Is There a Reason Most LR Captains Tell Everyone to Fish 130?

FishRock

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Mar 27, 2013
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January 05, 2017

Heartbreaker
by Bill Cavanaugh

Hi Everyone, We ended up having a very similar day as we had yesterday. Steady action on 20 to 200 pound fish. Late in the afternoon, Dale Lethcoe hooked a monster that would not stop. As his outfit got spooled, we dumped his rod and reel over the side with a backup, dumped that back up over the side with another back up, and dumped a second back up over the side so we had three outfits in the water, all spooled. At this point we pulled the anchor and chased the fish. About an hour and a half later we had the fish at color, one more half circle and we had the fish at gaff. The fish made one last direction change, chaffed the 100# fluorocarbon, and it broke off. Right there. About 2 feet from gaff. It was a heartbreaking loss. I estimate that fish to be in the mid 200 pound range. Everyone did their part. No mistakes were made. It was just one of those fish that would not give up. We will be here again tomorrow. We have one more day before we have to start heading for home.

http://royalpolaris.com/news/hurricane-bank-fish-lifetime/
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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I like to flyline with 130 lb Seaguar Premier. It's delusional, I know, since it's diameter is the same as Blue Label 100 lb and Blackwater 100 lb. But at least I get to say "130"
 

Soda Pop

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Excel Long Range Sportfishing
· 17 hrs ·
Steve Lindsey with a 219 pounder! The hot ticket has been 100# Yo-Zuri pink fluorocarbon and a 6/0 Mustad Demon Circle hook. Pick the best bait in the tray and BAM! You're hooked up
........................................................................................................................
I have caught many cows on 100 lb. fluorocarbon. If you can get bit on 130 then use it. Most of the time you get bit more when using 100. I have been on many long range boats and they say use 130 but drop down to 100 if you need to.
 

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
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Pretty much the same discussion/comments I hear from the other anglers on deck. The crew hates to see a fish get away and the anglers want to keep getting bit. Always a dilemma it seems. Most fish can be landed on 100 or even 80 but the lighter you go to get bit the higher the odds are that you will have a failure. I am still very new to the game and have done what the captain and crew have told me to do. I have not lost a single fish in two years. But I don't think I get bit as well as I would if I were to drop down to 100.
 
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vegasandre

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Heartbreak at Hurricane Bank

That Angler has a story to tell.

Its better to have Loved and Lost than never to have loved at all.....
except maybe in this case.
 
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Bill W

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Jan 12, 2006
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I like to flyline with 130 lb Seaguar Premier. It's delusional, I know, since it's diameter is the same as Blue Label 100 lb and Blackwater 100 lb. But at least I get to say "130"
Still Premier can be bought on a small spool, still soft and less abraision resistant than the rest... Personally I would trust Blackwater 100 over Premier 130. Getting chewed off is more than just the diameter.
 
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screamingreel

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Jan 14, 2006
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Hey Jam,

I believe the primary reason for the crew wanting everyone to use 130 is the crew is in the fish-landing business and prefers heavier line because the chances of landing the fish increases. From a customer-experience perspective, we focus on getting-bit and will use lighter line to get bit and then worry about landing it. It is always a trade-off and part of the game.

You cannot break 100 or 130 by pulling, but eventually everything fails. Every fish is different, but I suspect the drag could have been increased. Two back-up rigs and chased the fish? I wonder how long they were on the fish...more time, more chances for things to go wrong.

Losing a fish at color sucks, but we don't catch them all!

- Jeff Burroughs
 

Josa1

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Jul 17, 2009
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Wow! I've been lucky enough to be involved in a couple of those losses, and after the agony, just thought "Great Fun!"
Wonder if the angler was using a circle hook? Since I've been using those I haven't had a "chew through". My favorite is 90 or 100 pound fluoro, just can't seem to get bit on 130. However, people all around me are getting bit on 130/150 mono straight tie, go figure.
Long range fishing is just plain fun, and one trip seems to last all year as you contemplate what you could have done better, refurbish gear, look at your notes, service reels, buy new stuff, and on and on! I think this is highlighted as the boat is trying to leave the dock while people just have to run to the local tackle store to buy a couple of last minute items.
josa1
 

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
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Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
Hey Jam,

I believe the primary reason for the crew wanting everyone to use 130 is the crew is in the fish-landing business and prefers heavier line because the chances of landing the fish increases. From a customer-experience perspective, we focus on getting-bit and will use lighter line to get bit and then worry about landing it. It is always a trade-off and part of the game.

You cannot break 100 or 130 by pulling, but eventually everything fails. Every fish is different, but I suspect the drag could have been increased. Two back-up rigs and chased the fish? I wonder how long they were on the fish...more time, more chances for things to go wrong.

Losing a fish at color sucks, but we don't catch them all!

- Jeff Burroughs
Jeff,

I have no doubt that you are right on the money. I guess that I am a bit over sensitive to the crew's wishes as they are certainly a huge part of the equation. On the other hand I do spend a lot of money and time to get out fishing and want to maximize my opportunity while I am there. Just a question of where the balance is. As usual, each trip presents its own unique experience and decisions have to be made. (Glad I decided a couple of years ago to jump over the side of the boat out at Hurricane Bank and ride a whale shark!)

As to the lost fish described above I have no doubt that everyone made the right decisions but it just was not meant to be. May have never even hooked up with 130 and even if he did he may have still not landed it.
 
