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i was fishin for blacks and seabass on the pasttime princess on oct 7. There was this one guy who caught twice as many togs as anyone on the whole boat. I took a close look on his rod anb reel setup and he was using braided line. I think that was his advange. Since the blackfish byte very lighty, the braided line has no strech and you instantly feel the byte.

was that the advange? or what?
 

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Hi.

Braided line can be very advantageous, especially blackfishing.

It does not stretch. You will feel the bites faster. You will be able to set the hook faster. With the proper rod you will get the fish away from the wrecks faster.

Because it is so thin there is less resistance
to water. You will not get a big warp in the line, which allows for a faster hook set. You will be able to use sinkers of less weight.

HOWEVER, HOWEVER!! Because the braided line does not stretch new problems arise.

You are using a rod, a reel and line. The weakest link will break!!! The weakest link is supposed to be the line.

Many fishermem believe that since the braided line is so thin you can use line rated higher in poundage. Some people put 30, 40 or 50 lb braid line on a reel that is used on a rod rated for 15 or 20 lb test line. I am serious, this is what happens. Doesn't take much thought to figure out which element will break. Not the braided line!! Not the reel!! The ROD!!! Especially if it is GRAPHITE!!!

DO NOT USE BRAIDED LINE RATED ABOVE THE POUNDAGE THAT THE ROD IS RATED FOR!!!!!!

If you use braided line learn the knots that are required. Use long mono leaders between the line and terminal tackle(the long mono leaders will absorb some of the shock. Use the correct line test poundage dor the rod in use.

Be careful of your hands when working with braided line. It cuts!!

Capt Neil

Have Fun Fishing. Capt Neil
Custom Fishing Rods by Captain Neil
 

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Captneilf,

Good points. I have been using power pro 80 lb test on my rod which is rated for 80lb test max. I am pretty certain the 80 lb line will over test by probably 20% or more.

I think the real issue is weather the drag on the reel is set for the fish. If a guy has 200lb braid on a 15lb outfit with his drag set to 4 lbs, I can't see him ever breaking the rod. If he figures that he can now pull in the cow and sets his drag to 100 lbs on the same outfit, then yes he could snap the pole.

I usually set my drag a little lighter then if I was using mono. This would compensate for and sudden shock the rod may have since now there is no strech when you hang bottom.

The key is to set your drag as if you were still in the range of the rating of the rod. If using 100lb braid on a rod rated for 30lbs, then I would set the drag between 8-10 lbs or when it feels right for the fish your trying to catch.

One trick I do is if using braided higher then the rod rating, I use a mono leader within the rods rating and if the leader needs to be a little heavier, then I tie an overhand knot in the leader which should (and does) become the weak link.

I also am using ugly sticks (blanks and production rods) which are pretty durable blanks and can take the punishment. The shakespear tiger rod bwc2202 30-60 lb is my favorite cheap north shore blackfish rod. This rod with 50 lb power pro and an abu 7000 reel is my setup.

Keep those drags set right for the rod and you shouldn't have a problem.

my 0.02.

Capt. Marc
 

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Capt Neil,

What is the general policy on our local party boats about using braided lines like PowerPro or Fireline? I know boats that make offshore runs often have a no braid policy.

Thanks.

Jaiem
ArtsNFlies.com
 

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Now here are some dilemmas you just introduced...

When fishing for tog, you need to be able to set the hook with some serious backbone and reel the fish away from the structure in a hurry. To accomplish this, almost all tog fisherman fish with their drags tightened to the max. When fishing 20 or 30 lb mono, this is not a problem because the line has stretch and blackfish rarely are caught heaver than the high teens. How do you set the hook & get a blackfish off the bottom if you have to set the drag light to prevent the braided line from snapping or prevent the tackle from breaking?

Also, what happens if a blackfish pulls you into a wreck or into some rocks past your mono leader and your braided line gets hung-up on some bottom structure (the best blackfishing spots in the world are those where you can expect to lose a dozen rigs each trip). What do you do?
 

