reaction which is a crazy color but it just seems to work at this time of the year. For the Lucky Craft Pointer 78 I prefer Bluegill, Aurora Black, and Perch. After the spawn is complete there are two jerkbaits that I rely on very heavy. These two baits are a Lucky Craft pt. 100 and a Megabass Vision 110. The way I work these baits is usually very fast. I am trying to draw a reaction strike from the fish or more or less piss them off! With the Megabass vision 110 there is a whole lot of snapping and jerkn’ going on during the retrieve and with the LC pt. 100 there will be a snap, snap, snap, then pause for 3 seconds before starting the snapping process again. The colors I like on the LC pt. 100 are Ghost Minnow and Chartreuse Shad. For the Megabass vision 110 it hard to beat French Pearl and Pro Blue.




The action of rod that I prefer to use on these jerkbaits is a medium for the larger jerkbaits and a medium light for the smaller jerkbaits. Both of these rods I want a soft and forgiving tip. The reason for this is so I do not lose fish. I might work a little more snapping the jerkbaits but it is worth it when you don’t lose fish. It does not matter on spinning or baitcasting rods which ever you are more comfortable with. The line I chose for jerkbaiting is usually Seaguar fluorocarbon in 10lb. I will throw 8lb. test with the Luckycraft Staysee 90 just to get it a little deeper if necessary. The reason for using a fluorocarbon line instead of monofilament is the sensitivity, very little stretch and a little more depth.


A jerkbait is a tool that is used not only to catch them but also to find them which sometimes is the hardest thing to do in fishing!

Is there ever enough time?

By Mark Lassagne

Is there ever enough time, what  if I had another 30 minutes I would have had a limit. “We’ve all been there.” Or “They were just starting to bite and I had to leave” What if you could have another 30 minutes or more, each and every time you’re on the water? It’s easier than you might think and “THINK YOU MUST”. Bass fishing is a thinking man’s (or Women’s) game, it’s a puzzle and the first one who puts the pieces together first wins.

Here’s the time crunchier for most anglers, “CHANGING LURES”, you say “yea so” everybody has to change lures. On the average you will change lures 10 to 30 times a day. Three times each hour times 8 hours, is 24 lure changes and that is every 20 minutes. Ten times is a little more than one per hour. Do you see where were going if you can cut down the number if times you change baits or speed up the time it takes to change baits we have gained time.

We may not be able to change the number of times we change baits but we can speed up the process. I have invented “kinda” this new state of the art lure changer that will change your lure in less than half time. Can you imagine how much time this is in an average day? During several Bass Master Events I have literally watched an angler take five or more minutes to find and replace a lure not just once but several times throughout the day.

If they used my lure changer method they could have had an extra 10, 20, 50 minutes more, during an event. During those Bass master days I wasn’t sharing my secret; they were competitors and beside it amazed me how much time they wasted. Not that I’m bad guy but…. picture this, Were fishing pro on pro in a BASS event, the other guy in the boat is looking up from their tackle box asking “hey Mark how about this one”? I would reply do you have a chartreuse one or one with different blades or anything to keep them digging and me fishing. Sometimes I would laugh..ok maybe it wasn’t nice but if you were there watching you’d think it was funny too.

Imagine this…. You’re fishing, going down the bank and not getting bit, thinking you want to change lures. But wait, before you sit down in your boat and rifle thorough your hundreds of lures “STOP”. Not for very long because we are saving time. Now just think what lure you want to change to and then where that lure is in your boat. This will save you tons of time read on…….. Now change the bait but only in your mind, pretend you’re fishing it; see how it feels work it along the bank and see if it’s the one you want. Say your cranking Jackal CR60 down a rock wall and you want to switch up to a Pepper Clear Water Elite Spinner bait see the bait in your boat pull it out tie it on (in your mind), try it for a few casts an see if you like it. Sounds sort of freaky but it really works. If that one doesn’t work try another bait all the while your crankbait is still working and you didn’t burn up valuable time scrounging through your tackle.  Once you find the bait you want remember where it is got there and tie it on for real. Give it a try, save some time and catch more fish!

Mark Lassagne

See more and learn more with articles like this in the BASS ANGLER Magazine, order a copy or subscribe today at Bass Angler Magazine.

The Strike Zone Slammer 

Mark Kulik of Bolton, Ontario, has been designing his own goby variation for a number of years. He prefers to call his flagship product, the Slammer, a “goby hybrid,” however, because in a way it is a generic bait, the size and shape of which bass across the country respond to. “When I designed it, I wanted it to look like a goby if you are fishing goby water, but also look enough like a perch if you are fishing lake Champlain and to look like other fish bass feed on elsewhere,” explained Kulik. 
What makes Kulik’s “one look-fits-all” description make sense is a conversation we had with a bass researcher a couple of years ago. He mentioned that a four-inch Tootsie Roll-style prototype had proven amazingly effective to bass in his lab tanks. “But what fisherman is going to buy a Tootsie Roll?” he said. He modified his prototypes so that they caught fishermen without losing their appeal to the fish, and his baits have gone on to success since. 
But the Strike Zone Slammer goes far beyond Tootsie Roll appeal. Kulik has added tantalizing action with a large head that tapers down through a supple segmented body to a flattened paddletail. The soft material and design give the bait quivering, lifelike movement even with little or no motion administered by the angler. 
The salt-impregnated Slammer comes in 35 tantalizing colors, many of which Lee’s Global Tackle has in current stock. 
The bait is best used on a dropshot rig. Kulik uses an Owner Octopus #1 hook when he nose-hooks the Slammer. An Owner Down Shot 2/0 light wire hook is his choice when conditions call for a weedless Texas-rigged bait. A Buffalo-area angler caught a 7.7 –pound smallmouth on Lake Erie while fishing the Slammer on a jighead
Word of the Strike Zone Slammer’s effectiveness has been spreading through bass ranks slowly but surely. (The company has done no advertising to date.) The only thing holding it back is the fact that few guys raking in the bucks care to share their secret.