Aaron Barmmer

Best braid for cow bass in Boulder fields

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I would like to hear what guys like to use when targeting cow bass in boulder fields. I have lost many BIG bass in the rocks using 50lb power pro with 10ft long floro leaders..... 

Edited by Aaron Barmmer

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commercial fishing snag and drop last year I used a slammer 3 4500 with 40lb suffix and 40 lb leader. I fish with about 20 lbs of drag and even the 40" - 48" fish barely take any drag, Show them who is the boss from the start and break their will. 

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If you like to use the long fluro leader that you mentioned earlier and this outfit is for this purpose specifically, I would go heavy on the braid.  80-100lb(Based off of PP's website, thinner than 20lb test mono).  Can't hurt.  As long as you don't have to worry about casting distance.  Also, try upping your fluoro leader pound test and tightening the drag way down when you hook into one.  

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I don't know that any braid will hold up to being dragged across rocks under tension. And, while I agree with blacklabnh, that it is important to really get after the fish, and start moving it towards you quickly; I also know that not all applications lend well to this technique.

One time, at a spot, I was fishing with a cheapo 10' heavy action rod, and catching some nice fish. As soon as I felt the hit, I started winching, and although the fish took some drag, it seemed that lifting 'em up immediately helped a great deal. The fish seemed to flee into the current instead of burying into the boulders directly under where the hits were happening. But, my friend had an expensive rod, one that could fling a wide weight range, with a flimsy upper 2'. When he finally got a hit (he said it was a good fish) he did immediately set the hook, but the fish dove, and the braid sheered off on the rocks. He was pissed...had to re-tie as the tide died down to low, and the bite died, too.

 

So, while it seems obvious, that the correct equipment (a rod that can lift fast) helps....what do you do when you need to flip light lures over boulders, and only a flimsy tipped rod will get you the distance? Vertical is easier to lift, IMO, than horizontal fishing. And, I admit I'm no expert...I've only been sheered off or buried in boulders by bass a few times, mostly because I was asleep at the wheel....fishing for an hour, when suddenly I got hit, resulting in a lazy hookset.

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Aaron Barmmer,

 

I have had this same problem with braided line in the past. 

 

I fish boulder fields 90% of the time. To stop the breakoffs, I now fish 30lb fireline (breaks at close to 70lbs) on my vs 250 with 4 or 5 feet of an 80lb mono leader. I also fish a heavy 11' surf rod with plenty of stopping power. 

 

I've tried other braids up to 80lb. Test and still had the occasional break off. The line was more than strong enough but the abrasion resistance could not handle the rocks. 

 

30lb fireline has the best abrasion resistance of any superline I have tried. The only think that would be better is heavy mono, but my days of fishing with that are now over.

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5 hours ago, Mr. Eel said:

Aaron Barmmer,

 

I have had this same problem with braided line in the past. 

 

I fish boulder fields 90% of the time. To stop the breakoffs, I now fish 30lb fireline (breaks at close to 70lbs) on my vs 250 with 4 or 5 feet of an 80lb mono leader. I also fish a heavy 11' surf rod with plenty of stopping power. 

 

I've tried other braids up to 80lb. Test and still had the occasional break off. The line was more than strong enough but the abrasion resistance could not handle the rocks. 

 

30lb fireline has the best abrasion resistance of any superline I have tried. The only think that would be better is heavy mono, but my days of fishing with that are now over.

Yup- I have one setup dedicated to throwing very large lures in boulders, and it’s spooled with 30lb fireline.  Not the best casting superline, but way better when getting pulled across rocks.  Plus with the little bit of memory that it has, it seems to be less prone to windknots.

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Good info here from some of these posts , not sure what the largest fish you have landed at your spot . But with a stout rod and your drag set correctly you should be able to whip fish into the high 30s without a problem . Does your spot have a lot of current ? I agree with live free , start winching right from the hook set . In those situations you should be setting your drag with a scale until you know what 5 , 8 ' or 10 pounds of drag feels like . And should you get pulled into the rocks loosen the drag significantly and you may get the fish to swim out . The braid is cut by the amount of tension, when its loose it will slide across the rocks .

