Can Your Main Line Be Too Thin?

FishRock

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Mar 27, 2013
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Up until now I have always felt that there is no reason to spool a reel with braid smaller than 50#. But folks are always looking for an edge and I was looking at trying 40# or even 30# braid on my smaller reels targeting bigger fish pulling 15 - 20# of drag. Trouble is I think it is a bit dangerous since that thin 50# line already cuts the hell out of my hands when I am cinching knots and testing max drag. Seems like 30# is a recipe for loosing a finger or getting a cut to the bone. Also there is far less abrasion resistance with these smaller diameter lines.

My question is, do any of you actually fish 30# or even 40# braid (main line) when you are using 30# leader and small hooks for finicky BFT or YFT at a place like Guadalupe when you know that you will have to max out your drag to land the fish?
 
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hucklongfin

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50# is about the same diameter as 12# mono. I don't like to go smaller than that as the knots are harder to tie and, yeah, the line cuts easier.
 

Rocket Dog

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interesting points. I lean on +60lb sepectea and just tie leaders of mono and or mono to floro TS. because of what you described and the it's a lot easier to change them out if needed.
 

Jaysons999

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I agree with Huck. Easier to see, easier to tie knots. Another thing is cast ability if you do short top shots. The thinner the spectra harder to come off the spool for me. Even my bass gear has 50. Filled them with 30 and stripped it all off cuz I didn’t like it.
 

HighWildFree

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I’m trying a super light rig this year after reading about another BDer’s experiences last season using light braid on schoolie YFT’s. I have a fathom 15 filled with 300 yards of 20lb jbraid, with a short 20lb topshot on an all glass Seeker 270-8. Should be a blast or a disaster.

Also have the same set up but spooled with 15lb mono. Going to experiment and see what works best for a lighter presentation.
 

esgeo

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i feel like if there’s a chance your line will rub the side or bottom of the boat, you are risking more than it’s worth to drop below 50# braid backing
 

SouthBayKiller

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I used to be in the 50lb minimum club too but got dangerously close to getting spooled on my fathom 15ld2 by a persistent 50lb yellowfin. I re-spooled it with 40lb braid now, as well as my Fathom 12 start drag. Its not a dramatic difference in feel, but it was a nice bump in capacity.
 

Pitchinwedge

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Remember not all braid is created equal. Lots of variance in thickness and strength. And no... thicker doesn't always mean stronger. (hope she didn't say that you, too haha).
 

JoeInMN

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Sep 10, 2017
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I really havnt gone lower than 50 threadlock which is pretty damn thin.

I will throw this out there. I have a penn visx 12 filled with JB hollow 60. I used it for an 80lb rig for big yellowfin in a very pick bite on a 14 day. I never let the crew or anyone know just thought I'd let it play out. Wound up catching the JP on it, not a huge fish 118lb honestly one of the more pissed off fish I have ever caught. About 1.5 hours on the damn thing we buttoned the reel, and at the end game the Captain just said your gonna have to break his will you good with that I said yep. Just reefed on that fish pinning the spool with my thumb . The line never had and an issue.

It was 10 feet of 80lb seaguar premier and an fg knot to 60lb jb.

Did it work in a tough situation yep, would i do it regularly nope.
 

SouthBayKiller

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I really havnt gone lower than 50 threadlock which is pretty damn thin.

I will throw this out there. I have a penn visx 12 filled with JB hollow 60. I used it for an 80lb rig for big yellowfin in a very pick bite on a 14 day. I never let the crew or anyone know just thought I'd let it play out. Wound up catching the JP on it, not a huge fish 118lb honestly one of the more pissed off fish I have ever caught. About 1.5 hours on the damn thing we buttoned the reel, and at the end game the Captain just said your gonna have to break his will you good with that I said yep. Just reefed on that fish pinning the spool with my thumb . The line never had and an issue.

It was 10 feet of 80lb seaguar premier and an fg knot to 60lb jb.

Did it work in a tough situation yep, would i do it regularly nope.
I bet 60lb JB breaks over 90lbs, I bet its ABS is higher than the 80lb premier.
 
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Pitchinwedge

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I bet FG knot with the 60# hollow probably nowhere near 90lb break strength. Prob closer to 50#. Breaking right before the knot. Pulling on VISX12's max drag of 40# plus big thumb = living on the edge.
 

SouthBayKiller

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I bet FG knot with the 60# hollow probably nowhere near 90lb break strength. Prob closer to 50#. Breaking right before the knot. Pulling on VISX12's max drag of 40# plus big thumb = living on the edge.
I've never done it myself, but JB60 has been tested to break between 80-100lbs, average 90, see attached link for reference. Either way it would be a fun test.

