Heavier Leader than Mainline

lichenpan

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  • Oct 22, 2018
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    I notice from Youtube videos that most east coast people tie heavier leader to lighter mainline. I can totally see the benefit of doing that. I can see using smaller reels fill with 500 yd of 50lb or 65lb braid and 80lb or 100 lb of fluoro leader to fight big fish with 20lb -30lb of drag. In California, most people use or tackle shops recommend lighter leader with heavier braid. People here use bigger reels filled with 65lb or 80lb braid but only fish with 30lb or 40lb leader. Is it just a marketing strategy that the tackle shops here use to sell you more expensive reels or lines? What am I missing here?

    Thanks
     
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    DennisV

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    If I'm fishing 80 to a hundred pound leader on the West Coast and 20 to 30 lb of drag, I want a bigger reel to do it with for two reasons. First is more torque for cranking power with the bigger gears but most importantly I want the thermal mass of a big reel to absorb the heat generated from that much drag on a protracted battle.

    Nobody ever wished for a smaller reel near the end of a cow fight.
     
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    woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    Brother....most anglers recognize the need for heavier leader material... for many reasons. From trout.... to tuna... we all use it for the same reasons. I agree with the above assessment about reel size...but want you to consider this.

    First.... much of the east coast fishing is done "in the gunnel". Reel weight isn't a great factor.... but when fishing West Coast tuna... holding.... casting .... reeling that heavier reel... all day.... from the rail.... makes you consider your options. Your wrist will thank you.... specifically on multi-day trips. I have seen guys "hurting" after just a couple of days.... of toting that "bigger" reel around. Your pride isn't going to be hurt.... if you drag around a 30 size instead if a 50W... and still get ALL your fish!
     
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    RideHPD

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    Are you talking about fishing bait? Because that's a completely different story.While a circle hook in the corner of the mouth protects the line it doesn't hurt the fish at all. Having them swallow a lure puts a lot of hurt on the fish, and gives the angler a lot more control over the fish. With smaller live bait hooks you can't apply crazy drag pressures out of the gate without pulling hooks and creating other issues, it is still for all intensive purposes finesse fishing.

    The jig and pop guys almost routinely now catch 300 to even 500lb bluefin on reels as light as Talica 12s and Stella 14-18ks. The difference is that when you hammer them with drag out of the gate they don't run quite that far and stay on top, and the reels are capable of controlling the drag output very tightly. Couple that with big, quality hooks that aren't as likely to pull, and very importantly, a boat that can chase down a fish to provide the angler with the proper geometry those fish can be caught. An immobile sportboat with other humans and a big hull are all things that will destroy your mainline.

    I should mention that even still they are mostly using a bit heavier mainline, closer to 80-100lb for those fish, 50-65 is mostly reserved for 100lbish fish and under. For those fish and jig/pop fish that's plenty.
     
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    hucklongfin

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    For popping, I use a much heavier leader to help prevent getting bit off when they eat the popper.
     
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    lichenpan

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  • Oct 22, 2018
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    Are you talking about fishing bait? Because that's a completely different story.While a circle hook in the corner of the mouth protects the line it doesn't hurt the fish at all. Having them swallow a lure puts a lot of hurt on the fish, and gives the angler a lot more control over the fish. With smaller live bait hooks you can't apply crazy drag pressures out of the gate without pulling hooks and creating other issues, it is still for all intensive purposes finesse fishing.

    The jig and pop guys almost routinely now catch 300 to even 500lb bluefin on reels as light as Talica 12s and Stella 14-18ks. The difference is that when you hammer them with drag out of the gate they don't run quite that far and stay on top, and the reels are capable of controlling the drag output very tightly. Couple that with big, quality hooks that aren't as likely to pull, and very importantly, a boat that can chase down a fish to provide the angler with the proper geometry those fish can be caught. An immobile sportboat with other humans and a big hull are all things that will destroy your mainline.

    I should mention that even still they are mostly using a bit heavier mainline, closer to 80-100lb for those fish, 50-65 is mostly reserved for 100lbish fish and under. For those fish and jig/pop fish that's plenty.
    I just don't understand people use big reels filled with 100lb or 130lb braid for their 40lb or 60lb setup.
     
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    RideHPD

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    I just don't understand people use big reels filled with 100lb or 130lb braid for their 40lb or 60lb setup.
    That is very dumb if you're fishing bait locally, a sardine is going to struggle with that. There was a trip fishing 40-60lb bluefin where everyone was fishing 40lb fluoro, I fished 50lb with 50lb braid and got bit well, but there was a guy fishing 30lb fluoro with 80lb or 100lb braid, can't remember, on a Talica 16 and didn't catch anything. There's a time to fish braid at the same test as leader in heavier line, but it's touchy even if you really know what you're doing.
     
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    DennisV

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    I just don't understand people use big reels filled with 100lb or 130lb braid for their 40lb or 60lb setup.
    I don't understand that either and in fact I don't believe I've actually seen anybody doing that.
    Regarding your original post, a guy can put 500 yards of 65 lb braid on a Fathom 30LD2 but I sure wouldn't be using that for 80 lb, much less a 100 lb situations.
     
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    DennisV

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    Brother....most anglers recognize the need for heavier leader material... for many reasons. From trout.... to tuna... we all use it for the same reasons. I agree with the above assessment about reel size...but want you to consider this.

    First.... much of the east coast fishing is done "in the gunnel". Reel weight isn't a great factor.... but when fishing West Coast tuna... holding.... casting .... reeling that heavier reel... all day.... from the rail.... makes you consider your options. Your wrist will thank you.... specifically on multi-day trips. I have seen guys "hurting" after just a couple of days.... of toting that "bigger" reel around. Your pride isn't going to be hurt.... if you drag around a 30 size instead if a 50W... and still get ALL your fish!
    Agreed. My idea of a bigger reel is Mak or VISX 20. I don't even own a 30. Getting too old for big gear.
     
