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TXNJ

Braid or mono on a partial bait and wait

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Heading to a 'large fishing retailer' this evening to get my Penn 7500ss spooled up.  Trying to decide on whether to try out braid/fireline or stick with the mono (Ande 20#) I've always used.   This reel sits on a 10' star stellar rod and 70% of the time I chuck it out there with a live/fresh dead/gulp shrimp and a sinker and place in a sand spike, while I fish plugs/jigheads/etc. with my smaller set up.  However, 30% of the time my smaller set up isn't getting me the casting distance I need, so I throw bigger lures/diamond jigs/Gotchas on the big rod.  


Targeting trout/reds/pompano/whatever else swims by in the gulf of mexico mainly.  


can anyone provide advantages/disadvantages/personal experience with braid or mono on a bigger set up like this where it isn't your primary "action" rod but is still being used the whole time you are fishing?  The concerns with switching to braid I have are as follows:



1.  Casting heavier weight, slicing of fingers



2.  Having a fish pull my rod into the surf while I'm wading using the smaller rod



3.  Abrasion of the braid if it sits on the ocean floor (sand) for extended periods of time


The issues I see with mono are as follows:



1.  Waves and wind really impact the line.  Rod tip is constantly bouncing around with each wave and wind gust.  Last year I had a 12" skipjack hooked and I never knew it until a shark came by and literally bit the skipjack in half and tried to take off with the rest.  My rod bent in half and line started screaming off the reel.  How long that lady fish was on the hook, I don't know.  



2.  Constant respooling each year to avoid memory buildup.  



3.  Seaweed.  Sometimes the gulf has lots of grass floating in it.  At times it makes it impossible.  Will braid slice through the weeds better?  


I'm not really considering cost an issue at this point because I fish infrequently and as a result, have to respool with mono each year anyway.  


As I mentioned earlier, it's an older 7500ss, and from what I've read in the threads I found using the search, Original Fireline seems to be preferred for the older Penn reels when going to a superline/braid.  





If braid/superline is the way to go, can I spool mono backing with Ande 20# and then Fireline Original #20 on top (or is 14# better suited)?


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I've been using 20# Fireline on two Penn 704's. I have to tape the s**t out of my finger if I want to cast a 5oz sinker and a chunk. I would definitely stick with 20# mono if bait fishing was its primary use.

Even with conventionals, I've had a rig snap off on a cast using 30# fire line and it buried itself so deep in the spool I had to hike back to the car and change reels.

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Twenty pound Fireline is fine , as long as you tighten down your drag so it doesn't slip on a powerful cast you wont have any issues, don't worry about it sitting on the bottom unless your fishing a lot of rip rap the line will be fine.

 

Make sure you spool on your mono backing super tight and then spool the Fireline tight on top as well which will prevent dig in , if the mono is working fine and your getting acceptable distance why change though .

 

Fireline will increase sensitivity dramatically but if your spiking your rod your not going to feel it.

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Originally Posted by Chris Richard View Post

I've been using 20# Fireline on two Penn 704's. I have to tape the s**t out of my finger if I want to cast a 5oz sinker and a chunk. I would definitely stick with 20# mono if bait fishing was its primary use.

Even with conventionals, I've had a rig snap off on a cast using 30# fire line and it buried itself so deep in the spool I had to hike back to the car and change reels.



Much appreciated.  The casting with weight was a primary concern for my fingers.  Some of the casting takes place in chest deep water between swells, so sometimes technique can suffer if you don't time the swells right.  That's the problem with the beach I fish, the cut between the first and second bar is a long ways out at times, depending on what the weather has been up to in the weeks before I get there. 


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If waves are affecting your line, you may want to try a longer rod or at least have a nice high 4 plus ft sand spike. Not sure if you do or not. I like long rods when waiting for a strike and tall spikes. It really helps with the waves.

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Originally Posted by cnnashman View Post

Twenty pound Fireline is fine , as long as you tighten down your drag so it doesn't slip on a powerful cast you wont have any issues, don't worry about it sitting on the bottom unless your fishing a lot of rip rap the line will be fine.

Make sure you spool on your mono backing super tight and then spool the Fireline tight on top as well which will prevent dig in , if the mono is working fine and your getting acceptable distance why change though .

Fireline will increase sensitivity dramatically but if your spiking your rod your not going to feel it.



Thanks.  I've seen from my searching that you are very knowledgeable on Fireline, so I appreciate the response.  


