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
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
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.
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 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
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, transmiting
Does Fluorocarbon Grow On Trees?
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 materialsto
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?
From Japan’s Big Guns
Input from Japan’s best is
always considered in the advancements of bass lines.
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.
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
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.
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 Miyaza, 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”.
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