Line recommendations

The single most important aspect of your tackle providing that vital link between yourself and your catch. What's everyone's favorites and why? Come on in and find out!
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Johnny A
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Line recommendations

Postby Johnny A » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:06 am

How far above recommended line specs do you feel comfortable going?
I have a rod rated to 14lb, I was thinking about going to 22lb braid w/17lb leader. It's just for a test period, not for long term.
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j

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poisonokie
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Re: Line recommendations

Postby poisonokie » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:36 am

It doesn't matter. Use line based on diameter, set your drag appropriately, and don't do anything stupid. With mono and fluorocarbon, I think you'll find a line weight right in the middle of the rod's rating is ideal. With braid, a line with that corresponding diameter will work best. So if it's a medium heavy rated for 10-20# line, use 15# fluorocarbon or 40# braid.
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wirinhar
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Re: Line recommendations

Postby wirinhar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:34 am

poisonokie wrote: With braid, a line with that corresponding diameter will work best. So if it's a medium heavy rated for 10-20# line, use 15# fluorocarbon or 40# braid.


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Johnny A
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Re: Line recommendations

Postby Johnny A » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:38 pm

Okay, so a 22# lb braid = 1.5 or 2 is good with a flour/mono rating of 14 lb
Thanks

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poisonokie
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Re: Line recommendations

Postby poisonokie » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:06 pm

Yeah, the line is not going to break your rod. Buttoning down your drag with vise grips and whacking the hell out of it trying to free it from a snag or deadlifting/ boatflipping fish will. The rating is more a guide to determine the terminal tackle and techniques the rod (and guide train) are meant to handle. In my experience, most rods have a rating range bookended by line weights you would never use with that rod.

Back to the example of the versatile and cosmopolitan MH/F-XF 10-20# which is the cornerstone of most every bass angler's arsenal, anything you would fish with that rod would work best with 15# line, and depends mostly cover. You're going to be fishing Texas rigs, jigs and the like in moderate cover with medium wire hooks and a total weight from 3/8-5/8.

If you want to focus instead on 1/4-1/2 and will mostly fish light cover, then you would probably find 12# line to be the sweet spot for line weight. I have a MH/F that I use almost exclusively for 3.8 Swing Impact FATs with two 1/32oz nail weights on an Owner Twistlock 3x 3/0 hook. 12# line lends better action to the bait, casts further, and provides better feel so I know what's going on at the end of the line. I never need a very high drag setting, and 12# has plenty of strength to control big fish and pull them away from light obstacles while maintaining an ideal amount of stretch to protect lighter wire hooks from bending out when I choose to use them. If I was targeting bass in purely open water, I could go as light as 10#, but I wouldn't have confidence in the ability of the rod to protect it around any sort of cover, plus a lighter wire hook and a medium action 6-16# rod would perform better in open water situations.

Conversely, if you wanted to focus more on the 1/2-3/4 weight range and moderately heavy cover, such as pitching to vegetation or lighter brush, you'd probably want to go with 17# line for better line management with very little braking and high drag pressure, abrasion resistance, less stretch, and higher knot strength for harder hook sets, horsing the fish out of cover, and increasing your chance of getting your bait out of snags. You could up it to 20# if you wanted to, but any scenario that would require line that heavy would definitely be better managed with a heavy powered rod.

To save money on line and eliminate the guesswork, you really can't go wrong with always using 10# for M, 15# for MH, and 20# for H. If you have a setup best suited for something specific that would benefit from one of the in between line weights, awesome. In that case it sounds like you're really on to something. Some of the people who read this will say, "12, 15, 17, what difference does it really make," and for their fishing style the truth is it might make very little. However, I find that a step up or down in line weight can have consequences that are far from marginal, and two steps in either direction will make a profound difference. So much so, in fact, that I don't think there's a rod out there which can effectively fish lines across the full ten pound range it's rated for.

As far as braid goes, you're always going to have all the tensile strength you need, probably moreso, but you can't go too light because it will dig into itself under heavy drag pressure and won't provide the shock strength needed to ensure positive hook sets. That's why I think it rules for soft rods and lighter drag pressure, which is an excellent formula for hardbaits. Still, though, it's best to stick pretty close to a line diameter equivalent to the center of the rod's rating, with maybe one step down in diameter being ideal for hardbaits i.e 30# for a MH/R.

Finally, leaders are completely subordinate to your main line, so as long as you've chosen the appropriate main line, you can use any leader you want. The rod doesn't "see" the leader at all if it's heavier than the main line. It won't protect the integrity of a leader lighter than what the rod is rated for, but I don't know what purpose that would serve in the first place.

I realize this was really long winded and covered way more than you were asking about, especially since you already got your answer, but line is really the most crucial component of any setup. Obviously there are caveats to all this, which are that some rods are under or overrated and not all lines are created equal. Those outliers will take some experimentation, but hopefully this will save someone out there a headache when it comes to line selection. For the record, I prefer Seaguar Invizx or Abrazx and Daiwa rods.
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BRONZEBACK32
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Re: Line recommendations

Postby BRONZEBACK32 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:51 pm

I run 20lb and 30lb braid on almost all my rods except my swimbait rod.

The only thing I adjust are the leaders used, and thats only for presentation.

Like above has mentioned, the right drag settings is more important.


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