Important observation

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by Bill in SC, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    For years, the enigma of why limb liners and jug guys ROUTINELY catch BIGGER fish, has eluded me. After this weekends happenings at our camp over, I CAN NOW TELL YOU WHY! After gathering reports from all our members this weekend, I have heard of NO LESS than FIFTEEN OR TWENTY snapped leaders and lines! The reason the limb liners CATCH their fish is because they use cord that is more or less small rope! They don't LOSE the fish they hang, from line/leader failure. Now mind you, I have stepped up to 100# Power Pro, with a 50# monofilament leader. Still AIN'T ENOUGH, folks! Can anyone give me any NEGATIVE feedback why we shouldn't be using 150# test or more Power Pro, with at 100# mono leader? I have figured out the problem, now, I hope to hear that my reasoning is correct for the change of strategy. To think I started this year off with 25# monofilament, and called myself a catfisherman! What a chump I was!
    BB in SC
     
  2. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,005
    State:
    Georgia
    Snags and getting hung up. :eek:oooh:
     

  3. pop pop

    pop pop New Member

    Messages:
    972
    State:
    Lake Green
    Bill, I'd go as high as I needed to! The fish would be left with 3 options. Turn and get landed, Rip the rod holder off the boat or rip his his lips off.:smile2:
     
  4. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I agree with you, Bill. In addition to stronger line, when fishing the trashpiles in rivers like we were on Friday night, it also takes strong, stiff rods, joined with a reel capable of holding that stronger line and a drag system that can be locked down tight to try and keep the fish away from those snags. I personally find that straight shank circle hooks seem to help reduce hangups a little, along with a shorter leader. I intend to head back up there first chance to tackle them again, with a planned assault. :big_smile:
     
  5. pop pop

    pop pop New Member

    Messages:
    972
    State:
    Lake Green
    Bill, I forgot to add these 2 cents in. That higher test braid is only as strong as that 50 lb leader. My leaders are always higher test than my line. For a money saver I'd just go with a higher test leader that way your rigs are now as stong as the 100 lb line already on the reels:wink:.
     
  6. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Yessir, Paul, snags are the culprit MOST of the time. However, a heavier test main line and leader would give the angler a gain in trying to work a fish free from the snags. The 33 pound flattie I did manage to catch got in the snags, but I was able to work her free with my 100# test Power Pro. It seems that the 50# mono leaders are the main culprit. I have lost a LOT of huge fish in the snags, but I have also worked a bunch of nice fish free through the years.
    Pop Pop: I like to have a heavier main line, than leader. That way, when you do get legitimately hung on a snag and have to break it off, the leader breaks first, thus resulting in the lead sinker being retained as it is above the leader. Then, only hook, cork, and a short piece of mono are lost. Also, I heard several instances this weekend where the 50# mono leaders broke from the shear strength of the fish making a run. With the VERY HEAVY COVER we fish, we don't have the option of setting our drags to enable the fish to run. If you give them much more than a few inches, they'll make it into the cover every time. I'm going to test my theory as soon as I can afford to upgrade my line and leaders, and expect to see my landing percentage increase dramatically. I have increased my hookup ratio to 90% or better, with the use of the Gamakatsu 8.0 Octopus circles. Now, if I can get my landing percentage of LARGE fish up over 80%, I'll be a happy camper. I've LOST many potential PBs this year due to line/leader failure. I'm fixin' to change that!
    BB in SC
     
  7. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I typically fish with 25-35lb mono on my reels and have never had too much trouble with losing fish to breakoff. I use Ambassadeur 6000 and 7000 reels and penn #9's. None of these have enough drag to break these lighter lines. You have to use your thumb to turn the fish sometimes but I've pretty much man handled 50 and 60lb fish with this setup and a 7' rod with a lot of spine and a light tip.
     
  8. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    That wouldnt hack the program in the Pee Dee River for big fish unless you got lucky and caught him on a sand bar maybe. I have fished lots of rivers in SC and some in NC and even 1 in TN and none of them compare to the snags and wooded cover of the pee dee. You dont ride around looking for some wood piles to fish everywhere is wood piles sometimes even in the middle of the river. Bill my buddy uses limb line cord for his leaders. I hope this helps and good luck.
     
  9. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    sounds like some pretty serious fishing. I only use 30 pound mono, but perhaps it is not enough. I don't know that I have ever had a fish break my line but it is possible I guess. I am the snag master though so I prefer a line that I can break off
     
  10. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I dont think I have ever had a fish just break my main line or leader by just over powering it but I have had them break plenty of times. I use 80-120lb braid and 80lb mono leaders mainly because the leaders are more cut resistant. Bill you may think about using a florocarbon leader instead of mono?
     
  11. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I really was asking what kind of rod and reel combo you are using with this heavy line. I understand you guys are fishing in heavier cover but I still can't imagine the rigs I'm using holding up. Neither my rods nor my reels are designed to hold up to that kind of strain.
     
  12. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    If it takes a 100# leader then use it ,but then where do the skill come in
     
  13. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    < I dont think I have ever had a fish just break my main line or leader by just over powering it but I have had them break plenty of times. I use 80-120lb braid and 80lb mono leaders mainly because the leaders are more cut resistant. Bill you may think about using a florocarbon leader instead of mono?>

    I heard of at least two instances of 50# mono leaders breaking last weekend, when the fish made a run and overpowered it.

    I think my first step to correcting leader failure is to go up to 80# mono.

