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Why don't we use leaders? 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I have been doing a lot of research on braided lines and knots, and as a byproduct on that, it seems that peacock bass strategies don't include using a mono or fluorocarbon leader. I don't think I have ever seen a peacock bass site suggest using a leader.

Here are some interesting findings:
- Braid to lure knots will fail at 60% of the line strength (much worse than mono or flouro)
- Braid is significantly less abrasion resistant than mono or flouro
- Braid has very little stretch compared to mono or flouro which could be a reason our hooks get bent in a stressed situation (i.e. when a fish goes into cover)
- Braid knots weaken under the stress of repeated casting (especially with woodchoppers) which is why it is common for other fishing strategies to use a "shock leader" made of mono or flouro.

So with all of that, I am having a hard time why leaders are not used for peacocks? Are these the reasons?
- You only have to tie one knot with an all braid set-up
- The use of very heavy braid makes up for weak knots and abrasion concerns
- Mono or Flouro leaders are thick and take up too much space on our reels.
- Others?

Help me out here.

-Art
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:31 am Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
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Art,

You can use whatever you want, but don't over-analyze things. Remember, if you have a good reel with a properly set smooth drag and appropriate rod, you are in a good place.

In peacock fishing, knots rarely fail because we are using heavy 30-80# braid. I contend that many more fish are lost to hook or lure failure than knots. Also, to improperly set drags and fish fighting technique. The action of the rod also has to be matched to the line used. For instance, a fast taper rod is more suited to braid to compensate for the decreased stretch.
You can only use mono or flouro with big lures in peacock fishing because the line diameter is otherwise too large and will impede lure action and ability to cast. Also, won't have enough line capacity in the reel. My opinion is that you don't need the stretch of mono for peacocks because we are using such heavy rated line, knot failure is low and we can set the hook better without worrying about line and knot breakage.

Just my thoughts.

Dan
Details, details... 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:03 pm Reply with quote
Rick Klotz
Guest
Art:

I really appreciate your scientific curiosity, but I do wonder a bit if you actually appreciate the "sport" of fishing. It's not quantum mechanics (well maybe some of it is).

Buy yourself quality gear, line, hooks; set your drag right; put your cast in the right place at the right time and hang on brother for the explosion. That's what it's all about.

Lighten up and have some fun. And don't forget it's called fishing rather than catching for a reason. Hope to see you in the jungle one day. Perhaps you can educate me on knots down to the molecular level over a caiparinha. At least until I nod off dreaming of grande peacock explosions. :-)
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Guest
Art,

Rick makes a good point-don't get hung up in too many details. There are some legitimate reasons anglers use certain equipment in the Amazon, and a few that are just habit or personal preference. It sounds like you are fairly new to freshwater conventional fishing, am I right?

Mono leaders aren't used in the Amazon for peacocks because they aren't necessary! It's as simple as that! If there was some substantial benefit, we would all be using leaders! Now, flourocarbon is a completely different animal, and there is no reason to use it for peacocks either.

Yes, mono is much more abrasion resistant than braid of the SAME STRENGTH RATING, but we are typically using 65-80# braid. An equivalent rated monofilament would be many times larger in diameter and disadvantageous in peacock fishing, for many obvious reasons. When you compare braid to mono of the same diameter, the abrasion resistance is comparable and negligable compared to other factors.

Regarding stretch, some anglers want stretch, others don't. My personal opinion is that peacocks have pretty strong jaws and you don't need to worry about pulling a hook through their mouth. I don't want any stretch so I can slam that hook home.

Last, but not least, this isn't finesse fishing. We aren't jigging in deep water waiting for subtle strikes, such as with walleye. These fish slam fast moving lures, so line sensitivity isn't an issue.
Well I have one new reason why we dont use leaders ... 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
with our small baitcasters, even a small uni knot leader connection can get caught up a bit when exiting the eye of the reel when casting causing an unbelievably impressive birds nest!

I think the only hope for those wanting to experiment with a shock leader would be to use a knotless hollow braid to hollow braid connection. Otherwise, there may be merit in making a "knot leader" that would short enough as to not wind into the reel itself.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:16 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Guest
Art,

I don't mean any disrespect, but don't worry about leaders in Amazon jungle fishing, its a waste of time for heavy cover peacock fishing. Also think of this, do you want to lose a 22# peacock to a failed uni-uni leader knot? These big fish are crazy and run into heavy cover ASAP!

Now if you were TROLLING in open water for extended periods, there may be advantages for using a leader, as used by musky and pike enthusiasts.
I am trying to solve a problem ... 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:03 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
This thread aims to help me solve a specific problem. Perhaps I was not asking it directly enough.

