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GonzoFishing

Do I need a leader with braided line?

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Hi everyone! I'm somewhat new to bass fishing and I have a question regarding braided line. I mostly fish inshore saltwater so most of my rods are loaded with 20lb braid. I recently started fishing the small lakes and canals here in Miami and was wondering if I should be using a flouro leader. The water here is pretty clear and shallow for the most part. I'm also somewhat agressive when it comes to tossing lures in the reeds and grass. Any info would help as I'm going to the local lake tomorrow. Thanks!

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You don't have to, but if you are fishing clear water, I would.

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If you're fishing near rocks, YES.

If you're fishing clear water, it can help.

But rocks, definitely.

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I don't use a leader. As far as I know, it's not really known whether a leader helps catch more fish or not. Try it both ways and fish with the way that gives you confidence.

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Pardon my ignorance here, but doesn't using a leader on braided line

sort of defeat the purpose of the braid?  The leader has to become the weakest link unless it's real heavy. In clear water, why not just use mono

or fluoro?

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I don't use a leader. As far as I know, it's not really known whether a leader helps catch more fish or not. Try it both ways and fish with the way that gives you confidence.

It definitely is proven, that sometimes, some places, a leader truly does help catch more fish. It's situational. A lot depends on the fish and the water.

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Moby bass,

That was my thinking as well until I tried to fish 20lb fluoro on my Chronarch 50MG. It has a relatively small spool and I simply couldn't cast thick stiff line with it very well at all. Using a 20lb fluoro leader attached to 30lb  Spiderwire, it casts like a dream. On the other hand, lighter test fluoro would probably work fine and would be easier than trying to tie a leader--still I'm so used to "0" line memory with braid, it's hard to give up.

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When fishing in snaggy areas I always tie a leader to my Power Pro. In case your lure gets hung-up, and you have to resort to the pull-and-pray method, the leader will snap much much easier than the superline.

If you get snagged with a superline tied directly to your bait, the only ways to get unsnagged is: pull so hard you bend the hook, cut the line, or go swimming. Cutting the line sucks because you'll lose a lot of line, and braid ain't cheap. If you have to pull crazy hard to bend the hook, you risk breaking your rod. And unless it's summer, who wants to go swimming?

I learned the value of a leader over the years casting leadheads for walleye. Those darn little jigs get stuck in everything. And it always happens on a long cast, always. :P

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Pardon my ignorance here, but doesn't using a leader on braided line

sort of defeat the purpose of the braid?  The leader has to become the weakest link unless it's real heavy. In clear water, why not just use mono

or fluoro?

In addition to what bigbassdave said, one of the biggest advantages to braid is the sensitivity.  Adding a leader doesn't really hurt the sensitivity at all.

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I don't.

So far I have been catching fish just fine without one. Most ponds that I fish are pretty clear.

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If you get snagged with a superline tied directly to your bait, the only ways to get unsnagged is: pull so hard you bend the hook, cut the line, or go swimming.  Cutting the line sucks because you'll lose a lot of line, and braid ain't cheap.  If you have to pull crazy hard to bend the hook, you risk breaking your rod.

There's another alternative that I used just today while shore fishing. My lure ended up in a tree and I didn't have anything that I could wrap the line around. I tightened the drag and walked backwards and pulled with the rod and line in the same line so the rod wouldn't break. I got my lure back, along with the tree branch.

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If you get snagged with a superline tied directly to your bait, the only ways to get unsnagged is: pull so hard you bend the hook, cut the line, or go swimming. Cutting the line sucks because you'll lose a lot of line, and braid ain't cheap. If you have to pull crazy hard to bend the hook, you risk breaking your rod.

There's another alternative that I used just today while shore fishing. My lure ended up in a tree and I didn't have anything that I could wrap the line around. I tightened the drag and walked backwards and pulled with the rod and line in the same line so the rod wouldn't break. I got my lure back, along with the tree branch.

I've caught many a tree branch that way as well.   ;D   It's amazing what a MH seven footer and fifty # braid can do.  

When first wrote that, I just used the word rod to generalize the equipment.  I've done some damage to cheaper tackle before, even with the backwards walking.

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no for

fishing muddy water

fast moving lures (cranks, spinners, etc..)

pitching into thick cover

yes for

clear open water  

presured or non biting fish.

fishing around sharp objects (zebra muscles, rocks, etc.)

To save your rod and reel when trying to pull out a snag, wrap the line around the rod next to the reel, then walk backwards with the rod pointed straigt at the lure / snag.

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Thanks for all the input! Sounds like using a leader is the way to go.

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I don't use a leader here in Northern R.I. You can see the bottom in 20' of water..... :-? Doesn't seem to matter.

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I first started using a leader when I was fishing rocks, braid frays too easily on rocks to not have a leader, otherwise I just stuck to straight braid on everything else.  However I later switched to hi-vis yellow braid and the red braid so that I could see my line moving more easily vs the green braid.  With the hi-vis line change I felt I needed a leader so I've been tying one on ever since.  The knot is fairly easy to tie (improved albright) and the cinch knot at the end of the line has always broken off before the leader knot.

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I just started using braid on my spinnerbait rod. It hasn't hampered my catch rate at all.

Falcon

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