Seaguar fluorocabon is one of the top rated leader and hook-length materials on the American market. It’s available in the UK through UK Hooks, and Des Westmore has been putting the stuff to the test for quite some time.
Since fluorocarbon lines first came on the market, with all their claims of invisibility in water, I have tried a number of brands, both good and bad. Whilst I can’t say fluorocarbon always makes a difference, on the right day they certainly can, and most of the time, their use certainly doesn’t do any harm. There are two main instances when its use can be counter productive however. Being generally stiffer than mono of equivalent diameter and strength, some anglers, especially matchmen, report that softer nylon or copolymer hook lengths can out-fish it, especially when water clarity is not good. The other time fluorocarbon can let you down is when it inexplicably breaks due to a persistently common low shock tolerance, and this is the main problem that I have encountered.
Fluorocarbon lines can be hyper-critical of the knots you use and also of your techniques when knotting. Simple but strong knots with fewer coils, such as the Palomar or two turn uni-knot (the latter always in conjunction with two turns around the hook or swivel’s eye) are usually best. Wetting the knot and pulling up very slowly generally gets the job done. When I have rushed the job, I have had 20lb fluorocarbon snap like cotton when testing the trace after tying yet the same line, knotted with more care, will take anything you throw at it. Inconsistency like this does not breed confidence though.
This is where Seaguar comes in. I first came across this fluorocarbon when fishing in the USA about seven years ago. Since then, every angling guide I have fished with ‘over the pond’ has used Seaguar as his fluorocarbon of choice. The line is a 100% fluorocarbon line made from exclusive resins that are registered to Seaguar. The manufacturers claim this gives up to 25% more knot strength, higher abrasion resistance, and despite the fact that it absorbs no water at all, a faster sink rate. On top of all this, its refraction ratio is 1.42, only 0.09 different to that of water (nylon is typically 1.53 to 1.62). And finally, Seaguar is very resistant to cold temperatures and ultra-violet light.
Two years ago Mike Taylor, owner of UK Hooks decided to stock Seaguar. I have had some in various strengths in use ever since, and can report that it knots and performs very well indeed. The best thing about it is that you can treat it just like mono when making traces, apart that is, from not wanting to waste any because it isn’t cheap. I have tried all the breaking strains Mike stocks, from 15.4lb (7.0 kg) up to 125lb (56.8 kg), using only my usual practise of moistening the knot with saliva before pulling it up tight and can report no premature failures at the knot in fish, in snags or when testing the trace by hand.
Rigs and leaders
Situations it has been used in include use for traces float fishing for bass in the summer, bream fishing in the autumn and spring, cod and ray fishing in the winter and even a stint on holiday in San Diego where I used the 40lb (20kg) strength as leader material when fishing for yellowtail. In addition to using it as hook-lengths, I have used the 66lb strength as rig body when making paternoster bream rigs – I used T-swivels, which are crimped in position, to make these three hook rigs. The crimping did not create a noticeable weak spot, and the stiffness of the 66lb line produced a lovely tangle-free rig. And being fluorocarbon I harboured no worries that the bream may spot it. In all I can wholeheartedly recommend this line if you are in the market for a reliable, high performance fluorocarbon.
Seaguar’s price compares favourably with many other 100% fluorocarbon products. Prices are £11.34 for 50m of 15.4lb or 23.5lb, £14.74 for 50m of 30lb, 35lb, 44lb or 30m of 55lb, £14.00 for a 10m coil of 66lb whilst a 10m coil of 80lb or 125lb comes in at £18.00. Not cheap but this stuff is at the top notch won’t give out when it matters most.