Here it is ... I am totally committed to using Shimano Scorpion DC7 reels on my next trip (I purchase 3 at $350 a pop). I also have them matched to Dink's custom rods (one 6'2" for woodchoppers, one 6'6" for jerk-baits, and one 7' for jigs). I have such a love affair with these reels, I am considering totally abandoning my new Stradic CI4 spinning reel and custom rod. The spinning gear totally fails in comparison on all dimensions (harsh on fingers when trying to cast at a distance, it's high arc when casting, and its inferior line weights) ... not to mention I can work the jig better and with less effort with the baitcaster now that I have practiced extensively. I really just hate using spinning gear now.

The Scorpions are the most amazing reels I have ever used (and I have used Curados, Abu Revo Toros, and Quantum's PT Smokes). I even purchased a new Shimano Calais ($650 reel) then sold it for a $100 loss the next day b/c there was no comparison to the Scorpion relative to weight and feel. My record Scorpion cast so far (w/o wind) with a 1/2 oz jig using 50lb braid is 65 yards (which is likely close to a maximum distance for that size bait seeing that my reel can near free spool the entire cast).

SO HERE IS THE ISSUE ... the reels are small. When fully spooled with Sufix 832 80lb, you get 55 yards ... I can cast to the knot with little effort. I imagine folks would agree that even with shorting up my casts, that is not a favorable line capacity strategy. I suspect others would suggest I get off my Scorpion kick, get a bigger reel, and the problem is solved. Well, I wont do that, so I am searching for alternatives ... and asking for help and sharing findings along the way.

Moving on ... I can get 85 yards of 50lb Sufix 832 on the reel which is reasonable, but even with 50lb you are asking for break-offs right?
What I would like is to be able to use 65lb to 80lb in some capacity. I have had two angles I have been working on ...

1) use 50lb main line with an 80lb hollow core braid leader. If you are familiar with hollow core, you only tie a "safety" knot at the entry point of the hollow core with a small tag end so the line doesn't slip ... a 8-turn uni is sufficient and does not weaken either line at all. This knot can't "fail" so to speak b/c it is not a true join. So in my last post it was this little safety knot that was getting caught up in the small reel eye just enough to cause problems. The 80lb Cortand 16 strand hollow core is a beast and would stand up to serious abuse. I even bent open an Owner 5319 7/0 hook before the braid leader failed.

2) use a lighter line as backing to gain line capacity ... like using a nice 20lb braid as backing in case your monster peacock hits at the end or your cast, etc. My assumption here was to only use the backing behind my furthest casting distance so the biminis don't obstruct the cast in any way (two 50-turn looped biminis will retain near 100% of the line strength).

I was attempting add another reason to suggest that people be concerned about leaders due to a fact that was not mentioned in this thread ... the knot obstructing the cast dynamics when going through the reel's eye. I thought that was a helpful point to make to others (not to mention is supported not using a leader).

It is very likely that I will opt for either using a straight 50lb spool and call it a day or trying to move up to 65lb with 20lb backing and see if I can make that work. As I mentioned in the prior post, I still think there is merit to consider a "knot leader" that would just serve to mitigate the main line's loss in absolute breaking strength when put into a knot on the lure ... but I am still figuring that out.

-Art
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:58 am Reply with quote
Dink Alston
Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 141
Location: Belle Glade, FL
Art,

I have seen many different approaches to tackle for peacock fishing. I know an angler who only fishes 25-30# mono and rarely breaks off. I myself don't like that approach but it works fine for him. A lot of things boil down to personal preference and what you're use to. I also know that most of us tend to experiment some each trip trying to find better techniques and approaches for success.

My take on the smaller reels are that they work fine. The downside is that if for some reason you do lose some line during the day (backlashes, break offs, frayed line) that you will pretty much be out of business with that reel for the rest of the day. Again, that's not a big problem as long as you have spare reels and are willing to respool before the next day. Maybe extra spools on ready is an easy answer to that.

As for spinning gear, sure it's not normally the preferred approach. But most people I know who are good jig fishermen, prefer the spinning gear as it lends itself to the way they want to work their jig better than casting gear. I myself can't seem to consistently work the jig with the same action with casting gear. If I could, I would certainly use casting gear over spinning for jigs. It's more of a style thing........so use what feels right to you.

As for leaders, I don't know if it would be better or worse, but I know for myself I hate fishing with them. I've had success without them, so I don't want the hassle of tying them and fishing with them.