 
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FishRock

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I have no issues with 50# and higher. Hell 60# JB Hollow is just light gauge 100#. My question is focused on braid lighter than 50#.

Will be interested to hear how SouthBayKiller likes fishing that 40#.
 

eric perez

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Mar 3, 2018
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Have never been a big braid guy... but tried using #40 PP once on a bass reel... short leader. took it off after one session... if I didnt use heavy enough of a lure it would backlash... every cast. Standard crankbaits. and it wasnt a rats nest... it would just roll over itself because it was sticking on the spool... I even dumped 1/2 the spool in the water before I started. Went back to 10lb mono... no issues. I dont use anything less than #50 for backing ever. Even #50 is thin... I went on a foamer run last year and I somehow forgot my jigstick... I had to throw iron with a 14A / #50 Super Slick... short leader... I snapped off (4) Tady 45s because of the braid sticking and overrunning. Ever seen a 14A fly?? I was that close... LOL
 
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Mr GreenJeans

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I load my Fathom 15 with 30# spectra and pair it with 30# fluoro as needed. It was definitely needed with the small bait we had last year. The reel will deliver up to 20# of drag and I pair it with a fairly heavy rod, 700 MH 25-60#. Just be sure to wind the spectra on tight, so it doesn’t bury itself. My biggest fish was a 40# YF on a no. 2 hook, and yes it took a while to land him because of the small hook. Fortunately, the sharks were on a coffee break or something. Actually, the sharks weren‘t too bad on that trip. I didn’t lose any to the sharks.
 
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FishRock

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I load my Fathom 15 with 30# spectra and pair it with 30# fluoro as needed. It was definitely needed with the small bait we had last year.
So do you feel that you experience a significant improvement in flylining bait with the smaller diameter mainline.
 
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hucklongfin

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I haven’t noticed a difference with the spectra, between say 30-50#, on my ability to fly line a bait. The spectra floats.
 
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sdrepairman

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Personally I like fishing with heavy spectra but with some of my Avet reels like the sxj I use 30 lb spectra with a short top shot.
Those reels are so small that you have to use the small spectra in order to get a decent amount of line on the reel.
And I have not noticed a difference in getting bits with 30 vs 50 lb spectra
 
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Rmpsocal

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I loaded a 14-sized Torium HG with 900 yards of 12# Izorline braid. It really is the ultimate stealth rig. Pretty amazing the feedback you get from your bait when flylining.

In my experience, the down side is the connection from the 12# braid to fluoro or mono. Because the 12# is so thin, it does not have the same ”friction” on the leader material. After much testing, a modification to the number of turns and the addition of a couple half hitches were required to my “go-to” RP knot.
 

hucklongfin

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I loaded a 14-sized Torium HG with 900 yards of 12# Izorline braid. It really is the ultimate stealth rig. Pretty amazing the feedback you get from your bait when flylining.

In my experience, the down side is the connection from the 12# braid to fluoro or mono. Because the 12# is so thin, it does not have the same ”friction” on the leader material. After much testing, a modification to the number of turns and the addition of a couple half hitches were required to my “go-to” RP knot.
Really, how does your bait feel with 700 yds in the water?
 

Rmpsocal

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Amazing!

just kidding. The 900 yards was required to fill the spool of that small reel. That 12# is so thin!
 

Mr GreenJeans

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So do you feel that you experience a significant improvement is flylining bait with the smaller diameter mainline.
Yes that’s part of it. The other advantage is that I can get 300 yards of line on a small reel. The lighter spool is easy on the bait and in a pick bite the tuna is less likely to feel the weight of the spool.
 
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swami 805

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I use 30lb braid on my small reels with 15-20lb short floro leaders. It takes some getting used to.but works fine. The brand matters a little too, PP works ok, the other brands didn't work very well, suffix in particular
 
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themacs

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Jul 18, 2003
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IMHO, 50 JB is soooooo thin I just can't see a real reason to go smaller. Also:

" Trouble is I think it is a bit dangerous since that thin 50# line already cuts the hell out of my hands when I am cinching knots and testing max drag. Seems like 30# is a recipe for loosing a finger or getting a cut to the bone. "

My feelings exactly. I watched a few folks in my life get cut to the bone in a nano second. We probably all have. I met a woman at a Christmas party that lives close by, that was on the RP and in a spectra tangle on a 14-15 day trip. She was holding the line so the deckhand could work. Tuna / shark hits the bait and in a nano second she lost part a finger. It still gives me chills to even type this.