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lead core line question


Hoffer

Question

Ok...so I am looking into trying to get my deep diving plugs a little deeper.

Currently I have some plugs rated for about 20 feet that with the "round" superline - at around 14 pound diameter - I can get down to about 25 feet. Thats at around 2 to 3 mph.

I would like to try and get down to around 35 to 40 feet withouth the issue of using a downrigger etc...

I have never used lead core line.

I have a few questions.

1. Can I put lead core on my "regular" sized baitcasters? or do you need a much larger sized reel?

2. Are there different lead core line options - like regular line? and if so, what would the recommendations be for trying to get 10 to 15 feet more of depth.

3. When using lead core line do you use a leader of regular mono on the end? How do you tie it 0n? with a swivel? about how long of a leader?

3. Last, when using lead core line - do you lose some of the "feel" when bringing the fish in? I dont want to lose all the feel and fun of a fighting fish just to gain an extra 10 or 15 feet...

Thanks for any advice!!

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If the superline you're using is 14 lb diameter, consider dropping to 30 or 20 lb superline which will be 8lb and 6lb diameter. That will get you a bit more depth, maybe 10%-20% more --- but still won't get you in the 35-40 foot range.

The most common size leadcore with the walleye guys is 18 lb. The salmon guys typically go heavier, something like 36 lb. The lb rating has to do with the strength of the dacron sheath over the lead, it doesn't have anything to do with the lead itself.

You can put leadcore on any level-wind reel, but it's bulky and takes up a lot of space. You're not going to fit much on a "regular" sized reel.

The rule of thumb for leadcore is that each color of lead (10 yards) gets you 4-5 feet of depth at 2.0 - 2.2 mph. So if you want to get down 35 feet you're looking at 7-8 colors of lead, and that takes a BIG reel. Another option is using segmented leadcore, where you basically splice in some leadcore to the line you're currently using. 3 colors is a common amount, and should add about 15 feet to your depth. I used to use segmented leadcore but now I usually go with 6-7 colors spooled on a reel, along with some backing and the leader. At faster speeds you need more lead in the water to maintain the depth you want.

I usually use flouro or mono leaders, it depends on the water clarity where I'm fishing. And I go with leaders from 10-20 feet long, or from 35-50 feet long --- again, depending on water clarity and where I'm fishing, and what baits I'm using. I strip some lead out of the sheath and tie my leaders on with back-to-back uni-knots (a confidence knot for me).

With leadcore you definately lose some feel, because you've got all that lead snaking around in the water. It's a fun and effective way to fish, but you definately give up some feel.

Hope that helps!

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Perch has it nailed down pretty good. Most guys run a line counter reel for repeatability but you can get pretty close by counting the colors.

I personally use a 10' leader, some are mono and some are fireline.

If your serious about using lead core get yourself the trolling bible, it has all of the information you will ever need.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

A couple of good leadcore reels are the Penn 320 GT and the Daiwa Sealine or Accudepth line counter reels in the 47 size. I use Penns on my set up and just counter colors and do just fine.

If you have a 6000 series reel like a abu 6500 you'd have enough room for 3 colors of 18# lead core with 20 lb braid and a 10-12# flouro or mono leader. get enough line out and you should be getting close to those depths your looking for.

Another option is running wire on you reels. If you run solid wire you could likely run it on you current set ups. Braided wire would require a special rod. Wire is thinner and with copper you need half as much of it into the water to achieve the same depths as leadcore. You also have great feel with wire when fighting fish.

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Wow, I'm using 10' of leader (mono), I'm surprised to hear that you use as much as 35' of leader material...I may need to change my set-up because i've yet to catch a fish with my leadcore set-up. I have a heck of a time telling when i'm pulling my crank through the mud or when i'm just above the bottom. Even harder time when i'm pulling a suttle crank, like an origional floater.

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A GOOD trolling rod goes a long way with leadcore to help see what is going on. I personally like the Scheels brand of leadcore rods in either the 10' or 12' range. I heard Limit Creek has one coming out soon too so that one should be good as well.

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I'm surprised to hear that you use as much as 35' of leader material...

When I run long leaders I start at 50 feet, and let them get down to 35 feet before I put on a new 50 foot leader.

