Leader Logic

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by back channel, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. back channel

    back channel Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I know there have been many posts on this dicussion. But there are a few things I just can not understand. :confused2:

    First, here is what i do understand.

    Many people will use braided line for the following reasons.

    1) One, it has a smaller diameter and strength per diamater ratio allowing one to put more line on the reel with increased strength.

    2) People will use a leader so they only loose their terminal tackle and not the expensive braided line.

    3) Having a leader allows for different presentations.

    4) Leaders also allow for the main line to maintain it's strength by not having sinkers stoppers or anytime type of things to decrease it's strength or create a weak point in the main line.

    5) I know there is more but just can not think of them right now.


    Here is what I can not understand.

    For example, people will use 80# power pro or other braided line with a 50# mono leader.

    Isn't this defeatiung the purpose of a smaller diameter line?

    Why use the lighter pound line if it is only going to create a weak point in the connection?

    Isn't the leader going to have the most tension, so why use the weaker line?



    Another example, people will use 50# braided with a 80# mono leader.

    Again, the diameter theory?

    Sorry I ust don't understand this set-up.


    Lastly, I can see the advantages with this set-up while it has proven to be effective. However, I some things such as the idea of a larger diameter leader and smaller diameter main line just seem self defeating to me.

    If light can be shed on a few of these questions that would be great.


    Thanks to everone.
     
  2. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    Very good post, I agree with you that another knot is just going make things worse as far as tension and strength go. I don't use them at all, ever;...
     

  3. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I only use Mono to fish with. I have tried the braided lines and they are not for me. Just a personal chioce. I usually fish with 20 or 30 lb mono. When I use 20 lb on the reel I will use 30 lb mono leader. If I use 30lb on my reel...I fish with a 40lb leader. I like a little stronger line on my leader as this is where the most stress will come from. I am not too concerned about loosing sinkers or hooks. But I do not want to loose a big fish.:crazy:
     
  4. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    And I do love braided line only cuz where i fish there is absolutely nowhere to let fish run. If I even thought about fishing the lake I wouldn't change my line much except for lb test. You can have the stretch of mono or the fraying of braided line. I choose the fraying.
     
  5. CATFISHERMAN001

    CATFISHERMAN001 New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    ALABAMA
    I use 50# mono for line a 100# leader. My reason is that the 50# is strong enough to handle any size cat that I catch but the leader is where the abuse from teeth rubbing and where the fish is going to try to snag or rub against rocks, or debris to get it out of its mouth so it will need to be stronger to absorb the possible abuse and still maintain at least the strength of the mainline. I also use a 8# lead line on a 3 way, that way if my I am drifting and the lead line gets hung I can easily break the 8# line and not lose my entire rig and only have to replace the weight line. I have used braided line in the past and for the size of the line use such as 50-80# test equivilant to 12-18lb mono the line doesn't last as long( dry rot) and should you back lash the braid maintains a snag point so that almost everytime you cast that point will cause you issues during casting. I will stick to my mono. I hope this point of view helps.
     
  6. Reel_Blues

    Reel_Blues New Member

    Messages:
    824
    State:
    Virginia
    James hit the nail on the head. If your asking why use a leader? The main reasons is to suspend your bait for 2 reasons. 1-to keep it off the lead 2-to get the bait off the bottom and in the strike zone.
     
  7. CATFISHERMAN001

    CATFISHERMAN001 New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    ALABAMA
    Just FYI, I also replace my leader after every 5-10 fish I catch. I figure it has about taken as much abuse as it can stand at that point, depending on how big they are, how much debris is in the area I catch them in and how much fight they put up.
     
