By Terry Brown
Strictly from a fishing perspective, manufactures create fluorocarbon lines differently. Some are super strong but may be stiff, some are supple but may not be as strong and some have great abrasion properties but as a result may lose manageability. The best choice depends many times on the application. Plain and simple, when you buy fluorocarbon, you are going to spend some hard earned cash to get the properties you desire, so you can’t go cheap and expect great results.
The groundswell of fluorocarbon lines began a few years ago, and the choices are now endless and varied. Anglers were requesting a more invisible line. The result was fluorocarbon. Along with that came other properties like a line that sank, one with more abrasion resistance and less stretch for added sensitivity. But it's often more brittle and less manageable.
For the last few months, I have been testing Sunline’s Reaction FC. My choice was based in part in previous experience with Sunline Shooter and Sniper, but also because I was looking for a small diameter, colored line and they had the only one on the market. Coloring line is hot button topic on whether it makes the line more or less visible to the fish. What Sunline has concluded is the little bit of added color actually makes light less refractive on the line which is the main characteristic of fluorocarbon that makes it less visible than monofilament. So they cut the refraction down even further to actually make the line even less visible under the surface. The color blue being the first color that disappears under water.
I attended a Sunline media event and of course the pros did an outstanding job extolling the virtues of the line. Anglers like Russ Lane, Aaron Martens, Mike McClelland, Dave Wolak and Dean Rojas have honest reputations and have always told me the truth. That means a lot. If they use it and feel comfortable with the money they have at stake, then it should be fine for me and my weekend jackpot tournaments.
Sunline has done a great job with all of their pro staff and have chosen honest anglers who provide good feedback in developing better line technologies. They all have a reputation for honesty and will tell you the good, bad and the ugly about products. I take their opinions into account and use it as a evaluation criteria but honestly I have to garner my own opinion.
The first thing I noticed was Reaction FC has a bluish silver tint. The purple package is highly reflective so I had to take it out just to make sure. Typically, I pull 3 to 4 yards of the line off the spool and let it lie. I like to do that to check memory characteristics and also get a feel for diameter and line softness. You can gauge a lot from this first simple test about the line. Is it stiff, does it coil, does it feel smooth, will it lay on the reel evenly. Sunline Reaction FC was smooth straight and slick right off the filler spool.
Technique specific qualities
Reaction FC gives anglers a little more stretch for reaction baits while still having the abrasion resistance, added sensitivity and of course light refracting qualities you want in fluorocarbon. I have been using it exclusively for cranking. A deep-diving crankbait like the Spro Little John DD or Bomber Fat Free Shad combined with a 7-foot, 3-inch Duckett microguide rod and a Lews 6.4:1 reel casts like a rocket. I have been extremely pleased with distance and feel of this line for this technique.
I have been using 14-pound test but have some 12-pound tied on another combo as well. Both allow the bait to dive quickly, and it is a bit more forgiving, has more stretch than conventional fluoro, for baits like Red Eye Shad’s and square bills. Because of the small diameter of this line (.0112 inches on 14 pound) it is very important to adjust your reel before launching the first cast. It flows off the reel easily and lays on the reel equally well. The surface of the line is super slick. The few backlashes that I have encountered have pulled off easily and I have not noticed the line being compromised as a result.
I have used the same spool of Reaction FC the entire time and have not noticed any degradation or issues with strength. The stealth grayish blue color fools the fish well in clear water and this line casts extremely well on calm and windy days alike. The line loads well on a hard pulling crankbait and absorbs vicious strikes, even from larger predator fish like muskies. This is an excellent line for reaction baits and I recommend giving it a try.
It is available at Tackle Warehouse and retails for $21.99 for a 200 yard spool. Because you do not have to change it out as much, it is worth a little extra money.