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I know some party boats shun the use of braid and suggest against it, but will let you use it. I think the major problem to contend with would be other patrons on the boat as they are the ones you would be tangling with and have to deal with. I use it occassionally when there are not alot of people on the boat.
It does let you detect bites alot easier and use lighter weights. Setting the drag is very important for other reasons besides the "safety" of your rod. Since there is no stretch to the line, a large fish that decides to make a last ditch effort to run for their life will usually pop the hook out of its lip if the drag is too tight.
Whenever I go out for blackfish I always take a few rods and reels with me, some with mono, some with braid.

Remember, ya gotta hook 'em to cook 'em.

got tog?

Bergalls have feelings too...
 

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Hi all.

Very informative replies.

Each fisherman has his or her way of doing things. It works for them BUT it might not be the right or proper technical way way to do something.

Too many fishermen believe a drag is set so NO line can escape while reeling in a fish. Check the partyboat reels at the end of a trip. The drag that was set at the beginning of the trip is totally locked up by the angler during the trip.

Braid and mono tangled together makes a fine mess. The quickest way is to cut one or all of the rigs and start over.

When I worked deck I would tell the braid users they could use it BUT I would not handle their line, especially if they were hung up.

Most of the users understood and took care of their own problems.

As the captain, I let the mate handle it his way.

When I blackfish I use a composite Lamiglas rod using 40 lb mono and the drag set as Capt Marc explained. The composite blank I use is very sensitive and I have good feel even using mono.

On a given trip I will be outfished by an angler using braid but I also get outfished by anglers using mono. Other days I might outfish them especially if I'm right above the honey hole.

I tell people fish the way you want BUT if you abuse you equipmwnt DONT expect the manufacturer to replace his abused product. That is only fair.

The blacks are getting ready. Big fish to all!!!


Capt Neil

Have Fun Fishing. Capt Neil
Custom Fishing Rods by Captain Neil
 

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Doctorfish,

A 12 pound blackfish will pop locked 20 or 30 pound mono (or braid) like it was sewing thread, even with the stretch. Anglers fish the maximum pressure that the strength of their line permits. If you totally lock 30 pound test, you will break off large blackfish. What Capt. Neil was saying is that you set your drag to rating of the rod, meaning that if you fish 50 pound braid on a 30 pound blank, you set your drag as if you are using 30 pound test. In answer to your next question regarding a fish pulling you into a wreck beyond your leader and the braid gets snagged, you simply wrap your end of the line around a small piece of metal pipe and break it off. When I fish braid, I always splice in about 10 - 15 feet of mono at the end the braid. This gives you the stealth of mono with a little bit of stretch and still provides the sensitivity and thin diameter of the braid.

Now back to the orginal question, I think that braided line is a big advantage in the deeper spots, but in shallower water where light is strong you should stick with mono.

Gamakatsu
 

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Gama, I'm not a big fan of stiff tackle or overkill with heavy line. However, when fishing on crowded party boats, it is an advantage to be able to muscle fish in to avoid tangling with other anglers. When fishing in these situations for large blues in the ocean, we often use 30lb mono with the drags locked and we rarely pop fish off. As far as blacks, when we go on the Viking Starship to NoMans we do the same. Between a group of 12 guys all fishing this way, I can't remember any of our teen-sezed blackfish snapping 30lb test mono "like it was sewing thread". That's simpy not the case. Maybe in 100 feet of water, but not where we fish.
 

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Braided line does give some advantage. However it is not that big of an advantage particularly in water that's not too deep. My guess is that reason that he was able to catch twice as many fish was due to his skill advantage. Not many people ever become an expert in the art of blackfishing. I'm certainly no expert. However there are a select few experts that will consistently outcatch the rest of us.

Skill in the art of blackfishing is a huge advantage.



This message was edited by SeaJay on 10-12-01 @ 11:25 AM
 

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Doctorfish,

See JFISH's comments on Noman's blackfishing on the Viking. They are on the most recent blackfish discussion in the General Fishing Forum. He states that the captain was regularly breaking large fish off on 40 pound test. Everytime I fish on James Joseph, I see large blackfish break people off. I used to fish charters out of Greenport and the captain would not even let anybody use less than 40 pound test because he hated the idea that large blackfish would break off and have the rigs left in their mouths, probably killing them. Big blackfish can and do break 30 pound test. I can't imagine how you caught several "teen sized" fish on locked 30 pound test without breaking a single one off.