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    lichenpan

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  • Oct 22, 2018
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    I don't understand that either and in fact I don't believe I've actually seen anybody doing that.
    Regarding your original post, a guy can put 500 yards of 65 lb braid on a Fathom 30LD2 but I sure wouldn't be using that for 80 lb, much less a 100 lb situations.
    Why not? I thought 65lb braid is perfect with 80lb or 100lb leader. East coast people fish this way. 65lb braid should be able to handle 25lb or 30lb drag easily.
     
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    DennisV

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    Why not? I thought 65lb braid is perfect with 80lb or 100lb leader. East coast people fish this way. 65lb braid should be able to handle 25lb or 30lb drag easily.
    It's not about the line. It's about the smaller reel functioning at 30lbs of drag in a prolonged battle. But that's just my opinion. Give it a shot and see if it works out for you
     
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    RideHPD

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    Why not? I thought 65lb braid is perfect with 80lb or 100lb leader. East coast people fish this way. 65lb braid should be able to handle 25lb or 30lb drag easily.

    For starters they're not, not for pelagics at least. Actually talk to some of them, with that rating mainline they're fishing 15-20lbs of drag for most of the fight, and using 80-100lb leader for abrasion resistance against teeth. Fishing 25-30lbs of drag for bigger fish they're mostly using 14k-20k Stellas with 60lb or 100lb Jerry Brown or Thread lock, where both 60lb lines test over 90lbs breaking strength. Those same guys are also fishing 130lb braid trolling for the same fish. What you're missing is the actual experience to see how sketchy 25-30lbs of drag on 50-65lb braid looks, sounds, and feels on a fish that can actually make a sustained run at those drag pressures. Bottom fishing is one thing, tuna and pelagics are totally different. The numbers do not tell the whole story, as the real drags and real numbers that are actually in play have many more variables that factor in, and you have oversimplified the system such that it's no longer an accurate model of reality.
     

    kevina

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  • Sep 10, 2006
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    Brother....most anglers recognize the need for heavier leader material... for many reasons. From trout.... to tuna... we all use it for the same reasons. I agree with the above assessment about reel size...but want you to consider this.

    First.... much of the east coast fishing is done "in the gunnel". Reel weight isn't a great factor.... but when fishing West Coast tuna... holding.... casting .... reeling that heavier reel... all day.... from the rail.... makes you consider your options. Your wrist will thank you.... specifically on multi-day trips. I have seen guys "hurting" after just a couple of days.... of toting that "bigger" reel around. Your pride isn't going to be hurt.... if you drag around a 30 size instead if a 50W... and still get ALL your fish!
    Good point.
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    What you're missing is the actual experience to see how sketchy 25-30lbs of drag on 50-65lb braid looks, sounds, and feels on a fish that can actually make a sustained run at those drag pressures.
    Hope to get such a chance someday. Would be awesome to hook the lone beast hiding amongst the schoolies. Probably limit myself to about 20lbs of drag or so (not 25-30lbs). Boom or bust will be interesting.

    On a more practical note...
    It's not about the line. It's about the smaller reel functioning at 30lbs of drag in a prolonged battle.
    a guy can put 500 yards of 65 lb braid on a Fathom 30LD2 but I sure wouldn't be using that for 80 lb, much less a 100 lb situations.
    How about 500yds of 65lb solid braid to 80lb leader on a Mak15T?
     
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    DennisV

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    Hope to get such a chance someday. Would be awesome to hook the lone beast hiding amongst the schoolies. Probably limit myself to about 20lbs of drag or so (not 25-30lbs). Boom or bust will be interesting.

    On a more practical note...


    How about 500yds of 65lb solid braid to 80lb leader on a Mak15T?
    I'd give it a go but I'd rather use the 16 if that was available.
     
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    jmch75

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    The key points were made by a few different folks already and I agree with them.

    Where I believe things are getting conflated in this specific example is looking at the line and the reel together. This is leading down the wrong rabbit hole.

    Let's talk about the line first. Plastic line (mono/flouro) has a few properties that an angler will choose based upon the objective. These can be stretch, diameter, abrasion resistance, stealth, etc. Obviously, the heavier the line, the higher "test" it's rated for.

    If the goal is say, abrasion resistance, then one will choose a "bigger" diameter that is reasonable, which will inherently have a higher "test". Just because you have a higher "test" capability, doesn't mean you have to setup your drag to utilize that capability, and in this example, is not the primary objective.

    So, my intention could be a 50lb setup, where I have 50 or 65lb braid and topshot with 100lb plastic because abrasion is my goal, and since this is a 50lb setup, I would set my strike drag with respect to my "weakest link", and in this case that would be somewhere around 12-15lbs. Everything from the rod, reel, and line need to be somewhat matched. Just because I have 100lb plastic as my leader, I wouldn't set my drag to 25-30lbs. That would not be a reasonably matched system.

    If, on the other hand, the intention is to fish 25-30lbs of drag at strike, then, this is a different scenario as we'd want heavy line and a reel that can handle this type of load without redlining it. Hence, if we're discussing say a Fathom 30 vs a Mak 15T, those are two different classes of reels, and I'm pretty confident that one of those would probably not do very well for long.

    At the end of the day, you CAN put whatever line on whatever reel you want. Plastic or otherwise. But, considerations for the objective and having a reasonably matched system will be a better way to answer the OP's question.
     
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