Line to leader system?

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Should also say, I do use loop to loop attachment for pre-conneccted 40-80 lb Premier. I start splicing at 100 lb. Personal preference, that's all.
 

afraser

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Apr 20, 2008
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IMO, its all about how well your fin bait swims... I get bit better when fishing BFT on live "fin bait" when the bait is LIVELY (this is based on 40+ years of west coast sport fishing experience). BFT don't seem to eat dead bait connected to a line other than a squid, unlike YFT who will often eat dead bait or even a chunk of bait... that's my experience fishing BFT on the west coast.

When the sardines are small or like back in the early days when all you had were anchovies you NEEDED to use smaller hooks and lighter line so that your smaller fin bait would be LIVELY enough to get bit... IMO, its not about the hook puncture, its more about the weight and bulk of the hook and diameter of the line as it relates to drag (towing it through the water) for the smaller fin bait application.

G
Agreed, it is all about how well the bait swims. When I hook a bait, clearly the skin around it changes color, it is darker around the hook puncture. I try to use 4/0 super mutus when the bigger fish are mixed in, just cause, but they do put a big hole in a bait. A thin bridle in the back should greatly lessen the stress on the bait. I'll just try it and see. Ordered some clear rubber bands, that seems to be the easiest way. Will either use a small bridle needle or just a folded piece of wire, which probably will make a smaller hole in the bait. If I can do it quickly without scaling the bait, then it should work better. We will see.
 

JohnTFT

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Feb 11, 2007
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The love for the FG knot is over hyped.

Its a great knot to tye when you have time and conditions warrant it. On a rolling boat and in a hot bite you will find few tying it.

In fact guys who are fishing really high drag pressures on really mean fish (GT, Dogtooth) are not using this knot.

They use twisted leaders, with albrights and loop to loops. They do it because its fast and as strong as the FG without the hassle of tying an FG.

So yes, if you want a knot that has great strength the FG is the ticket. But for these light drag pressures you are fishing with 2/0 hooks and the like - an albright with the knot outside the guides for casting will work fine and - its really simple to tye.

I still use loop to loops for everything. And I have caught BFT from 30 to 700 pounds on the LtL.

The idea the bait swims better with other connections is anecdotal and personal preference.
 
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Cubeye

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Jan 26, 2007
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Agreed, it is all about how well the bait swims. When I hook a bait, clearly the skin around it changes color, it is darker around the hook puncture. I try to use 4/0 super mutus when the bigger fish are mixed in, just cause, but they do put a big hole in a bait. A thin bridle in the back should greatly lessen the stress on the bait. I'll just try it and see. Ordered some clear rubber bands, that seems to be the easiest way. Will either use a small bridle needle or just a folded piece of wire, which probably will make a smaller hole in the bait. If I can do it quickly without scaling the bait, then it should work better. We will see.
I have in the past, simply attached a smaller J hook, via 50# Spectra, to the loop of the larger circle hook. Put the J hook into the bait and let the circle free float. It works, but don't know if it works better than simply using the circle.
 
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FishRock

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The love for the FG knot is over hyped.

Its a great knot to tye when you have time and conditions warrant it. On a rolling boat and in a hot bite you will find few tying it.
John,

You certainly have a boat load more experience than I do but I will have to say some folks over hype just about every method out there. And like you and many other have stated, fish what gives you confidence. The FG knot is something that gives me confidence. And I can tie it faster than most can change out a loop to loop or re-do a crimped insertion under any conditions.

If the bite is so hot I have to get a line back in the water NOW or miss the opportunity I would just grab another rod since it is likely that under those circumstances I could use my chunk or man bait rig to get a bait in the water.

The reason I hype the FG knot is that I have confidence in it and think others will find it a good solution. I also have a very limited skill set and capacity to carry and keep track of windons, crimps and pliers etc. And I have had the Albright and similar knots fail on me, probably because I did not practice enough to know when they were tied correctly. I have not had an FG knot fail me yet in anything from 50 lb. to 130.

The main reason I went to it was that with any connection I have fished that required inserting the leader into hollow I ended up with a coil of line that I could not straiten where the leader was inside the hollow. Watching a live bait trying to drag the slinky coil around left me looking for something else. I know I should have been replacing the leader once the coil started to show but I don't have to worry about it with the FG knot and I can adjust leader length at a whim.
 

afraser

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Apr 20, 2008
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John,

You certainly have a boat load more experience than I do but I will have to say some folks over hype just about every method out there. And like you and many other have stated, fish what gives you confidence. The FG knot is something that gives me confidence. And I can tie it faster than most can change out a loop to loop or re-do a crimped insertion under any conditions.

