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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shock leader for carp fishing - Use Monofilament

Finally caught up onmost of my work after a few solid days, decided to take Eli out for another carp fishing trip. Plan was to test a new shock leader made of 50 lbs Trilene Big Game Monofilament.

Just to back track a bit, I've been having issues with line cuts when carp fishing in rocky areas ever since I started carp fishing in 2005. I've tried a good half dozen superbraid lines, was never able to find one that didn't get cut eventually. To date, 65 lbs Suffix 832 was the best option, other heavier lines wouldn't get any hits with the carp being too line shy. Anything less (Power Pro 50 lbs, Kanzen, Fireline, Cajun Braid) didn't hold up to the least amount of abrasion.

Fast forward to this winter, I stumbled on the idea of using a heavy mono shock leader. Not being sure how to tie it to my mainline, I did some research and found a neat trick from a Belgian carp fisherman, he called it the "Superstar" knot. Here is the knot in a nutshell:

1) Start with a decent quality heavy monofilament line, I chose Trilene Big Game 50 lbs test. Melt the end of the line into a small ball using a lighter:

2) Loop the end of your braided mainline around the end of the mono line:

3) Loop the braided mainline around itself and the mono line 6 or 7 times:

4) Wet the line and tighten down, pulling it snugly against the mono ball, trim tag end:

5) Secure the knot in place using a bit or super glue:

6) Once dry, pull down as hard as you can to make sure the knot is secure. After all, it will be the last line of defence between you and your trophy.

After spooling a good 35 feet heavy monofilament line onto one of my baitrunner reels, I was very skeptical, figuring the fish would shy away from the line. Also wasn't sure if I'd run into castability or line memory issues, as I haven't fished with monofilament in about 25 years.

Got out to my first choice of a spot to find winds gusting at 35 KM/H. Decided on another sheltered spot nearby, as I wouldn't be able to properly chum with the wind gusting into our faces. Set up my line with the mono shock leader, and another with my standard Sufix 832 65 lbs test setup. Baited both lines with my Vanilla/Hazelnut boilies to give the test more accuracy.

Got a false run on the monofilament line within about 45 minutes. Then nothing for close to 2 more hours, when the monofilament line went off again. Set the hook, handed the rod to Eli to fight the carp. He was having a tough time keeping the fish out of the rocks, and I was very curious to see how the line held up. It did fine, he landed a fat female carp within a few minutes, with a bit of help from me.

Set the lines out again, switching places again to see if which line would get hit. No more hits for another hour or so, I decided to go to our original spot as the wind was dying down. Set the monofilament line into one of the most treacherous spots I fish, getting cut off at least 50% of the time in that hole. The mono line had a couple of abrasion marks from the first fight, decided to leave the line as is to see if it would hold up. Sure enough, I got hit within 1/2 hour. Again, the fish ran straight for heavy rock cover, the line help up very well, in addition to giving some elasticity which made it more forgiving. Next to the shore, the fish ran into another pile of submerged rock twice, and again, I had no issues pulling it right out. Landed the carp shortly after.

Had to leave shortly after, so that was it for the day. I'm extremely happy with this new setup. The shock leader held up better than expected, and the carp were not line shy at all, as I got nothing on the braided line I was testing it against. Slight castability issues should be solved by mounting the reels onto my 12 foot rods as opposed to the lighter 9 footer I was using. To end the day, I cut off the last 3 feet of mono line which was somewhat damaged, and ran it quite hard against 3-4 of the sharpest boulders I could find on shore at full strength. Was not able to snap the line, just ended up with some scratches on it, as compared to the braid which usually snaps after 1 or 2 runs. Needless to say, I'm glad that my line cut issue finally seems to be solved.


ari said...

fluorocarbon leaders work extremely well also, allowing you to scale down diameter size as well, perhaps resulting in more takes. one knot I have used extensively for tying leader materials of different width is the simple surgeons knot and have never had one fail. good fishing!

Freshwater Phil said...

I tried a couple years ago with Seaguar Abraz X fluorocarbon in 25 lbs test, line was cut within a couple seconds twice. That was he end of that test... Still have 3/4 spool sitting on my shelf.