What test do you guys recommend for leader line on tip ups. I'm thinking 15lb fluro?
Leader line for northerns
Fireline is not a braid. It is a fused superline. Yes, it can be cut. Regardless, it works well for me. I have not had a pike bite or cut through it yet. Nor have any of the people I fish with. So, to each his own. All I know is that there are a bunch of pike swimming around out in my neck of the woods with hooks and mono streaming out of their mouths.
Drewster, just a word of advise. Braids like fire line are strong but have little abrasion resistance. Try this, stretch a piece of Fireline tight and then rub a butter knife over it a few times.
I did this test years ago comparing my 80lb power pro to 80 lb fluoro. Guess what happened.
My buddies have all experimented with different leader materials over the years, too, while I stuck to simple wire leaders until just a few years ago. Where we fish on the Miss. R. it used to be turbid enough, it didn't seem to affect the bite. Now the water is clearer, and they started outfishing me with mono. The tradeoff, though, is getting bit off, frequently. All the guys I know who fish mono get bit off. Last week, one of our guys got bit off by a big one. I gave him some of my 30lb fireline. Next day he cpr'd a personal best - 41", in the weeds and lots of power runs. It depends where you fish. Around here, you can get away with fireline. Some places, the water is clear enough you will have to go with mono or fluoro, but you will get bit off. That's just the way it is. Truth be told, a pike's teeth can saw through just about anything. You just have to decide where on the spectrum you want to fish between hook security or stealthy presentation.
We have never cut our hands fighting fish as I have taught my sons and every member of my fishing club how to fight a fish without putting too much pressure on the fish. If a fish takes a run the mono slides easily through your fingers and doesn’t freeze to the ice from absorbing water. We always have one person to keep the line from tangling and another to grab the fish.
I won’t go back to Dacron as there are too many positives with the mono backing. I’m not a rookie and we’ve caught hundreds of northerns and bass on the same set up. We saw the flag go up and we ran to it 40 yards away. He set the hook immediately and had the fish on for about a minute steadily bringing in the fish.
If you don’t think a large pike can inhale that much leader, then you haven’t seen the mouth of a 40” northern. When pike attack a bait they can rush it and inhale effectively sucking in everything in that vortex. The 20 lb Trilene big game was cut cleanly, no frays.
Sorry to hear the kid lost one, hope he got a glimpse. I've lost more than I care to admit at the knot, precisely why I am a fan of sleeves - Flouro loses too much strength if you are not patient (which I have never been accused of being)
I use 40# 18" this time of year for most set up's. On auto's or spring loaded I'll go down to 16#.
If it's straight up pike action you are looking for - 8# Flouro, on an auto with nothing but a #12 Gama treble. Hooks corner of the mouth every time, lose a few at the hole but I don't keep them anyway.
With all due respect jkb, you are out of your mind if you think a pike ate your leader 24" deep. That is unless perhaps your flag was up for a week before you got to it and you had a mile of that 20 lb big game on your spool. You might just want to check your main line on your other boards for freys and consider dacron instead.
I used to use 20 lb Dacron, jkb. Snapped it a couple times. Switched to 30 lb 4 years ago and hasn’t broken since. Easier to pull the ilne in too when it’s icy cold. Used to use 30 lb leader years ago, too, but getting much less drops with the 20 lb floro leader now
Use dacron to fill spool then to swivel then to your flouro leader....
Much easier to hand fight a fish on dacron, ouch dont even want to think how bad the line would cut you if the fish had a power run,guarantee it would cut.right to the bone!!
Here is a reason you make your leaders extra long. Today while fishing my son had a huge northern on . He played it well and could barely budge it initially and when he finally got it near the hole it snapped the line above the leader. I think it inhaled all 24” of the leader with the shiner. Even though I use 20 lb big game for the tip up backing it must have rubbed against a tooth when it shook its head and cut the line.