Mention fluorocarbon to many sea anglers and price-wise, compared to mono, it’s a red rag to a bull. We’ve never understood this as fluorocarbon, used correctly, offers massive advantages over plain mono putting it in a category of its own, plus it’s a much tougher line generally, so lasts much longer negating much of the extra cost. Mention fluorocarbon as a mainline and the roof comes off! Fact is, fluorocarbon is a serious contender in specific sea fishing situations and should not be ignored. Here, we take a look at a new fluorocarbon from Berkley, Connect CF600.
We first came across Berkeley’s Connect CF600 Fluorocarbon, which is a 100% PVDF high-grade fluorocarbon, when we used it for carp fishing, but quickly realised its obvious advantages as a mainline when close to medium range bass fishing with bait over rough ground, fishing close to medium range in estuaries, and when boat uptide fishing and trolling for bass and pollack. So, what does this fluorocarbon offer us?
One of the issues with fluorocarbon as a main line in the past is its stiffer nature compared to mono. It was prone to throwing big uncontrollable loops off the reel spool during the cast with the butt ring struggling to control the build-up causing fraps, line knots and breakages in the worst cases. This is a thing of the past with the CF600 as it proves surprisingly soft and easy natured especially when it’s been fished with a couple of times. You can begin bedding the line in initially by getting someone to hold the end and running off the first 75yds or so, then stretching it gently a few times. When you retrieve the line back on to the reel it helps it bed in and cast better. This improves further as you fish with the line a few times, too.
Many anglers also have knot troubles with fluorocarbon. The knack is not to use strangle knots such as the Tucked Half-blood Knot. A much more reliable knot is the simple and quick 4 or 5-turn Grinner. Use this as a direct knot to swivels, lures etc, and you won’t go far wrong. To be honest, we sometimes forget and use a Tucked Half-blood without issues, but it is important to fully wet the knot and draw it gently together. Don’t snap the knot shut as this causes heat friction, which is obviously an issue, but this applies to mono, too, and is just bad knot tying.
For rough ground bassing at close to medium range, say up to 70 yds, the Berkley Connect CF600 really comes in to its own. Firstly, the line is nearly invisible in water, so when you’re targeting bass in shallow water close in, it’s much harder for them to see the line and spook. Ask any experienced rough ground bass angler, and he’ll tell you this is a major issue and can cost you a lot of fish.
Secondly, a fluorocarbon is a heavier density than mono, so sinks better and this especially applies to CF600 which has a very rapid sink rate. This helps get the line down fully in the water reducing the visual effect again, but also reducing the amount of weed a line can pick up in difficult conditions.
Thirdly, fluorocarbon has way less stretch than mono has. It will stretch under very heavy pressure but tends to initially stretch a little then lock up, so bite detection, especially at medium range is far better, but also better generally. Fish fluorocarbon and you’ll feel every little twitch and touch on the bait before the rod tip hammers over giving you plenty of pre warning a bass bite is imminent.
And fourthly, fluorocarbon has much better abrasion resistance than both mono and braid. Get a nick in mono, then put the mono under heavy stretch and it is likely to part as the wound opens up. This is far less likely to happen with the fluorocarbon. The hard surface of the CF600 helps to reduce the effect of nicks and scratches and keeps the line stronger for far longer.
Berkley Connect CF600 fishing and casting ability
We chose the 11.3 kg Berkley Connect CF600 Fluorocarbon for our rough ground bassing loading it onto ABU 6500 reels, and just for the record, this is really rough ground. The diameter of this near 25lb breaking strain line is only 0.38 mm, so there’s plenty of line on the reels, plus you’re generally not casting very far anyway, but the line is also more than strong enough to cope with casting lead weights up to 2.5ozs meaning you can do away with a light shock leader reducing the visual effect and reducing weed collecting on the leader knot.
The line casts really well off the multiplier. It is slightly noisier than mono through the rings due to the harder surface area of the line, but it’s not really noticeable unless you’re listening for it. Once the line has been used a couple of times, we were casting 75yds plus without any issues debunking the myth that fluorocarbon is poor for casting.
The line was also used on fixed spool reels, and again we had no issues with it at all, once it had been stretched and bedded in properly. In fact, we also took this line uptiding off a boat and found it excellent as it sinks so fast, and again you’re only casting short distances then letting some line off. Bite detection is excellent, too, plus you have full control over the fish when you’re pulling them back against the tide. It offers a great alternative to braid but has way better abrasion resistance.
In addition to the above, we’ve also fished the lighter 7.00 kg CF600 rated at 15lb breaking strain but with a 0.30 mm diameter on smaller 4000 fixed spool reels used for plug fishing and spinning for bass. Again, no issues at all, and we really rate this line as one of the best around.
As ever, a quick look online revealed that you find Berkley Connect CF600 Fluorocarbon for £40 for a 1200 m spool. At £10 for 300 m it’s comparable with normally priced mono’s, so it kills the expensive argument. It comes in sizes 7 kg (16lb), 10 kg (23lb), 11.3 kg (25lb) and 12.6 kg (28lb) which covers pretty much every UK saltwater situation.
There’s no hiding the fact we love this line and use it pretty much weekly for both sea and freshwater fishing. It knots well, casts well, has high abrasion resistance, sinks fast and with minimal stretch offers brilliant bite detection.
- 100 PVDF Fluorocarbon
- Minimal underwater visual impact
- Minimal stretch for better bite detection
- High resistance to abrasion
- High knot strength
- Supple for casting