  8. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I use a leader for a couple of reasons:
    1) it puts stronger and more abrasion resistent line closest to the fish and to snags, where it's needed
    2) it gives me a bit of a "handle" that I use when landing fish (I usually gently hold a fish by the leader while getting control to grab him by the jaw)

    I use mono for the leader for different reasons, too:
    A)I actually want higher diameter line for the leader because it is less likely to cut my hands
    B)Higher diameter means more abrasion resistent (even when comparing with superbraids)
    C)Mono is clear and braid is not (I tried braided leader and didn;t like the results)

    The only reason (for most people, I believe) like the low diameter of braids is that it allows them to get a reasonable length of high strength line on a fairly small reel. Try putting 80 or 100 pound mono on a Abu 6500 - it won't hold much.
     
  9. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I typically use a three way rig in which my hook leader is slightly stronger than my actual reel line. I do this because the knots provide weak spots on within the set up and the thicker line absorbs this extra tension. On the sinker line I typically use a mono that is half that of my reel line. This is because the sinker is what normally gets snagged and therefore I can break the line easier and the hook will float over the snag and I only lose half a rig.
     
  10. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,457
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Scott,
    You have asked one of those questions to which there are as many answers as there are fishermen.
    Firstly, there are different reasons for using braid but one of it's main advantages is it's strength to diameter. This allows a strong line with less water resistance which in turn allows the use of less weight to hold bottom along with increased reel capacity and further casting distance.
    Unfortunately, a braid with the strength of 50lb mono but the diameter of 12lb mono only has the abrasion resistance of 12lb mono so a mono leader of some sort is needed for the last few feet of line to handle the abuse from rocks, limbs etc.
    The strength of the leader in relation to the that of the main line is a contentious issue and depends on all kinds of factors.
    One guy I know uses 100lb braid and a 100lb leader. His philosophy is when the big one comes he will be ready. If he gets snagged and has to pull for a break it is possible he will lose a lot of line and therefor a lot of money as the line could break anywhere but he is OK with that.
    Another guy I know uses 40lb mono and a 60lb leader. Again, he stands to lose a lot of line as the main line could theoretically break anywhere before the snagged leader although conventional wisdom says the knot at the end of his main line will fail first.
    Other guys I know use high poundage main line (mono or braid) and a slightly less strong leader; their logic being that if the leader gets snagged it will break and they will get all of their main line back.
    So, it really depends on what you see as the best set up for your fishing or even your finances.
    One thing beyond question is that no matter what the strength of your line or leader, consistently well tied knots are essential as are regular inspections for nicks and scrapes.
    ...W
     
  11. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    I use 65# to 80# test HiVis PowerPro for my flathead rods - it is tough stuff. I fish a lot of timber and logjams and I sometimes end up needing to horse a fish to keep him out of cover. I don't screw around with small diameter lines - I don't want any stretch in my line - I want to control the fight if I can - I don't horse a fish if I can help it but if I need to stop him I want to be able to do it right now.

    I use the same size HiVis PowerPro to tie all my leaders. When I respool my reels every couple of years I will use the PowerPro line I take off the reels for leader material. I like HiVis PowerPro because it is easy to see in the dark and it has a large enough diameter to be able to untangle easily. I pre-tie all my leaders so that I don't have to fumble around in the dark tying hooks and leaders. I tie all my hooks using a snell knot. I store my leaders in a couple of small binders designed to hold business cards that I found at Office Max. I wind the leaders on a small piece of paper about the size of a business card and just slide them in the plastic slot made for a business card. I mark the leader length on the paper so I know how long they are so I can match them to presentation I need for that particular spot I am fishing. I normally use short leaders for high current areas with a lot of timber and longer leaders when fishing less current and a cleaner bottom. I'll enclose a picture of my leader holders - I use one holder for my J hooks and another holder for my circle hooks. I probably have about 50 hooks of each type and of various sizes and lengths ready to go at any given time.

    90% of the time I fish with a standard slip rig setup. I mainly use No-Roll sinkers to anchor my slip rigs, using from 2 oz to 5 oz depending on the current. The No-Roll slides on my main line and then I tie a large 1/0 snap swivel. I tie all terminal tackle with a palomar knot. I like the snap swivel because it allows me to quickly change leaders if needed and it will take the twist out of the line in any presentation.

