To begin with, I’d like to mention a very important thing. There are different types of tackle that are interesting to try new things with. First of all, I mean lures: shads, minnows, spoons, soft plastic lures and others, then – rods. But there are things I’m very conservative about. I don’t like changing reels and lines. It happens. Having found the right variant, I may use the same tackle for years, without changing anything. To my shame, I haven’t yet tried all the varieties of lines, which I could’ve tried. It must be unprofessional, but every member of pro-staff has his or her tricks.
I think that the most important quality for all the types of lines is their predictability. Predictability means that you know the right moment when the line wears out. It means that after hooking off the fish, you understand that the load is maximum and you’re about to hear it break. And if the line first hurts your hands after the hooking, then it breaks as a rotten thread, after that once again hurts your hand, and then again breaks, it means that it’s unpredictable. I don’t use such lines.
As you have already noticed, in 99% of cases I use braided lines, Pontoon21 monofil fluorocarbon lines.
There’s another important detail: most of them have Pontoon21&YGK collaboration written on the package. It’s not a secret that YKG, Japanese company, produces the lines for several Russian companies. But this is just the situation when the company having ordered the product is fully responsible for the quality and features of the lines. That’s why they randomly fix diameters and strength on the original line, as long as it sells well. In my case everything is quite different, because collaboration literally means cooperation and participation.
YGK YOZ-AMI is a big Japanese factory producing different types of lines with their original technologies. The factory has its own brand, but it’s possible to order line according to the client’s design assignment.
But there are a lot of technologies and options apart from the ready-made lines. For instance, if you need to make a long-range cast, you may use a special expensive cover, as in Pontoon21 Exteer Away Distance. YKG has lines with with this cover, but there are soft and relatively friable, because they were made intentionally to ensure long-range casts. And there’re casting competitions in Japan, where anglers compete in making the longest casts, not in mastering multiplier reel or spinning rod. Within their collaboration, YKG together with Pontoon21 selected a densely braided line, which characteristics are most appropriate for this special cover. So, they produced the line capable of long range casts, at the same time having all the necessary characteristics (casts, durability, etc.). They are just right for our conditions. YKG has a original technology of intensified braiding. Pontoon21 applies this technology in Esentira line. To apply this technology or not is a client’s choice.
It means that Pontoon21&YKG collaboration is cooperation of the two companies. Brand YKG on the package proves that the above-mentioned characteristics and technologies are applied in real life, not only on paper. And YKG is responsible for the quality of production. That’s why Pontoon21 lines are much better, than those which were just produced for some other brand. In general, “collaboration” is widely spread in fishing business, it’s just enough to recollect the cooperation between SIMMS and Megabass, or a joint lure of Ima and DUO, called Naborone.
So, that’s practically everything about collaboration…
While fishing in the center of Moscow, not only is it important to make a long range cast and then to retrieve the lure, but also to raise the fish quite high. By trial and error approach I found the right combination of the working qualities - Pontoon21 Eighteria 0.8.
This braided line is very smooth, that’s why the lures fly well, it’s also thin, which lets average lures go deeper. At the same time the strength of the line enables you to pull out of the Moscow river a large fish…
Don’t pay any attention to the fact that it has a bigger test in comparison with a fish of 1,5 kilos. The thing is that even if it is tired the fish starts fluttering when you pull it out, and this is already additional load. Try to recollect how the perforator works and everything will be clear.
But for me there’s a very important detail in street fishing: it is not that interesting just to catch a pikeperch, I’d like to catch something bigger, that’s why in summer and in spring when larger fish are more likely to bite, I choose a thicker line and use Pontoon21 Extreama 1.0.
You may ask why Extreama 1.0? Just because with the help of this braided line I pulled out two biggest fishes: asp and pikeperch. The line stood, that’s why now I turned into a fan of this size for street fishing, when there’s a chance to catch something bigger. I just trust it!
For a couple of last seasons I was angling in the center of Moscow with big deep sinking cranks. I’ll tell you about it some other time. Today I’ll touch upon one moment: the cranks are often retrieved along the bottom, that’s why they will unavoidably catch on something. If you have a boat, it might help to make everything right, and if you fish from the bank, it’s impossible, that’s why you may rely only on the braided line. My choice is Pontoon21 Eighteria 1.5. once again if you use it, cranks fly well, and if they catch on something, you may save them only due to the strength of the braided line.
Often in the center of Moscow I use terminal rig. The main line I use is Eighteria 0.8 or Extreama 1.0. But generally I use a bigger leader. You need to raise fish higher. Usually when it’s dark and I fish for pikeperch, I use Pontoon21 Gexar Tartexa of 0,28 mm, and when it’s daytime and I fish for perch at a shelly ground, I use the line of 0,26 mm. and this monofil line never let me down.
Currently, there’re several types of lines for trout fishing: monofil, fluorocarbon, braided and polyester ones. The latter ones are new in the world of lines, that’s why it would be better to talk about them a bit later.
