Dieseldog13

Leader question

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I see most people use a leader that is heavier than the main line. Last month I was jigging in 20’ of water and got my 1 oz jig hung up on rocks. I was in my kayak,  in current and could not break it off. The best I could do was get over it and cut my braid line. 

    Sharp teeth and rough bottom dictate heavier leader but wouldn’t a leader lighter than the braided line be better? Safer in a yak? 

   

    

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Check out the line strength thread pinned at the top of the main forum. Look for your line in the spreadsheet posted by Aquaholic. Many 30 lbs braid lines have an ABS (breaking strength) of around 45, so you can use 30-40 lbs leader. The weakpoints will be in the line to leader connection and again at your knot to clip or direct knot to jig. If you snag, you’ll need a taped over dowel, a glove, or a hand wrapped in a towel. (I often walk out in the summer with my bag or just a few jigs with a pocket of soft plastic. In those cases, I take off my t shirt to wrap my hand.)

 

It takes a 30-40 lbs pull to free the jig or snap at one of those leader knots. Only fished the yak a handful of times. I would keep the leader lighter than surf/land based because you don’t want to pull 30-40 lbs of yanking force from a kayak. Only bad things can happen. Plus, you could probably use lighter drag and just get towed vs surf drag which is intended to keep the fish in the same zip code. 

 

I have snagged in rocks and docks more times this year and I’ve fished less than almost any time in the last ten years. I was avoiding these areas in the past out of the annoyance of snagging but I know fish hang around docks and rocks. So, risk = reward. Another option is to go braid to 5-8’ heavy leader via a pr or FG knot. Then a swivel, and then a lesser strength leader like 10 lbs below the heavier one. Same idea. 

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I always recommend choosing knots that let you determine the break strength at certain points in the line.

If i want to leader lift fish by hand.  I'll tie a strong terminal knot but weaker line to line joins.

If i can't throw a long leader and don't want to get cut to the bone I"ll use heavy braid and leader.  And wimp out on the knots except the terminal end.

If I need chaffe protection up the line to line join knot and drop down on the terminal end.

If open water I'll go all out strength ahead of time and worst case retie a weaker alberto instead of pr or fg. 

 

(weaker line to line joint knots are as easy as a wrap or two less in an alberto)

 

  

More often than not heavy leaders aren't for strength...but for chaff protection.  Using crazy strong knots to a barrel swivel or a pr knot can lead to trouble like you experienced if you don't scale down the mainline or choose a weaker terminal knot.

 

Additionally...you can expose weak sections far up the line from the terminal connection.

 

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1 hour ago, scoobydoo said:

Additionally...you can expose weak sections far up the line from the terminal connection

Not something many folks think of; no line has 100% breaking strain along its entire length

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In your case the leaders are mainly for preventing cuts of your braid lines by rocks. You surely can put some lighter leaders like 15lb or 20lb fluorocarbons. These leaders will not get cut easily like your braid and also have the strength to pull up some 20lb fish. I guess you are fishing for togs and sea bass at this time of the year, a 15lb leader will do the job.

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  1. Like you guys said, Control the weakpoints. For knots, I’m good and moderately well practiced but not an expert. This is partly why I have been using a section of lighter leader after a swivel. 
  2. More importantly, I’m not retying a PR or an FG knot from the kayak while on the water. Pr is not practical & FG sometimes difficult in poor conditions while simply surfcasting. That’s how I arrived at a PR or FG to heavier leader and then the swivel and then lighter leader. That system means over 90% only breaking off below the swivel. Easier to re-rig by far. 

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You probably coulda let out a bunch of line and pedal away while holding onto the spool and pointing rod directly behind you at the snag.. you'll either pull it out or break it off. Obviously a bad approach if your rod is perpendicular to the yak... you need to keep it all kinda parallel.

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    I did open the bail and let out a bunch off line to get a different angle but that did not work.

  Thanks for all the good info guys. I am afraid that I will never be a contributor here but just an absorber of your knowledge. 

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