Line to leader system?

Fincutter

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In recent years, I've gravitated toward smaller reels and solid spectra to flouro with an FG knot just off my reels. I've had excellent results with this on my 8 day variety trips but I'm gonna be on some BFT trips this year (starting 10 days from now on the Pacific Queen) and that's got me thinking about my no-stretch system.

The things I like about my current system are flexibility, easy casting (no line memory and no knot on the reel), easy swimming bait, and maintaining line capacity on my smaller reels.

On a few of my bigger setups, I've used hollow/loop-to-loop (still short top shots) but I'm starting to question the extra $$$ that entails.

Please share any ideas you may have about mono top shots and balancing the stretch benefits against the benefits of my current system.

Thanks!

BTW, in most cases, my reels are spooled with 65# solid. But my bigger reels all have hollow that ranges from 80-130#.
 

Fincutter

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Thanks. Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I'd get more stretch with loop to loop. My biggest concerns with the introduction of mono is that I hate giving up line capacity, I don't like having a knot on the reel (unless it's loop to loop), and . . . biggest of all, I don't completely trust knots that tie mono to flouro. That said, I'm thinking that I'll give up 30 yds of spectra on a few of my reels so that I'll have the option of adding 30 feet of mono.
 
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Fishybuzz

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I have never had a "lack of stretch" issue fishing short 15' top shots and a FG knot while fishing cow YFT..... the 7'6" rail rods I use have light tip section which provides good shock absorption to prevent pulled hooks and knot failures....
 

Fishybuzz

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Is that 15' of mono or flouro?
either......flouro stretches almost as much as mono.....lots of times I will fish mono instead because of conditions....I do not not tie a FC leader onto mono...either straight mono or straight Flouro....
 
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ReelDealAngler-

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IMO the FG is the best connection if you are winding the connection back onto your reel with a longer leader or top shot. It is very slim, the tag end of the leader can be covered with half hitches of braid main line and I also put a drop of Pilobond on the tag end and roll it for a smooth tag end that basically has little to no potential for damaging your main line as it rolls over it under high tension via a fish or a line winder.

G
 

ZZZZZ

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Using sato crimp system or fg. I would want the connection wound onto the spool a few turns. Because those connections do not hold up the spool and they do not back fire going through the guides while casting. I think that length gives enough shock absorption and allows a high performance hand selected bait to perform good

30-50# fluoro to spectra uni-uni for mid grade bft. The connection is just outside the reel. So the uni-uni connection tag ends don't interrupt the flow of the spool while lobbing or over hand casting a belly hooked bait. Already going to get a few connection back fires going through the guides.

I guess I need to go fg for lower diameters

A all graphite rod with a super fast shut down. For me is kinda sketchy on the shock absorbtion factor with a short top shot. Not allot of room for error or when the rod needs to be put in awkward directions to get out of a tangle. I do prefer a longer top shot then just outside the reel. I'm going fg

Hybred rods are really nice for short top shots. Those super seeker root beer rods are sick and the phynix hybred rods. Never even caught a fish on a root beer seeker. But pulling on them with a human those are good short top shot rods.

I like the tuna to throb the rod. On the up and down. Not bottom out but throbbing

Btw: Recently witnessed over 10 mono-fluoro connections break. Over 9 days of party boat bft feeeshin. With 30-50# line. I dont think any money was saved from not going all fluoro ;)
 
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Mike Nall

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Any one that floats.
I like a wee bit of mono for “stretch” in pro-longed battles. Less chance of that smaller hook pulling 4 feet from gaff on lighter line.
 

wahoodad

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I like a wee bit of mono for “stretch” in pro-longed battles. Less chance of that smaller hook pulling 4 feet from gaff on lighter line.
I have no idea why this is taken as the standard: FC does not stretch.
Pete Haynes years ago before FC really gained popularity proved it stretches the same as mono.
But if you guys want one more knot or connection, knock yourselves out!
I've been fishing fairly short FC leaders for over 20 years, big fish, small fish, it doesn't matter.
I'm not seeing any pulled hooks or lost fish.
 

etwizard

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I’m seeing lots of talk about skittish BF tuna. I saw a bunch out it not four weeks ago. The guys doing well were fishing #40-50 spectra, mostly all white with 30-50# flouro, small hooks, 2/0-4/0. The flouro was either clear or pink. I won’t get into brands. You could not horse these fish in. You need to take your time with the right measured drag. They bit on 2/0-4/0 circles. Some bait hooks as well.
 