Nylon and fluorocarbon lines have one significant drawback – they are not very sensitive. I asked my colleagues who use monofil lines whether they feel how trout hits the lure and bite it. The answer was simple enough: “No, I feel it only when it is on my hook”.
In the ponds where there are a lot of fish or if you fish for the species which were just let out, it’s not that important to feel how trout hit the lure. But if you angle in big ponds for passive fish even the slightest hit is a signal that there’re trout in this sector, and they are attracted to the lure. That’s why I decided on the braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. It is this choice that enables me to fish for trout with maximum sensitivity. But the conditions may be so diverse, that we’ll return to the line choosing a bit later.
The length of the fluorocarbon leader may vary. If you use long spinning rods, you may use a longer leader. More often than not I use the leader approximately 1 meter long. The main thing is for the knot of the fluorocarbon leader and braided line not to get into the spool of the reel. If it does, the shoot-off the lure is guaranteed. If the temperature outside is below zero, it’d be reasonable to use a shorter leader keeping in mind that the knot shouldn’t pass through the frozen guides.
The trial and error approach, to my mind, lead to an ideal choice: Pontoon21 Exteer Away Distance 0.4 braided line, Pontoon21 Marxman Grand Fluorocarbon (GFC) of 4.5 Lb. or 5.5 Lb.
All of them gave a good account of themselves in operation, but Pontoon21 Marxman Grand Fluorocarbon (GFC) is thinner in the same tests, that’s why the knot of fluorocarbon and braided line appears to be tiny, due to which it doesn’t hit the guides during casting. But GFC is much more expensive that other types of Pontoon21 fluorocarbon.
Currently, I experiment with different lines…
As a rule, there’re a lot of snags and other rubbish in small rivers. Long range casts are a rarity, for couple of seasons I’ve been using only one line - Pontoon21 Eighteria 2.0. The lures fly well. And I’m more than happy about their durability. I’m not going to change it.
And one more thing. It’s quite useful to have a thick line if you fish in a very small river… due to its windage. A lot of such rivers are shallow, that’s why it’s quite difficult to use some heavy lures with a bigger possibility of retrieval than the river allows it. And because of the thick line the lure swims a bit higher than, let’s say, 1 meter. Moreover, for ultra-light twitching with a big lure, the windage of the line is an advantage for small rivers, unlike for average ones.
Average rivers may vary. Moreover, their conditions may vary throughout the river. That’s why I’ll touch upon those conditions I often have to fish in: some snags, no pits with sharp edges, no heaps of trees or shelly ground. Pike can be usually found in shallow water, ditches along the rivers, small pits, etc.
Small depth in the place of fishing make you use jig baits of 6-14 g, and more often – of 8-10 g. But there’s a distinct stream in the river which influences on the trajectory of the retrieval. As a result, I’ve decided on the thin line – I’ve started using Pontoon21 Eighteria 0.6 for fishing with jig baits.
Eighteria 0.6 has enough power to retrieve a pike up to 1,5 kilos without any difficulties, which happens quite seldom in the rivers of Moscow region devastated by poachers. The water has little impact on the 0.6 line while you retrieve jig baits, so the retrieval is of higher quality and you can plan it. And what a cast! Thanks to this braided line the general sensitivity is higher, and if you hold in your hands your favorite instrument Pontoon21 Sixentida SXS832MLMT, fishing turns into genuine satisfaction.
But you can’t really use such thin lines with shads or minnows in average rivers – it’s a pity to tear them off! I used such strong lines as Extreama 2.0 или Eighteria 2.0. But again if you fish in average rivers and frequently cast to the opposite bank, the stream has a great impact on the quality of the retrieval, that’s why I made a conclusion, that it’d be reasonable to use the line up to Eighteria 1.5, or even 1.0 or 1.2.
For that matter I take two spinning rods on me when I go to average rivers: for jerking and twitching in rare snags.
Twitching / traditional ultra-light
In the majority of cases I use Pontoon21 Exteer Away Distance 0.4 without leaders. And it totally satisfies me. There’re a lot of people who wouldn’t agree with me about the absence of fluorocarbon leaders but this is my choice… the thing is that twitching unlike rainbow trout fishing, one way or another causes a lot of situations when the lure catches on something. As a rule, you lose the lure together with the leader, and what, I should mend every time? No this is not for me… so far…
I also tried Yamato Samurai PE Braid 0.05 mm – i liked it too, but in comparison with Exteer Away Distance 0.4 I caught more fishes per hour.
Here I usually use Pontoon21 Extreama. On the whole, I like Extreema. But it is worse than Eighteria in terms of casting, that’s why I like the latter one more. But in multiplier fishing the qualities of the line have less impact on casting than in the case of a fixed-spool reel. And there’s a chance to save some money! The full length of Extreema is 100 meters, which is a good thing for the spools which are not deep.
Of course, there’s more, there are other fishing conditions, but this is the basis.
Alexander Ryzhov “Sanek”
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