Rods have a rating for the weight of monofilament used. How does this affect the use of braid? I am looking for a casting rod with a reel spooled with 15-20# braid. What are your views on how to select a rod in terms of line weight?
I look more at the action of the rod and the type of fishing I intend to do with it and the reel I will use. Rods/reels are based on mono's breaking strength as a certain amount of "backbone" is needed for heavier line used to catch heavier/more aggressive fish. Using braid just gives you the advantage of "cheating" by being able to either add more line capacity to the reel because of braids smaller diameter, or getting larger fish on smaller tackle and still being able to get them to the boat.
Nothing like a LM Bass or a Speckled trout on light tackle, but I wouldn't want to do it with 4lb test, so you use a braided line in a similar diameter and get a much higher breaking strength.
Consider rods by there mono recommendations as it pertains to the rods ability to equal the weight/fight of what you would use it for. Just use braid as "insurance" for the fight! Also keep in mind 50lb test line doesnt mean much if your reels drag can't be locked down beyond 15lbs pull...you get spooled anyway!
Be careful using braid that is way over rated for the rod you are using. It okay to do this but you risk snapping the rod before the line breaks if you aren't careful. The risk is on a snag versus a big fish. So when breaking a snag just remember to point the rod tip into the water to relieve the pressure on the rod. You will also probably need more pressure than your drag can handle (and you don't want to stress the drag washers anyway) but don't grab the braid with your hand - it will cut you. I keep a short wooden dowel in my tackle box that I can wrap the braid around for those cases where I have to break off.
If the rod is rated for 10-12 lb mono then do not exceed that with braid in fact it is a perfect chance to use lighter line. 90% of my speck fishing is and has been with 6lb test Fireline. I have caught two Specks over 8 lbs. with that and many reds of 4-6 lbs on this.
I usually base rod selection on the weight and type of rig/lure that I am throwing. I use braid from the 4/15 size up to 8/30 and have not broken a rod yet(but have fed some to the tailgate of the truck). Also be careful trying to break braid if you don't use the broomstick method-sometimes the stress can warp reel spools or the spool shaft!
I once bought a very nice rod that was a 9' medium action intended for baitcasting in the surf-- I don't remember the brand. Was the perfect rod for medium surf fishing for redfish, blues, etc... It was solid graphite and it performed wonderfully.
I always spooled up with Trilene Big Game 12lb. I snagged an oyster bed one day and one wrong jerk and SNAP, rod broke--- with 12lb mono.
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