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JimInAlabama

FC leader to braid for shakey head and TR advice

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I've been a long time lurker but just signed up and this is my first post.  I live on Lay Lake in central Alabama and fish here exclusively, spots and heads.  The water here is usually somewhere from 3-4 foot visibility to murky.  I spend a lot of time either throwing 1/8 - 3/16 oz shakey heads or big weightless creature baits on medium/heavy baitcast rigs.  I made the switch from mono to fluorocarbon a few years ago and once I found a knot that works for me I like it a lot, my only issue is the cost to respool several reels with decent FC.  I spooled two reels with 50 and 65 Power Pro several years ago to use for frogs/creatures and I can't wear it out so I'm thinking I'd like to try braid with FC leader on one rod and see how it works out for me.

 

First question is line size, I'm thinking 30 pound braid, probably Power Pro since it's available locally, with 12 - 17 pound FC, probably Seguar Red Label (because I already have some of that!)  Does that make sense?

 

Next question is about leader length and a knot for braid to FC.  Short leader that never goes inside the guides?  Or longer leader that allows more reties?  I'd like more leader but concerned about casting it through the rod guides.  The knots I'm coming up with on the 'Net are double uni, blood knot, and FG ..... but will these actually cast ok through the guides?  I'll try a longer leader first and see how it works for me but any advice greatly appreciated.

 

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your experienced advice!! 

 

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The Alberto knot is small enough to go through guides.

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3 hours ago, JimInAlabama said:

I'd like more leader but concerned about casting it through the rod guides.  The knots I'm coming up with on the 'Net are double uni, blood knot, and FG ..... but will these actually cast ok through the guides?  

It depends on the guides.  If you have a size 4 tip top, I think you'll have trouble with any knot.  I don't use micro guides for this reason.  I use a Crazy Alberto knot as @Jig Man suggested, and the leader is as long as I can make it without the leader/junction knot coming through the reel line guide.

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i use 30-40 lb power pro for heavier shakyheads on a medium action baitcaster.

if the water is stained to murky, line visibility is not an issue.

the only time I use a leader is if there are a lot of zebra mussels around. they are hard on braid.

as mentioned above micro-guides and leader knots on a baitcaster can cause an issue.

On spinning equipment it is usually not a problem , because the line is smaller diameter.

 

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I’ve become a big fan of the FG . Very thin and very strong when tied correctly. I fish it on rods that have semi micro ( Zodias) or macro guides ( Kistler H3) with no problems. I’ll stop the knot somewhere between the reel and first guide. Usually ends up between 6-7’ which allows multiple reties. This knot takes a little practice and there’s lots of ways to tie it that all work.

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I use the Alberto or uni to uni. Never had a problem with either. If I were tying a long leader, I would go with the Alberto. 

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12 hours ago, CountryboyinDC said:

It depends on the guides.  If you have a size 4 tip top, I think you'll have trouble with any knot.  

I'm using Kistler rods with what they call "macro" guides, which I assume means small but not as small as micro.  I think I'll be ok.

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16 hours ago, JimInAlabama said:

First question is line size, I'm thinking 30 pound braid, probably Power Pro since it's available locally, with 12 - 17 pound FC, probably Seguar Red Label

This is the exact line combination I use on all my bait casting setups. I always tie an FG knot, and it is small enough to go through the micro guides on my St Croix LTB rod with no issues. I use either 12 or 15lb Red Label for leaders.

It's a very versatile line combination, I use it for Jigs, T rigs, swim jigs, square bills, spinner baits, weightless stick worms. I will switch to mono, or leave off the leader if I'm fishing top water baits. 

 

I always tie my connection knot, so the knot won't go into the reel in casting position. 

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Call me lazy, but I like a short leader.  I know some knots can go through some guides, but you always feel a little "tic" when it goes through, and my thought process says  "why bother?"  Some guys say that doesn't affect distance or accuracy, but I don't know that.   When I do the leader/braid thing I nearly always use a short leader "a foot and a half, more or less" and I don't reel it past the tip guide.

 

I think that the braid/leader set up is more or less a power/finesse thing.  I admit that it does save money as braids often last a long time.  Having said that, I know that if I want a true finesse approach, in clear water like Table Rock or Bull Shoals, you need to go with 6 lb fluorocarbon,  and just put up with the various line issues that sometimes occur.

 

One more thing, my go to rig for throwing jerk baits is a 6'3" spinning rod with a braid/leader set up.  I use a short leader for that - again in the foot and a half range or so.  I find that using the fluorocarbon leader material rather than fluorocarbon line works better for me.   The leader material seems slightly heavier and gives my jerk bait a slightly nose down look when it is suspending, which I like better than a nose up approach.

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15 hours ago, Russ E said:

..... only time I use a leader is if there are a lot of zebra mussels around. they are hard on braid.

 

I'm not concerned about visibility as much as dealing with hangups and getting maximum life out of the braid, I throw into some ugly stuff.  I'm thinking I'd rather break off a leader than cut off my braid.  And maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal with 30#, will it break off at the knot, or find the weakest point up the line?

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7 hours ago, JimInAlabama said:

I'm not concerned about visibility as much as dealing with hangups and getting maximum life out of the braid, I throw into some ugly stuff.  I'm thinking I'd rather break off a leader than cut off my braid.  And maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal with 30#, will it break off at the knot, or find the weakest point up the line?

depends on your knot. normally a Palomar is pretty strong with braid.

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With the way the tag points on a well tied FG, I dont hear the "tick" whatsoever on the cast. When winding in, yes. I start with about 8' on, mainly just to add a little bit of a buffer for tieing new lures

 

I've settled in to 40lb braid & Either Ande or Big Game mono Leader material in 15-20lb. Same reason as you, I can use a spool of braid for a few years. My finding w/leaders are regular mainline works ok, but there is a difference in actual leader material (it would be awful as a mainline) and I suggest going that route wherever you land.

 

I'm currently using some Yozuri Topknot flouro in 17lb, as I'm throwing alot of keel weighted caffeine shads in current. I like that flouro helps get it down vs the heavily bouyant, thick, mono, but frankly thats the only reason I use it. I dont like how that if I get semi-snagged & have to pull on the line a bit, the whole leader is now deformed and weakened (with flouro). With 20lb mono it's not as big of a deal.

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On 7/22/2019 at 10:26 AM, JimInAlabama said:

I'm using Kistler rods with what they call "macro" guides, which I assume means small but not as small as micro.  I think I'll be ok.

I think you're right.  I'm not familiar with the guides Kistler uses, though.

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