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JaxBasser

Leader Keeps Breaking!

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So I recently made the switch over to braid. I like it but I'm having some problems.

I fish some waters that are clear and I want to use a leader but the leader breaks almost every time I set the hook. I'm using 40# Power Pro with Yo-Zuri Hybrid 12# for the leader on my casting setup and 20# Power Pro with either an 8 or 12lb leader on my spinning stuff (both break off). I'm using a double uni knot to connect the leader to the mainline. The breakoff is happening close to the knot where I tie the hook onto the leader. I'm using a palomar knot to tie the hook to the leader. I'm making sure I lube all knots up before tightening them down.

I never had any breakoff problems when I was using just mono. Why is this happening?

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When tightening or cinching the knot, always pull the tag end first instead of the leader side. This way any nick or abrasion created during tightening/cinching of the knot will be in the tag end after the hook.

There's little stretch in the leader and no stretch on the braid so breaks off happen more compared to straight mono. You might want to back off the drag setting a bit to compensate for no stretch.

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Make sure you are reeling in ALL the slack out of the line before setting the hook. Also, a little twist of the wrist, or a sweep hookset should be good enough to bury that hook point.

Of course, first ensure that the connecting knot is good.

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You're transmitting a lot more instantaneous shock to your leader when using braid because it has zero stretch. Up your leader size to 20 or 25 lb fluorocarbon or copolymer. And you don't need to set the hook as hard. JMHO, if you're going to use a 100% fluoro leader (or no leader at all), you're better off using a leader-to-hook knot that has multiple wraps around the standing line. There are several good ones to choose from - I like the San Diego Jam knot.

If you're fishing grass most of the time (and I assume all Florida guys are), you may not need the leader. Will it cost you a fish very occasionally? Maybe, but the simplicity of tying direct to the braid, plus one less knot to worry about, plus avoiding the knot running through your guides are advantages. If you are going to be mostly pitching baits into grass cover and the knot will not be running through your guides on every cast, I'd still use the leader to maybe pick up that extra fish or two.

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I'll address spinning. First of all without actually being there it's difficult to know exactly what the problem is. For freshwater I use 10# braid, heavy cover I use 15# braid with a leader and I always use a swivel. I employ a saltwater set up as I use a heavier leader, 20# mono for my bass fishing. Lures get a loopknot, hooks get a standard clinch (these knots hold my snook, tarpon and offshore fish which are larger on a regular basis in saltwater). You may be stretching the leader and burning it,is it wavy, although I have never had a negative reaction when I've burnt it. I never make a hard hook set.

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