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curls00

Using 8# fluoro leader on a heavy action rod?

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I have a tournament coming up in a few weeks that is waaaaay outside my normal waters. Its a smallmouth tournament in NW Ontario -- there is no largemouth within 300 miles of there.  Water can be really clear and the smallmouth can be quite finnicky about seeing the line.

Anyhow, I am bringing 4 rods with me, 3 of which I am OK for line ratings (40# braid tipped with 8-10# fluoro or mono leaders, on MH rods).  However, my 4th rod I am bringing "just because", and it is a 7'3" Vendetta, Heavy X-fast action.  I plan to use this one for deep jiggin in 40+ feet of water, as the extra length and its good sensitivity help.  Now, the line rating is 12-25#, and the reel currnetly has 70# Samurai braid on it (~12 or 14# diameter).  I cannot and will not re-spool this line for one tournament as its brand new and I don't want to waste the $ if it were not to go back on right.

MY QUESTION:  If I tipped this line with 8# Seaguar fluoro leader material, would the 8# line break before the backbone of the rod kicked in?  In other words, is the line rating of 12# (on the low end) the amount of force that the rod needs to reach its initial backbone?  If this is the case, I guess I can grab some 12# leader line but I really want to keep this leader as thin and invisible as possible in the ultra-clear water.

Will I be OK (if I don't set the hook like a madman) using the 8# leader on a rod rated for 12-25# line?

Thanks.

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That heavy a rod is not going to give you much protection for 8# line. I would back way off on the drag and avoid gorilla hook sets. Good luck.

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Yeah after thinking about it some more, I just know I'll be snapping that line like there's no tomorrow, just to load up the rod even a little bit when the smallie is fighting.

I might take my chances with some 12# Fluoroclear as the leader -- it's been good (enough) to me that I'm not too concerned with it breaking. Its also somewhat invisible and at least it matches the min. line rating of the rod.  Drag will be backed off a LOT and my thumb will replace it for hooksets. :D

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I agree that you probably need to go with at least 12 lb. leader.  I regularly fish the gin-clear waters of Table Rock Lake and my normal set up for football head jigs in 15 - 25 ft. of water is a Powell 704C heavy action with 15 lb. or 17 lb. fluoro as the main line.  I also use more of a sweep-set ala Carolina Rig type set for my football jigs. 

I know our "southern" smallies are a little different than those up north, but I would think that you shouldn't miss out on many bites if you went with a 14 or 15 lb. leader.

I don't have a lot of experience with Floroclear, but a lot of the reviews I've seen haven't been that flattering.   

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Orvis "Mirage" fly fishing leader material.

In 1X it's about the same diameter as most 8-10 lb test mono or fluoro, but it's 14.5 lb test.

That's what I often use as a leader here on Table Rock or Beaver, both of which are crystal clear most of the year.

Yes, it's expensive. It's worth it.

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If you are using a fluorocarbon leader why are you bothered by the size of it?

Will 20# affect the "deep jigging" presentation?

Will you be using a jig or a tube?

I use 20# fluorocarbon in super clear water especially when fishing deep. The larger size fluorocarbon or nylon lines have less stretch than the smaller sizes.

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If you are using a fluorocarbon leader why are you bothered by the size of it?

Will 20# affect the "deep jigging" presentation?

Will you be using a jig or a tube?

I use 20# fluorocarbon in super clear water especially when fishing deep. The larger size fluorocarbon or nylon lines have less stretch than the smaller sizes.

I'm still concerned that the smallies have been pressured heavily, especially leading up to that tournament, and might have lockjaw if anything looks 'odd' to them.  I don't believe that fluorocarbon is 100% invisible, although its close I'm sure.  I guess if the bite is really 'on' I could try a bit of 20# Maxima fluoro leader material and see how it impacts the bite, but I'm not sure I want to risk having the jig (War Eagle heavy finesse jigs) in front of the 'big one' and having it shy away from the bait during my test-run of the heavier leader.

Maybe this is all in my head and I'm wrong - maybe 20# fluoro would be better than 12# fluoroclear or even better than no leader. Are smallies THAT line-shy or am I just full of myths that I need to disspell in my own head before heading out there in just over a week?

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Why not take the gear needed to try several options, and figure out what works from there?

I always overpack on unfamiliar waters.

On another note, what if it turns out to be one of those deals where you catch most of them on a grub or tube on spinning gear, and all this worry was for nothing?

Hey, I like planning a trip almost as much as actually doing it, but you can over think things.

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