Gamakatsu
 

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Hi,

Blackfish as everyone who ever caught one knows have real nasty teeth. A big one will cut any mono leader if it gets near just the right tooth while making a dive for the wk.

I would lose a mess of big ones and got real tired of this after going up to heavy mono leaders to tie the hook. Also it was a pain having to re-tie all the time because of chaff in the leader near the hook.

I take a 7" (or less) secton of 45lb black coated wire, and crimp it to a large blackfish hook. Keep the crimp real tight next to the eye in the hook. On the other end I crimp on a stand barrel swilvel. I make a loop on my leader and pass it through the barrel swilvel which is about 6" or so above the loop for my sinker. You need the swilvel because a plain wire leader loop will cut through the mono leader.

Cut my break offs 95%. The blackfish are not leader shy at all.

Works real well for me and usually this rig will last all day until you hang it in the wk.

Capt. Marc
 

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Hi.

Capt Marc nice tip on the wire leader. I will have to try it.

Just a side note on locking up drags to handle big fish. I have seen too many spools with bent axles causing binding spools due to customers locking up the drags while bluefishing. This was done to Diawa 40Hs and Penn Jigmasters. And I'm sure the life span of the drag washers is shortened. Just a thought.

Capt Neil

Have Fun Fishing. Capt Neil
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Capt. Neal makes an excellent point. You can add Newells to the list of reels that should not be fished with a locked drag. They have very little tolerance for this type of pressure and will seize quite easily if pushed beyond limitations. A one piece spool for Penn reels helps, but is not a panacea.

Gamakatsu
 

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Hi,

Kinda getting off the topic buy you can change out the Newel metal dry drag washers for penn ht 100 drag washers and make it a wet drag reel. Huge improvement and much better adjustment. I did this with all my newels I use for cod.

Capt. Marc
 

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The 25lb world record tautog was caught on 30lb test line in 7 foot seas with 20+ knot winds in the ocean. When asked if the fish fought a long battle, the angler stated how he tightened up the drag and muscled the fish right to the boat because "no blackfish can weigh more than 30lbs".
 

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Just made a trip on a party boat on saturday the 13th. Broke in my new Loomis the right way with some decent tog. I was using 30lb Fireline on my set up. It took about a half hour to get used to the line...I was swinging for the fences even on bergall hits. Once I got the distinction between "bites" down I started hooking up with the tog. The braid allows you to feel every bump of the bottom and every pounding from the head-down tog.
I did have a nice fish on and was able to get it up where we could see it about 20 feet down. The mate and I figured it was around 10-11 lbs. Well the fish started to swim up then did a quick turn down...pounded three times...no stretch in the line...and out the hook came. I figured that maybe if I had the drag set a lil looser MAYBE I would have got em. Still managed to win the pool with a 5lber. I did switch to my other rod with mono on it, but it started to drive me nuts. I forgot how sensitive braid was. I did run into one real good snag that I couldn't work free...you gotta watch your hands!!! Definetely need something to wrap it around...I used a wooden dowel and it worked fine...broke at the knot. I recommend braid, but it does take some getting used to.

Remember, ya gotta hook 'em to cook 'em.

got tog?

Bergalls have feelings too...
 

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Doctorfish,

Are you insuating that a fish has to be heavier than the line rating in order to break it? Obviously, the angler who caught the record fish does not understand that a fish uses it's own leverage and strength to the break line. It appears that he got quite lucky that the fish did not break off. Be assured that many fish are quite capable of breaking line that tests twice or even three times as strong as their own weight.

Like gottog mentioned, other things can give also such as pulled hooks, broken hooks, worn leaders, stressed knots, etc.

Blackfish can and do break 30 pound test...

Gamakatsu
 

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Gama,

You raise a good question, how many pounds of pressure or what percentage of their body weight can a tautog, blue, striper, salmon, tuna, shark , etc... pull while hooked? I know it's all in their tails. But water depth, current & salinity probably are factors too. I wonder if there were ever any real scientific studies on this topic.
 
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