Words & Images: Kosta Linardos
Fins are obviously known for their braid; they were one of the first companies to bring braid to the mass market thanks to their Spectra line, which has proved itself over the decades as an amazing braid. They have developed multiple different great braids over the years so it shouldn’t come as a shock that their mono would be just as good. However, this is a company with their identity so deeply rooted in braid that it was quite surprising they entered the world of nylon and monofilament at all.
While mono in many fisheries has taken a back seat to braid, down here in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay snapper fishery, it is still the line of choice. Anglers fish multiple rods in a spread across snapper racks and tangles are inevitable – therefore braid isn’t an option for anglers fishing four or more rods, so mono is the line of choice.
I have probably used most monos on the market and as a keen snapper angler I’m always looking for a mono that’s giving me an advantage in both feel and performance. I use multiple brands as I like different colours on each reel; again, it helps when tangles occur and it also helps me remember what bait is on each rod, and when it was cast out (at 4am in a morning daze, this can be hard to keep track of).
The main factors I want from a mono main line are low stretch, minimal memory, a good breaking strain for the diameter and a smooth finish. Of course, I also want abrasion resistance and a line that breaks where it says it should.
The Fins Finesse Monofilament comes in two colours of Matt Grey/Blue and Hi-Vis Orange. These two colours are rich and vibrant yet are at opposite ends of the spectrum so there’s an option for various fishing styles. They come in spools of 250m and in breaking strains of 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20 and 30lb. I was sent spools of 15lb, which is the ideal breaking strain for the snapper in Port Phillip Bay, where I would be testing it. The spools are parallel wound to ensure line goes on to your reel perfectly when spooling up. As soon as I opened the packet, I noticed how soft and supple this line is. That doesn’t mean it isn’t strong, but it feels good in the hand – it isn’t wiry and doesn’t have a lot of memory. At 15lb it has a diameter of .331, which is quite thin yet not so much that abrasion is an issue.
The thing I noted upon my first cast was minimal memory in the way of coils, even when spooled on relatively small spools of 4000. It cast beautifully and came back on the line. Not long after I cast out a large salmon fillet, I saw the rod buckle over and with a quick strike I set the hooks with ease, showing this mono has relatively low stretch. Line started screaming off the spool at a rate that had me questioning what I had hooked until I felt the tell-tale head shakes of a large snapper. I had to tighten the drag slightly to turn the fish’s head then start bringing him towards the boat before he went on two more huge runs. The line went through the line roller beautifully and offered great sensitivity.
That snapper weighed in at 6.8kg – a great fish to test a new line on – and I went on to land another two smaller fish on the Finesse Monofilament, which by this stage was my new favourite mono. My favourite monofilament prior to this – that I still hold in equal regard – is the Japanese-made Line System Saltwater Next Stage. It comes in spools of 275m but retails at around $25-30 whereas the Fins is retailing at $15, offering exceptional value for money.
I had also spooled a reel with their new straight-through fluorocarbon and caught a snapper of around 3kg on that. It performed beautifully but as straight-through fluoro has more advanced luring applications we want to test it further in different scenarios before we put the review together. So far, it’s very promising.
I love nothing more than when we review something that comes along and it’s exceptional, and this is the case with the new Fins Finesse Mono and Fluorocarbon main lines. They offer outstanding bang for buck and I can’t recommend them highly enough. They will be my mono of choice going forward and I have since spooled six reels with this product. At the same time, they have also released a range of leader material and we’ll get around to reviewing that in a later issue.