It's not that often that I run leaders that long, but on super clear lakes and finicky bites they can be the trick sometimes. And you need to keep in mind that you'll get more depth from your bait with a longer leader, unless you're running a stick bait.

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Thats great stuff guys! Thanks!!

However, now I am considering rethinking my strategy. I really dont want to lose any feel when fighting a fish. If I am going to spend the money on a new reel big enough to take lead core and possibly a new longer rod - I may just start with a entry level portable downrigger - and see how I like that first.

I hearthe portable riggers only take like an 8 pound ball and that may not be enough to get down really deep like when trying to troll for trout in 80 feet...but all I am really interesting in is getting down into the water column to about 40 feet. There are some areas I troll in Canada where the big eyes seem to hang out under the clouds of bait fish. The water depth is usually 60 feet, and the baitfish are usually 40 feet or so...I just want to be able to run my lure through those baitfish 40 feet down - rather than 25 feet down and right on top of them. I have caught a few 10 pounders doing this (25 feet down) - but I have a feeling that anextra 1o to 15 feet would help produce alot more fish.

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Interested!

Tell me what you guys do with those and whats they best way?

In the past I have tried to tie on one of those 1 or 2 oz oblong shspe lead weights. They have a connection on each end - and you can then put a line down with a weight and then a leader behind that with your lure...but to be honest I am not sure I noticed a big difference?

And the big thing for me is I dont want to give up feeling the fish.

Early this spring we ran accross some guys trolling for trout. They had 5 foot long rods that were as thick as a quarter all the way up to the rod tip - then they had a 1 pound ball attached to the line and the lures running behind that. They did catch a fair amount of trout - but i cant imagine reeling up an 8 pound fish with a 1 pound ball weight attached...cant be too much fun. Thats really more fishing "just to catch a fish" not to feel the fight etc...

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Hoffer-

Its gonna take a bit of experimenting on your part but the "Trollers Bible" discusses the "20 Plus" Method for snap weighting diving crankbaits.

This is verbatim from the book...

"The method is very simple. First refer to the standard Dive Curve for your lure. Addition of a 1 ounce snap weight exactly 20 feet from the lure, as measured on the line counter, will cause the lure to run 33% deeper."

I'm not going to reproduce the chart but lures that are diving 25'-35' are diving about 9' deeper with the addition of a 1 oz snap weight. Looking back at your lure selection and the depths your trying to hit, might be tough with this method but would more weight work a bit better. Thats why I'm thinking some experimenting is in order.

Off-Shore Tackle has a nice snap weight kit that uses a planer board release that you clip on your line to hold the weight. You can then interchange the weights as needed. You have to unclip the snap weight from the line when fighting the fish.

Honestly... I don't have a lot of experience with this but it may be an option for you.

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good advice!!

I will try that. When i tried it before I only had about a 6 foot leader on behind the weight - I suppose this isnt enough leader?

I have 5 days to experiement later this September!!

Any other comments/ideas are appreciated!

Thanks hanson!

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Snapweights work well and the bible explains that too. They are kind of a poor mans leadcore but they are not without their issues as well. Just like with planer boards, when removing the snapweight you run a higher risk of losing the fish during the removal.

A couple of months ago in the FLW Walleye magazine there was a great article on running 6 and 8 oz snapweights to get to whatever depth you want. I believe it was at 2MPH let out 30' of line, snap on a 8oz weight and let out approximatly double the depth you want to target. So if you want to fish 35' you would let out approx 70', adjust as needed. Now if you do this you will need an Off Shore OR16 clip with the center pin. The center pin is critacle to keep from losing the weight and clip. Wrap the line once around the clip.

I know there has been a great amount of info given here in these posts and there are several ways to get your lures where you want so pick the one you want to go with. Oh, and nobody has mentioned Dipsey Divers yet. shocked

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I would second the snap weights a an inexpensive and very effective method. It is much easier to run snap weights if you have a line counter reel but it is possible without under the right circumstances. To effectively run snap weights without a line counter just run out about 20' to 30' of line, clip on the snap weight, run out line until you start ticking the bottom, and reel up a few feet. I usually use 3 or 4oz weights.

Another option to consider is a handline. Been running handlines for 3+ years with good results. The main advantage of handines over snap weights or leadcore is you can immediately adjust for depth changes, keeping your lures at the correct depth a greater percent of the time.

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