Striking Gold : Seaguar's Fluorocarbon Leader for Enthusiasts
Total Score: 8.17 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
Introduction: There is no more important component of your fishing arsenal than the one connecting you to the hook. You can catch fish without a rod or reel, but without a method to dangle that hook in the water and pull whatever might bite out, there is no fishing. Obviously, the hook is just as important, but despite its critical nature, many anglers give little thought to the characteristics of their fishing line.
Do you prefer to use braid as your main line?
The difference in materials, ratings, applications has always intrigued me and is the driving force behind my experimenting and testing many of the available product on the market today. Even with all that, there is one type of line I've kept at a distance not really buying into the need for its specialty application, leader material.
If so, what do you use for your leader material?
Don't get me wrong. I've used leaders and actually have relied on them for many years to provide both shock and abrasion protection, and also as a degree of visual concealment from my braided line. However, the material I use as a leader is simply higher end nylon monofilament and fluorocarbon designed for use as a main line. I haven't taken the leap to use actual leader line material because I felt what I was using was good enough.
My recent dive back into hollow braid has forced me to up my
I'd fallen into the trap of the very mindset I was calling out in my opening paragraph. My recent dive into the use of hollow braid as my mainline has inspired me to up my leader game and Seaguar's recent introduction of a high end, fluorocarbon leader material was enough to convince me to take the plunge. You see, up until now, when in need of a fluorocarbon leader, their Tatsu line has been my fluoro of choice. Good enough for me was a line that, depending on the strength rating, cost roughly twenty five cents ($0.25) per yard.
The search for the perfect leader material, today, leads us to
Seaguar's Gold Label Fluorocarbon Leader
The thought that there could be something that performs better than Tatsu and the nagging curiosity of the actual benefit of specialty leader material finally came to a boiling point during the past year. So here now is my journey with Seaguar's Gold Label fluorocarbon leader.
Seaguar Gold Label
FC Leader Specifications
||2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40
|Line Weight Tested in Lab
|Line Weights Fished
||4, 12, 20, 25, 30, 40
$18.99/25yds ($0.76/yd 15lb)
Seaguar's Gold Label fluorocarbon is sold in small spools of twenty five yards (25yds) for between $16.99 - $24.99. Our lab tests are centered around fluorocarbon lines with a diameter as close to 0.300mm as we can get. For Gold Label, that means the fifteen pound (15lb) strength which sells for $18.99 a spool, or $0.76 per yard. For comparison's sake, Tatsu, one of the most expensive fluorocarbon main lines on the market, in a similar diameter (12lb test) retails for the afore mentioned $0.25 per yard. Gold Label is three times as expensive as Tatsu!
Gold Label is precision wound onto each filler spool of 25yds
Off the spool, the best way I can describe Gold Label is it feels buttery when you run the line between your fingers. The surface is very smooth and seemingly consistent yet the line doesn't feel overly stiff and wiry like I expected a fluorocarbon leader to be. Honestly, it doesn't feel like it would handle much differently than Tatsu. I should add Gold Label is precision wound onto the leader spool so the line does not cross over itself while in storage.
When tying a leader connection, Daiichi makes some tools that
allow for more consistency in your knots. The larger one shown here is their
Knot Assist Tool 2.0. The smaller rings are their Seiko Finger Savers
Taking a measurement of the line's diameter at five different points along roughly five feet of line reveals a deviation in diameter of 0.44% for the 15lb strength. By comparison, Tatsu's results were 0.71% and the average across more than twenty brands of fluorocarbon line is 1.0%. The table below shows the results of our tests measuring the diameter across several strengths of Gold Label and comparing that against the line's stated diameter.
Seaguar Gold Label FC Leader Diameter
|Listed Diameter (mm)
|Tested Diameter (mm)
Before any new line makes it onto one of my reels, I run it through our series
of lab tests so I can have an idea of what to expect out on the water