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JP Z

Question on Piking with Flies

25 posts in this topic

Do you use a quicksnap on the end of the steel leader portion of your tippet/leader? Reason I ask is that with heavier bunny flies or the like it wouldn't necessarily harm the action but would make changing flies easier........Deadhead, I'm looking in your direction.

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I haven't used snaps of any type yet. I'm still on the fence about that one. I know it probably won't make any difference, but for some reason I've held out. Maybe I think it's too much like casting a lure? I don't know...

One thing I may try this year instead of knotting the wire tippet to the fly, is to twist the wire and remelt the plastic coating. I've heard from many other anglers that they've never had a line failure due to the melted coated coming apart. Some guys leave a larger loop tied on the other end of the tippet and pre-tie their flies to the wire tippet, and swap out the entire tippet section when switching flies.

I've just tied direct to my fly with my leader. I use the 49 strand (19 will also work) coated wire as the bite guard. It ties as easy as mono. Probably why I never used a snap swivel. If you do decide to try fishing a snap, let me know how it works out for you.

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I'm glad this topic came up, so thanks guys. The pike and muskies I've hooked have been a ton of fun, but incidental to the bass fishing I was doing. I've been bitten off enough to try wire. I usually attach any tippet to the body of the leader with a loop-to-loop connection, so I pre-tied some tippets with whatever pound test mono and attached a length of Surflon wire to that by means of an Albright knot. I used a figure eight knot to attach the wire to the fly. I've not fished this a lot, but I haven't had a knot failure of any kind. The downside is that, while you can untie the figure eight knot in the wire, it leaves a nasty kink, so the bite tippet gets short in a hurry and you burn through tippets that take a while to build pretty rapidly if you change flies much. I've been tempted to try a snap, but most of them seem to be made pretty cheesily and look failure-prone to me, a person who's a bit paranoid about all the things that can go wrong when I'm fishing.

I once ran into a guy headed out muskie fishing who really seemed to know what he was doing. He used what I think of as a tarpon bite tippet, a short length of seriously heavy fluorocarbon that he attached to the fly by means of a nonslip mono loop. Has anyone tried something like that?

Lastly, in my extremely limited experience, it seems like northerns eat the fly in a way that makes them more likely to bite off than do muskies. Am I nuts to think this? I'm eagerly awaiting your replies, but please be gentle with me on the nuts question.

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pike tend to bite a fly at the head, and that causes me to believe that's why there are more bite offs, than say with a walleye; I can't vouch for the muskies...

I usually am fishing a sinking tip line, so I tie leaders with fluorocarbon. I tie about a 3-4 foot section of 20lb fluoro then connect to a 12-18" bite guard with a surgeons knot. This year I am going to get a little bit heavier butt section and use 50 or 60 lb fluoro, tie on the 20 lb fluoro tippet, and then tie on a 12" wire bite guard ("shock tippet"). This setup should be IGFA kosher. Hopefully I will get a little bit better turn over on some of the larger flies I fish with.

I'll be tying up similar leaders with mono for my floating lines. I've had good success using the Berkley big game mono for leader sections, plus its cheap.

I will be refraining from using the tarpon shock tippets for pike. Even with 150 lb test mono, I've heard anglers report bite-offs. I've yet to hear a report of a pike biting off a wire tippet. With the availability of cheap tieable wire nowadays, it leaves me little incentive to use monster diameter saltwater line.

Here's the bottom line: finding materials for pike leaders can be difficult if your looking for fly oriented brands like Rio, Climax, SA, Maxima. I've had really good luck using Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon and Beadalon 49 strand bead stringing wire. Try to find anything larger than 40 lb test Rio fluoroflex or hard mono, frog hair, or Maxima big game leader spools in stores in the metro. I couldn't. I went to several different fly shops and cabelas and they didn't have them. The big box stores had vanish leader spools, though, from 10lb through 100 lb. Beadalon you can find at just about any craft store like Michaels or the Hobby Lobby.

Yeah, some of those other lines may seem to be nicer to use, but I'll stick to using what I can readily get at the store, and it seems to do the job just fine.

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Thanks for the info man! I'll check into the Beadalone Wire as that would probably be a good bet. I still have some TyGear leader material. And got a full selection of the Cajun Leader material from a Friend at Shakespeare. That was what I was thinking of using, the mono leader material in 60lb....now I am thinking of a bite tippet...

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I've used some Surflon 20 lb wire - works fine. Also use SA Barracuda leaders. They have a single strand with a twist at the end. There's a little plastic piece you can re-screw onto to fly for a seamless connection, or they come with a little snap that I like. It is a little cheesy, but I pulled on one and it takes at least 20 lbs for sure. I think one time I had some Rio "toothy critter" leaders that were very much like the SA.