Experience fighting and working a big peacock has lessened my break offs more than anything else. I rarely break anymore. As an example, do you know that when fighting a big peacock, that by easing off on him, he generally eases off on you. Most anglers trouble comes when they get excited and try to horse a big one that doesn't want to be horsed. They try to stop him from running by force. Next time you have one pulling drag headed for cover, ease up on him and watch what happens. He'll ease up and many times allow you to work him away from the brush.

Dink
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:30 pm Reply with quote
Jim Wright
Joined: 09 Jan 2010
Posts: 25
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Art,

I guess us fly fishers are backwards. I use 5 feet of 40-50# mono as tippet to the fly and 80# powerpro as backing. The weakest link in the system is the 30# breaking stength of the actual flyline.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Rick Klotz
Guest
Art:
Perhaps line capacity should have been a greater consideration if you were buying a reel for the Amazon. Unfortunately there's no free lunch. Very light & very small equals some kind of limitations along the way. You're an analytics guy so I'm not really telling you anything you don't already know.

My only suggestion is to take it down to 50 or 65 lb braid and enjoy yourself. You won't land them all, but then again, it wouldn't be much sport if you did. Take an extra 150 yard spool on the boat with you so you can respool if needed.
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:40 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Guest
Art,

I use three different types of reels paired with appropriate action rods for the different lures I use. For instance, a large capacity ABU Garcia Toro 50 for large topwater, a ABU Garcia Revo STX for minnow baits and a Shimano Stradic 3000 spinning reel for jigs.

You might consider a larger capacity reel to use with 65 or 80# braid, such as a Shimano Curado 300 EJ and use the Scorpions for the minnow baits and jigs. I think you would really like the large Curado, its a wonderful reel.
Why should we use a leader? 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:12 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 608
Location: Lakeland, FL
Art,

Lots of good responses here. I would pose the original question to be, "Why Should We Use A Leader"? I don't know of many good reasons for using them when chasing giant peacock bass. In my opinion, line visibility or limpness is not a factor. Casting distance is seldom a factor either so I believe that a line capacity more than what a Curado 200 EJ will hold is redundant and not needed (unless you troll).

Dink is correct on the best way to fight a big fish. You can catch giants on small lines (Twenty years ago, I caught a 20 pounder on 10 pound mono while fishing specifically for line class records) but the conditions and situation has to be just right. And you'll need fighting expertise (like easing off a bit) and a little luck also. (I hooked that fish on a chopper in the middle of a lagoon and it had plenty of room to run around.) I no longer fish for line class fish and generally use 65 and 80 pound test which I find works best for me.

I believe in minimal knots in any terminal connection; tie directly to the reel spool and the lure when possible. I figure my chances of NOT having a line problem or breakage when fighting a 20 pounder or better near heavy cover is about 97% with 80#, 85% with 65# and 70% with 50# test braids. Bottom line: the lighter the line, the more you pray!

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Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
www.peacockbassassociation
www.larsenoutdoors.com
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This is all very helpful 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:32 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
i am still curious on a few points ...

1. Where do the break-offs occur? If they are occurring at the knot to lure connection, that would be an area to focus on Absolute Breaking Strength of the main line and the knot used. If they are occurring elsewhere, that might be more on the ABS and abrasion resistance angle. I have been reading about how different braid manufactures have much different abrasion resistances based on how they are constructed.

2. Why not use a small amount of "emergency" backing on the smaller reels to give you that added security if you want to load up your spool with higher lb braid that would cover any cast you might make, then if you needed another 20-30 yards to handle a run, whether or not a smaller lb braid backing would give you that security. How much line can a big one strip off with standard drag settings?

I wanted to make sure if I spool my reel with 65lb and I only get let's say 70 yards on the spool, would I be better off doing 50 yards of 65lb and have 50 yards of 20lb as emergency backing if a monster hits at the end of my cast (I am not using exact numbers above). This would be interesting to know this relative to #1 b/c if the lines are only really breaking due to abrasion or bad handling and drag settings, the emergency backing idea could be viable for those using small reels.
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I have moved on from this but 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:20 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I just got this email from Paulus from PaulusJustFishing.com (the Aussi I have been working with on braid and knot tests). He just stated:

"I was talking to Tathra Rob (his page is listed at my site) he goes peacock bass fishing and said never use braid to the hook/lure, as the hook and or the flasher will cut it, always use a leader ... he travels the world fishing"

I think I have moved on from this at least for this next trip, but thought I should add that statement.

-Art
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Why don't we use leaders? 
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