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Favorite rod/reel/line for choppers 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Bob Daly
Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 255
Location: Whiting, Indiana
My favorite items for working choppers are
Rod--6ft South Bend Tony Rizzo Muskie Rod heavy action
Reel-Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6000
line-Berkley Big Game Mono 40lbs

Never had any problems in over 20 years of peacock fishing using the above. Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I love that you use mono! Curious as to how the stretch impacts working the lure?

My set-up:

Rod - Gold Rush 6'2" 3-Piece Custom Heavy Action travel rod by fellow PBA member Dink

https://sites.google.com/site/goldrushcustomrods/peacock-bass-rods

It's a great rod, very strong, well built and light.

Reel - Shimano Scorpion DC7 (super light and almost impossible to bird's nest) ... I have nested it 4 times out of 1,000s of casts.

Line - 80lb Power Pro Hollow Ace (breaks at 128lbs!) with some smaller diameter backing for extra yardage

Due to this set-ups extra low weight and small reel size (can easily cup it while working choppers), I can cast the big baits all day without too much strain.

My buddy and I were tuning woodchoppers last weekend and he has a Curado 300EJ and a 6'6" M/H rod. We switched set-ups for a while, and it was amazing how much more energy was required to work his set-up (it was hard to cup such a big reel). Needless to say, he didn't want to swap back ... but when we did it was surprising how heavy the 11.5 oz. Curado felt in your hand vs. 7.3 oz Scorpion (a difference equivalent to holding an additional 8 1/2 oz. jigs in your hand). As long as I can get enough line on that reel (which I can for peacocks), I am not sure I could ever go back to a heavier reel for all-day-long casting ... UNLESS I wanted a full mono set-up like Bob :)

-Art
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:17 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 608
Location: Lakeland, FL
Art,

Just a thought. I am not a fan of using a backing line and tying a knot midway down the line. If you can get a 50% increase in actual line rating "break strength" on all of their product, why not go down to 65 or 50 pound test PowerPro? That (a true break strength of 75 pounds or more) should give you plenty of line capacity to handle 99.99% of all peacock monsters without line strength problems assuming your knots are good and secure.

Regarding the baitcasters, I like the Curado 200E7 which will handle, in my opinion, the 65 pound PowerPro fine and even the 80 pound in most situations/uses that I have. I use the braid for all peacock fishing and really believe that "no stretch" in vital for fishing the magnum-size topwater tail spinner plugs. I believe that the braid is important to establish a repeatable and uniform cadence which is most attractive to the giants.

_________________
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
www.peacockbassassociation
www.larsenoutdoors.com
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:21 am Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I would agree 100% when it comes to traditional solid braid to solid braid joins. IF you are a master bimini knot maker (which I am not even though I have a bimini device and tried 100s of times), you might get near your actual breaking strength of the weaker line with a bimini to bimini join. Additionally, if those knots are high up in the spool as to have to clear the reel/rod guides during a maximum cast, they can get caught up just enough in the reel eye to cause a backlash. Most will use a uni to uni join and to your point, you will lose up to 50% of the weaker lines strength with that knot.

However, what I am using avoids a lot of the pitfalls. First, my main line would be the 80lb PP Hollow Ace at 65 yards, plenty to handle a full cast 99% of the time and can allow for some cut offs w/o causing a problem. Then what I do is splice into the hollow line 20lb to 30lb Power Pro Super Slick (or Sufix 832 if you like) creating a 100% join w/o any loss to absolute breaking strength on the weaker line (due to the Chinese finger cuff system). As an FYI the PP Super Slick 30lb has a breaking strength of 50lbs. There is only one knot needed to keep the hollow from slipping up and down the backing (is not needed for the actual connection just for slippage so the loss of up to 50% does not apply) ... a simple 8-turn uni, which is a very small knot.

So, if the uni knot does not have to go through the reel eye during the cast, and you get 100% ABS on the weaker line, the way I see it is why not get some extra protection if you want a reel with 80lb (i.e. up to 100 yards of total line on a smaller reel like the Curado 200E7 or my Scorpion SC7).

The risks as I see it are the following:
- If the backing has to withstand abrasion you might be in trouble, but that seems unlikely given it would start 65 yards from the lure.
- If your drag setting is so strong as to cause a break when a fight transitions you from top shot to backing (unlikely with 10-15lb drag systems on most reels while using 20lb to 30lb braid).
- If you have a significant cut-off and you can not make your casts without the uni going through the reel eye ... you would have to have to splice in an entire new top shot of 80lb.
- You have to buy the most expensive braid out there, which is the PP Hollow Ace, along with a reverse latch DaHo needle.
- You have to know how to splice line (actually very very easy after a few tries).

I will actually bring down a few line systems on my upcoming trip to try some of them out and report back.

-Art
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:28 am Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
A further thought ...

Again, I have wrestled with the notion of lighter line backing for some time. My leading assumptions are that most line in peacock bass situations breaks at the knot to lure (due to significant loss of absolute breaking strength due to the knot itself) or due to abrasion of the main line. Posts here seem to lean toward abrasion being the main cause (or even my post regarding line just getting old and weaker over course of a trip). If drag systems are working properly I don't think a peacock should be able to break 20lb to 30lb braid if it does not have a knot connection or been damaged due to abrasion.

That being said, backing in the way I described should work out ... shouldn't it? I am very confident doing hollow braid to solid braid connections, as that is the basis for my line testing procedures (done it on hundreds of samples over course of many months). I have never had one "fail" or even come close to a break at the same levels as due to a line to lure knot.

Given I am in new territory here, like I said, I will take precautions and bring some traditional line set-ups down on my next trip.

-Art
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Favorite rod/reel/line for choppers 
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