ReelDealAngler-

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Other than 200lb mono leader for the kite or 200lb mono leader on large flat falls for large BFT... I haven't used mono in over 12+ years! Solid braid to 5-25 feet of fluoro is the way I rig 98% of my LR outfits. IMO, fluoro has better abrasion resistance, its "stealthier", it sinks out better, it stretches just fine, but it is more expensive (overall its just a small part of the total cost of LR fishing which is not an inexpensive sport and the price of admission continues to rise).

G
 

Brad I

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This season there's been a lot of pulled hooks on these tough bluefin, so many have gone to adding mono as a shock leader.

But after fishing the bluefin, landing some and losing more, I believe that the problem isn't a short floro leader so much as the small hooks that we are using. Its another example of a common trade-off: lighter line and smaller hooks get bit better, but make fighting the fish harder.

I'd bet that if we were fishing horse 8" sardines and were using 4/0 hooks we'd have a lot less pulled hooks, without changing the length of our topshots.
 

AZlongrange

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So ZZZZZ got me thinking, I totally get the benefit of either an FG or a loop to loop if you are fishing a leader/top shot that is going to be wound onto your reel through guides, but if you are only fishing 5 to 10 feet of leader is there a better connection if you are less concerned about size and the ability of the connection to slide through guides and onto a reel? Does the answer change if you are stepping from a 50 setup to a cow setup?
 

Fincutter

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This season there's been a lot of pulled hooks on these tough bluefin, so many have gone to adding mono as a shock leader.

But after fishing the bluefin, landing some and losing more, I believe that the problem isn't a short floro leader so much as the small hooks that we are using. Its another example of a common trade-off: lighter line and smaller hooks get bit better, but make fighting the fish harder.

I'd bet that if we were fishing horse 8" sardines and were using 4/0 hooks we'd have a lot less pulled hooks, without changing the length of our topshots.
Interesting take. I also wonder about the real reason captains are recommending a boat length of mono. Maybe they're looking at the risk/reward of having a whole boat full of anglers, some of whom won't pay close attention. If you're locked in with complete focus, maybe the boat length thing doesn't apply.
 
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Fincutter

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BTW, I just pulled out a spool of 40# Seagur and tested it against a spool of 40# Izor mono. The mono seemed a little better but now I'm convinced that spectra to flouro is good enough in the stretch department.
 
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2Rotten

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I have no idea why this is taken as the standard: FC does not stretch.
Pete Haynes years ago before FC really gained popularity proved it stretches the same as mono.
But if you guys want one more knot or connection, knock yourselves out!
I've been fishing fairly short FC leaders for over 20 years, big fish, small fish, it doesn't matter.
I'm not seeing any pulled hooks or lost fish.

BTW, I just pulled out a spool of 40# Seagur and tested it against a spool of 40# Izor mono. The mono seemed a little better but now I'm convinced that spectra to flouro is good enough in the stretch department.
Brilliant! I just did a similar test, 20 yards of 50# Mono and Fluoro. Brief write-up is in Chit Chat, since it wasn't a fishing report... Short version, mono was a little squishier, but both had sufficient stretch for my needs. I will not be using any Braid to Mono to Fluoro rigs; eliminate one point of failure. My initial thoughts are to go braid to 20 yards of fluoro to the hook.
 
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Fishybuzz

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So ZZZZZ got me thinking, I totally get the benefit of either an FG or a loop to loop if you are fishing a leader/top shot that is going to be wound onto your reel through guides, but if you are only fishing 5 to 10 feet of leader is there a better connection if you are less concerned about size and the ability of the connection to slide through guides and onto a reel? Does the answer change if you are stepping from a 50 setup to a cow setup?

IMO no...
 

wahoodad

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This season there's been a lot of pulled hooks on these tough bluefin, so many have gone to adding mono as a shock leader.

But after fishing the bluefin, landing some and losing more, I believe that the problem isn't a short floro leader so much as the small hooks that we are using. Its another example of a common trade-off: lighter line and smaller hooks get bit better, but make fighting the fish harder.

