While the overall properties of fluorocarbon and wire bite guards were addressed in the article: BITE IT! Properties of Fluorocarbon & Wire Bite Guard Materials for Esox, one should also consider that there will be differences present in the same material types among the different manufacturers. For example, one brand of fluorocarbon will have more or less memory than another brand of fluorocarbon. There are so many variables present when choosing a bite guard material, that some may simply elect to point at leader materials while saying, ‘eenie, meenie, minie, mo’.
There is no solid right or wrong choice. The only choice to be made is what is best for the particular angler and the manner in which he/she fishes. Putting in a little research time can go a long way toward finding one’s own bite guard nirvana. And, getting a little feedback from fly anglers who fish heavily, including those who fish heavily for Esox, is a very good start.
Nine of thirteen fly anglers responded to an e-mailed survey questioning which bite guard material they used when fishing for Esox, why they chose the particular material, and why they would/would not use the other material. Many anglers provided photos, a couple provided their own bios, & all were happy to answer additional questions. They were then ‘interviewed’ and a profile of each fly angler was written. These fly fishing guides and/or fly shop owners land anywhere from 12 to up to 1000 Esox per year in their boats, but all fly fish heavily and have fished since childhood.
The anglers are listed in alphabetical order, with those who use fluorocarbon bite guards listed first, followed by one angler who uses both, & ending with the anglers who use wire bite guards. Most answered questions in the original survey format, but a couple used a paragraph format. To prevent any comments from being taken out of context, the paragraph format was maintained. (Posted by Twitch on
When Ouitdee was 10 and living in central
, his father bought him a fly rod. Ouitdee recalls strapping the 2-piece rod to his dirt bike and heading to the local pond to fish. At the age of 16, he was happy to move with his family to California , since he knew he would have more opportunities to fish. Duluth, MN
Today, Ouitdee Carson, a licensed Coast Guard Captain, works in information technology for
’s Minnesota , and he also heads the Arrowhead Fly Angler Guide Service. He guides for smallmouth bass, trout, and pike in St. Louis County Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin.
The family-man, who says that fishing is his only hobby, has given seminars on fly fishing, provided fly tying demonstrations & classes, and for the last 5 years he has helped to organize the Take a Kid Fishing Day in his hometown of Duluth.
While Ouitdee fishes both conventional gear and the long rod, he is passionate about fly fishing and loves to share his knowledge of fly fishing with anyone willing to learn. He said, “It’s calm & relaxing to be out there. The whole ambiance of fly fishing in general, there’s just something about it.”
Fluorocarbon Bite Guard for Esox
1) What are the main reasons you have chosen to use fluorocarbon?
Easy to tie, underwater visibility, flexible, durable
2) Why would you recommend fluorocarbon over wire?
Ability to tie a variety of knots that suit the situation. Easier for any angler to tie on to the leader and fly with knots that they already know. Can change out leaders quicker
and easier than wire. Less visible to fish in both dark and clear water. It’s much more flexible than any type of metal material which helps impart more action to the fly. Fluorocarbon has a better stretch rate than metal which has no stretch; this aids in the shock factor on the initial bite or a hard quick run. Fluorocarbon hardly ever gets kinks in the line, but it’s natural for thin metal materials to bend and kink.
3) Have you ever used wire for bite guards?