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Leader for braid? Or not?

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First of all, thank you for your replies!  This is my first post on this forum.  I have been using a flouro leader on the braid on my spinning reel when in clear water.  I do this because it seems the thing to do.  All the pros do it but they are selling line.  I can't bring myself to believe that bass won't bite because they see your line.  What do you think?

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I think it matters.  Can I prove it? Nope

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Confidence plays a big role in fishing. If you think bass have the brain power to reason and figure out that fishing line is a bad thing but that treble hooks, wood, metal and plastic are OK to eat, than you should keep using leaders. I believe bass are not that smart and I have a lot of confidence that they will try and eat my artificial lure even if it is connected to line that they can see. So I will continue to use braided line without any leader.  By the way, contrary to what the line makers say, FC line is visible underwater. 

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Hello and Welcome!

Most folks on here use Flouro leaders, some exclusively. 

I'm one of the odd balls as I do not...ever. 

To me it's another knot that may let loose, plus I don't subscribe to the notion a bass won't hit a plastic because they see the line, get scared and just turn away.  

 

Now all that said, those who believe in some of the advantages it has will be along and give thier reasons. 

Most will be valid by some very good fisherman. 

 

It'll be your preference what you do with it. 

 

 

 

Mike

 

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I use leaders in some circumstances none of which involve visibility. 

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I use leaders more for saving money on main line (braid).  Some reels have had a braid for years!  if I spooled them up all with other lines I would've changed them more frequently.  So for me it's a cost savings, but there are times where abrasion resistance is necessary too.  So if you use braid as mainline for most techniques you should be fine with the exception of sharp edges..etc.  Also find that using a leader for drop shot, it is easier for me to tie on the rig.  I have caught fish on yellow braid straight and white braid straight.  No ill effects. 

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Welcome aboard!

 

99.9% of the time I use a leader. Every setup.

 

Saves braided mainline, helps with abrasion in

areas with oysters (saltwater), dock pylons, 

and so forth.

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If Im using a flouro leader it has nothing to do with the bass. Its the toothy other fish, rocks, or any number of sharp things thatll ruin your day in a heart beat.

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Always either a mono or flour leader for bird depending on what I'm doing. Saves me money in the long run, and I can get the benefits of mono and flouro, while still having the ease of use and castability of braid. I use a crazy Alberto knot. The line will snap before the knot does.

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^I agree with Scott F.  Also, I have a hard time justifying using braid at all if I'm just going to "weaken" the end of it by attaching a leader (unless it's a wire leader for when I anticipate catching toothy fish like snakehead).  It is, however,  something I've considered to clearwater/finicky bass.  I feel like water with any coloration will disguise the braid well enough (especially if you're using low visibility line colors).  I also use a snap because I don't like retying often, so that kinda defeats the "subtlety" of a fluoro leader as it is too.  

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Most of the time, it seems to make no difference, though I'd never say never, as there are no absolutes in fishing. That said, I use a leader now days more times than not for a variety of beneficial reasons, none of which are visibility related.

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2 hours ago, Scott F said:

Confidence plays a big role in fishing. If you think bass have the brain power to reason and figure out that fishing line is a bad thing but that treble hooks, wood, metal and plastic are OK to eat, than you should keep using leaders. I believe bass are not that smart and I have a lot of confidence that they will try and eat my artificial lure even if it is connected to line that they can see. So I will continue to use braided line without any leader.  By the way, contrary to what the line makers say, FC line is visible underwater. 

If I knew a way to hide all that other stuff I would.  Still, you don't make a bad point.

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3 hours ago, lmbfisherman said:

I use leaders more for saving money on main line (braid).  Some reels have had a braid for years!  if I spooled them up all with other lines I would've changed them more frequently.  So for me it's a cost savings, but there are times where abrasion resistance is necessary too.  So if you use braid as mainline for most techniques you should be fine with the exception of sharp edges..etc.  Also find that using a leader for drop shot, it is easier for me to tie on the rig.  I have caught fish on yellow braid straight and white braid straight.  No ill effects. 

