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I know most people that use 10 ft+ of a leader, but I only use a 2 foot fluorocarbon leader on my braid. I have a 20 lb leader tied on to 40 lb braid. Is using only a 2 foot leader pointless? Will bass still be line shy or will the 2 feet offer enough of a buffer that the bass won't be able to comprehend that the braid is actually indirectly connected to the lure? 

 

Also, is 20lb leader overkill? Since your line is only as strong as the weakest link, I didn't want to use too light of a leader so I can avoid breaking off. I also use 2 foot leader because my rod has microguides and knots don't make it through very well, so I tend to make my leaders short so that I don't have to bring the knot into the guides. Is this a silly strategy?

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I don't use a leader at all unless it's on spinning tackle and even then, it's only under certain situations and maybe 5' at the most, but it's more for sink rate and abrasion resistance than visibility. 

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I don't think fish can reason "hmm whats that braid doing there floating in the water...and why is that ball of shad connected by wire and has some frilly thing coming off of its butt. I use a leader when fishing spinning tackle, but that's it. But I don't use fluorocarbon I use mono.

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I use 20 lb mono leader for exactly the reason you stated.  Overkill? Nah.

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a short leader makes sense if you don't want to wind it through the guides and you aren't changing lures much (or using a snap). I don't use fluoro, but will use a short mono leader when fishing treble lures with braid (which I don't do often) but sometimes I'm out with one rod. I hate the braid catching on the treble hooks, and I need protection from snakehead, pike and pickerel teeth. 20/40 is a good combination, normally I'm either matching diameters or LB tests, or something close to it depending on what I'm doing.

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44 minutes ago, reason said:

a short leader makes sense if you don't want to wind it through the guides and you aren't changing lures much (or using a snap). I don't use fluoro, but will use a short mono leader when fishing treble lures with braid (which I don't do often) but sometimes I'm out with one rod. I hate the braid catching on the treble hooks, and I need protection from snakehead, pike and pickerel teeth. 20/40 is a good combination, normally I'm either matching diameters or LB tests, or something close to it depending on what I'm doing.

Yeah when I use the leader I usually put a snap on it so I can change lures easily without retying. On some lures I can't do that because the snap messes with the action, so for those lures I just use another rod. 

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10+ foot leader? who the hell uses that? 

 

For bass, I only use a leader on very clear water where I am going for smallmouth. Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn't but at this point I can tie a uni-to-uni in like 30 seconds so its no big deal. I use a 12lb fluro in this case on 30lb braid.

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Bass are not line shy fish! The only thing stiff heavy line does is reduce the lures action.

Tom

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I'm not concerned whether bass see my line.  But I use braid (or Gliss) with leaders on all but my cranking rods.  All of my leaders are longer than 2', and some may even approach 10'.  Generally, I try to prevent leader knot from getting onto spool, but I'm not anal about it.  I tie small knots and take care to clip tags, and don't have a problem on the spool or through the guides.

As I said, I don't care much about bass seeing my line -- but I do care if I can.

Leaders allow me to change re-tie without reducing the amount of braid on the spool  (2' leader wouldn't allow too many re-ties before needing a new one); they allow me to break-off on hopeless snags; and they offer much greater abrasion resistance than braid alone.  I have never used 20# leader, though.  6-15# is my entire range.

 

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20lb is not overkill, I frequently use it for jigs. That being said if my leader gets down to 2 feet I cut it off. The main reasons I use a leader are abrasion resistance, and to some degree it gives me confidence in clear water. At 2 feet I think you have lost any arguable line visibility benefit IMO, and at that length while still beneficial for abrasion resistance you are playing with fire a bit if fishing around thicker/larger cover. I've had bass drag my leader over 4 foot boulders and I had to basically trash a 6 foot leader...but I caught the fish. 

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7 hours ago, WRB said:

Bass are not line shy fish! The only thing stiff heavy line does is reduce the lures action.

Tom

That's the thing, I always hear conflicting opinions on this. Sometimes people say in pressured waters using invisible line will get you more bites than hi-vis braid. Personally, I only began fishing a few years back and I'm not experienced enough to make a judgement. It might just be a confidence thing though. 

3 hours ago, MassYak85 said:

20lb is not overkill, I frequently use it for jigs. That being said if my leader gets down to 2 feet I cut it off. The main reasons I use a leader are abrasion resistance, and to some degree it gives me confidence in clear water. At 2 feet I think you have lost any arguable line visibility benefit IMO, and at that length while still beneficial for abrasion resistance you are playing with fire a bit if fishing around thicker/larger cover. I've had bass drag my leader over 4 foot boulders and I had to basically trash a 6 foot leader...but I caught the fish. 

Thats what I feared, whether 2 feet is enough for having a line visibility benefit. I mean bass aren't that bright right? Can they really tell that the high vis blue braid is connected to the lure even though they don't see it. 

 

I've noticed many on here don't care if bass see their line or not, and I trust you guys, so maybe I'm just over-concerning myself over this small matter?

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7 hours ago, Choporoz said:

Leaders allow me to change re-tie without reducing the amount of braid on the spool

 

7 hours ago, Choporoz said:

they allow me to break-off on hopeless snags; and they offer much greater abrasion resistance than braid alone

Where I fish, this is why I choose a leader with certain set ups.  Generally a 30lb Hi Vis braid (so I can see subtle line movement at the water's surface) to a 16lb FC leader (usually 24 to 36 inches).  This has REPEATEDLY saved me from losing any braid on a snag when I would have lost 30 feet of braid had I not used a leader.  The FC retains the excellent "feel" of the braid where mono would not.  And the abrasion resistance is a definite plus.  

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