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Braided Line And Gin Clear Water

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I have a tournament as a co-angler in September on a gin clear lake. I love braided line on my spinning gear for drop shotting. The added sensitivity is amazing, especially on a GLX drop shot rod and it almost completely elimates line twists and spinning reel nightmares. With that said, I feel it makes me a more efficient fisherman but was wondering if anyone else is using braid as a main line with a fluoro leader in super clear water or if you think it makes any difference to the fish? I run 10 lb. Power Pro with 15 feet of 6 lb. Sunline Sniper.

I was also wondering what your thoughts were on throwing topwater on gin clear lakes with braid. I must say that 30 lb. braid casts super spooks, rio ricos, and gunfish like a dream and makes the bait incredibly responsive. Not to mention it provides an instant hook set. My question is, do the fish seem to notice?

Thanks guys

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I dont think it matters really, but then again, if the fish are really picky it just might. I would tie on a leader just to be on the safe side though. It can't hurt to use a leader, but it might hurt by using straight braid.

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i personally dont see a difference in fish seeing line. if they do it would be in a lake that is in a clear water lake. i do use braid, fluoro, and mono. with that being said i only use braid for the muck and c-rigging and when using the c i tie on a fluro leader. like bassclary said if not sure tie on a leader but when out for fun try it straight up and see if you see a difference. good luck

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I use a fluorocarbon leader, barrel swivel, and 10 pound Power Pro all the time. You are absolutely correct the sensitivity of light braid is unreal and line twist is a non-issue. I don’t drop shot any other way.

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This is a hot topic with my brothers and I, they fish mainly with Mono, or Floro, but I spool only braided with no leader, on my ugly stick (my work horse) I am using Fire line Crystal line and I don’t think it’s made me catch less fish. I like to play a fish, but the # 1 Golden Rule of our boat is, “Get it in the boat”… but I mainly fish with my son’s and they HATE to lose a fish just before we can net it. The younger ones do have mono on, but my 15 yr old went out and bought himself some fire line #10 lbs test, he caught a 26 inch Bowfin earlier this year, which was amazing to watch and I’m positive he would have lost her on 4-6 lbs mono. I guess I say if your catching fish with what you’ve got, and your fishing the way you want, go for it. No matter what you use, you’re going to have good days and bad, only way to be sure of your catches is to switch to Dynamite…..LOL

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A leader is just another something that can go wrong. for topwater tie straight to braid. the only time i think a leader makes a difference is fishing slow moving baits like texas rigged plastics, grubs, and dropshots and even then i think it is just a confidence thing for me. i know someone who uses 30lb braid for everything even in clear water where you can see 10-20' down and he catches his share of fish. I personally only use a leader when fishing plastics. most of the time when fishing plastics i prefer mono but with the weeds i run 15-30lb braid with a 8-15lb leader.

if i were you i would ditch the braid while dropshotting and use 6-8lb mono or flouro if you like it (i personally have never used flouro as a main line just for leaders.

good luck!

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I've heard it said that if the hooks don't spook the fish why would the line? That's a good question. However, in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas there are a number of very clear lakes - Norfork, Bull Shoals, Table Rock, Beaver, and Stockton to name some. I have yet to meet a guide or read one's website for these lakes that doesn't recommend either using lower pound test fluorocarbon or a fluorocarbon leader with braid. They fish this type of water daily, so I use a leader with braid just to play it safe. With a properly tied alberto knot I am not concerned about another point of failure. I also use straight fluorocarbon on one plastics/jig rod and on my deep crankbait rod. It is rare that I use braid for top water but I agree that it isn't such a concern there to have fluorocarbon. Of course, you have to account for the lack of stretch with a softer rod, or more delay in your hookset.

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We have a few quarries around here that are gin clear, I have 30lb Spider wire stealth on with no leaders at all, it changes nothing here on these waters, top water baits are the same with no difference also, I catch just as many fish as other people do and these waters are pressured as well.

I do not know if color, where red vs. green makes a difference or not, I have never tried the red, but green does not seem to effect the bite.

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IME I feel its a confidence thing to fish straight braid in gin clear water. Me personally, I fish a fluro leader with braid. Some guys you have noticed here on this post fish straight braid no problem. Others with leaders. Answer? Try both and see what you are comfortable with. Good luck.

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My home lake is very clear and I use braid with a flouro. leader for my finesse techniques. No braid is any where close to being invisible under water and I definitely think it makes a difference. I also use flouro. on my baitcasters for texas rigs, C. Rig leader, etc., for the same reason. Most folks use very small diameter line for finesse techniques. The only reason to do that is because it's less visible to the fish. Otherwise, why would you not use heavier line? The same reasoning goes for using flouro., which is almost clear under water. Now if I'm fishing a lake that has a lot of color, I'm not as concerned with line color, diameter, etc.

