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View From The Beach Renowned surf angler, Rich Troxler, shares his thoughts, tactics, tips and tricks for surf casting success!


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  #1  
Old 10-22-2011, 02:04 AM
richtrox richtrox is offline
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Default Whatís in your wallet?

by Rich Troxler

Leader wallet that is LOL. There have been many threads on leader material and the role it plays in catching fish. And obviously, many opinions on what is the “best” leader material, what is really needed and why, have been voiced. Like everybody else, I have my own opinions, so here is what I think.


Fluorocarbon

Yeah, it is expensive, but is it worth it? In my opinion, yes, it is worth the extra expense. I feel this way for several reasons. First and foremost, I have conclusive evidence that it is more difficult for bass to pick up than a convention mono leader, under well-lit conditions.

I was killing some time around some commercial docks one night, a place that habitually holds bass. The reason they are there is 2 fold. The comms discard “scraps” over the side for the crabs, the scraps draw bait, and the scraps draw bass, which either chew on the scraps or the bait. Either way, the location is very close to an inlet, the water is crystal clear, and the bass are very wary. It’s like looking into an aquarium LOL.

That night, the discards had done their job and had drawn a myriad of spearing into the lights, with bass underneath, making periodic strafing runs through the schools of bait. So I pull out a rod, tie on a small shad head w/ matching slender rubber body (4” fin-s with head bit off to fit shad head) and make a cast. Bam, fish on. And that was it.

No matter how many casts I made after that, I would watch bass close in and then shear off without hitting my bait. After 10 minutes of frustration, I went back to my buggy and tied on a fluoro leader. First cast, bang, fish on. Same bait, same spot. This repeated itself two more times before they turned off to the profile. Clearly the change in leader material had made a difference.

Downside?

It is more expensive than mono.

A misconception of fluorocarbon that I’ve heard bandied around is that if it’s nicked, it conducts light. This, to me, is completely ridiculous. Being a man of science, and working in the technology sector, I can tell you this. It’s fluorocarbon, NOT FIBER OPTIC LOL.

So I file fluorocarbon under this: It can’t hurt, and it can only help. It’s not needed under all conditions, but it ain’t gonna hurt you if you use it under all conditions. For fishing plugs, I will always use it during the day, which is a rare occurrence for me LOL, and anywhere light may be present, even a full moon. My favorite is Seaguar, because it is easier to tie knots with than some of the others, like Yo-Zuri, but I’m sure there are other brands that will fit your style of fishing.

Mono

Once upon a time, when fishing plugs, I used 25 lb mono and tied direct, no leader. This was typically bay or open beach plug fishing, where structure was not an issue. With a properly set drag, I never had a problem, at least where landing a fish was concerned. Conventional gear, it was pink Ande. Spinning gear, it was Berkley XL, basically because I liked the limpness and castability. I eventually went over to Berkley Big Game because the XL seemed to rot out way too fast for my liking. But for spinning, the Big Game had too much memory for my liking, and did not cast well, so I wound up going to braid and have never looked back.

But with braid, you definitely need a leader, if for no other reason than braid is not very abrasion resistant at all. So for plug fishing, we wind up where the previous section left off. My preference is for fluoro, for low visibility and high resistance to abrasion. But what about bait fishing?

When I chunk, I use conventional gear exclusively. The majority of it is spooled with 50 lb Ande pink. I snell my bunker chunk rigs with 9/0 Gami Octo’s on 80 lb Ande clear mono, around 9-10” long. When chunking, you could use chain and it wouldn’t matter. You’re rig is lying in the sand and I have never seen anything in all my years that say that bass give a hoot about anything other than the freshness of your chunk. Clam, same thing. No need for fluoro here, at least in my opinion.

So what choices do you have and how do you evaluate them. At least one very well known fisherman and author claims that he uses only Pearlon leader material (that stiff milky stuff that comes pre-rigged on some hooks) for everything, and claims it will never make a difference. With all due respect, I differ with his opinion.

I figure it this way. After what I have seen time and again, under certain well-lit conditions, I think fluorocarbon leaders can make a difference, when fishing artificials. I even snell my live eel rigs with it, just in case I wind up fishing a bright night. But here’s the thing. No amount of fluoro can make up for bad presentation. So a good presentation fished on mono will always out-fish a bad presentation with fluoro.