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DC61

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Dec 28, 2011
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I find that as a general rule during the day you will be fishing a sardine. I believe that a sardine looks more natural and swims better with 100 pound FC when compared to 130. I also believe that it's easier for the fish to see 130 than it is for them to see 100. My general rule is that in the morning I will fish 130 right until it starts to get light. I know that when I get bit I can land pretty much anything I hook. When it starts to get light I switch to 100. I do the same in reverse order when it starts to get dark.

This has always worked for me; with one memorable exception. I was fishing a sardine at Clarion. The cook had announced dinner and everyone vacated the deck, especially since the fishing was really spotty. I got bit on 100# and the fish went to the bow. We got it around the anchor and the fish settled in. I simply couldn't move it. I was completely over matched. After 30 minutes or so the fish broke off.

I have caught a handful of big fish. That is the one that keeps me coming back. Would 130 have made a difference? I don't know, maybe..........
 

Brad I

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I have had the exact same experience: crewmen poised with their gaffs, a fish that might have achieved super-cow status, just one circle away, and the line finally chaffed through. Oh, and it was indeed 130.

Sometimes it just happens. A higher line weight means that you can pull harder, but chaffing can still happen. As floro is more brittle than mono, its even possible that heavier line is less flexible than lighter line and even more prone to wearing through.

Bottom line when it happens--you've got to salute the fish and the fight, and accept that you landed a great a story if not a great fish.
 
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DC61

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"Bottom line when it happens--you've got to salute the fish and the fight, and accept that you landed a great a story if not a great fish."
Brad,
Well said! I love this statement. You're right on the money. Tip your hat to the fish and be honored you got to play with him for a little while! It keeps us coming back!
 
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When you book a trip of 14 days or longer, your booking a trip to catch a fish of a lifetime, GIANT Yellow Fin Tuna.
I really like what Roy Rose says in this report;

Another error I have seen (and one that I personally hold to be the most egregious) is the use of 100-pound test or less. If you’re on a 5 or 8-day trip, this line is fine. But on a long trip when we are fishing for bigger fish, this line shouldn’t even be in your tackle box. A standard rule on any long trip I run is this: 130-pound test. If you’re serious about catching the fish of a lifetime, you should be using 130- pound test. Not 80. Not 100. I don’t care if you see 60-120 pounders boiling around the boat; you’ve already caught all those. You came out here for one thing and one thing only: to catch a 200-pound+ fish, the biggest fish of your life. And your chances decrease significantly when you use 80 or 100-pound test.
 
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$norkle

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This discussion serves to point out a couple of contrasts. It was correctly pointed out that Captains and crew have somewhat different perspectives than some anglers. They want/need to report good catch numbers. Anglers also want to catch fish, but also want to hook fish. The next question is what is 130#? Not all brands have the same breaking strength. Same with 100#. I've come to think that abrasion resistance is probably more important than the difference between two line tests. And is breaking strength even an issue? Unless your drag seizes, you can't break 100# (more on that below). I'd wager that more big fish are lost because of either failed connections or prolonged abrasion from teeth. I won't fish sardines with any heavier fluoro than 100# because I want the bait to swim well, and more importantly want to get bit more frequently. I still get my share of cows. Do I go heavier with other baits like skippies----absolutely, but that's another issue. Here's something to try--- rig an outfit with a 100# fluoro topshot and whatever hook you prefer. Attach the hook to something immobile like a tree, a volkswagon, or whatever and then start pulling on it with your normal drag setting. Hint: you're not going to break the line. You can't break the line. Do it for a half hour or more and you'll have the same result. That's why we fish with reels that have drags. Now occasionally you encounter a fish that simply will not let itself be stopped, and for those fish it matters very little whether you're fishing 100# or 130#------you'll still have to go to a backup. That's just the thrill of fishing. Just me personally, I'd rather catch more fish, including some cows like I mentioned above, than fewer fish just on the one-in-a-million chance of hooking a 350# fish. And if that big one comes along, I'd love to do battle with my 100#, even if I lost.
 

Brad I

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I won't fish sardines with any heavier fluoro than 100# because I want the bait to swim well, and more importantly want to get bit more frequently. I still get my share of cows.
Having been lucky enough to fish with Bruce several times, I can state that this statement is false--he catches well more than his share of fish. If he suggests something, its worth listening to.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
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100 vs 130. As Bill said, it's more than diameter, which has more to do with breaking strength. Abrasion resistance is more of a hardness rating I suppose and softer, more supple line apparently will have less abrasion resistance. How Blackwater 100 lb is more abrasion resistant than 130 lb Premier. Wonder how 100 lb Blue Label stacks up against 100 lb Blackwater?
 

Bill W

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Steve, I think a test method should be thought up. And use line diameter as the level of the test. But to be honost we all have our preferences without hard evidence. At first glance you would think the thinnest diameter per pound test is what you want, then how easy it is to work with. But thinking on another level is it is not about the initial pound test, but how much chew resistance it has. That has diameter and abraision resistance the factor. Still with all those factors, expierence in getting bit is also very important.

What I like about Blackwater 100# (and 80#) is it gets bit for me and has really good abraision. Over 100# I really like Yozuri cause it cost less and I worry less about the abraision factor, easy to work with and it also gets bit well.

I think one factor with fluorocarbon that is missed is it's sink rate fishing sardines. Just seems to me although Blackwater is harder to work with, it is more dense than other brands.
 
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JohnTFT

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Makai is made by Toray as is Blackwater. The abrasion resistance is extremely high on both products. We have been using 130 and 150 Makai to catch GBFT here in the north east. Almost never use circle hooks as well. I am amazed when I see the line after a big one is landed. It looks perfect.

Seaguar has its place. Premier gets bit in a pick bite. Blue Label has good abrasion resistance. The Toray stuff is a whole different ball game.