Regarding increased sensitivity, the one area I though it could improve would be in giving me better visual with the rod tip as it sat in the spike.  It was very hard to tell with the mono when I had a fish on and usually I didn't realize it until I started to reel the line in.  I didn't know if the braid/fireline would cut through the breakers/wind better, and give the rod tip a "truer" reaction to fish versus just water/wind.  Generally I wade out about 75 yards, then put a pretty hefty cast on the bait and walk the rod back to the spike.  Between the physical distance and the wind/wave impact on the mono, I've got a fair amount of stretchy mono out there and it was very hard to tell if anything was on my hook, excluding the shark.  There was no question about that one.  


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Totally agree with cnn regarding the sensitivity of Fireline. That night I described breaking that cast off, my other reel had broken in 30# Fireline. I needed 8oz to keep the movement to a slow roll. I could feel the sinker roll and feel going from sand to gravel. I really love the stuff, but like cnn said, it's a benefit lost when the rod is spiked.

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Thanks.  I've seen from my searching that you are very knowledgeable on Fireline, so I appreciate the response.  

 

Regarding increased sensitivity, the one area I though it could improve would be in giving me better visual with the rod tip as it sat in the spike.  It was very hard to tell with the mono when I had a fish on and usually I didn't realize it until I started to reel the line in.  I didn't know if the braid/fireline would cut through the breakers/wind better, and give the rod tip a "truer" reaction to fish versus just water/wind.  Generally I wade out about 75 yards, then put a pretty hefty cast on the bait and walk the rod back to the spike.  Between the physical distance and the wind/wave impact on the mono, I've got a fair amount of stretchy mono out there and it was very hard to tell if anything was on my hook, excluding the shark.  There was no question about that one.  

 

 

 

 

Big difference between Fireline and mono , out of nearly all superlines and braids Fireline has a stretch factor of around 2-5% while most other lines in this category have stretch ratios in the 5-7% range . Mono typically stretches upwards of 25 - 30% so you will definitely notice a very big difference in that regard .

 

Since your dealing with much less stretch you need to adjust your drag and hook setting methods accordingly , making powerful hookset's can rip a hook right through a fishes jaw so if your targeting fish like Weakfish or Speckled trout don't be overpowering when attempting to set the hook .

 

These types of lines will definitely cut through the water better than an equivalent rated mono , if your having trouble with waves dragging your line in you should invest in or make a sand spike that allows your rod to sit higher up and clear the breakers.

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I like bait fishing with braid, but I also like to feel out the bottom, I just don't cast and wait, braid makes that a lot easier to do.


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Originally Posted by ORourke View Post

 

I like bait fishing with braid, but I also like to feel out the bottom, I just don't cast and wait, braid makes that a lot easier to do.





Thanks.  I think that if I was going to feel the bottom more and try for better positioning around rocks/structure, it would be a no brainer.  The beach I am fishing is void of any kind of structure and very little contour really.  It's a flat beach much of the time.  Also, I tend to use the smaller rod while the big rod soaks.  But sometimes I am using the bigger rod for larger lures and such.  Seems like braid would work well in those instances for casting distance and feel on the retrieve. 


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If your worried about cutting your fingers with braid switch to a convench reel - not sure why guys use spinners for bait fishing, convench is the tool to use for the job.

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Originally Posted by TXNJ View Post

 

Thanks.  I think that if I was going to feel the bottom more and try for better positioning around rocks/structure, it would be a no brainer.  The beach I am fishing is void of any kind of structure and very little contour really.  It's a flat beach much of the time.  Also, I tend to use the smaller rod while the big rod soaks.  But sometimes I am using the bigger rod for larger lures and such.  Seems like braid would work well in those instances for casting distance and feel on the retrieve. 




I hear that, even finding the smallest drop, change in contour or change of bottom can be a huge difference between catching and just fishing though.  I fish for fluke a lot and one of my spots has the same type structure you described.  Very slow gradual downward slope and not much structure, only difference is most of the bottom is small rocks and the other part sand.  More times than not as soon as I feel the resistance of sand and not the bouncing of a rocky bottom, I catch.


As far as being cut by braid, I've never had a problem when casting.  I've casted 6 and bunker heads on everything from 20lb to 50lb braid and never had my casting finger cut.  Only time I do get cut is when tightening and checking knots for slipping or failure and it digs into the side of my hand.


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