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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen two strategies described for braid vs mono top-shots.

1) Braid as backing (aside from enough mono to seat it on the spool) in order to cram as much backing in space available as possible. Fly fishers (ok, no mono topshot, just a leader) and offshore types talk about lots of backing from braid being good. The heavy mono topshot takes the stress and gives with jumps and runs. Mono topshot is also cheaper to change out.

2) On the other hand, with braid still expensive (at least it is for me, especially with good brands), using cheaper mono as backing to fill spool for good distance under a braid topshot for feel and slickness seems economical. A shock leader is still important for casting, and/or a clear leader to get the shy ones. I use this one quite a bit in fresh water, where long runs are rare and I usually can't outcast a small filler spool of braid.

MY QUESTION is which strategy works best for those of you who do serious surf work for larger targets like bass, drum, blues, etc. Sitting on the beach and seeing my line approch the bottom of the spool would seem uncomfortable without lots of backing (I should be so lucky as to catch lots of big ones). On the other hand, it's rare to hook the huge one and much more frequent to need about 10 meters more range than I seem to be able to cast under pressure. It's all about compromise (I know there are advocates of fluro as a mix of the two on this board, but that's easier advic e to follow for sound-side than surf-side), so how do serious anglers resolve the tradeoff? Does using bait vs lures matter here?

I'll just sit back and learn. My trips to the coast are too short to squander experimenting when the wheel has already been invented out there.
 

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First I am assuming that you are surf fishing and that you think you need to toss 3-5oz sinkers. I would fill the reel app. 1/3 full of 20lb. mono and then fill it the rest of the way with 14-20 braid with a shock leader of 18" to 36" of 30 lb. floro line(not leader).

However if you are fishing for flounder and specks in the surf using artificials or even live bait I would use the same 1/3 of 20lb with 8-12lb braid and 18" of 10-14lb floro line(not leader).

Normally the ability of your reel and the smoothness of your drag is more important than super heavy line.
 

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Normally the ability of your reel and the smoothness of your drag is more important than super heavy line.
This is a very good point and probably the most overlooked necessity of your fishing arsenal. You can land a big fish on light weight cheap lines on a reel with a smooth drag properly set. You can loose a fish easily on high dollar braid on a reel with a rough or improperly set drag.
 

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Great idea for a thread!

I don't surf fish as much as I use to but I'll go a few times a year and switched all my surf gear over to braid.

First as an overall value, braid is not that much more expensive than mono. Yes, the initial investment is more but braid does not have to be replaced as often. Most folks (including myself) recommend changing mono at least every year (I change the mono on my King rigs twice a year). This is done because of line stretch and because mono becomes brittle after being wet then drying out. So even if you only use it occasionally, it should be changed every year. Not true with braid. I have had the same braid on some of my reels for 4 years with no problems.

For surf gear I use all braid except for a top shot of Fluorocarbon (or mono if you prefer). That is so I can get more line on the reel and am less likely to get spooled. It also allows for a smaller reel if preferred. I use the top shot as a shock leader (1 & 1 1/2 times the length of the rod) - this prevent my fingers from getting cut with the braid on those big heaves, gives a little bit of stretch for shock absorption, reduces the visibility of the line closest to the bait and makes knot tying on terminal tackle easier.

Shifting away from surf gear - the reason I keep a lot of mono backing on my heavy bottom rigs is to save money. In the case of big game bottom fishing (grouper, snapper, African pompano, etc) I use the big reels for the drag performance rather than for how much line they hold. I don't fish in 1500' feet of water so I don't use or replace the first 300 yards of mono. Its there to keep the line I do use in the range of the highest retrieve rate.

For my light spinning gear - all braid except a small leader of fluorocarbon (3 - 5 feet) to reduce visibility and ease in knot tying.

Okay there's my 2 cents worth - hope it helps.
 

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This is done because of line stretch and because mono becomes brittle after being wet then drying out. So even if you only use it occasionally, it should be changed every year
Not necessarily for all mono, Yozuri Hybrid line is non-hydroscopic so it wont dry out because it never retains the water. Granted, cost a little more to spool up with, but is worth it in the long run.. Here's good info on the benifit of a Hybrid line over standard nylon line: Yo-Zuri Fishing Line- Hybrid <-- Link

Only way I can compare it is, like using synthetic oil in your car... Instead of having to change the oil every 3K miles,, you can go 5K till the next change...

And I agree with all the above regarding reel drags... I'll also add, rod performance is part of the deal as well, but if you dont have a decent drag or a well maintained drag, you can loose some good fish.

No comment though on the top shotting as I dont do that.. I just spool up with whatever mono is rated for the reel. (i.e. TS-50W 700 yd of 50 lb.. then it get's 700 yd of 50 lb....) My thinking is, if it takes 600 yards or more to get the fish to the boat... I need a bigger reel! (let the tackle monkey loose!) :)
 

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Not necessarily for all mono, Yozuri Hybrid line is non-hydroscopic so it wont dry out because it never retains the water. Granted, cost a little more to spool up with, but is worth it in the long run..

You are right about the hybrid lines, I wasn't thinking of them in my statement as they aren't a true mono.

No comment though on the top shotting as I dont do that.. I just spool up with whatever mono is rated for the reel. (i.e. TS-50W 700 yd of 50 lb.. then it get's 700 yd of 50 lb....) My thinking is, if it takes 600 yards or more to get the fish to the boat... I need a bigger reel! (let the tackle monkey loose!) :)
I'm with you on the boat part but when fishing from the surf the braid comes in handy as you can pack a lot more on the reel.
 