Using the Surflon, I use an albright on the leader end and a Clinch on the fly.

There's absolutely no wire needed for walleye. Those teeth just don't slice. They poke pretty hard though.

Craig

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This year I am going to try some of the tarpon shock-tipit in between a heavy leader and my flyline, reason being that I have some left from a trip to Mexico a few years back. I plan on using it in conjunction with my 10 wt. and a large arbor Okuma reel with sinking line. I have never targeted Northerns with my flyrod so I plan on trying a lot of differnet approachs. I have a feeling it is going to be a little like fishing for Snook......anybody know if that is a fair comparison?

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I've never caught a snook before so I'm not able to compare maybe I need to take a trip... tongue.gif

the large shock tippet works, it's just that you still can't rule out the occasional bite off. If you are going to use it on a sinking tip/line, I'd consider using fluorocarbon, as the lower density tends to help get that fly down. In areas with lots of current and eddies, sometimes mono tends to get up-drafted into those current seams causing slack in the line, from my experience. Either way shiner, I think you are going to have a blast fighting those pike and will enjoy it maybe more than you will want to admit wink.gif. I know I sometimes hate to admit to myself that pike fishing can be more fun than trout and salmon at times. crazy.gif

The main reason I was going with 60 lb vanish for the butt section was because the diameter was the right size my fly line, e.g.

60 lb vanish = 0.028"

9wt fly line diameter = 0.043"

butt section diameter = 2/3 * fly line diameter

0.028" = 2/3 * .043

surfalon and the other wire leaders work well. I went with beadalon because it was cheaper per foot than the other brands. Another brand of craft wire to check out is Soft Touch (made by Soft Flex). Another 49 strand coated stainless steel wire. This wire is softer and easier to tie, is knottable and is tough to kink. Consequently this is more expensive than beadalon.

You could use the steel crimps they have for making wire leaders, but since this wire knots so easily it doesn't make much sense to do so. I've seen the setup climax, rio, and SA use in their pike leaders; nice but really expensive.

walleyes will not slice the wire, and yes their teeth are sharp. Check for abrasions on the wire coating after a pike has thrashed around with your fly. Like mono and fluorocarbon, the abrasions can weaken the line.

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Thanks Dead....I am really looking forward to some pike action this summer and I appreciate the tips. I hope I don't like it as much as trout (actually I do, but don't tell anyone grin.gif)

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Hey Shiner, I would say snook fishing is more like bass fishing than pike fishing, but what they heck...they all can really SLAM a big popping bug!! And as far as leaders go I have used the Surflon wire stuff for a long time without troubles. Speaking of snook, be very careful handling them as they have little razor sharp cutters on the edges of their gill plates that can lay you open like a scalpel!! One of the reasons they sometimes cut your line too. But they are a TON of fun!! laugh.gif

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Ufatz, I should have been more clear in my comparison. I was comparing the ferocity of the strike, not the teeth and line cutting ability. Those Snook come out of the mangroves like a freight train and really slam the fly. And you're right, they are a ton of fun!

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Is the Beadalon a good wire? Just looked at their website and they have a bunch of varieties so I need to make sure I get the best for actual fishing.......of course if I get the wrong kind at least I can bead a nice bracelet or something.

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Or you could bead a thing to hang on your glasses so they will not fall down an ice hole while shooting an promo vid.. So then you have to say something silly like?... Ohh I didn't need those glasses anyway.

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Shut-it.........jeez you send 1 guy out on a goose chase with a bad flasher..........

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Quote:

Is the Beadalon a good wire?


I've bought the 7, 19, and 49 strand wires. All were very strong and performed at least to the pound test rating that was printed on the spool. I've never had a line break on me yet. The main difference between the 7, 19, and 49 strand wires is the diameter and flexibility. The more strands, the higher the strength/diameter and increased flexibility.

I haven't been concerned about the quality of the integrity. I fished with the stuff all of last season and have been pretty impressed with it so far. I will be using it again this season (I stocked up in January).

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Quote:

Even with 150 lb test mono, I've heard anglers report bite-offs. I've yet to hear a report of a pike biting off a wire tippet.


I have lost several fish to a wire leader especially the berkley wire. The last straw for me and wire....about a 40+lb musky. I use a flourocarbon leader in the 120-130lb range. I have never heard of a true bite-off using a leader like this (I am also an avid musky fisherman). If the leader is knicked it will break or bite off. However, like wire or any other line, you need to check your leader after every fish and you should take a look after banging some rocks or sharp debris. Personally, I like to tie a snap to the end of my leader. It makes changing flies a lot easier as well as quicker and easier. I know not all of you may agree w/that as it is foreign to flyfishing. But when you think of it...so is pike/musky fishing. No, its not done in trout fishing but it is way too practical to exclude from this type of fishing

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Quote:

I know not all of you may agree w/that as it is foreign to flyfishing. But when you think of it...so is pike/musky fishing.


how do you figure that? they've been fishing pike on the fly in Europe for at least 200 years confused.gif

If you want to use a snap on your line, go ahead, nobody's stopping you. I just stated that I'm still not convinced that that's the terminal connection I'd like to connect my fly to.

