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Line thickness, advantage or disadvantage?

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A lot of the parks I fish at recommend 80lb braid as a minimum for big fish due to the risk of line breaking against pylons ect, but I hate fishing thick line, I find it costs me both casting distance (especially with lighter lures) and more importantly I loose a lot of sensitivity when finessing lures slowly.

When bait fishing I tend to fish heavier braid, but I don't know if it's really an advantage.

I find it doesn't matter if I'm fishing 20lb braid or 50lb braid when the fish hits a rock ect. So I've taken to fishing longer leasers of heavier fluorocarbon. I've found that makes a big difference.

So I'm curious to other people's experiences with braid and abrasion resistance, or the use of longer leader.

Reading up on US tournament bass fishing, it seems most run an average of 50lb braid, that's for as big a fish with a maximum size of 20lb, with 15lb being a more realistic maximum size.

So why do they use 30lb-65lb braid, I know that in rocky fast flowing water I can pull out 15-20lb fish on 6lb line with a 15lb leader, but that's not tournament fishing either.

But what do you all think, are you better off in situations like that running a 3-4m of say 60lb-80lb leader on a pe 3 line of suitable strength, or running a thicker pe5 or pe6 braid and having less line on the spool?



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Personally I go with the lighter line option with the FC or nylon leader option.  Seems to work well enough in the reef areas but I know your fishing is quite different with huge fish likely to hit cover outside of a normal 2 rod length leader I guess?  

It would be interesting to see just how much extra protection you get from heavier braid over lighter - I havent seen anything online where people have done tests. 

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I've generally had brilliant success with braid, it's got its advantages and it's disadvantages just like mono.

Mono's advantages are it's less visible, it's stretch reduces shock and it's much more abrasion resistant.

Braids advantages are it's thinner so you fit more line on the reel, it's lack of stretch means it's easier to set the hook, there's much much more sensitivity between the rod and the lure, especially important when fishing soft plastics and it's got much more casting distance.

If I was to spool my O/S reels for what I fish for I'd need at least 30lb braid, I would only get 75m on my spool and that would be next to useless when a big fish runs. My only other option is use a much bigger reel, I don't want to do that as it makes the rod to heavy to cast all day.

There's definitely times when either will be better then the other, but you really have to choose what's going to be best for what you use it for the majority of the time.

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From my experience big fish spend more time a fair way out from you when fighting them. they work big arcs left and right.

The problem is keeping all obstructions away from between you and the fish.....almost impossible land based and you rely on luck a lot more.

Braid is very very crap when it comes into contact with almost anything that is not water.

The upside of braid though is it cuts through the water far better than mono.

In a boat I would opt for braid with FC leader, knowing i could manouvre the boat around obstacles during a fight. 

Land based I would opt for mono all the way.

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most of the time unless your going offshore 20lb - 30lb braid is the most you need landbased, you can get pretty much any fishing on 20lb landbased just gotta take your time if its a big fish. Whether your fishing super heavy braid or light braid once it hits a rock or something it snaps. An exception for that would be if your going for sharks though then you might want to go 50lb or more depending on the size your targeting

Adjust your leader to the fishing your doing, black magic and fc rock are my go to for leader between 15-80lb. Having a longer leader will give some resistance again the pylons or any structure. 

Check out ygk pentagram, great braid, super thin and is super strong. 

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I am a braid fan personally.  I like the increased feel and can accept its limitations.

I have been using it since the mid 90’s and its improved a lot since then and I have learnt how to fish it a lot better too, especially since starting using octopus circle hooks with bait.

Hey Bob

Cheapest place for 200m spools of YGK Pentagram..although Japanese rarely have much heavier than PE3.



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  • 2 weeks later...

You know, that's a great pondering question that I've been thinking about lately myself.

While braid does have terrible abrasion resistance, if the hook sets well enough, abrasion is kept to a minimum. I know fish flick the line with their tail etc, but a clean fight will see a successful landing 9 times out of 10.


Some of my biggest fish have been caught the lazy way. Braid, straight to hook. 


That brings me to thinking that when I lose a decent fish, it's always at the leader. 



I rarely use over 50lb braid. 

Only 100lb for popping/stick baiting, and that line will be sent down if something is wrecking me on the reef. 

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Well I have always been a sucker for using really light lines and lightly weighted baits....until the last 4 months.

Lately I have been fishing ridiculously heavy jigs with smaller that I would usually use plastics with rather surprising results.

My technique isn't a whole lot different but have certainly upped the line weight and jig weights up from 3.5gm to 32 gm. I'm usinfg20-30lb braid a lot these days instead of 8lb.

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I've played with different thickness braid for abrasion resistance quite a bit this year, what I've found and I get snagged a lot, is braid thickness doesn't really help.

The leader is the key to fishing snags, I played with different lengths and find around my area  to 1.5m is plenty.

I go more and I don't see any advantage when it comes to our snags, but it does affect the casting distance a bit.

But I did fuind that 16lb leader holds up on the rocks better then 40lb braid.

So my current set up is 20lb ultra thin shimano grappler with 16lb fluorocarbon leader, it works just as good as 40lb braid and 30lb leader on cod, even with the snags.

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