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I'm with you on the boat part but when fishing from the surf the braid comes in handy as you can pack a lot more on the reel.
Ok, if I'm fishin from the beach and I have 400 yards of line and if it takes more than 300 yards to bring the fish to the beach,, then I need a bigger capacity reel. :)

set the monkey free! :)
 

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I am more confused now.......
Sort out the parts that you can use. It has just occurred to me that I have never owned any fluorocarbon leader material. My motto has always been "Don't argue with a caught fish." It's like lure preferences---or use whatever suits your comfort range.:)
 

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I'm satisfied with 1/2 spool mono, usualy a high visability line since it isnt near the fish anyway. Topped off with braid and then ( for surf/pier) twice the rod length of quality mono or Flouro. leader. Braid definitely improves the cast and I will adjust the amount of braid to stay in the "braid spool" for the entire best cast length. I also disassemble/clean and relube any reel I buy with synthetic oil/grease and use "Reel Magic" spray if I really need the distance.
* Ditto, the importance of a smooth quality drag! An erratic/jerky drag can work a hook loose or cause a break off when the fish surges...
 

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Good stuff here;)

Never pull all the line off of you reel you're not using it any way at the bottom anyway. I pull off just enough for me to replace about 1/2 spool or 3/4 of a spool. I take into account the line I will lose and retie, I fish a lot of stump or oyster beds and lose some line time to time.:D These are my usually lure rods and popping corks. I change the line as needed usually have to at least 1 time a year, sometimes twice.:cool: Better safe than sorry.

With the braded Power Pro I don't have this problem. Just put enough mono on the bottom and top it off with 100-150 yards of 20 pound test. This is my drum rigs and it is fantastic. Don't worry about getting cut or broken off, does occasionally happen on oysters.

I use a mono leader on the power pro, depending on what I'm doing will dictate the length and poundage of the line.

tight lines <*)))))>{
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very useful, with some concrete numbers to help me put together my gear for the surf, inlet/bridge and pier work that I usually try (I'll be the sunburned tourist trying to look local). Floro and hybrid lines were not as common last time I was on the NC coast.

Best thing is, I actually own some of the gear to make this work, aside from the line (tackle monkey faints in disbelief).
 

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aside from the line (tackle monkey faints in disbelief).

No doubt, even bank/beach fishin has some pretty pricey gear. I saw the (12 ft or so I believe) shore casting rod that AK McCallums has... the thing was nice and all,, but $200+!!! (for just the rod!!) Yow... It was one of them "line feed's thru blank" and comes out the tip deals... nice.. but pricey.
The guy there (Dave I believe) said it can sling some serious weighted bait out from the shoreline.

I'm sure by the time you add up the sand spikes/tubes, portable cooler gear rack, rods/reels (all spool'd up), weather gear and all that... it seem's to add up to a pretty expensive operation! ha haha ha...

Best of luck catch'm up and look forward to reports... I have a feelin spring is gonna sprung early this year:)
 

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Good stuff here;)

Never pull all the line off of you reel you're not using it any way at the bottom anyway. I pull off just enough for me to replace about 1/2 spool or 3/4 of a spool. I take into account the line I will lose and retie, I fish a lot of stump or oyster beds and lose some line time to time.:D These are my usually lure rods and popping corks. I change the line as needed usually have to at least 1 time a year, sometimes twice.:cool: Better safe than sorry.

With the braded Power Pro I don't have this problem. Just put enough mono on the bottom and top it off with 100-150 yards of 20 pound test. This is my drum rigs and it is fantastic. Don't worry about getting cut or broken off, does occasionally happen on oysters.

I use a mono leader on the power pro, depending on what I'm doing will dictate the length and poundage of the line.




tight lines <*)))))>{


What Type of knot do you use to change lines mid spool?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No doubt, even bank/beach fishin has some pretty pricey gear. I saw the (12 ft or so I believe) shore casting rod that AK McCallums has... the thing was nice and all,, but $200+!!! (for just the rod!!) Yow... It was one of them "line feed's thru blank" and comes out the tip deals... nice.. but pricey.
The guy there (Dave I believe) said it can sling some serious weighted bait out from the shoreline.

I'm sure by the time you add up the sand spikes/tubes, portable cooler gear rack, rods/reels (all spool'd up), weather gear and all that... it seem's to add up to a pretty expensive operation! ha haha ha...

Best of luck catch'm up and look forward to reports... I have a feelin spring is gonna sprung early this year:)
Thanks.

Fortunately, coolers and buckets, etc. are pretty universal, and I still have the first Daiwa "big" rod I bought 35 years ago (all 8 feet of it) -- plus "some" newer and more expensive rods. My original "big" reel (a mitchell 300) is still around too -- no surf mullet has yet ripped it apart -- but it also has gained a few "teammates" over the years. A large and determined drum off Assateague and a small jack off the bridge at Stewart inlet in Forida quickly demonsted that the 8-foot rod and the 300 dunking bait was hunting bears with a switch. Targeting smaller species better matched to my tackle and ability was the way to go.

As much fun as a flounder or trout can be, the desire to play with the "big boys" at the end of the pier or deep in the surf is a dream too. This time I'll be better prepared.
 
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