If the bite is so hot I have to get a line back in the water NOW or miss the opportunity I would just grab another rod since it is likely that under those circumstances I could use my chunk or man bait rig to get a bait in the water.

The reason I hype the FG knot is that I have confidence in it and think others will find it a good solution. I also have a very limited skill set and capacity to carry and keep track of windons, crimps and pliers etc. And I have had the Albright and similar knots fail on me, probably because I did not practice enough to know when they were tied correctly. I have not had an FG knot fail me yet in anything from 50 lb. to 130.

The main reason I went to it was that with any connection I have fished that required inserting the leader into hollow I ended up with a coil of line that I could not straiten where the leader was inside the hollow. Watching a live bait trying to drag the slinky coil around left me looking for something else. I know I should have been replacing the leader once the coil started to show but I don't have to worry about it with the FG knot and I can adjust leader length at a whim.
. Don’t put the leader on the spool, that works too. You can get 3 rod lengths if you wrap your line around your reel and hook near the tip. You still have two bends in the line but nothing like putting the inserted fluoro on the spool.
 

ZZZZZ

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Dec 11, 2003
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Jet Ski Yamaha FX Show. ZZZZZ
I like the connection wound onto the reel a few turns. I need another sato system for 40# up lr boat finess fishing. I go straight into the hollow so I can make that connection in under 3 minutes. From the upper deck with a birds eye view as I'm done making the connection. The hollow is already open from the last connection. I cut a tad off and only have to open a tad more. Sato crimps do not bog the spool speed down and goes through guides like butter

Just caught 6 mid grade bft with the connection outside of the reel, uni-uni. Not enough stretch for me. Connection click clacks the guides every few casts. Which sucks when a magical bait connection back fires and the bait casts lame and smaks the water. I call it the (glitter cast) scales everywhere upon impact. Turning the reel sideways helps the connection go through clean

I tie a back to back uni to connect 50# and under to spectra. I want a connection wound onto the spool that will not slow anything down. Sometimes I wind that connection onto the spool or sometimes its outside of the spool. Either way the uni-uni tag end of fluoro/mono slows things down or is not smooth going through guides. Unless the tag end is cut very very close to the knot but then it could slip

I need a new knot thats live bait casting friendly for party boats. I fish solo in costa rica so connection bogs dont bother me. Uni-uni is fine and I tie it above 50# here. But not above 50# up there
 

afraser

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Apr 20, 2008
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Why cast? There really is no need. Either shoulder hook, back hook or butt hook your bait, swing him out gently and make sure he runs the direction you want. If he swims the wrong way, hold the spool until he does swim the right way, then let him go. Light tension from thumbing the spool with kick him into gear. Works like 95% of the time. Only time casting is better is if the fish are biting on the drop in.
 
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ZZZZZ

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Belly hook
80% I gentle underhand lob for good grade tunas. Especially long soak in mind. Lobs do not back fire

Belly hook
But in conditions with no wind and no current and no swell. For this bft, I will over hand cast with 30-50#. When I think a tad of damage to the bait is worth getting it away from the boat

I hold the line in my left hand to guide a bait away from the boat, after a lob. If the bait wants to swim back to the boat, I pull line in with my left hand. Like reins on a horse. Once the bait is pointed away from the boat I release the line from my left hand. Then fish off the spool

I nose hook. Only slide baits
 

ZZZZZ

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Speaking of line memory. While not risking close lining anyone. I attach the hook to the hook ring or anchor chain. Walk back in gear and relax the line. Tight with a tiny bit of stretch. Makes the line more limp and takes memory out

Rod tip pointed at the hook. No bend in rod
 
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stairman

......
May 16, 2009
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doug
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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.
9 bites yesterday on the tomahawk...used j hooks all day..all were hooked in the same place...corner of the jaw.ive looked at some small j hook designs and just cant see using a size 2 circle hook on 80 pound average fish. kinda funny that these young ( under 40) deckhands being amazed that the guy with the most fish on the boat was using old school cheap non ringed j hooks

Belly hook
80% I gentle underhand lob for good grade tunas. Especially long soak in mind. Lobs do not back fire