X2

Its alot easier on a bad snag to break my flouro leader (6-20#) vs my 40# braid on my baitcasters (worms and jigs). Its also much better for abrasion too, so they always get a leader. My spinning gear i go back n forth on leaders depending on what im using and where, but they also only have 15# braid. Im not as worried about visibilty since the water i fish the most stays dingy. My frog and flipping rods are always straight braid. 

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Thank you!  This is just the intelligent, thoughtful discussion I was hoping for!  I will use braid with no leader as much as I can this year and report the results back here.  Open water is probably weeks away here in Iowa...I can't wait to get started!

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I use braid for sensitivity and ease of handling. Mono or copolymer leader for abraision resistance, a tiny bit of shock absorbstion, and to keep treble hook baits from fouling on the line. Nothing makes me more angry than making a perfect cast with a crankbait, popper, or jerkbait and having the line wrapped around the hooks. Using a stiff leader will help this problem. 

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I use a leader when I need abrasion resistance, or for a shock absorber with light hooks. I usually use a copolymer leader though.

 

I can't make myself believe that the same bass that will eat an A-rig with 5 baits, snap swivels, 5 wire arms, and tied to a heavy line, needs me to fish the most invisible line possible to get them to bite just because I'm fishing braid.

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I use leaders (fluoro, hybrid, mono and tieable wire) for abrasion resistance, not to "hide" line from fish.

 

Rocks, docks, trees, brush all beat up braid much more than the above leaders.  I have tied-in wire leaders that last a full season or more. 

 

About the 3rd time you have a $5 lure pop braid and still be going up when it clears lakeside trees because it was tied in with braid that got knicked on an dock leg or an underwater rock...leaders look pretty good.

 

In this part of the country we also deal with pike and musky that'll cut even strong braid like it's made of wishes and smoke...leaders help with that as well.

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I'll just echo other peoples posts and say yes, and for a variety of reasons. Does it hide the line from the fish? Oh yeah, I'm 100% sure that it does. The flip side is, does it make a big difference? Maybe? I'm sure there are occasions where a fish I get a lure in front of is turned off by the weird, dark thing by the tasty morsel in front of it. At the same time, said fish does NOT think "oh s***, fishing line, better run!" Know what I mean? Plus, if i cast out and a fish doesn't take my tube, I will never know anyway. As far as I know, there wasn't a fish even looking.

 

The benefits of tying on a Fluoro leader outweigh all the cons (always retying, potential knot issues, initial cost) for me though. I get more abrasion resistance in my rocky rivers, more stretch than braid (how much varies by brand, #, etc), that possible invisibility for finicky fishses, and most importantly, my braid laaaaaasts and lasts. Like, I could maybe put 12-15 yards or so on my reel at MOST after last seasons re-spool. So while fluoro isn't cheap, the use of short leaders vs saving braid easily pays off for me monetarily. 

 

Consider it an investment. I bought a 330 yd spool of Sunline Super Sniper to use as leaders for smallies...4 years ago. I still have a bit left. 

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I've been fishing salt water for the past 30 years (striped bass) and fresh water for just the past year here in Eastern, Massachusetts, using artificial lures exclusively and bait casting reels spooled with traditional braided Dacron Greenspot line (the orgininal braided line) as well as  fluorocarbon line and monofilament line. My experience is that fluorocarbon leaders make a HUGE difference. I have friends that fish the brine for striped bass using live bait (many have fished for striped bass their entire adult lives) and they swear that fluorocarbon leaders make a big difference in getting bass to strike. 

 

I use 30# to 50# fluorocarbon leaders when fishing for striped bass (boat & surf) and 12# & 15# fluorocarbon leaders when fishing fresh water. I would not fish without a fluorocarbon leader unless of course I was casting straight fluorocarbon line.

