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Discussion Starter #1
Following up on my Allbright knot problems of earlier, I have decided it was probably my mono leader (20lb amnesia) that was the main cause and got cut through.

Its just raised another question though, what is the best leader material?

Ideally I would use Fluorocarbon, but then if money was no object I would be using a Rod Bar.

I am really only just getting going on this lure fishing in a big way so am basically skint. What money I can afford has been going on building up my plug and SP collections.

So the question is can I make do with a decent mono leader (I was going to give some clear Sufix tritanium a go that I have already) or does using fluoro really increase the number of hook ups? Would I be better off investing in some fluoro rather than the next plug on my list (either a tide minnow or a patchinko!)?

If so which Fluoro is best? Seaguar has already been recomended.
 

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I would go with the Fluoro Mark. You don't necessarily need to spend a lot on the likes of Seaguar though. Fluorocarbon is much harder than mono like Amnesia, so you may even have found that if you were using fluoro to start with, you may not have had the original problem at all. Not your fault at all though. When i started I used the Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon and until recently, I've made good use of the same 100m spool. Its actually been very reliable stuff.

Expensive fluorocarbons cost more for their hardness, suppleness or thinner diameter generally, but even budget fluorocarbons will be an advantage over standard monos. There is a reasonable bit of info about it on the internet, but as a quick summary; a) fluorocarbon is more abrasion resistant, b) fluoro stretches less than mono (generally, but not always), c) mono absorbs water which reduces its breaking strain considerably after time submerged - fluoro doesn't. There are loads more things like that as well, and there are in fact a few plus points to mono as well, but go with the fluoro. To add, just because it's quite relevant to us, most fluoro is stiffer than mono which ensures that multiple treble hooks are likely to get less caught in it on the cast or retrieve.

Don't necessarily go for 'the best' at this point if its likely to cost you more than you can afford, but go with something affordable. It's on small spools but until very recently (when I ran out) I've been using the Drennan Ghost stuff which is easily available in this country and only costs just over £4 per spool. I didn't have one problem with it. There are finer fluoro's out there, but for £4 or £5 it's fine by me.
 

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Mark, whatever you buy it won't break the bank. Think about it, a 100m spool will do a lot of leaders - 100-200!
 

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I won't go back to plain mono now after having it proven a number of times fishing side by side, fluoro outfishing standard mono. As has been mentioned, £7-8 should get you a decent spool. Worth having a look in the trout section of your local tackleshop maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I won't go back to plain mono now after having it proven a number of times fishing side by side, fluoro outfishing standard mono. As has been mentioned, £7-8 should get you a decent spool. Worth having a look in the trout section of your local tackleshop maybe?
Hi Mark, when you say outfished, you are convinced you get more bites using fluoro? What breaking strain are we talking about? I was using 20lb bs mono leader and 20lb bs braid.
 

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It wasn't exactly sterile test conditions, but fishing a few times on the boat, same lure, same retrieves, and I outfished quite dramatically t'other chap who was using some kind of 12lb mono straight through, whilst I was using 15lb Fluoro leader to my braid. I now use Seaguar exclusively in 8lb, 13lb or 19lb. It may be a personal confidence thing, but I really do believe that in clear water like we have over here most of the time, it DOES make a difference.
 

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Have you tried a uni to uni or a slim beauty and see if its made any difference? i personally use Seaguar but i know some very good anglers that use amnesia exclusively and swear by it, doesn't stop them catching. I've had the 30lb seaguar get cut through twice this year using a doubled uni to uni and i usually use 4 or 5 leaders on a full day session so they haven't been on long. it can still happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tim the bank is already broken!

Guys fair enough, you all rate fluoro thats good enough for me. Thanks for the comments. It will have to wait a couple of weeks but then I'll get the Seaguar in. I guess my head was still in trout fishing mode where I was tying 20 foot plus leaders but I guess its spot on, a 50m spool will last a lot longer bass fishing with 3 foot leaders than the fly fishing.

Mark, whatever you buy it won't break the bank. Think about it, a 100m spool will do a lot of leaders - 100-200!
 