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34 mins ago, giant basshole said:

Good info here from some of these posts , not sure what the largest fish you have landed at your spot . But with a stout rod and your drag set correctly you should be able to whip fish into the high 30s without a problem . Does your spot have a lot of current ? I agree with live free , start winching right from the hook set . In those situations you should be setting your drag with a scale until you know what 5 , 8 ' or 10 pounds of drag feels like . And should you get pulled into the rocks loosen the drag significantly and you may get the fish to swim out . The braid is cut by the amount of tension, when its loose it will slide across the rocks .

My spot does not have much current.  It is very shallow and has lots of barnacle covered rocks. Using a gsb1201m for rod most of the time. Biggest I’ve landed was 44”.  The ones I’ve lost where definitely up there in the 40 plus pound range. No matter what my line is going to be rubbing on rocks when I hook a big one.  Just curious if there are any crazy abrasion resistant braids out there that I don’t know about. Sounds like the 30 pound fire line is a good one.  Probably going to try that this season.... 

Edited by Aaron Barmmer

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5 mins ago, Aaron Barmmer said:

My spot does not have much current.  It is very shallow and has lots of barnacle covered rocks. Using a gsb1201m for rod most of the time. Biggest I’ve landed was 44”.  The ones I’ve lost where definitely up there in the 40 plus pound range. No matter what my line is going to be rubbing on rocks when I hook a big one.  Just curious if there are any crazy abrasion resistant braids out there that I don’t know about. Sounds like the 30 pound fire line is a good one.  Probably going to try that this season.... 

You may also want to try 80# ande mono as leader material . It's pretty abrasion resistant, and cheap enough to toss or retie when it gets nicked . Also if you know this spot we'll pick a high perch . Having a higher and different angle on the fish can make a big difference. You may have an easier time steering or muscling the fish to where you want .

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832 has been the best in my experience as far as abrasion resistance. One night I went to long line a plug. I cast let the bail open and didn’t realize the wind was pulling my line off faster then the current. I looked down and half my spool at least was everywhere in the jetty rocks. I reeled it back and it had a lot of tension on the rocks. Didn’t break and I caught a bunch of big fish on that spool after that. I was using 40lb 832. 

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I spent a lot of time fishing for grouper in a rock field with an outgoing current from a bridge far enough away so that it is horizontal fishing. 30” grouper are not uncommon and they head for the rock pile immediately upon hook-up and we are cranking them in directly against the current. A technique lots of guys use is the quickly shuffle/run backward about 4~5 steps to immediately pull the grouper away from the rocks faster than you can reel like hell and crank them in as fast as possible. In a lot of places it may be asking for a fall if you sprint backward quickly.

 

I use an 8.5’ 15-40lb conventional rod with 65 lb braid ( J-Braid or Power Pro or 832), then about 6-8’ of 80# mono or flouro tied with an FG, then another 6-8’ of 100# fluorocarbon, tied on with a triple surgeons knot. Some guys use up to 120# leader. I have been using a 3/0 senator with an upgraded drag ( We cast the plugs out and then let drift way out with the current).

 

With this setup I can usually get the fish in, or if he goes in the rocks, I can drag him out our wait till he comes out of the rocks and still have my leader intact (I end up cutting back the leader a couple feet or more after each fish because the rocks tear it all up)

 

 

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40lb braid, 40lb or 30lb leader and i use a solid lamiglas rod, strong knots and a tight drag. I think your terminal gear seems fine just have a solid rod and a reel with good drag you can crank down on and wench the fish in.

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I would fish your same gear. Not sure how fast your reel is. I would try to really lean on those fish. I always try to get the bigger fish I catch around rocks to come up on top as quick as possible. 

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