As for the braided line, buy the thick "tip up" line and NOT some sort of superbraid like fireline. it is sold by the spool and not by the foot. pound test does not matter much, i think i have 30 on most of my boards. thin line tangles more, but thick line absorbs more water and may have more resistance in the water, and it is easier to grip in the cold. fill the spool to about 1/8" or 1/4" of the edge of the spool, if you underfill the spool the shaft has to spin faster as the fish pulls out line and you get more resistance which may cause a drop. if your boards are in good shape it wont matter much. i put a good quality ball bearing swivel at the end of my braid(minnows swim around and twist the line if you don't), then tie a few feet of fluorocarbon to it. i usually put 4-6 ft on, because i retie often and that way you don't have to replace the whole leader until it gets too short. in clear or deep water i like a longer leader, but in shallow water you need to keep it short so that the swivel is not inside the spool when the bait is set. in very clear water i usually use 6lb leader material, but most of the time i have 8 or 10 to help deal with pike.
there are a few very long threads on here debating single vs. treble hooks, but i prefer single octopus in size 6 or 8. add enough lead to sink the minnow and you are in business. in the stained water near Mercer i like to have a couple rigs set up with a small spinner blade and some beads above the sinker to make a little more noise and flash.