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hmm, have a spool of Berkley Vanish 0.26 here. Did not use it till now, was fine with my plugs directly tied to my braid. But for sure I will give this a try this year...

^^

Thomas
 

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Having moved over to fluoro for fly fishing about 10 years ago I would never go back. I use fluoro now for everything from carp to bass!
 

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It wasn't exactly sterile test conditions, but fishing a few times on the boat, same lure, same retrieves, and I outfished quite dramatically t'other chap who was using some kind of 12lb mono straight through, whilst I was using 15lb Fluoro leader to my braid. I now use Seaguar exclusively in 8lb, 13lb or 19lb. It may be a personal confidence thing, but I really do believe that in clear water like we have over here most of the time, it DOES make a difference.
I think the "key" to all this with the FC lines is water clarity.
For an interesting read on FC lines check out www.yo-zuri.com the bit about when the surface of the line is scratched is very interesting.
 

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It wasn't exactly sterile test conditions, but fishing a few times on the boat, same lure, same retrieves, and I outfished quite dramatically t'other chap who was using some kind of 12lb mono straight through, whilst I was using 15lb Fluoro leader to my braid. I now use Seaguar exclusively in 8lb, 13lb or 19lb. It may be a personal confidence thing, but I really do believe that in clear water like we have over here most of the time, it DOES make a difference.
I guess the way you could have proved this is if you had switched outfits with your mate. If you had carried on catching the fish on his gear it would have shown you the line had nothing to do with it.
I have never used a leader of any description and know plenty who dont and they catch lots of bass from various locations around the country, and from clear water. The only time I start doubting myself is during lean spells, but we all get them and the next fish usually marks an end to thoughts about using a leader.

So Mark, my advice is if you are new to this there is plenty to learn about before you start stressing about an additional, in my view unnecesary, complication....especially if you are skint. However, if using a leader makes you fish with more confidence then by all means go for it, because a confident angler will outfish a doubtful one every time.
Cheers,
Ian
 

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A lot of people don't like having so called invisable leaders and prefer lines the fish can make out. Fish swimming in to lines they cannot see can spook them out reducing the chances of them attacking your lure.
 

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So Mark, my advice is if you are new to this there is plenty to learn about before you start stressing about an additional, in my view unnecesary, complication....especially if you are skint. However, if using a leader makes you fish with more confidence then by all means go for it, because a confident angler will outfish a doubtful one every time.
Use a leader.
Make it fluorocarbon.

If you catch enough big fish fishing braid straight through eventually one will flare it's gills and turn away from you mid fight. Braid has awful abrasion qualities and I've been sliced off WITH a leader yet alone the number that did this before we had FC lines. Mono leaders needed to be 20lb to offer full protection. Now I'm confident with 12lb fluorocarbon for Bass or even 10lb.

Opaque lines might not matter for the retrievers out there but start fishing slower, OTD or stopped and clearer, FC leaders come into their own.
We've got enough results from both 'leader' and 'no leader' to know it's a no brainer. Costs pennies and might save your first double from slicing you off.

2 and 3lb Bass aren't 8, 9lb and bigger, trust me. It's a whole new ball game. Use a leader.
 

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Fishtec have an offer on, on their FC at the mo buy one get one free. So 50m spool of their top of the range stuff normally £10. Is working out at £5 per spool. Pretty good in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm convinced, improved albright plus good quality FC

All, thanks for the many helpful comments,

I was and still am certainly convinced that a leader is the way to go. That bit of it just feels right to me.

Hopefully now I know the right knot to use. I am going for an improved albright and will change it much more regularly (although should it be that modified albright or the slim beauty .....on weight of comments modified Albright seems most popular).

The merits of fluorocarbon over mono I am not so totally convinced about, but having used it for several years fly fishing, the one thing I did discover is that there are loads of different FCs about and some are much much better than others. The cheap ones I found to be a false economy. In for a penny in for a pound (again, gulp), its Seaguar for me.

I realise now a spool will last much longer than I was thinking. I used to use 20 ft plus leaders fly fishing and that ate up FC spools and I moved back to copolymer.

I have already lost a decent fish and a £12 plug to inferior line/knot...........
 
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