Tackle Reviews

SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon Review

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Fluorocarbon fishing line isn’t the coolest or most attention-grabbing product on the market but it’s important to remember how important it is. You can have the best-looking bait, rod and reel on the market but if your line can’t deliver when you set the hook, it’s all completely worthless. It’s imperative to test different lines and choose the one that works best for your style of bass fishing.

To be honest, I didn’t quite know how to feel when SPRO came out with Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon. I’ve long been a fan of their very popular crankbaits, jerkbaits and frogs but I didn’t know what to expect with a new fishing line. I always tend to be a bit wary when established fishing brands begin branching out into entirely new product lines.

Fast-forward a few months and I’ve been fishing with this line quite a bit. Because it’s primarily designed for power-fishing techniques, I’ve done a lot of flipping and pitching with it and I’m telling you… it’s some legit fluoro.

I’ll run through what I’ve learned about this line so far.

(1 of 4)

You won’t have to worry about strength

SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon isn’t some wimpy budget brand that’s going to snap the first time you lay into a 5-pounder. I’ve tested plenty of those brands in my career and because of such experiences have decided to spend more money on my fishing line to avoid future heartbreak. It’s worth it, in my opinion.

I’ve been really impressed with the strength of this particular line, however. I’ve pitched it over the cross braces of wooden boat docks, around riprap and casted it into deep brush without any issues to speak of. When I set the hook, I have full confidence that this line is going to stand up to any punishment that comes its way.

It also features outstanding knot strength. As I’ve said before, I’m a Palomar knot guy; I rarely tie anything else because if it ain’t broke… I’m not going to fix it. I can confidently say that this SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon holds a knot excellently. I’ve purposely tried to break this line by executing aggressive, slack-line hooksets and I can’t really get it to break. Both the knot and the main line hold up excellently.

(2 of 4)

Smaller diameter than I expected

Most fluorocarbon lines feel fairly similar in regards to diameter; there hasn’t been a whole lot of change in that department in the past several years. This SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon, however, is noticeably thinner than many lines on the market. With the 20-pound test measuring just .0146 inches in diameter, I could certainly tell a difference on my first pitch.

It kind of made me raise an eyebrow. I pitched into a thick grass bed and right as I engaged my reel I said to myself, “There’s no way this is dang 20-pound fluorocarbon.”

Sure enough, it is and sure enough… it’s some tough stuff. I’ve really enjoyed the thinner diameter because I like to use 20-pound fluoro on the large majority of my shallow-water, power-fishing baits. When I’m staying shallow like that, line capacity isn’t a huge deal to me. But when I’m running down a bank and remember that there’s a nice brush pile nearby or a little ledge in 15 feet of water, I like that I can stay back and use this same line/lure/reel setup to bomb a jig or soft plastic towards it. The added line capacity this smaller diameter offers allows me a little more versatility in those types of situations. 

(3 of 4)

Very sensitive

I’m not sure if it’s the smaller diameter or some sort of manufacturing process of which I’m not aware but the SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon is impressively sensitive in a wide array of situations. Whether I’m fishing shallow water or casting to deeper structure as previously mentioned, I’ve been able to feel those lethargic summer bites with ease.

This has been especially helpful throughout the past few weeks because I’m getting most of my bites on the fall with a lightweight skirted jig. While I also make it a point to watch my line for any unnatural twitches as the jig falls, I’ve also been able to feel most of these bites while testing this line. 

(4 of 4)

Value anglers can appreciate

I’ve long said that I have a special appreciation for affordable bass fishing gear. It wasn’t long ago I was saving up just to buy a new spool of fishing line. With a lot of the newer gear these days leaning more towards the expensive side, it’s refreshing to see and test a new product that most anglers will be able to afford.

Starting at just $17.99 for a 164-yard spool, SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon offers outstanding value. Along with its affordability, its performance continues to impress me on the water. I think once anglers give this line a try, it’s going to become tough to find because of the repeat orders/purchases. For its price point, it’s a legit bass fishing line that should be taken seriously.

It’s available in 10-, 12-, 14-, 16- and 20-pound sizes with the 20-pound priced at $21.99 per 164-yard spool. In the future, I’d love to see a 25-pound test introduced for those super heavy-cover situations but for now, I think the available diameters cover just about anything a shallow-water guy like myself could ask for.

If I were you, I’d have no reservations when it comes to trying this line. It’s good stuff that comes from a good company with a reputation of quality. In my experiences fishing with it, I’ve developed a lot of confidence in it and whether you’re spooling up for a tournament or a day of pond fishing with the kids, I think you’ll appreciate the value this line represents.

SPRO Essential Series Gouken Fluorocarbon is available at the following retailers: