Largest fish on lightest line?
food for thought using less than 10 pound line on the open beaches just kills the fish you eventually got in. if a bass makes 5or more runs he or she is dead three runs for a large fish is normal anything over that . most fish will likley l die. so for me 14 fire line or 20 pound power pro is the lightest i will go on my local beaches . I have landed a 21.60 pound blue on 14 pound fire line years ago that same day i landed a 30 plus bass on the 14 pound fire line. the blue was a much better fight, that is my largeest blue to date,
And i would bet you did not have to play them any longer than if you had used heavier line. I agree that people should use a line that they know for sure is strong enough as to not compromise a fishes chance of survival. Much much better to have your line fail quickly imo then to allow a fish to exhaust itself to the point where a healthy release is not possible.
This is just irresponsible behavior on the anglers part and has no place in this sport. Going for world records at the expense of even one dead fish is unacceptable to me and if i had to fight a fish for considerably longer time because of my line choice i'd never use it.
If i was only targeting trophy sized fish i would use lines rated a bit higher than what i have been using(not much higher though) but down here most fish species are smaller than what's typically found up North, and the need to cast far is more important than the close structure oriented conditions often encountered else where.
I have stated in past post's that just because i use lighter lines does not mean i take longer to get a fish in, you would be shocked at how fast i horse a big ray in when i accidentally hook into one, the drag is close to always being locked down and if my line breaks so be it, but that has happened only one time.
So i agree with lockbox on the premise that, do not compromise a fishes healthy release, doing so is a bad practice and has no place in this great sport.
Use inline circle's if you can.
I don't (and didn't back then) intentionally use light line to nab big fish. I release virtually everything I catch and I agree/believe that anyone who intends to turn loose their catch needs to be serious about getting the fish in pretty quickly. That big girl shocked me, and surprised me - it was the first striper I landed that season. I caught it around May 20th, pretty early most years to hang a fatty up here. I use nothing lower than 20lb braid nowadays.
I agree with everything everyone has said in this thread, on both sides. I'd like to catch a big black marlin on 20lb., but I'd also want it caught on 130+ to get a good release. It all depends on if you want it for your wall, table, or a good memory. Leave it up to the angler, and the loot they're willing to spend. If you're trying to catch to eat, or for sport. use tackle specific to get the job done. Otherwise it's pretty ridiculous to use tackle too light and waste a fish for your giggles. My 2cents
On a different note there is still clearly a misunderstanding about fish mortality and light line use. There are two different groups i believe in this discussion.
The first is the people who really do prefer to catch large fish on tackle say, 4 pound mono and fight a fish forever to break a record. Those people imo should find something else to do because fighting a fish to near exhaustion is disgraceful ( trust me no one cares about your record). What to get your name in a book, give me a break will ya please:dismay:
Then you have the people who don't care about records or name recognition and use lighter lines because they need for whatever reason the(#1) noticeable distance increases( #2) the much increased line capacity(#3 ) the better presentations that they offer(#4) and the much faster sink rates that they allow. Now, since i have used 40, then 30,then 20 and even at 20 i found it's more strength than needed, even for larger fish. My goal was to find a line that offered the best distance capability's because you have to cast waaaay out there to reach fish holding structure on these flat beaches. The thing i wasn't willing to compromise on was going so low that it would force my hand and make me take it easy while battling fish. I never had to change and i wasn't going to either.
I went from 40 to 30 to 20 to 14 then to 10 and then 6 pound line. After fishing all these lines over the years i realized that when i locked down my drag (very very close to it) because i hooked something with serious power i would at times experience a break with the 6 pound. Not everytime by any means but i would say two out of five times. That was totally unacceptable to me so instead of going to eight and maybe get one breakoff in five i went to 10 and 14 and that made all the difference while still allowing me to achieve very impressive distances.
The most important part of this is fish survival rates are never an issue, i wasn't willing to allow it to become an issue and it was a big reason why i went up two classes in line test. I have been elated with how fast i can land anything i hook into just like when i used 30 and 40 pound line, you would think i'm nuts to apply the pressure i do when battling whatever i'm hooked up with, i do it because i'm totally sold on the strength and i can't tell you the last time i had a failure. If you experienced reliability like this your confidence would be through the roof also, and i land what i hook in short order because that's what i have come to expect . I have never had a fish die on me because it was to exhausted to swim away(no joke)
Actually i am usually exhausted not the fish. If someone told me in the past that 10 and 14 pound braid/superlines were capable of this and still offer me the ability to cast out of sight i would of said no way, no how, no chance so don't always assume that when using lighter lines that it automatically means you have to add caution and don't overdue it because of a probable break ,because in reality it's not even close to being true. You just got to do your homework and not go so low as to make you change the way you land fish.
I am so used to using these lines that if i ever went up in pound test i would quickly notice a performance drop off, once you witness how your setup performs there is no way you would want to go back, the difference is that dramatic. Couldn't be happier