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Braid / Shock Leader

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On 2/17/2024 at 4:03 PM, dmurphy322 said:

Do you recommend using a leader?


Yes.  You'll save on braid + can more easily adjust depending on lures, size of fish, stripers vs. blues.


On 2/17/2024 at 4:03 PM, dmurphy322 said:

fluoro or mono that is the same strength or tie straight on? What size barrel swivel for leader?


most ppl use wire for blues....80 lb fluoro or 100 lb mono will hold up to a few blues....but need to constantly check for nicks...


20-50 lb test for stripers depending on rocks, bridges, weeds + size of fish


SPRO power swivel 80 lb or higher....or tie braid/leader knots



On 2/17/2024 at 4:03 PM, dmurphy322 said:

Moss green braid, is there a need to match color or clear fluoro / mono? Thanks for the help. 


most of the time, color doesn't matter at all....and becomes less important at night.


clear, green, or pink Ande leaders all have caught lots of fish....


1 exception is stripers on flats in clear water during high sun....they can get very smart + line shy....but most of the time, it doesn't matter at all.

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As far as leader length it depends on the place you are fishing as well. If I’m on a jetty I want a long leader. I fish an 8’6 rod on the rocks with a minimum 3’ leader - it’s much easier to grab this length when you are hoisting a fish up onto the rocks.

For sand beaches you can get away with a shorter leader.

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Do you fish a teaser on a short leader coming off the barrel swivel tied to the braid?

Do you want a 30 inch fish that is going for the teaser to spook off because your plug is hitting in the tail?


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16 hours ago, Rjw828 said:

I see different lengths of leader discussed. Whats a minimum length for surf casting that is recommended… 2ft?

As far as leader length, I remember when I first started surf casting I was told that you want your leader to be as long /longer as the fish your intending to catch. So that’s generally about 3ft min. The reason being that the fishes fins can be sharp and cause damage to your main line possibly cutting it. Now idk if that’s really true, but it sounds good to me- and I havnt really ever deviated from it. After you catch a couple of fish in a row it’s a good idea to check your leader for nicks- especially blue fish - and replace if needed. You’ll notice

that sometimes there’s nicks at various places on your leader not just by the mouth. I generally tie a min length from my finger tip to the middle of my neck with my arm stretched out. 
now I do have friends that are very experienced and have been fishing for a long long time who would tell me that a longer leader (4 to 5ft) is actually better and more accurate for casting. Which can be true depending on your style of casting- their style of casting is much different since they load their rod properly when casting- and they have a very smooth cast- compared to someone just using muscle to whip it out there. And yet they will out cast you every time- and be much more graceful at it! 

now concerning shock leader- that’s much longer and generally used when heaving heavy loads so it will absorb the shock when loading your rod- generally the length is the length of your rod with 3 to 6 wraps of leader on your reel- obviously using a knot and not a swivel. It doesn’t sound like you need that… but that can also be helpful when fishing off rocks or structure where your braid might break due to abrasion from a rock when your landing a fish. 

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Another item to consider is to use a "shock leader", and not just a regular couple foot leader. A shock leader is usually mono, but can be fluro as well, and is designed to take the stress ("shock") of the cast, as the mono will be able to stretch from your reel through the lure/weight unlike braid. This reduces stresses placed on your reel during the cast. A shock leader is designed to go through the guides, and is usually recommended to be 2x the length of your rod so that you have some length of it on the spool still when casting. This also protects your main line from damage like any other leader would, and given that most use mono, is cheap, so you can simply and quickly just cut the last few feet off whenever you have some damage and just re-tie a TA clip to the end (no need to replace the entire length of leader, unless you don't have enough to still spool onto your reel).


As this does need to go through your guides, you need to tie a braid to mono/fluro knot that is designed to be cast through the guides. I personally prefer the FG knot. Don't worry if it is something you hate to tie, you might go a dozen outings without needing to tie a new one, and can usually know ahead of time that it needs to be replaced and you can tie it in the comfort of your home, in good lighting, under optimal conditions (not in the surf, at night, with wind and waves breaking over you).

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