At ICAST 2012 Sunline introduced their new Finesse FC fishing line. As many of you know I fish finesse applications 90% of the time, and already being a huge fan of their Sniper FC line I knew this new line was going to be in my arsenal for the end of 2012 and the start of 2013. Sunline sent me a spool of 7lb line to test and here's what I thought.
The equipment I used to test the line on was a Pflueger Patriarch 9530 (my favorite spinning reel ever) and a St. Croix LTB. MF 7' "Tube" Rod (my favorite spinning rod). I tested with a shaky head, drop shot, mojo rig and weightless senko. In every application I LOVED this line!
The biggest struggle with finesse fishing on spinning equipment is line memory and line twists so that's the first thing I want to talk about. When I spool line on to my spinning reel I always make sure I do it with the label of the spool facing the reel and I run the line through a heavy book. This way I know the line is coming off the spool the opposite way it went on. This makes a huge difference. On my first outing of course there was next to no memory, and even after a couple hours of casting the memory was minimal.
After a week of letting the line sit on the reel (without use) I packed it up and took it out to the lake again. The place I fish is about 40 minutes from my house and I always spray my reels with KVD's line conditioner right before I leave. When I got there I tied on a drop shot and flung it out as far as I could. Again, little memory. The line laid straight on the water. I repeated this another week and a half later with the same results. As far as line twist, it was slightly better than any other line I've used (fluorocarbon). There is very little to no memory (line curling) especially when using line conditioner.
To me this is the most important part of a line when using finesse applications, as it is most others also. Can I feel the difference in bottom structure, the difference between a bite and a weed (which sometimes no matter how sensitive a line is you'll get fooled) and feel humps and drops etc? As far as knowing bottom structure, I knew exactly what was on the bottom of the lake. I could feel it go from mushy to clay to rocks then weeds etc. Even every little twig or rock you can feel the difference in them. The fish at my usual lake are VERY finicky. A lot of times the bite is so gentle you can't even feel it until you go to move your lure. With the Sunline Finesse FC I think I could feel a fish looking at a lure before it bit, then when it finally did, I felt it for sure. I don't think I missed one bite while using this line. It really is the best I've used to date.
One of the other things I'm very picky about is stretch. The more stretch in a line the less sensitive it is in my opinion. One of my favorite things of Sunline Sniper FC was it seemed to have zero stretch. I was worried that to get more flexibility out of the Finesse FC that there would be more stretch added to the line. That is not the case at all. This line is still stiff with no stretch as far as I'm concerned. I don't know how they did it, but they made it more flexible and kept the no stretch type feel.
Well, since I don't have the equipment to test breaking strengths etc, I just go off how the line holds up when I get snagged, tie knots and drag it across concrete etc. As far as I can tell, if I ever lose a fish on this line it will not be the lines fault. It will be an error on my part. Maybe a bad knot or what I do all too often, drag it across that damn sharp edge cement wall I always fish by. When snagged the line breaks at the reel, and I really have to try hard to break it, harder than any amount of pressure I would put on the fish.
As far as abrasion resistance I was pleasantly surprised. Even with my bad habit of dragging the line on that cement wall it held up very well. Of course after a while I would start to see some nicks / fray in the line but nothing that really had me worried. There was one time I dragged it real good on the cement and had a decent fray in the line and thought that if I got a fish on that I would for sure break the line. Well I didn't get a fish, but I did get snagged and this line just refused to give up! It held up great.
Smooth, silky, flexible yet stiff? All of the above. I got about 10-15 more feet out of my casts than I do with other lines (about 5-10 more feet than Sniper FC). The line looks like silk as it falls down to the water. It came off the reel smoothly and worked as expected as far as accuracy. I didn't overshoot or under-shoot my targets. There isn't much more to say about this part of the line except it casts a country mile as smoothly as you could ever want.
After 3 1/2 weeks of using this line I can say that I love it. One thing I didn't mention in any of the sections above was just how invisible this line is. On a sunny day you better make sure you have your polarized sunglasses on because you will have a very hard time seeing what your line is doing. In windy conditions it's near impossible to see. The price on this line is $29.99 for 200 yards. It's not cheap and that's the only reason I'm not keeping it on all of my spinning tackle. I get snagged way too much from shore and have to cut the line more often than I'd like to admit. On my "lesser" rods I will still be using a cheaper alternative (especially since my friends / family use those rods), but when the bite is tough and I need that extra sensitivity to feel what's going on, or in a tournament situation, there is no other line I would turn to. It would be great if there was a way they could get the line down about $10. Don't get me wrong though, the price it's at is worth every penny. If you love to finesse fish like I do you need to try out this line. I promise you it won't be a disappointment, and will probably even become your go to line.