150 lb tippet may work for some guys as a shock tippet, but depending on the size of fly being used, it can be ridiculously big in some situations. If I'm fishing size 4-10 bass flies in known pike waters, I don't want to tie on 150 lb tippet. It just doesn't lead to good fly control or casting if I'm using my 6 or 7wt. I can still use the wire tippet on my 6/7 wt though since the 13 lb test wire is 0.013" diameter, the equivalent of 17 lb Climax mono tippet, or size 01X/02X tippet. That size of wire hasn't affected the ability to turn over that size of fly properly.

I refuse to spend my money on that steelon Berkley wire, it's overpriced and isn't as stout as some of the other brands. It's only 7 strand wire. They may claim it can knot easy, but not compared to the other wires out there. I'll pass.

If I didn't know any better, though, I'd say that surflon is made by the same manufacturer as the beadalon wire; the packaging is almost identical. coincidence?

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What knots are you using on the wire? I have a bunch of AFW Surflon in 20lb, 46lb, and 60lb test that I use for making lures but generally crimp them. The 20lb and 46lb should work rather well for Pike on the fly and am wondering how to rig it.

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Quote:

What knots are you using on the wire?


I usually use a double surgeon's knot. Last night I tied up some new leaders and tied a perfection loop at the end of the wire to connect to the rest of the leader. I am going to see how that works, that way I can just switch out new sections of wire as they need to be replaced, instead of having to change out the wire and the tippet.

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instead of using wire, cabelas makes a special barracuda leader, it has heavy mono or flouro line with a steel leader and snap. I just picked up about 15 of them for my trip to the keys and they worked great.

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When fishing for pike & musky I have had the best luck with titanium leader with snaps. They don't tend to kink the way steel can, and they are pretty light. I also like being able to change flies fast with the snap. Downsides are price and availablity. I did buy some 100lb triple fish flourocarbon this winter to try this year. Could anyone give me some idea what knots I can tie this stuff with?

When I fish bass in an area where I will probably hook a pike I use the this steel wire that you can tie. I think the bigger leader inhibits the action of smaller bass flies.

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I use about 9 inches of nylon coated steel leader, 20 pound test. It is tied to the tippet with an albright knot. To attach the fly I use a small duo-lock snap, size 1 I think, which tests 20-30 pounds at least. These snaps are a little over 1/2 inch long and are very light. The snap is attached to the leader with a twist melt knot.

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Quote:

instead of using wire, cabelas makes a special barracuda leader, it has heavy mono or flouro line with a steel leader and snap.


The scientific anglers leader you are referring to is basically what I am tying up. The only difference is, the wire I am using is 49 strand and not single strand wire. The 49 strand wire is a lot more flexible and knottable. Also they leaders I am making cost me no more than $1.50/ea; the baracuda leaders that you mention are about $6/ea.

I'm sure those titanium leaders are nice, I'm just not willing to spend between $8-11 for one leader.

If I get a snag, I don't want to be crying because I just snapped off a $6-11 leader. It's bad enough having to lose a fly that's worth about $3-6. I can live with losing a $1.50 leader, though, plus I don't need to go to the store to buy them. I can tie them on the water if need be.

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DEAD,

not sure why you got so wound up after reading my post as nothing I said was directed toward you. I quoted your post because I have had wire in the test everyone is mentioning break on me on numerous occasions, and no it wasn't the knot.

Heavy flouro works best for me because i'm casting huge flies w/ a 10wt going for very large pike and muskie. titanium leaders were mentioned....be careful as they can blow their crimps and come undone. the properties of the metal never allow it to relax after being crimped like steel so it has a tendency to force the crimps open to the point that it can slip out. if the titanium leaders being used are not crimped i have never heard of them so my input may not apply to those.

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bigfish, sorry if my post made it look like i was wound up. it wasn't my intention. sometimes text has a hard way of reflecting a posters mood.

anyone is free to rig up their rod any which way they want; that's the beauty of this forum, sharing everyone's different setup. It's nice to know what works and what doesn't.

I was just trying to state earlier that I have good luck using the 49 strand wire, due to it's flexibility, castability, and it's presentation on smaller flies. 150 lb mono shock tippet has its place, no doubt, but I'll stick with the smaller diameter wire until I feel that it no longer performs the way I need it to.

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