Mainline and Leader selection are two of the most important factors when creating the perfect float fishing setup for you in your situation. We read alot online about who's favorite line and leader is, but nearly every setup and situation is different. Taking line and leader advice from anyone other than someone who fishes your exact same reel, rod, float weight, float style, river/stream size is basically useless.
Here are a few tips and pointers when selecting the appropriate Blood Run Tackle mainline and leader selections for your scenario.
While we can't speak for others, we can speak to the line selection process with Blood Run Tackle floating mono mainline.
The first item to clarify, is for those who are considering matching mainline weight with rated rod weight. This is a mistake when float fishing. You match your leader strength with your rod weight, as it is your leader that will always break first on a fish or snag. Most quality float rod blanks are in the 6lb-12lb weight, which again should be matched to your leader, not your mainline. So yes, our 15lb float line is just fine with a 8lb weighted rod for example, presuming your are using an 8lb or even 10lb leader. We have found little evidence that stated rated rod weights are finite regarding the strength of the rod blank itself. We regularly fish big line and leader on light weight rods without issue, it's ultimately the angler who's in control of how much pressure is put on a quality rod blank.
With that said, if for some reason your were to snag your mainline instead of your leader, do not pull up on the rod to break the snag free. Pull BACK on the rod, like you are drawing a pool cue back for a shot. Grip your reel (if centerpin) or thumb your baitcaster and pull straight back, not up. The mainline will break, instead of your rod.
The second consideration when selection a mainline weight centers around your shot/float weight setup. If you are fishing on the light side of the equation, like 6 grams or less floats and shot, then our 10lb floating mono mainline is the suggested line. You can certainly use the 15lb mainline if you wish, it is only slightly larger in diameter and is in fact use in 90% of all steelhead/salmon float fishing scenarios.
Our 10lb float fishing mainline does indeed break at 10lbs, actually within a small percentage higher or lower than 10lbs. If you need a point of reference, compare it to another manufacturer's 7 or 8lb mainline for equivalency as most manufacturer's tend to understate breaking strength by several to sometimes many pounds.
If you are fishing setups greater than 6 grams, you should always use the 15lb mainline.
Our float fishing mainline is considered a standard stretch, super slick, hard exterior co-polymer designed to lay on the surface of the water in perpetuity. It will continue to lay on the surface of the water, forever, or until it is "pushed" or dragged under the water. This would require someone or something physically pushing or pulling the line under the water, which does not occur during the normal action of floating or mending. We are not talking about during the process of fighting a fish, simply speaking of the actual "float fishing" process and mending.
At the point of which the line is pushed or pulled under the water by physical force, the line is not a self righting object that would pop back up to the surface like a float. Once it is under, it is under and will sink. No fishing line we are aware of "pops" back up to the surface after being dragged or pushed under water. There is no air chamber inside our fishing line that would cause a pop back up to the surface of the water. In fact, the resins we use for abrasion resistance are very similar to fluorocarbon, which naturally sinks. Our line is considered an "intermediate floater" due to it's construction.
There is a slick coating on the exterior of the line, which is applied during the spooling process to reduce friction. It also does allow for more free movement sliding of shot patterns during fishing.
Do not over crimp your shot, or use tools to do so. Do not over tighten your bobber stops, this will extreme compress the line and will eventually cause line breakage above the float. Either use two bobber stops tied normally or switch to a different style bobber stop.
We do not produce line in different "batches", so there is no concept of a "bad batch". If one spool of line were to be "bad" then every spool of line in that color and pound test would be "bad". The "bad batch" concept is a myth created by large multi national companies to explain off "old" line that has been sitting in a distributors warehouse for years.
Blood Run Tackle does not pre-produce line for sale in future years, nor for purposes of stockpiling inventory at distributors or big box stores. Our mainlines and leaders are produced twice a year and sold within that year (12 month period). Rarely do we have inventory carry over which would lead to an "aged" line issue similar to that of line produced by larger multi-national companies. In most cases we do fresh inventory swap-out's with our dealers who may have carry over inventory from a previous season. That is how important fresh line is to us.
While we cannot speak for other manufacturer's leaders other than to say that some of them significantly under state their true breaking strengths. With that said, feel free to message us to check if you decide to use a leader other than Blood Run Tackle fluorocarbon leader.
For light setups of 6 grams or less matched with our 10lb float fishing mainline, the appropriate Blood Run Tackle fluorocarbon leader size to use is anything 6lbs and under. 8lb leader can be used, however be aware of the notes below in the breaking mainline section. Any leader from any manufacturer must not exceed .008" diameter when using 10lb mainline.
For heavier setups of greater than 6 grams matched with our 15lb float fishing mainline, the appropriate Blood Run Tackle fluorocarbon leader size to use is anything 10lbs and under. Any leader from any manufacturer must not exceed .010" diameter when using 15lb mainline.
Blood Run Tackle cannot be responsible for mainline breaks, particularly on the 10lb mainline, when using leaders from different manufacturers.
Again, we fish other leaders ourselves for testing purposes so feel free to message us on Facebook if you want to check on our recommendation if you for some reason decide to use leader other than ours.
We perform a number of tests both with testing equipment and real world fishing scenarios in attempt to break mainlines and leaders. Leader breaking is fairly straight forward, as there is some but little stretch in our fluorocarbon leader. When the leader is pushed past the knot strength (varies per knot) the leader will break. Knot strength in Blood Run Tackle 100% Fluorocarbon Leader is as high as 20% of rated breaking strength not including leader stretch. This is among the highest if not the highest in the industry. Fluorocarbon industry-wide is notoriously noted for weak knot strength due to friction build up in the knot tying process.
Mainline breaks, most typically with our 10lb mainline, can occur a couple of different ways. The most frequent cause of breaks on the 10lb mainline is due to excessive stretching (elongation) caused by using too heavy of a leader and attempting to break snags free.
As mentioned above, leader selection is critical, and leader should break relatively easily when pulled back on a snag. If you find yourself pulling excessively in order to break a snag free, your leader is not properly matched with your mainline. At this point, you have excessively stretched (elongated) the mainline completely out, with very little more to give at that point. Once any fishing line is completely stretched and elongated, its breaking strength is shot and the line could snap at any moment.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have over stretched your mainline, you will notice a coiling pattern to the line when you bring it back in or send it back out. The line will actually look as if it has been stretched out, rather than nice and straight and smooth. It is wise to cut back the portion of the mainline that has been stretched, and re-tie using a lighter leader.
The second most common cause for mainline breakage is from damage to the line from kinking or wrapping. If you fish with a baitcaster and you wrapped your line from an over run cast...check it for kinks can cut back this area.
If you fish with a centerpin reel and had the line wrap around the base of the reel from an over run cast or wind blowing line off the back side of the reel, again check for kinks.
Any kink from line compression should be cut back and re-tied as soon as possible.
There is much "to do" from some regarding line strengths and actual testing numbers. So we decided to publish our dry test breaking strength (tensile) numbers from June of 2015 for our 10lb mainline for sale in 2015/2016. Actual values are +-7% and were produced on industry standard Gotech Tensile Strength testing equipment. For more information regarding differences between breaking strength, lb test and knot strengths, please visit this Pro Staff article.
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