But all things being equal, why not hedge your bets. I’ve never heard anybody complain that they lost fish because of it. Again, if it can’t hurt, and may help, well then why not use it. The most common excuse is cost. To own one or more VS reels, custom rods, a gazillion dollars in plugs, a 36K buggy, and then complain about the cost of fluorocarbon, makes no sense (cents?) to me. Quite simply, it can’t hurt you, and can only help you, so to me, it’s a no-brainer.

Bait fishing, it doesn’t matter LOL

My opinions are my own, and they are solely based on my experiences. As such, they are subject to debate. Surf fishing is a never-ending learning process, an attempt at understanding a world we know little about. So as always, I welcome your comments and opinions.
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2011, 07:39 AM
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JakeF JakeF is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

I couldn't agree more, Rich. Good post
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2011, 08:52 AM
mikeyland mikeyland is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

I use fluorocarbon also the only problem I have is the joining of the 2 lines.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2011, 09:10 PM
mikeyreef mikeyreef is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

50# flouro period
mike
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:29 PM
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Default 80 pound Seaguar Flourocarbon & an Alberto knot

I use 80 pound Seaguar Flourocarbon & an Alberto knot. I use a TA 175 pound clip as a connection to my lure. I fish boulder feilds with 30 or 40 pound power pro so i need the 80. it's worth the $30 especially when the blues show up.

Learn an Alberto knot it's quick & easy. i was using a uni to uni before he taught it to me. his clips are good stuff too I use them with out a swivel, the only modification is i have added a big split ring to my kastmasters to add action.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:04 PM
richtrox richtrox is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

Hi Adam, good to see you here. I didn't forget about your article, just been kinda busy lately, as I'm sure most of us are right now LOL.

I'm probably going to start using the Tactical Anglers clips soon becasue my close up vision is going to crap. I'm not a big plug swapper, but it is getting to be a pain in the butt when I do want to change plugs LOL.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:05 PM
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Default Hi Rich

I like this site thanks for the heads up.
In Z's interview with part 1 he describes my local spots at 15:50.
who would expect to leave that place & be scared beyond belief in a secluded bay snapper fishing. Makes you wonder. Good Fishing& best wishes
Adam
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2011, 03:10 AM
richtrox richtrox is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

Hey Adam,

I'll give one good reason why I like the Spro 230 swivel connection between the running line and the leader (regardles of the type).

Twist.

I fish inlets a lot, and bouncing a buck off the bottom of a moving tide is going to spin that puppy. While braid is not "twist-unfriendly", I still prefer to keep it out of the mix.

As for your choice of 80 lb fluoro for the toothy critters, I certainly understand that arguement LOL.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:30 PM
sanmigrokz sanmigrokz is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

"The most common excuse is cost. To own one or more VS reels, custom rods, a gazillion dollars in plugs, a 36K buggy, and then complain about the cost of fluorocarbon, makes no sense (cents?) to me. Quite simply, it canít hurt you, and can only help you, so to me, itís a no-brainer. "

Amen! I use Pink Yozuri fluoro when I'm plugging and livelining and people think its a waste of money especially when the big blues are out. and yet, I was the only one hooking up on bass that day. On another note, a friend of mine chunks with wire leader and has caught more bass than anyone else I know. So, you should fish with whatever your comfortable fishing with. Listening to others, especially those who "tell" you that what your doing is wrong or foolish, is down right ridiculous. It's your money and more importantly your time that your spending. Just enjoy and just remember that there's always something to learn.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:36 PM
lbsurf lbsurf is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

Hey Adam great stuff. Thanks for site info
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

I wa thinking of trying to make some of my own leaders. Would it be a stupid idea to tie some bucktail hair to hide the clip? Alot of people swear off clips but maybe that would be a good idea to hide it, or will my clip get attacked lol. If its a great idea please mail proceeds to........ 8).
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:25 PM
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Capt.Paul Capt.Paul is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

Being a Boat guy That all most exclusively fishes day time I only found the need for fluorocarbon when I was chasing Albies. I use 99.9% of the time 50 lbs Tri Color Leader material its cheap and the Bass and Blues don't mind at all.

However I don't think Florocarbon can hurt in any way shape or form
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

I got 25 yards of 50lb berkley trilene fluoro, 120 lb fin strike swivels and some Hogy 150 lb backlash clips. I got some of the breakaway fast links F11s to try also as they looked like they would really be weedless as they claim. I got TA clips in Montauk this past weekend but I lost them and i can't find them local. I must of dropped them in the bay when my son was killing herring lol. I made up 10 leaders and im going to be happy to fish them. I dont know if it will help this season but I did enjoy making them up 8). I used palomar knots all around, that ok?
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

Rich, I'm long time fan of your "teachings" and certainly appreciate all you do for the community.