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I've caught several bass using braid tied directly to a hook of some sort. Caught two today on a finesse dropshot actually, on a spinshot hook tied to braid. I don't believe for a second that a creature with a brain so small they aren't believed scientifically to have any of their neurons devoted to pain receptors has the capacity to think "oh, look that goofy looking 'worm' is being tugged around by Spiderwire braid! I better not bite that! Quick, Spot, let's swim over here so we can hide!" That's just giving them way too much credit for intelligence lol. Just like I don't believe that they can see a person standing near the water and automatically be scared to bite anything that's dropped in front of them, so all the people who cast unreasonably far over a hill in order to avoid being "seen" by the fish are just being silly and over complicating things for themselves. So no, I don't think the leader matters that much. What matters most is: placement, time, technique, and a sprinkle or two of good old fashioned luck.

 

With that said, there are other reasons aside from visibility that make certain leader types better to use than others. Such as abrasion resistance, as has been said already.

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I mainly use a leader so that if I get hung up in deeper water I can break off without having to cut the braid. However when using a lighter hook I will go straight braid so that I can just pull and straighten the hook and get my lure back. 

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On my spinning combos I use Berkley FireLine Original in 14 pound test in flame green. It is equal to 6 pound mono in diameter.  I tested lots of lines and found it worked well for me. I always load a half a spool of Stern Clear Blue first then attach the Fireline with a double Uni knot. I save money using the mono backing ( it costs about 3 cents a yard).

 

I choose the braid because it handles very nicely on all my spinning reels and because of the strength to diameter and heightened sensitivity it gives me. I mostly fish the tidal waters of the Chesapeake bay where we have all kinds of junk in the water, including old boat wrecks, rebar, and barnacles on pier pilings. That is some rough stuff to fish around.  So I add a 5 to 6 foot leader made up of green P Line CXX in 8 pound test. It breaks around 16 pounds and again I like the uni ti uni knot.  That setup has great strength and resistance to being cut by whatever I am fishing around.  Interestingly I a equally successful while I fish super clear water in the Tennessee lakes I travel to. i was introduced to this setup on a guided trip by a FLW pro and have adopted it for over 7 years. On my baitcasters you would find some line&leader setups on some of my rigs, mostly bottom contact stuff. It does save on cutting back on your braid. On moving baits I usually run copoly, fluoro coated, or a complete fluoro line like a P LIne Halo. On these there is no need to run a leader.

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I have a 2000 series reel and am just getting it ready for the white bass run coming this spring. I have never tried braid and have been looking at it, however this is confusing { Some say the slick kind some say 30lb some say 15lb etc: I guess 30lb braid equals 8lb test if I am correct? Idk Is braid better on a spinning reel than mono? Is there real benefits to switching to it? It seems that people are saying that "line twist" are not quite as bad with the braid so that sounds good, but what about the clear deep water in Bull Shoals and Norfork, Wouldn't they see a braid? I don't know about a leader and the thought of extra knots spook me.  Is there any certain kind, size or color that you guys recommend? Thank you   

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i like 15 or 20 on spinning reels. make sure youre closing the bail with your hand. I use PP yellow but i dont have much experience with other brands to compare. the yellow is so that i can see it. i color the last 8 feet or so with a black sharpie. not sure if it helps but it gives me confidence and lets me know how deep i am in shallow water.

 

i never use a leader but the water i fish is always stained.

 

when the bite is on, id like to hear the results of two co-anglers in clear water tossing the same bait, one with leader the other straight braid. i know a lot of other variables other than clear water might affect the outcome, but results saying that the leader outfished the braid by a good amt would probably have me trying out leaders in my stained lakes and rivers.

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My role is if I am fishing a moving bait or a bait fast, it probably doesn't matter. If I am finesse fishing a drop shot or a ned rig, you can bet I'll have a leader.

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