I'm re-spooling my rods this year and can't decide what would work best. I'm leaning towards putting on braid and depending on conditions and what I'm fishing for, changing the leader to whatever I need. I usually fish for panfish wherever I go. There's a ton of conflicting articles on the web that have me even more undecided than before about what to use. Braid w/leader, just mono, fluorocarbon, etc. Currently this is what I'm considering, 30 lb braid either gray or low vis green and then fluorocarbon for the leader. I usually fish the lakes and ponds in Milwaukee and Waukesha county but occasionally go to the Lakefront by the Summerfest grounds. I thought the braid would be okay with no leader for that. I also go to the La Crosse area and fish the locks and dams. Any opinion/advice/guidance is appreciated.
Braid with leader, or ??
Ahh yes knots. My habits have changed over the years.
Line to line I use a uni to uni knot, 3 or 4 wraps on fluoro side, 6 on braid side. Used to use an Albright more and it is a good knot, just easier for me to tie the uni. Still use the Albright on Muskie gear.
For fluoro to lure I use a uni knot, 3 to 4 wraps depending on line weight.
For braid to lure I use a form of improved uni knot. Just push the tag end through the line tie twice and tie a uni knot as normal with 6 wraps or so. This prevents slipping.
What knots you can use; Palomar knot for the business ends for both type of line, and the Albright knot for the direct braid to flouro leader connection. I used to use mono for float rigs, but as the day went on the main line would sink, ballooning under the surface of the water, making hook sets tougher. Braid floats on the surface and works better on hook sets.
Scott, if you’re willing to give it another shot I would recommend the 20lb bionic braid. It has a much thicker diameter than the super braids and isn’t as slick. It has worked well for me when fishing slip floats. I have been using the rubber stops lately but I’m sure it would work with slip knots as well.
Since it sounds like your rods are very multi-purpose, it is tough to make a one size fits all recommendation. Braid can have a bit of a learning curve, so my suggestion would be to spool one rod up and see if you like it. It can be more of a hassle to work with, but to me the positives outweigh the negatives. I’ll outline below how a few of my rods are spooled and you can hopefully use that info to find what would work for you.
-6’0 UL Fast Action spinning, 4lb mono. I use this rod for throwing panfish jigs, split shot and hook, or spinners for panfish and trout. In the past I’ve tried braid, but I always fish braid with a fluoro leader, and more often than not when I got snagged and had to break the lure off, the line broke at the braid to fluoro connection. This meant having to re-tie a leader and jig every time. This is one instance where the benefits of braid (castability, no stretch) did not outweigh the negatives (for me), so I went back to mono. A gentlemen below mentioned never using a fluoro leader with braid, and that is totally fine. I have more confidence fishing with a fluoro leader as opposed to tying direct to the braid, and fishing is all about confidence. Do whatever works for you.
-6’10 ML X-fast action spinning, 10lb super braid. I use this rod for pitching 1/16-3/8oz jigs, mostly for walleye. This is one application where braid is a huge advantage to me. Better sensitivity, longer casts, and better hook sets than mono, especially when fishing deeper water. I use an 8-14lb fluoro leader depending on situation.
-6’10 M x-fast action spinning, 10lb super braid. Very similar to the rod above, just heavier lures 1/4-7/8 oz. Jigs, blade baits, and jigging raps.
7’0 MH fast action casting, 30lb super braid. I use this rod primarily for throwing cranks/lipless cranks, but will also use it to pull bottom bouncers when I want a rod in hand. I dropped down to 20 once and if you get a back lash (you will eventually) good luck getting it out without cutting the line.
8’0 ML medium fast action spinning. These are my slip bobber rods, which I use both for panfish and walleyes. I have one spooled with 5lb mono for shallower water and one with 20lb northland bionic braid for deeper water. The braid is a huge advantage when fishing deeper water or when the casts get longer. If you do try braid on a slip bobber rod, I highly suggest using a traditional braid like the northland bionic. It has a thicker diameter that bobber stops can grab onto easier. The new super braids are too slick for this.
Sorry for the lengthy answer, but I hope this provided some insight and helps you make a decision.
I use braid or nanofil on every rod I own other than a couple bass rods I have with fluro. My ultra light/light have either 4lb nanobraid or 6lb braid, my medium light/medium action spinning rods are 20lb braid, my medium heavy/heavy casting rods are anywhere from 30lb to 80lb braid or 10lb to 15lb fluoro.
With the light line you can cast tiny crappie jigs and small bobbers a country mile.
Depends on snags in water you fish. Locks and dams have a lot, you can get back your baits with heavy line. You will loose casting distance. If you fish small 1/32 or smaller jigs and plastic, distance is important. Clear water of northern WI the visibility is important, use lightest line possible, provided your reels will work. Drag becomes an issue. Rig one pole with braid and another with mono and compare you results.
This will answer how to rig!
Scott F - Good point on the brain power of the fish. I guess I was going a bit overboard (no pun intended) with the line weight. I'll consider the 8 lb braid for my spinning rods and 20 lb for the baitcasters. Is there a color you find works best or are we again back to the brain power consideration? LOL I've heard that some knots are better than others for braid. What have you found to be a reliable knot? TIA
brtn610 - Thanks for responding. Most often I fish using a slip bobber so I can adjust the depth quickly. Sometimes off the bottom for catfish using a pyramid sinker, or jigging for walleyes. I have both spinning and bait casting rods but for panfish it's always spinning. My rods are light or medium light. I have a couple ugly sticks, 2 fenwick baitcasters, and an elk river spinning. My reels are Shimano sahara or sienna. Not sure of the size but they fit about 200 yds of line. I do have a few that are bigger for using at the lakefront for Salmon, Trout or perch. As if there are any Perch left. :( My apologies for not including more info the first time.