This argument about fluorocarbon making a difference seems to contradict a point you made in an earlier post ("The Color of Money") about what fish perceive when approaching a potential prey item. You essentially stated that they don't "see" the hooks; not because a 4/0 treble is invisible (hardly), but because they have no point of reference in their instinctual "blueprint". Wouldn't this same theory apply to leaders, clips, etc.?

I think the leader material of choice will have more of an impact on the PRESENTATION of the plug, e.g. swimming action, buoyancy, etc., rather than the commonly held perception that it's less visible than mono.

I don't use fluoro anymore, but prefer Berkely Big Game mono leader material for my fishing, carefully choosing 30 or 50 lbs. test depending on the application; 30 for swimming Bombers / Redfins on the north shore, but 50 for everything else.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:28 PM
richtrox richtrox is offline
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Default Re: Whatís in your wallet?

Quote:
I wa thinking of trying to make some of my own leaders. Would it be a stupid idea to tie some bucktail hair to hide the clip? Alot of people swear off clips but maybe that would be a good idea to hide it, or will my clip get attacked lol.
Hi Aemon - By all means, pre-tie your leaders and store them individually in zip-loc sandwich bags. They fit easily in the side of your plug bag, out of the way and ready when needed. The bucktail is not a great idea, at least in my opinion, because it may interfere with the action of your plug and will definitely draw the attention of the toothy critters LOL.

Quote:
I got 25 yards of 50lb berkley trilene fluoro, 120 lb fin strike swivels and some Hogy 150 lb backlash clips. I got some of the breakaway fast links F11s to try also as they looked like they would really be weedless as they claim. I got TA clips in Montauk this past weekend but I lost them and i can't find them local. I must of dropped them in the bay when my son was killing herring lol. I made up 10 leaders and im going to be happy to fish them. I dont know if it will help this season but I did enjoy making them up 8). I used palomar knots all around, that ok?
Not a fan of Fin Strike swivels. You are probably better off with Spro's. Any of the new breed of clips is probably fine. I have some of the TA clips that I got from a fishing show but have never used them. I probably will start next spring as my close up vision has gone to crap LOL. Palomar for your leader connections and braid to leader connections are fine. It's what I use anyway, and I've never had it fail me yet.

Hi Piermont4now (fishalicious) - Good to see you here. I agree with your assessment of what I wrote, it does appear to be a contridiction. We can never be sure of what fish see, or how they interpret what they do see. Do they learn, yeah I would say they definitely learn. Can they turn off to a specific profile? Absolutely. I think we have all seen cases where this is true.

But I think it's less of a case of black vs white, on or off, completely one way or another, and more a case of degrees. I think their senses are very acute, but they only have their points of references to operate with. We don't know how long their memory lasts, although carp are reputed to have very long memories, at least that is what the testing that has been done would indicate, and we can't really be sure about how they "learn".

That first fish swam straight up on my little shad head and sucked it in without the slightest hesitation. Could it see my line then? I would have to say yes, but it didn't associate it with anything in it's catalog of experience, so it wasn't on it's radar and disregarded it (in essence, didn't see it). But the other fish within view saw what happened, and most probably made an association with the line as something negative.

Once I went to fluoro, they no longer saw the line, and so wrongfully assumed that the profile I continued to throw was not a problem. After a few more fish were caught, the remaining fish, once again, probably made an association with whatever aspects my profile gave off, as something negative. Maybe they started "seeing" the hook as something different than the natural bait around them, who knows.

My original point in the other thread is that they certainly seem to operate on different levels than humans do. Clearly, they can make associations and decisions based on their evironment, and what they "learn", in whatever capacity they can. They most likely have short term memories, because they can, and some do, get caught more than once in their lifetimes.

So my assumptions are that they don't initially see things like fishing lines, hooks, etc, because they don't have any experience with them, no reference point as to whether they are a good or bad thing, so they're not on their radar. Their senses are keen enough that you would have to assume they can detect these things, but until a negative effect is associated with them, they just seem to ignore them. As to how long they retain any/all associations, I have no idea. I know that I can go down there the following night and repeat the whole process, but they could be different fish by then LOL.

It's all speculation based on observation, and at the end of the day, that's all we'll ever have to go on. I'm still baffled at how we mange to catch a creature with such highly tuned senses, with painted lead, pork rinds, tubes of plastic and chunks of wood with hooks hanging off them everywhere LOL.
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