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plymouthrockbass

Is a flouro or mono leader attached to braid necessary?

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Alright so ive been faced with this dilemma for a number of years now. I switched to braid on basically all of my bass setups 2 years ago because of the sensitivity braid provides. I do alot of finesse fishing and the braid and superlines seem to give alot more sensitivity plus easier hooksets. I've read alot about attaching a flourocarbon leader to the braid because braided lines tend to be so visible. Id like to see peoples opinions on this. Personally i dont think it matters all that much. Ive used moss green powerpro and fireline for a couple years now and have caught plenty of fish. big fish at that. even in clear water. More often then not, bass are caught on a reaction strike. Bass are territorial and predators, its in there makeup. When they see a bait it will eventually entice them to attack it even if it has a green piece of braid trailing from it. Does visibility of a line really matter? The only reason i ask is because im afraid to attach a flouro leader because i dont want to lose the feeling of the braid. I feel like id detect less strikes if a flouro leader was attached.

Thanks everyone!

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I honestly don't think a leader is necessary, but some people like it.

Many don't use a leader for visibility purposes, but for abrasion resistance, which is necessary in certain situations.

A fluoro leader doesn't really sacrifice any sensitivity if attached to braid, so I think you will be alright there.

If you are catching fish now with straight braid, why change?

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I also feel you'll lose virtually none of your sensitivity with a fluoro leader.  I use one for 2 reasons; abrasion resistance and for breakage if I get hung up...30# braid is hard to break, but the fluoro leader will break if necessary.

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I'm really not convinced either way.  If you tie a good connection knot, you're certainly not hurting yourself as far as visibility is concerned.  I primarily use it for abrasion resisitance.  Braid rubbing on rocks is just a big no no.  With the fluoro or co-poly leader you won't get frayed nearly as quickly.  Like MNGeorge mentioned, it does give you a breaking point if you get hung up.  I recently pulled up an irrigation inlet pipe using 20lb braid and an 8lb yo-zuri hybrid leader on my medium drop shot rod.  Needless to say I was impressed.

Try it out.  If it works for you, then there you go.  If it doesn't work, no harm no foul.  It never hurts to experiment a little once in a while.

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just curious, for the guys who use fluoro leaders, how long of a leader do you tie on?

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I've never used a leader with braid but if fishing around rocks I could see using a leader. True 30# braid can be hard to break off but I usually keep a heavy work glove in my bag to help break off the braid if I get hung up.

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just curious, for the guys who use fluoro leaders, how long of a leader do you tie on?

Depends on the length of the rod.  Usually 6 to 7 foot though.

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I don't use leaders. See thread on braid and spinning for other opinions.

"Is a flouro or mono leader attached to braid necessary?"

In my opinion, it's only necessary if you think it's necessary.

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If you tie on a 6 ft leader it's plenty for reties and lure changes for the day. Any shorter and you'll be retieing leaders.

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black sharpie does wonders, i played with leaders for a year or so now and personally i dont think their worth the trouble. even in gin clear water they didnt seem to care.

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i dont use leaders EVER. your line is your only connection to the fish so why would you want to put another breaking point in it? i dont care how great your knot is, it never made sense to me.. plus with todays premium fluorocarbon you should be able to detect a strike with it, its very sensitive..

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Bass are aggressive at least compared to some other species, I don't think leaders are real important.  That said I prefer using a leader with my braid for any kind of fishing, but that's just me.  I really don't buy into floro leaders mono works just as well for me, the only place I use them is for certain species and I have noticed it does make a difference.

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Personally I don't think a leader for visibility is absolutely necessary, more of a personal preference/confidence thing.

That being said I almost always use a 10-14# FC leader with 30# braid. This is just in case I get hung up; I don't want to bother breaking the braid or losing some of it. Currently just using a leader of a couple feet, whatever I happen to tie on. Haven't even considered using a longer 6' leader so that I don't have to retie leader knot but that definitely makes sense. Does anyone think a long leader such as this actually has any effect on sensitivity?

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When the water is clear and cold I want a leader on my braid.  We tried an experiment one day with 6 of us fishing the same area.  2 of us fished braid and the other 4 fished leaders or mone.

The two of us using braid got a good but waxing that day.  Therefore, I use leaders now in cold water.

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The top 2 reasons for using a leader are for line shy bass & for breakage when hung.

I think the line shy bass theory solely depends on the body of water; I fish a lot of southern lakes with lots of vegetation, brush, & timber. In these bodies of water a bass can not tell braided line from a strand of Hydrilla, a Buck brush limb, or Willow tree branches.

Hung Up! I'll loose probably a ½ to a dozen jigs a year, that's part of jig fishing ya just gotta deal with. I personally don't use a leader and don't worry about getting hunghuh I'll tie it to the boat cleat!

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You won't lose much sensitivity using a standard leader (about rod length).