    <I really was asking what kind of rod and reel combo you are using with this heavy line. I understand you guys are fishing in heavier cover but I still can't imagine the rigs I'm using holding up. Neither my rods nor my reels are designed to hold up to that kind of strain.>

    I use Abu Garcia exclusively, but there are many Penns and others in our group. My rods are the cheapo Berkeley Big Game 6'6" medium heavy from Wal-Mart. Toy rods as the catfishsafari guy says. I have never encountered rod or reel failure. I will eventually upgrade to some heavier duty rods so I can put more muscle into hauling them out. That is going to be an expensive endeavor though. Once again, I'm going to go the cheap way first and upgrade to 80 pound mono for the leaders and this should get me in the ballpark for better success.

    <If it takes a 100# leader then use it ,but then where do the skill come in>

    Believe me brother, if you had a wrecker truck on a barge in the Big Pee Dee River, you would still have to have great skill to finesse these boogers out. The Big Pee Dee is a different animal than most river systems.
    Bill in SC
     
  14. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I can't break 30lb test Cajun Mono with a 6500. The drag won't tighten down enough. If I increased the line strength it would no longer be the week link in the chain, the reel would. When fighting larger fish with a 6500 or a 7000 I am constantly applying pressure to the spool with my thumb because the drag alone won't hold up to the pressure applied by fish and rod. My rod tip and the elasticity of the mono-filament have typically been adequate buffer to keep the fish from being able to break off.

    I am very interested in the abrasion resistance of some of the other lines. When I have had trouble with line failure, I believe it was due more to abrasion than line strength. You can typically feel the line rubbing on something. I've either worn it through or I can no longer feel the fish fighting back which means I'm tied/hooked to the snag and no longer fighting a fish. Either way, tensile strength isn't going to help land the fish, just pull up the snag or straighten my hook (highly unlikely with the 'Owner' circles we use).

    I have never fished the big PD but I would like to. For those who have fished the big PD, Congaree, and Wateree, how would you say they compare from both a terrain aspect and an overall fishing experience?
     
  15. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    I have two 6000s, one of which landed the 33 pounder Friday night with NO problem. I have two of the new 'Blue Cat' series 6500s, with never a reel issue. I also have a 6500TC, with NO issues ever. I also have an old 5500 that I carry just to fill a rod holder, and it has pulled some fine cats as well. I hope to add at least four more 'Blue Cats' if they are still available when my sinking ship makes it to port. Once again, my problem seems to be more leader related, than line related, since switching over to the braided PP. Most everybody I talked to last weekend had leader failures.
    Bill in SC
     
  16. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I certainly don't intend to sound like I'm doubting the ambassadors. I have caught quite a few 50lb+ fish with mine as well and never felt that they've let me down. I was just thinking that if I put any stronger main line on that I really wouldn't gain much because the rod and reel aren't designed to handle it. As far the leader that is a whole different animal.

    When I first started cat-fishing I used steel leaders. I started wondering if I would catch more fish with a mono leader so I switched. I have since gone back to steel and here's what I have found. Mono leaders break easier!!! As far as the fish, take this from your limb lining buddies - a big cat would eat a bream even if it were tied to a tree with an anchor rope. Heavy leaders might scare off some fish but a big ugly ain't one of them. The only real benefit I found in using a lighter/mono leader was that it could be broken without losing your whole rig. The benefits of the wire leader or that they are nearly immune to abrasion and the snap hook allows me to swap from the big circles I use for fishing with live bream to the smaller kahle's I prefer for cut bait and herring/shad without re-tying.

    I'm still interested in the abrasion resistant qualities of some of the lines. I'm not really looking for anything that is harder to pop, just harder to break/cut.
     
  17. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    If you are going to use a mono leader, try using a thicker (cheaper) line instead of the finer more cast friendly stuff. It stretches more. I tried using a 20lb long cast type mono for leaders one time I would pop them nearly every time I set the hook. I was using 25 and 30 lb Cajun red line for my main line. The shorter section of thinner line couldn't withstand the shock of the hook sets.
     
  18. CarolinaCatJack

    CarolinaCatJack New Member

    Messages:
    427
    State:
    Travelers Rest,
    Alrighty then, here we go....Just to give you guys an idea of what MY fishing budget looks like, my rods are as such:

    -7.5ft Big Water Graphite, Shakespeare Prius spooled with 30lb mono Cajun red
    -7.5ft Zebco Hawg Seeker rod/reel combo spooled with 20lb hi-vis Zebco mono (not a bad combo for $40 at Wal-Mart). Real strong rod.
    -7.5ft Mako Graphite rod/reel combo spooled with no-name 20lb mono (auction special)

    Normally, I don't use leaders. Occasionally, I'll put one on when I'm fishing around heavy cover/brush or around rock piles, and I use the Eagle Claw 30in/45lb stainless steel wire leaders. I've never had any problem with big catfish breaking line by rubbing teeth against it. It's usually my knots! I've gotten a lot better at tying, but I've lost a lot in the 7-10lb range due to my "masterful" (cough cough) knot-tying skills. Buster and pop pop, be prepared for lots of laughs if we fish together this weekend....And for all of my limb-lining brothers and sisters out there, why would I want a tree to have all the fun of catching a fish? LOL!

    Just a cent and a half worth from your friendly local Wal-Mart equipped catman...
     
  19. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I am with you 100% on that. When I said I have never had 1 break my line I was simply stated tht I believe it was line failure due to the snags or my lazy butt not changing my leaders like I am suppose to. I dont think to keep going bigger is better I think less abrasion resistant is the key.
     
  20. countryboy1616

    countryboy1616 New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Darlington, S.C.
    What is the purpose of using a leader as opposed to just a straight line ? I know it may be a simple answer but I would love your imput. Thnaks in advance
    Rohn