Belly hook
But in conditions with no wind and no current and no swell. For this bft, I will over hand cast with 30-50#. When I think a tad of damage to the bait is worth getting it away from the boat

I hold the line in my left hand to guide a bait away from the boat, after a lob. If the bait wants to swim back to the boat, I pull line in with my left hand. Like reins on a horse. Once the bait is pointed away from the boat I release the line from my left hand. Then fish off the spool

I nose hook. Only slide baits
You are missing some bites only belly hooking baits...yes the trend is today to belly and shoulder hook...but being stubborn for a couple reasons gets me more bites...2 out of 9 bites for me yesterday came when I finally got a larger then average bait that swam good but for what ever reason didnt get bit. After soaking it out 100 to 150 yards I reeled in my nose hooked baits at the rate a VERY HOT bait takes the line off the spool during those times where you find yourself saying oh shit this one is gonna get bit..25% of my bites on a given day bft fishing that I NEVER would have had with a belly hooked or shoulder hooked bait is enough to keep me doing things as I always have.
second reason is it seems to me that holding the propeller end of a bait still enough to get proper hook placement seems to take too long and knock more scales off....if your rod grips are covered in scales this is why.Knocked off scales mean one thing...damage...when I'm holding a bait to nose hook my hand only has firm contact on the skull the rest of my hand cradles a bait doing no damage
 
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ZZZZZ

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Belly hook. Once done fishing the bait. I rip it off the hook and skip the hook back. Tangle free and chumming

I would shoulder hook to fish the bait back to the boat

I seat j hooks the same as a circle hook.
 
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stairman

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May 16, 2009
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zzzzz. you would have a shoulder hooked bait spinning unless you went slower then a hot bait swims...much slower...even then it wouldnt look natural.
 
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okie man

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Oct 24, 2006
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kerry way
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Take a standard j hook and same size circle hook and lay them side by side. Most j hooks will have almost twice the gap between point and shank as the circle hook. When you look at most small(1/0-3/0) circle hooks, that gap is only 1/4-1/2” . Now look at how thick the jaw bone of a 100# tuna is. I personally like a j hook when using smaller hooks for large fish. 2 hooks I like most are mustad hoodlums and Vmc tuna tamers. I’ve used 4/0 tuna tamers with 25# plus of drag with no bending at all. Proper hook selection and good connections are far more important than leader/topshot length in my humble opinion
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Caught an archived show on LTHU today, Captain/Owner of the San Diego out of Seaforth, Ryan Bostian. He spoke about hooking Sardines bottom to top to keep the mouth closed when fishing the sinker rigs. New to me. It's how I used to hook dead Anchovies with a size 4 hook. Fishing Bonito at the mouth of the San Gabriel River. Back in the day.
 
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FishRock

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zzzzz. you would have a shoulder hooked bait spinning unless you went slower then a hot bait swims...much slower...even then it wouldnt look natural.
Doug,

I caught half of my fish last winter swimming shoulder hooked baits back to the boat. The first couple of times I did it I was amazed at how fast they would swim and how lively they still were by the time they got back to me from a relatively long soak. I only did this when I was not in the middle of other anglers. When I was with others I simply knocked the bait off and reeled in the hook.

Your suggestion of swimming a nose hooked bait back to the boat like a hot bait swimming away is great and I will have to give that a go too. I will happily nose hook, shoulder hook, belly hook, back hook ......... whatever gets bit.
 

ZZZZZ

natural born jig slingers
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Its not just the connection going through the guides that can disrupt a cast

Its thumbing the spool while casting and the connection is in contact with the thumb. The thumb is feathering the connection bump as the spool is spinning. To be technical

So I like the connection wound onto the side of the spool and not in the middle of the spool. The connection is not touching the side of the spool but very close too. My thumb is more dominant towards the left side of the spool while casting so the connection gets wound onto the right side
 
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FishRock

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I love Pappy’s overhand knot. Yeah I’d say it works. 75 over 200 and 3 over 300 would say it’s pretty solid.
Mike,

Are you saying you actually use an over hand knot to connect spectra to flouro or mono when chasing cows?
 

Bill W

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Pappy is Bob Mitchner and that is how he makes his connections. Works for him... if it is not broke, do not fix it.
Mike,

Are you saying you actually use an over hand knot to connect spectra to flouro or mono when chasing cows?