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Its not so much of a general 'if it matters' thing as it is the pressure the lake has. Fish that hardly ever see fisherman (ie... remote quarries and pits) are not nearly as weary as fish that are on, say, Bull Shoals. I have a pond that is very clear, and I can GUARENTEE you that the line's diameter and or visbility matters to those pressured fish. I fish for crappie alot in there, and braided line catches may 1/5 what low dia. mono or fluoro do. Lower visibility line will always get your the same or more bites, so its hard not to choose that path. There is no reasoning behind lower visbility line ever getting you LESS bites obviously, just the part about getting them to the boat ;)

I think its one of the more important factors, as much or more than your bait. Fish don't turn down artificial lures because they 'see the hook'. They don't have logic and or the ability to know exactly what a hook is and or looks like. They will simply turn a bait down because it dosn't look natural (excluding reaction bites). The hook may make the lure look not natural, but its not because its a "hook". I don't get any more bites on my practice 'no hook' baits than i do my tournament baits that are identical with hooks.

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Tournament and gin clear water is a no brainer. Light line floro or at least a long leader of light line floro. Tournaments are not a place to experiment. If you prefish try both, if you don't prefish eliminate any doubt by fishing floro....................Al

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Most folks use very small diameter line for finesse techniques. The only reason to do that is because it's less visible to the fish. Otherwise, why would you not use heavier line? The same reasoning goes for using flouro., which is almost clear under water.

I agree wholeheartedly that less visible lines gets you more bites, whether that is fluoro or thin mono. Another reason people use light line, though, is because it gives finesse baits better action. I have always wondered whether I got more bites with light line than heavy because on the visibility or the more natural movement in the water. If it is the latter, then logic would say that I would get more bites on mono than comparable fluoro, because it is less stiff. I really should do a side-by-side test on that sometime. Finally, some people (myself included) use lighter line for the sporting aspect as well, so I think there are more reasons not to use heavy line that most people might think.

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over the years we've had a lot of people on our boat (4-6 a trip), fishing for Walleye and Small Mouth, some using there own gear and I can't say every time the ones using leaders on braid did better than the ones using straight braid, but I saw enough to prove to me the odds were in the favor of using a Fluoro or mono leader. I say Fluoro or mono, because we tried that boo koo times to see if one mattered over the other and it really didn't seem to matter enough to tell which one was better.

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Given the success of the A-rig on clear water lakes like Table Rock, IMO line visibility does not matter if you are using a moving bait. OTOH, IMO, it might for bottom bouncing baits like jigs and soft plastics on c-rig, drop shot or t-rig.

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I've heard it said that if the hooks don't spook the fish why would the line? That's a good question. However, in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas there are a number of very clear lakes - Norfork, Bull Shoals, Table Rock, Beaver, and Stockton to name some. I have yet to meet a guide or read one's website for these lakes that doesn't recommend either using lower pound test fluorocarbon or a fluorocarbon leader with braid. They fish this type of water daily, so I use a leader with braid just to play it safe. With a properly tied alberto knot I am not concerned about another point of failure. I also use straight fluorocarbon on one plastics/jig rod and on my deep crankbait rod. It is rare that I use braid for top water but I agree that it isn't such a concern there to have fluorocarbon. Of course, you have to account for the lack of stretch with a softer rod, or more delay in your hookset.

x2.

For me it has more to do with how much time the fish have to examine ur lure ie technique ur using. Finesse requires a thin leader b/c the fish can stare at ur lure for an extended period of time. I have no problem tying straight to braid with top water, fast moving techniques, or jigs in heavy cover even in clear water b/c the bass don't have time to think or see...they need to commit quickly or lose out on a meal.

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I have seen a lot a guys tie straight to braid and when the break it, it usually doesn't break at the knot, so how ever many feet of line is broke of its there till ....................................., that right who knows when, till a prop wraps it into a seal, or water fowl get tangled and strangled, who knows but on thing is for sure, it aint gonna rot. I will always use a leader!! and if I ever loose any braid it is because I trimmed it! I'll know what happens to it.

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I agree with Capt Bob, I always use a leader too. My braid seldom breaks, usually the leader or the knot at my lure or swivel gives out before the braid, with minimal loss. I do go thru a lot of braid because of what I catch and where I'm doing it, it's unfortunate, but uncontrollable. Not unusual to have my line get wrapped around the engine prop or trim tab, or get scrapped along side a pylon with a hefty fish, braid or mono, it's going to get severed.

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How long of a floro leader are you guys using?

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A 40- 60 inch leader will work great...there is no need for any more than that.

Ive fished much shorter leader in the gin clear water of carib and gomex with no issues.

As for topwatet straight braid man

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I fished for trout last weekend with 30lb yellow Power-Pro and a 3ft 12lb fluoro leader. I outfished my buddy using 6lb mono, 2 to 1, using the same lure. I've always thought trout are the most line shy, seemed to work just fine.

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All I know is that there has been a few times my buddy has out fished me. Both times he was using a leader and I had straight braid in clear water.

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I always use a leader for any finesse or slow moving baits and tie direct to cranks & such.. It may just be a confidence thing though.

 

 

Oh & I use a leader a little shorter than the rod so I can reel my bait up without the knot entering the spool.

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