    I have gone to all PowerPro line and I don't use any mono. A lot of time I will hold a rod and the superline telegraphs everything going on - you can tell if your bait is still kicking up a fuss and you can feel instantly when a fish picks up the bait. I just am more comfortable with the new superlines than mono.
     

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  12. CATFISHERMAN001

    CATFISHERMAN001 New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    ALABAMA
  13. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Hm, I use #50 Power Pro braid and it will not dry rot, or kink and that's not based on opinion. I don't care for anything less in #test because it does seem to break a lot easier if it comes across any structure

    As mentioned here already I use a mono leader also. It gives me that structure protection I need, not only because a cats run, but because I fish the bottom and I'm always getting snagged. When I'm snagged I will jerk the rod up/down to try to unsnag it. This behavior would, well more like will snap the braid in seconds. Small braid is hard to tie and will cut you fast and deep. It will also get cut at the hooks eye where the eye and shank meet.

    I use a no-roll or slinky weight on my main line then a swivel. My leader is a #50 mono snelled to a circle hook. If you use cut bait or live bait a swivel is needed so when your bait spins ( from reeling in or drifting ) the swivel takes the twist, not your main line.

    To be honest I think a #20 mono can take most any cats but because of the many factors and conditions, we have to adapt to our individual situations. So if I were fishing for 50lb catfish, in a sandy bottom pond that's only 75 yards wide, using a round bait ( wouldn't spin ) , 10' off the bank, in 10' of water, no current, no structure at all.... A #20 mono would bring them in all day long, even without a swivel/leader. Well, we know that cats are down deep and in the structure so we adapt to where we are and the type equipment we use.

    I figure it out by how much I get snagged and how hard it is to get it out, not by weather I think it will hold the weight and fight of the fish, I already know that a #20 or 30 test line will take the actual fish itself.

    My advise is to review what you already use. Find the weak or negative points and then try to change your rig until you have maximum casting ability and maximum line strength and abrasion combination.

    Unfortunately there is not one line that can do it all. Line has come a long way, that's for sure. But until they come out with the total package, we will mix it up to fit our needs.

    I hope this gives you some ideas and g'luck

    -Jim-
     
  14. Nomdic1

    Nomdic1 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    virginia
    I use 30lb mono for a main line and 65lb braided leader. I like the braid on the leader because it is more flexible. I used to use 80lb mono, but trying to tie a snell knot was a bear. The braid is easy, and I feel that I get more hits since switching. I started by running 3 lines with mono and 3 lines with braid. The braided lines got more fish by 2 to 1. It may be just dumb luck, but confidence in your equipment means alot.
     
  15. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,758
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    im a little diferent with my set up.where i fish my structure is mostly wire and cable so i have a lot of abraiseion on my line.i lost a lot of fish and tackle till i went to a cat bobber.i found that the cat bobber frayed my braid pretty bad so i started useing #18 braided nylon for a leader and that has worked for me.
     
  16. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Steve---Nice binder, thanx for the pic. OK, you have your snap-swivel tied to your main line---what do you have on the line-end of your leader, to attach to rhe snap??
     
  17. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    Mark - I just tie a loop knot on the end of my leader and slip that loop knot on the snap swivel. Some people may not trust a loop knot but I have never had a loop knot fail. With a loop knot if I want to shorten my leader I can just retie a loop knot down the leader as far as I want to get the distance I want. It only takes a second to retie a loop knot if needed - I can do it with my eyes shut.
     
  18. back channel

    back channel Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks everyone for the replies. It clears some things up.
     
  19. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Thanx Steve---If that knot is good enough for the fish in your avatar, it'll hold anything I hook.
     
  20. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    ohio

    I agree this is the main reason i use a heavier leader than my main line. But you still know the main line is gonna hold the fish you catch. Check out your leaders after a few fish the will get scraped up looks like sand paper go rubbed on it.