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Glaucus

Do we go a little overboard with the fluoro leaders?

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I've been a big believer in fluoro leaders, especially braid to fluoro, due to everything we're told about the near invisibility factor. It's always worked for me, so no questions asked. However, for the better part of the summer I've been pretty much exclusively fishing rivers for smallies with the Ned Rig using braid to fluoro. If I'm not in the yak or in a position to wade, I lose a lot of rigs because of rocks and debris, especially at the dams. It's been a giant pain in the butt having to retie leaders on top of having to retie the rigs. Eventually I said screw it and put straight 8lb straight mono on (pops the bait free easier than braid) and noticed zero difference in numbers and size, from the dark muddy water of the dams to the clear green tea water down stream where you can see every rock, fish, and stick on the bottom. So I ordered my Ned Rig specific setup (Fenwick Eagle ML/F with a President 25) and decided to go with 6lb Yozuri. It's been beautiful. So do we put too much stock and focus on the supposed necessity of fluoro leaders? I'm thinking so. I can see it making a difference in some places under some conditions, I guess. I went to a crystal clear pond with a couple of friends yesterday and fished Senkos on straight braid with no leader and didn't notice a darn bit of difference either. I don't want to cut fluoro out of my equation necessarily, but it is nice seeing no difference and being able to skip that step of tying the leader.

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We fish primarily in rivers also and use the fluoro to braid set up more for the ability to break off when needed than for the invisibility factor. We use a longer than normal leader to start with so we can retie several times before needing to replace the leader.

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I use braid on a spinning reel due to line twist and any leader will work.  I use YHB the most but anything will do.

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Leaders make break offs less of a hassle and prevent me from losing a lot of my main line when they occur. I use longer leaders and break offs are usually at the knot connecting lure and not the connection knot. 

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I use 6-8 foot mono leader and they last a very long time.  I usually only re-tie 3 or 4 times per trip though.

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I'm a braid to leader guy on almost every set up. I use big game as a leader though. I'm not convinced that fluoro is that great. I gave it a fair chance and have resorted back to a mono or copolymer leader. I don't use a leader for visibility as much as i do for abrasion resistance which is why I chose a very hardy line like big game or cxx.

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Glaucus, I had the privilege of fishing with a bass pro two years ago and he told me that he forgoes the leader and uses braid straight to the hook for his flipping and pitching.

 

He told me that he has not encountered any negative inpact on his bites and hook-up ratios.

 

He also informed me that many pros are doing this now as they want as few "weak spots" in their setup as possible, and the leader to braid knot is one weak spot that can be eliminated.

 

But it seems this little secret is being kept hidden from the public by the pros who use this set up.

 

I am now using it and I have not had any problems with getting strikes or my hook-up ratio.

 

Go figure. :) 

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I’ve never believed that bass have the brain power to reason and figure out that line is a bad thing so I’ve never used mono or FC leaders to hide my line, or for any other reason.  I’ve always used straight 8 or 10 pound braid on my spinning gear. 10 pound will break if I get snagged and I seldom drag my line over rocks where abrasion is an issue. 

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It’s all a confidence thing and palecbo effect. Honestly. If you think it makes a difference, it does. 

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1 hour ago, 813basstard said:

It’s all a confidence thing and palecbo effect. Honestly. If you think it makes a difference, it does. 

Double blind experiments consistently show up to a 30% placebo effect. Additionally there is a solid confirmation bias towards items that cost more $, and it's not a case of attempting to deceive oneself. If you fish 2 identical lines, and one costs more than the other you will prefer the most expensive one and actually perceive a difference, even though one doesn't exist, and again additionally, there is the mob mentality (see WP threads) and finally the  "I own it, so I defend it" syndrome, just talk to any Shimano fanboy.

Specifically to the fluoro leader question, I find no reason to use it when LMB fishing, I haven't found them to be line shy at all, and I haven't found fluoro to provide any significant abrasion resistance over a decent stiff mono. As far as leader or no leader, there I will use one when abrasion resistance is an issue or when fishing treble hook lures or vertical jigging, or drop shotting and the like. YMMV, (but it won't).

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There have been plenty threads about this, and you will always have people on both sides of the argument. In clear water, a fluorocarbon leader makes a difference because of visibility, but there are many reasons besides visibility that they are important. Sensitivity is huge, braid to a leader is more sensitive than straight FC or mono (mono leader on braid is less sensitive than FC, surprises me with that short of a piece of line but it is). The leader also gives the bait a better action than straight braid, since braid floats. Lastly, you will have a much better hookup ratio with braid to a leader over mono, because of the no stretch.

 

 

I would LOVE to go head-to-head in a clear body of water against one of the guys who says bass can't see braid :toothy10:

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19 minutes ago, everythingthatswims said:

would LOVE to go head-to-head in a clear body of water against one of the guys who says bass can't see braid :toothy10:

I wouldn't fish against you if you were fishing in a bath tub and I was at lake fork.

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I base my leader on sink-factor alone.  Floro sinks so it gets the nod most of the time, I will even bump up to a pretty thick leader (like 12lb) when fishing tiny inline spinners just to get a little more depth on the retrieve.  

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1 hour ago, CroakHunter said:

I wouldn't fish against you if you were fishing in a bath tub and I was at lake fork.

he’d figure something out, wouldn’t he? 😀

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I'm in the no leader camp. I fish very clear waters daily and no issues catching bass crappie straight braid. Beings I don't use leaders can't make a direct comparison with that set-up. I do use straight fc though and my results don't convince me it matters as far as a visibility factor.

