The fishing marks that I like fish around Cornwall are mainly rock marks, and when I am out on the kayak I fish over reefs and wrecks. I am fishing rough ground most of the time and it takes it’s toll on my fishing line really quickly. I heard about the Asso Hard Skin line and it’s abrasion resistant properties (x12 than that of normal lines), I felt that this might well be the line I have been looking for. Asso sent me a spool of 16lb (0.35mm) Red Hard Skin to try.
The first thing I noticed about the line was it’s unusual texture, it looks a bit rubbery (no criticism here, just an observation), but when you peel it off and feel it in your fingers it is really soft and supple, this must be something to do with the special coating, I really like the look of it. I spooled up my fixed spool shore reel with it and it looks really neat on the spool (lays really nicely). It’s softness means that it is really nice to tie knots, and cinching down a tucked blood knot (even dry) the line doesn’t burn itself (a good start).
The line casts amazingly well, again I am putting this down to the texture of the line and the way it sits/peels off the spool. I took the line out and used it over 4 night sessions from the headland in Newquay (harsh fishing conditions in the storms we have been hit with recently). I hooked into a few dogfish and hauled them up over the rocks to land them (a good way to knacker any fishing line up). The Asso Hard Skin held together really nicely and unlike many lines I have used over the years didn’t come back from the sea with various nicks and scoring on the surface. I really like this line it’s no more expensive than other brands, and having a line that’s going to withstand the punishment without weakening from damage and losing me a fish is a great thing!
The Asso Hard Skin line also comes in solid White and solid Black colours, and avaialble in breaking strains between 10lb (0.28mm) up to 30lb (0.50mm).
I do a lot of lure fishing (shore and kayak) and I am very particular about the properties of a Fluorocarbon leader. The Asso Super Fluorocarbon has got to be one of the softest and most supple I have ever used. This is in-fact a 100% Fluorocarbon leader, although you wouldn’t guess if you touched it due it being so remarkably soft and supple. I picked a 15lb breaking strain to try as it would also be used as a hook length on my baited pulley rigs, but primarily as a leader when i am lure fishing for Bass and Pollock.
“As Strong and soft as Nylon” is the slogan printed on the label, and it really is soft, the knots tie up beautifully too (with a lot less burning when I cinch down a knot). The Asso Super Fluorocarbon comes on a 50m spool and is available in breaking strains between 4.6lbs (0.15mm) to 26.4 lbs (0.40mm). The line diameter is a smidge smaller than some of the other brand I have used too, when it comes to getting an invisible leader, every bit helps. I am really impressed with the Super Fluorocarbon and I will be using it for all my lure fishing over the next season.
Asso Tapered Shock leaders come in a good variety of colours (Solid Orange, Fluro Yellow, Red and Clear) and also breaking strain variations. The high quality Copolymer materials give the leader excellent knot strength which us essential when using a tapered leader and tying two small diameter lines together, and also at the business end where the rig is attached. I opted to try out the 15-50lb tapered leader (which matches my main line) and gives me 50lb shock leader (enough to safely throw a 4-5oz rig with a big bait).
The spool contains 5 x 15m leaders, which for my own purposes are a bit too long, but give me the option to use a longer leader for high rock marks or piers. On most occasions I would only use approx 11 metres, leaving a bit spare for making rigs (bonus).
Tying the leader onto the mainline is straight forward, I like to use the Albright knot. The leader tapers up quite gradually over approx 2-2.5 metres from the smallest to the largest diameter, so bear this in mind when you start winding turns onto your reel (only count 4-5 turns of the largest diameter), I cut off the first metre so that I didn’t bury the leader knot in line on the spool.
The line is really light and supple with minimal memory, I found it really easy to rig up and it casted extremely well. The size of the knot was very neat and tidy (in 0.35mm line).
I fish a lot of rough snaggy ground, and I fish from rock marks a lot too, so I am constantly bashing or scraping my lines, the Asso leaders seemed to fair really well to this and didn’t damage as much as other leaders I have used. The leader also stayed intact when a dogfish tangled right up my line.