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Fluoro Leader Length?


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A few seasons ago, I jumped on the 'braid to fluorocarbon leader' band wagon.  I really can't say that my strike ratio has increased, but in the super clear water pits I frequent, I'll take any advantage I can. 

My question is about leader length. The majority of my leaders are around two feet in length and I don't reel the knot into the rod guides as I've seen many do.

The main reason I go with short leader is to take advantage of the 'invisibility' of the fluorocarbon and still maintain the added sensitivity of the braid.  Also, if I were to go to a 10-12ft. leader as some pros suggest for pitching, what is the point of using braid to begin with? Why not just use straight fluorocarbon? Even when using a fluorocarbon leader because of its abrasion resistance, what is the advantage of a long, to me, leader? Yea, you don't need to retie another leader on after changing baits, or cutting and retying, but how long does it take to tie another knot? 

Your thoughts and reasons for the leader length you use.

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I usually run leader approximately 6-7 feet. Just about the length of the rod without the knot going onto the reel. This length provides a couple of benefits in my eyes. I fish pretty clear water, if I'm fishing bottom contact in 5-6 feet of water I feel it's less likely fish will get spooked by my main line. Second, I like that I can get a few trips out of a leader before it's too short and needs to be retied.

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Spinning gear I'll run as long as 10ft of leader. Casting I keep it around the rod length just so I don't have to feel the knot in the spool.

One of the main reasons I use braid mainline besides sensitivity is that it's easy to manage. It last me a lot longer then just running straight mono or flouro. The more knots I get from the leader the less braid mainline I'm using up. I get 2 seasons from one spool of braid VS 1 season with flouro. I buy 2 spools of flouro (1 6-8lb spinning & 1 12-14lb casting) and it last me a long time when just used for leader material. Another reason I run a flouro leader is because of visibility and abrasion resistance. Keeping it long allows me to retie multiple times and it's still more sensitive and seams to have less stretch than running straight flouro. 

 

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Specifically on a spinning rod, I run my leader long enough to where it just does not enter the reel.  The knot going through the guides has not seemed to bother anything.  Why not go straight fluoro?  Braid is just so much more manageable, fewer wind/twist knots.  

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5 minutes ago, BoatSquirrel said:

Specifically on a spinning rod, Braid is just so much more manageable, fewer wind/twist knots.  

Now that’s a valid response.  I rarely use spinning gear and this didn’t cross my mind. 

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Papajoe, you asked how long it takes to tie another knot. I'm a long leader user 7' or so and tying that knot while trying to keep my boat on a spot is a challenge-for me at least.

I try to do them all at home where I have good light and  not getting blown off the water by ski boats. I'll admit, I'm not great at any of the knots (FG, Alberto, Blood, SD Jam) to do it quickly. Having 7 feet allows me to never retie on the water. And only on my spinning gear.

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5-7 feet of flouro leader to braid. It gives me enough to re- tie on a trip. But I do tie on a new leader before each trip.

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  • 4 years later...

The other reason people run long leaders is to absorb the stress that is put on your knot to the lure. The braid has no stretch so you are putting a lot of pressure onto your leader and your knot so a longer leader will absorb more of the stress without breaking off. It’s good to run your drag with a little slack too. The advantage of braid to leader is you get the best of both worlds the minimal stretch only from the leader instead of running straight flouro where you have a lot more stretch. Braid to leader is much more sensitive than straight flouro especially your slack line sensitivity. I will use shock leader so I get a little bit more stretch for setting a hook and fighting fish especially with Swimbaits and Swimjigs. I run all braid to leader for everything and it’s amazing the amount of stretch you have if you run straight flouro. It’s a night and day difference once you fish braid to leader and then try and fish straight flouro the stretch has to be 30% or greater. So to sum it up a long leader takes up more of the stretch and puts less pressure on your knot. 

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4 hours ago, Ryan Smith said:

So to sum it up a long leader takes up more of the stretch and puts less pressure on your knot. 


Yes, but how long? I usually go about 10 feet. If it breaks off near the hook/lure, there is enough left to re-tie without having to re-tie the connection point to the braid.

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^ about 10'-12' is what I start with...retie a new leader when it gets down to 6'-7'

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4 years later  . . . . .

and I still Hate Braid mainline on casting gear.

All FC for me with the caveat that I rarely fish heavy cover.

Spinning gear is all braid & leader.

And I fish a 20-25 ft leader at LEAST.