I'd bet that if we were fishing horse 8" sardines and were using 4/0 hooks we'd have a lot less pulled hooks, without changing the length of our topshots.
Sorry, but it's got nothing to do with stretch. We are pulling on Guadalupe sized tuna with a SIZE 2 HOOK!
Next time you go BFT fishing, check it out on a fish laying on the deck, try and see how a size 2 circle hook fits on the hinge of a 150 pounder!
When I started long ranging, I was told not to hunt for elephants with a peashooter.
So, now we are using peas for bullets (the hook being the issue)
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad this Bluefin is biting a little bit, just wish we could use a tad larger hook and actually have a decent chance.
 

ReelDealAngler-

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This season there's been a lot of pulled hooks on these tough bluefin, so many have gone to adding mono as a shock leader.

But after fishing the bluefin, landing some and losing more, I believe that the problem isn't a short floro leader so much as the small hooks that we are using. Its another example of a common trade-off: lighter line and smaller hooks get bit better, but make fighting the fish harder.

I'd bet that if we were fishing horse 8" sardines and were using 4/0 hooks we'd have a lot less pulled hooks, without changing the length of our topshots.
Agree 100%... but there are times when the bait is really small and the BFT will ONLY eat live bait... so you are stuck using lighter line and a smaller hook if you want to get bit. Other than trying to dig a mackerel out of the tank (where you can fish a larger hook) you pretty much have to go down in line test and hook size. IMO, when you do this you need to also use the appropriate GEAR: longer, lighter rated rod (soft tip section) will make it easier to cast smaller size bait and it will assist you on the fighting end as you have a longer, softer curve on the bend which provides better shock absorption when that squirrely BFT shakes its head and bounces all over the place! The smaller size reels will hold plenty of the lighter line and they also provide better casting with the smaller spool (lighter weight) and will provide better lower drag settings which IMO is crucial when using smaller hooks on lighter line for BFT. Just can't pull as hard on 30-40lb as you can on 50-60lb... especially with smaller 2-1/0 size hooks that are not fully wrapping around that hard tuna jaw. Its more finesse type fishing where you are bound to have LONGER battles and a HIGHER rate of casualties... its just part of the game! Applying steady pressure throughout the battle is KEY to landing that BFT, where experience and good knowledge of your gear comes in as too when to up the drag or when to slightly back off (drag management and proper drag maintenance of your reels is crucial).

G
 
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LEGALWISE

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I really like the variety of the posts on this question. Try different set ups and see what works best for you.
For me, it’s hollow spectra and loop to loop 25 foot top shots of fluorocarbon or mono, from 40 pound to 200 pound. The only knot I have is to the hook. I use a San Diego (on lighter stuff) and a Trilene (on heavier stuff). It never breaks. Cut offs, yes, but set the proper drag pressure for the line class you are using and you are golden.
On the cost issue, it only costs about $8-$10 to have a loop served onto your fluorocarbon or mono top shot. IMO, well worth it to have a system with only one knot. Plus, it goes through your guides as smooth as silk when your rod is bent over 90 degrees on a jumbo.
 

Fishybuzz

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I really like the variety of the posts on this question. Try different set ups and see what works best for you.
For me, it’s hollow spectra and loop to loop 25 foot top shots of fluorocarbon or mono, from 40 pound to 200 pound. The only knot I have is to the hook. I use a San Diego (on lighter stuff) and a Trilene (on heavier stuff). It never breaks. Cut offs, yes, but set the proper drag pressure for the line class you are using and you are golden.
On the cost issue, it only costs about $8-$10 to have a loop served onto your fluorocarbon or mono top shot. IMO, well worth it to have a system with only one knot. Plus, it goes through your guides as smooth as silk when your rod is bent over 90 degrees on a jumbo.
Actually you have two knots... the knot to the hook and your cat paw connecting your loop to loop....
 

ReelDealAngler-

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Actually you have two knots... the knot to the hook and your cat paw connecting your loop to loop....
X2... and IMO the loop to loop is a thicker and slightly heavier connection (less "stealthy", a bit harder for small fin bait to tow in the fly line live bait applications).

G