The combination of a high-visibility braid (or fused) main line and near invisible fluoro leader is really hard to beat.

I don't use a leader when using fast retrieve lures (like spinnerbaits) but in clear water I'm convinced a leader helps.

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I only use a leader when fishing around rocks, or when dropshotting. Around rocks its for abrasion resistance, and when dropshotting it's because I'm more concerned about line visibility because it's a vertical presentation with the bait  suspended off the bottom. with bottom contact baits I don't think line visibility matters as much because the line is running almost parallel to the bottom, and I think the bottom helps to hide the line in this situation. It's probably just a confidence thing but that's what works for me.

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A leader can be useful for enhancing abrasion resistance or shock-resistance,

but their importance in reducing line visibility is of dubious value.

Bass routinely eat bullet sinkers, bristle weedguards, large spinner blades,

rattleboxes and gaudy treble hooks. Does anyone really believe

that this same animal would be frightened by the sight of a fine filament??

Lose the leader ;)

Roger

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Necessary is a very broad term. Can you catch fish on braid without using a leader ? Well sure. I used to. But I switched to using a mono or fluoro leader about 10 years ago, and will never go back to not using one.

I read this whole thread, and their is one important thing about using mono / fluoro leaders in conjunction with braid, which has not been mentioned.

While mono and (impo) fluorocarbon as well, have a ridiculous amount of stretch (like a big freaking rubber-band) braid has virtually zero stretch ! It's almost too good. Using a 3 or 4ft mono or fluoro leader will give you just a tiny bit of a shock absorber, which could make the difference of snapping off a fish, or not, during a spike in tension on the line.

Of course, like most have said, a good, tough mono, or fluorocarbon leader is also more abrasion resistant around rocks..... and also the teeth, of a big bass.

As for visibility ? Ehhhh.... not usually very important. I used to use straight braid, then went to mono leaders, for pretty much all of my different types of fishing, fresh and salt. Didn't notice a difference in my number of bites, but maybe went from 2 break-offs a year, to none.

Oh, and about the "extra" potentially weak link, with the connection of my leader, to my braided main line....

Well, in theory, sure, less connections, the better. But in reality, I get all of the benefits mentioned above, and I just flat out never break off fish (as I knock on my wood PC desk ;))

Peace,

Fish

PS, Oh, and one more thing which I don't believe has been mentioned.... Braided line tends to get tangled / twisted around lures, and live baits, much easier than mono or fluoro. So that's another good reason to use a leader.

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Does anyone really believe

that this same animal would be frightened by the sight of a fine filament?

To assume that a bass would be frightened by the sight of line is a dubious assumption. To assume that a bass in very clear water could not be conditioned to associate a long line sticking out of its meal with the infliction of pain may be just as dubious.

Who knows what a bass thinks or how it perceives our lines? I don't know what they think but I know what my own experiments have confirmed for me. When fishing jigs or soft plastics in a slow, methodical manner I catch noticeably more fish in gin clear water with a leader. I tend to fish murky and stained waters so this usually doesn't come into play for me but on clear waters I definitely see a difference.

Fish Chris makes an excellent point that there are other reasons to use leaders as well.

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Fish Chris wrote:

I read this whole thread, and their is one important thing about using mono / fluoro leaders in conjunction with braid, which has not been mentioned.

RoLo wrote:

A leader can be useful for enhancing abrasion resistance or shock-resistance

================================================================================

Senile1 wrote:

To assume that a bass in very clear water could not be conditioned to associate a long line sticking out of its meal with the infliction of pain may be just as dubious.

My above post was not presented as a constant that applies to any context,

but a relevant analogy offered as food for thought.

It's always been my firm belief that conditioning is a major component

of natural selection. All animals are trained by repetition and association,

which conditions them over time to their environment (survival of the fittest).

To be sure, bass can see fine line better in clear water, but they can also see

rattleboxes, weedguards and treble hooks more clearly in clear water.

I think it's fair to say that treble hooks are more visible and more awe-inspiring

than fishing line. Although line visibility may be uppermost in the mind of the angler,

natural presentation involves a myriad of variables that go far beyond line visibility.

For decades, I've used many types of leaders in both saltwater and freshwater.

For the past several years however my wife and I have been using braided line

without any leader. Living in Lake Wales, Florida we're just a stone's throw

from the phosphate pits of Bartow and Mulberry, and no strangers to crystal-clear water.

Neither my wife nor I have noticed any valid difference in bass action without a leader.

It should be underscored though, that it's human nature to arrive at the conclusion

you wish to reach. For this reason, I try to be objective in my opinion, where conclusions

cannot be based on one or two cases in point. It really takes years of experimenting

to filter out all the false positives and false negatives. I'm fortunate in this regard,

because experimenting is my favorite part of fishing, something I'll continue for the rest of my years ;)

Roger

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Sorry Rolo, I missed where you said that. Anyway, I guess great fishing minds think alike ;)  LOL

Fish

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