 With certain baits I feel fc hinders the action of my presentation being able to twitch pop lure off bottom more efficiently. I can see this in shallow water with braid tied to fat ika the ika will pop off bottom where with fc it gets dragged more due to weight of fc holding it down. Ika just doesn't get the action with fc that I like it to have.

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What about fluoro with a braid leader?

 

It’s different and something the bass don’t usually see, so it’ll have to work.

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3 hours ago, everythingthatswims said:

There have been plenty threads about this, and you will always have people on both sides of the argument. In clear water, a fluorocarbon leader makes a difference because of visibility, but there are many reasons besides visibility that they are important. Sensitivity is huge, braid to a leader is more sensitive than straight FC or mono (mono leader on braid is less sensitive than FC, surprises me with that short of a piece of line but it is). The leader also gives the bait a better action than straight braid, since braid floats. Lastly, you will have a much better hookup ratio with braid to a leader over mono, because of the no stretch.

 

 

I would LOVE to go head-to-head in a clear body of water against one of the guys who says bass can't see braid :toothy10:

I know I can see braid underwater and I don’t even live in the water! I don’t think many folks are going to challenge you to a head to head Fishing match, young man! (At least not for money.....). Back to the OPs question, I use braid because it’s limp and casts a mile. I tie a leader on it when it’s clear. I always keep a spinning rod with straight 8 Lb mono for clear water days when I am losing a lot of jigheads because I don’t like spending all my time fiddling with new leaders 

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I only use leaders on my spinning rods. I have 10 pound mono for a main line. I add a barrel swivel and 8 pound floro about 3' long. The barrel swivel helps stop line twist problems. I don't like tying my lines together as I don't like the idea of casting knots through my guides. 

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I have never used a leader. Nobody I grew up with did either.  I use mostly mono, and have a few reels with braid , and just tie directly to the hook. I like line that floats so I can see the twitch when the fish takes it, so I dont like flouro. I catch plenty with either line, and the baits work fine. I just dont see any reason for a leader.

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I was a smallmouth river rat for years as a kid, wading around the shallow islands of the Mississippi. I exclusively used 15lb braid on a 7' 6" ML/F spinning setup and tossed small spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, lipless cranks, tube jigs, flukes, and darterheads. It was some of the best fishing I've ever had. I doubt it mattered that I thought a "leader" was made of steel and used for northern pike. That said, the water had a little color to it.

 

This year, my three biggest largemouth came while pitching with straight 50lb braid. The lakes I fish are very weedy. It's unlikely that fish are seeing the line in heavy weeds.

 

If using light line around light cover, I'll use braid with a long fluorocarbon leader on spinning tackle. It handles the best on a spinning reel, and I do believe bass can be spooked by braid in open water, especially when it starts getting worn out and lighter in color. 

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Don't use leaders for anything.

Straight braid or Flouro depending on what I'm doing and where I'm doing it. 

 

Sometimes I think folks use it as a crutch and because of the many threads like this where the majority use it so it must be the thing to do.

 

That said, @everythingthatswims is one of the most accomplished anglers on the water whose opinion has proven results and should be valued. 

 

 

 

Mike

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Never found a need for flourocarbon when it comes to bass fishing and do just fine catching lots of big bass that many tournament fisherman would dream of catching in a tournament.I have lost count of the +24 inch bass I have caught on straight braid in clear water in my +23 years of bass fishing and only use a mono leader when I need the extra abrasion resistance mono provides. In saltwater fishing I also don't use a flourocarbon leader and instead I use braid with a mono leader or I use strait mono.

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I use 10 lbs. braid to 8 lbs. fluorocarbon for most of my finesse spinning tackle rigs. It has a lot of "little" advantages where and how I fish. 

 

I do totally agree that in many presentations, many places, fluorocarbon leaders are of little value. 

 

The "why" behind it? I think fluorocarbon would never have survived as a main line in the market place; it'd have failed. Pros? Perhaps so . . . as they most often get their lines for free under sponsorships so they can put fresh line on frequently. Still, most people just don't like the way fluorocarbon behaves as a main line.

 

Same thing, too, for straight braid and its few inconvenient aspects.

 

Finally, price, compared to today's much-improved monofilaments and co-polymers. It is pretty high.

 

So, for its tiny advantages, fluorocarbon ends up being relegated to short leaders for most of us. And, we replace them often. I'd never use these beyond one day out and I re-tie my terminal knots often, sometimes even the junction knot a time or two on the water.

 

If the new co-polymers get much better, for example something like Sufix Advantage and many others, fluorocarbon might take a big hit in market penetration.

 

Brad

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I don't think the "invisibiliity" of FC is enough better than that of mono to justify the fragility of FC.  I've checked knots lately and often found that after a while the braid to FC knot fails easily, and it's always the FC right at the knot that fails.  I'm going back to hard mono leader material for my leaders.  I usually use 10-15 pound leaders.

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12 hours ago, MickD said:

I don't think the "invisibiliity" of FC is enough better than that of mono to justify the fragility of FC.  I've checked knots lately and often found that after a while the braid to FC knot fails easily, and it's always the FC right at the knot that fails.  I'm going back to hard mono leader material for my leaders.  I usually use 10-15 pound leaders.

I have also noticed that flourocarbon is much more fragile fishing line than monofilament and that flourocarbon tends to break at the knot much more often than mono does. Have been using Big Game mono for leader material and have been very happy with the knot strength, shock resistance, and abrasion resistance it provides over fluorocarbon lines.

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