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Fluoro lead?


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Just a quick question here.

If I'm throwing 15lb braid with an 8lb fluoro leader is my set up not then restricted to 8lb test? The saying ' the chain is only as strong as it's weakest link' springs to mind.

I've been told by numerous people that having a nearly invisible leader helps, which makes sense, but why do people use a weaker fluoro lead on a stronger braid?

Maybe I'm missing something here but it doesn't make too much sense to me.


Anyway, any thoughts would be appreciated



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The use of a mono or fluoro leader with braid has been kicked around before and, of coarse, opinions differ. Where and for what a person fishes will effect their opinion. Leaders might make a lot more sense to a guy with one or two outfits than to another guy with 12 rods on the deck, each dedicated to a specific technique.


My ideas are based on about one hundred fishing days per year and 12 months of open water fishing for Trout, Panfish, Bass, Pike and occasionally Musky. Over time many of these opinions have changed. I hope that I never become so smug that my opinions can't change yet again. However, for what they are worth, these are my current thoughts.


There is no advantage to using a leader with braided line while using reaction baits like Cranks, Spinnerbaits and Inline spinners etc. These baits are moving and imitate injured or fleeing food. This triggers the predator's natural instinct to chase. I use white, yellow, chartreuse and green, blue and straight green braid and see no difference in results with reaction type baits.


With dead-stick baits like Senko's, drop shotting or fishing under a bobber with plastic or live bait there might be an advantage to a fluoro leader.


It could be argued that a leader is better for Shaky-head and other jigs. I will leave that one up to you. My experience is that even slow moving baits like shaky-heads are still reaction baits.


With top water baits, like Spook's and poppers and for jerkbaits I use heavy (20 pound) mono. This isn't for invisibility, but rather for the stiffness of the line which helps to keep the bait from running over the line and fouling the hooks with stop-and-go or walk-the-dog retrieves. There is a case to be made for a leader on a jerkbait. On the other hand if incidental oos Bass don't notice the wire leaders I use while Pike and Musky fishing, then plain braid isn't going to scare them either. Again, I use heavy mono to help keep the hooks from fouling.


With Senkos on a windy day, I think I have better results with straight Fluorocarbon because it sinks. The new Fluoro-braid might be just as good, but I haven't tried it yet.


In my opinion the wind dragging regular braid across the surface prevents the worm from falling in a natural manner. This tugging on a bait by wind and/or cross currents is called "Drag" by fly fishermen. I believe that drag is the reason that fish refuse or ignore a bait, not so called "line shyness." Many Trout fishermen are convinced that they need super light leaders because the fish can "see" the line...I believe that the actual reason these thinner lines work is they have less cross section to be effected by drag than heavier lines.


Edited by garry2rs
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Good theory Garry2rs! I run braid on everything when fishing for bass. On my crank and spinnerbailt I run 20lbs on casting reels with a 15lbs floero leader about 18 inches long. On my finess setups I run 15lbs braid with 10lbs flouro leaders. I do a uni to uni kow to connect or sometimes a blood knot. I dont know why I do it I just do! lol

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I rarely use leaders except for bottom fishing in the Saguenay river where there are a lot of snags. When I do lose line, it's just the leader that I lose. I use 8 to 12 lb mono depending if it's for the sinker at the end of the line or for the main leader or for the leaders to the hooks.


I steer clear of fluorocarbon because all of the comparison tests that I could accomplish with the stuff showed me that it was inferior to mono in all departements. I tried 6 lb fluorocarbon instead of 4 lb mono one time and the stuff was far weaker.


My mono is always clear mono. Not fluo blue or fluo clear but just plain clear. Put 6 lb clear mono beside 6 lb fluorocarbon in a glass at home and put it up against the light....you will see that the mono is just as invisible.


For finesse fishing (brook trout), I use 2 to 4 lb clear mono. I want my line to be buoyant so that when I tug on my line, my baited hook does not drag on the bottom but lifts off the bottom when I'm fishing with no additional hardware on the line.


For walleye in shallow clear water and clean bottom, I use 4 lb clear mono or 6 lb clear mono.


For landlocked salmon, I use 6 lb clear mono.


I like Fireline for very deep water and use 10 lb to 14 lb test in up to 400 feet of water when jigging for cod, halibut, rock cod, and ocean perch. Still....the 14 lb test Fireline is a bit wiry for this unless I use a jig over 3 ounces. I also use 6 lb test Fireline for walleye when there are a lot of snags on the bottom. It's very fine and breaks at over 10 lb test.


I love braid on my baitcasters. The best in my opinion is Mason Tiger braid in 18 lb test. But I don't recommend this line because the knots are hard to make. You need a magnifying glass to check the knot after it has been made to see if the outer part of the braid has been damaged. Mason Tiger Braid is a made in 2 parts....a linear braid like Fireline inside a braided outer covering. The outer covering slides a bit on the inner core and makes the line very resistant to fraying on objects.

Edited by Dabluz
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When I use Fluoro.


- floatfishing - leader.

- throwing a jerkbait - straight fluoro.

- dragging, deadsticking, dropshot, or other general light line applications - straight fluoro.


When I flip/pitch, throw topwaters, troll, burn spinnerbaits or anything else, it is either straight braid or Mono.


I love fluoro because it gives me confidence. Confidence that the smallie can rub me into the zebra mussels and I should be okay. I know when throwing a jerkbait I can get alittle deeper and not over set the hook like I could with braid or under set with mono. It is all personal confidence from trail and error.


I do have friends who are starting to use fluro for pitching and flipping. I get why, I'll give it a go the fall.


Above is how fluoro works for me.


Good Luck.

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