FC or mono leader, which ever is appropriate.

Either way, with a big fish getting close to the boat, I want that connection knot on the reel

well before she gets anywhere near the net.

But I rarely ever catch any good ones so . . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay 

 

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I run 5-7’ leaders. My leader line is heavier than my main line for the abuse it takes on the rocks in the river. My leader takes a ton of abuse 

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On my one and only spinning rod I use a uni to uni knot and use a very long fluoro leader…. Probably 20 feet and don’t retie for a couple years… yeah that’s right, a couple years with zero failures. On casting gear I  tie an fg knot with a leader where the knot is close to my reel but never in it. I retie that knot after a few trips. The small guides certainly wear on the knot and require more maintenance. Reason for leader length overall is convenience in number of reties. Reason for leader length on casting gear is on certain reals that I use such as any t-wing daiwa reel is that the knot can get hung up on the t-wing when fighting fish

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Braid to leader on everything except micro guide rods.  Rod length leaders on bait casters, longer on spinning.  I like the versatility of being able to change from fluoro to mono and from a thin diameter line to a heavier one.  I seldom attempt an Alberto knot while on the water.  

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something like 5 ft leaders.

 

I like my connection knot just outside the reel (spinning or casting) when the lure is dangling at "casting length" from the tip. 

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14 hours ago, Pogues2300 said:

Probably 20 feet and don’t retie for a couple years… yeah that’s right, a couple years with zero failures.

 

That is wild.  Must not do any fishing in rocky habitat with zebra mussels around.  Or in pike country.  They both slice through fluorocarbon like butter.

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15 hours ago, A-Jay said:

 

But I rarely ever catch any good ones so . . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay 

 

 

 

                                          That 70S Show Lol GIF by Peacock

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40 minutes ago, gimruis said:

 

That is wild.  Must not do any fishing in rocky habitat with zebra mussels around.  Or in pike country.  They both slice through fluorocarbon like butter.

I mean I get bit off by pike…. No zebra mussels or many rocks where I fish. I meant the knot itself doesn’t fail.

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14 minutes ago, Pogues2300 said:

I meant the knot itself doesn’t fail.

 

That means you're tying them correctly!  Keep up the knot skills.

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6’ is where I always start. Knot never goes into the reel on casting set ups. 

Spinning I’m cool with the knot going into the spool. However I never go longer than 10’. Don’t see a reason to.

i use braid to leader on everything, and it’s the only way I like to fish. Straight braid for frogging though

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Disagree on everything stated about stretch. The perception that mono/copoly/FC lines stretch under 1/3rd the line strength occurs from line drag going through water the line isn’t getting any longer!

Braid has zero vibration feed back when slack, visual movement you can see.

If you want to take pulling force off braid to leader knot use long enough leader so it goes onto the reel spool when the bass is reachable, about 15’.

Tom

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5 hours ago, gimruis said:

 

That is wild.  Must not do any fishing in rocky habitat with zebra mussels around.  Or in pike country.  They both slice through fluorocarbon like butter.

 

Posts like this remind me that we all fish in different situations.   What kind of line do you use?  Do you use a leader?   I've never seen a need where I fish for any kind of leader.  I think in most cases a leader just complicates things.   

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I mostly use braided line with a Seaguar Blue Label leader of various length.  Its specifically designed to mitigate bite offs from northern pike.  Smaller 8 or 10 pound on my spinning setups and 20 or 30 pound on my bait casters.

 

There are a few situations where I use no leader.  I use straight up mono for jerk baits and walleye/panfishing.  I tried going straight braid up to 40 pound test and the pike still bit right through it.  That kid of surprised me, but I can't be chucking lures away every outing.

 

Some of the lakes I fish are murky and some are clear.  If I could get away without using any leader material all season I would.  Braid doesn't seem to hold up very well around sharp edges (like teeth or zebra mussels).

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

Disagree on everything stated about stretch. The perception that mono/copoly/FC lines stretch under 1/3rd the line strength occurs from line drag going through water the line isn’t getting any longer!

 

So to clarify what you’re saying about stretch, if someone is fishing mono/copoly/FC 10 lb. test, it doesn’t start stretching until about 3.5 pounds of stress or more is exerted on the line?

 

I’m trying to understand, I’m not disagreeing with what you’re saying.

 

3 hours ago, WRB said:

The perception ... occurs from line drag going through water

 

What is “line drag going through the water”? Is this basically slack in the line?

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