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New to River Steelies

Discussion in 'Steelhead Talk' started by Walleye Mafia, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Walleye Mafia

    Walleye Mafia Proud Walleye Addict

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    I have caught alot of steelies by accident trolling on the big lake and I am wanting to battle one on a spinnig rod this fall. My question is, what would be the best line (lb. test, brand, floro or mono) for a starting point? I know they fight like beasts, but I would think they would be kinda line shy if the water is clear. Any help would be very greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!
     
  2. You'll get varying opinions, but I use Siglon F, 12 lb test (it's about 6 lb test diameter in mono), and then either P-line or Seaguar flourocarbon. Either use a swivel, or tie the two lines together directly. Depending on what type of water you are fishing, you'll want your leader to be about 4-6 feet. You are right, they are line shy in clear water. However, I have seen many guys catch them without even using flourocarbon. But to catch them consistently, you will wnat to use the fluoro.
     

  3. WhoolyBugger

    WhoolyBugger grateful thread

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    I hear a lot of guys talking about using floracarbon leaders.....My question is- Can I attach a 3-6ft section of floracarbon on the end of my tapered leader with a surgeons knot and fly cast without compromising the overall casting abililty? Or risk possible break off from an angry steelhead?
     
  4. whooly, i tie my own leaders. if you learn to tie a blood knot you can taper your own leaders. mine start with 10lb then 8 then 6 sometimes start with 8 end with 4. i caught a steelie two weeks ago swinging a clouser minnow and the knots held up great. its also nice to be able to decide the length of your leader instead of using the prebought tapered ones.
     
  5. For your mainline on a spinning rod for steelies I say nothing but mono. Of all the different types of lines (mono, fluoro, co-polymers, braids) mono has the most stretch, and stretch equals shock absorbtion against the steelhead's explosive runs. If all you are doing is casting hardware (spoons, spinners, cranks) any standard monofilament line would do, but most steelhead anglers do some amount of float fishing as well. When float fishing it is beneficial to have a high visibilty floating monofilament line. Most monos float to some degree but eventually become waterlogged and sink. The specialized float lines such as Siglon F, Ande, and Optimum are more water resitant and thus more buoyant. You can increase the buoyancy of any mono by treating it with fly line dressing. Even these specialized float lines will eventually lose buoyancy when they get weighed down by the dirt in the water. Buoyancy can be restored by cleaning the line using one of the various line cleaners available. For regular mono lines 8lb test is probably most commonly used. Note that most lines you come across called 8lb test are given this rating because of line diameter and not actual breaking strength. Most of the good float lines are rated based on actual breaking strength. Siglon F, as Archman mentioned, seems to be most commonly used. I use Optimum float line in 12lb test (around 6lb - 8lb test diameter).

    Steelhead have very keen eyesight and since these fish see a lot of angling pressure I say that fluorocarbon leaders are a must! Fluorocarbon has nearly the same light refractory properties as water, thus making it nearly invisible to the fish. Use the fluoro lines made especially for leaders (usually on smaller spools of about 30 yards) rather than fluoro mainlines. The fluoro leader line is more abrasion resistant and holds up much better. I'd recommend having at least 2 different lb tests of leader material with you. When the water is more stained and/or the fish aren't as pressured you can use a heavier leader, but when the water is low and clear and/or fishing pressure is high you may need to tie on a lighter leader. I like the Raven Invisible and Blackbird brand fluorocarbon leaders and I use them from 3.4lb test up to 6.8lb test (actual breaking strength). Always use a lighter lb test leader than your mainline and don't use a stronger leader than your rod is rated for. I always use a microswivel to connect my fluoro leader to my mainline to help reduce line twist. The best advice on line that I can give is to visit a good shop that is well stocked with a variety of specialized steelhead gear and is ran by knowledgeable people, such as Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake http://www.erieoutfitters.com/index.htm.

    John
     
  6. Another suggestion, if your on a budget. Buy the 250 yd spools they're cheaper in the long run and work just as well. Clear water calls for 4lb and as the water becomes more muddy, you can go to a heavier line. I carry 4lb and 8lb spools. Last me a season, and the line casts just the same when dead drifting nymphs and eggs.

    Use a micro swivel to attach the tippet and leader together, plus the swivel I feel helps relieve some pressure when the crazy chrome does its spin / twist moves to try to break off the line.
     
  7. Walleye Mafia

    Walleye Mafia Proud Walleye Addict

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    Thank you very much guys! I think this will give me a good starting point! Im glad I asked because I honestly didnt even know floating mono existed (thought it was only fly line) and I plan on doing some float fishing. This site is awesome!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again