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So I see all of these posts about rods and casting small rigs, but what is considered acceptable?

 

I know this is different if you need to get out there with a slip float or if you're tossing a light jig.  That being said, how far do you cast your 1/32oz jigs and how bout your slip floats?

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When making a leader, does this bring down the over all tensile strength of the line?  Meaning if I use 10lb mono and tie a 4lb leader, you should treat the rig as if it were 4lb mono correct?

If this is the case, why not just use the 4lb mono all the way through?  Or is it simply for the fact that you mentioned?  Not wanting to lose the tackle attached?

Correct- your leader will bring down the strength of your rig but you want the main line to be closer to the leader line in breaking strength. 6 lb. main line to 4 lb. main line or better yet - 4 lb. main line to a 2 lb. leader for gills is right on the money.

Although the standard shelf 4 lb. is pretty thick line as far as live bait rigs go this is very strong line and a little too thick for anything but Bruce's Frankenstein gills. If you run into a bunch of monster gills, simply switch to a leader line that is the (same) strength as your main line and you are ready for action. It is very quick for an angler to switch the leader after breaking off on larger fish. It is a very slow time to sit with thick line that the fish are ignoring...

Johnny.  Thank you for your fishing school pod-cast.  The information you have given me is priceless.  Your pod-cast and this website has corrected my previous woeful fishing path.  I will be purchasing tackle from your on-line store shortly.  Warning.  A handful of questions are on the way.  First,  when using a 12 foot waggler rod with 2-4 lb main line, do you use the small model spinning reel, or does a larger model balance the rod better?  Second, What method do you use to quickly re rig your leader line or hook length (do you use the loop to loop connection, cut and retie, or do you use a micro swivel, snap, or snap-swivel)?  Last of all, since I live near you (Kane County), do any bait shops stock the Anchor brand shot, good thinner diameter line, and quality hooks in small sizes?  Keep up the good work Johnny.  Let's make those big-box stores quiver in fear when put up against superior tackle and fishing methods of the majority.

Bring those questions on! Thank you for the listens on the Podcast for certain.

10 or 12 foot waggler rod with 4 lb. main line - 3 if you can find it but this is rare will be excellent! The larger spinning reels will balance that rod out nicely as the weight of the larger reel will both balance the rod weight out as well as provide you with a larger spool. 

Use backer line on a new spool - the cheapest you can find. I would put 6 or 8lb. cheap Trilene or whatever is the cheapest on the back half of the reel. Then put 1/2 your spool of the better line on the front end. You will rarely change the back spool line and it's only use is to take up half that spool so you can spend less on newer line - and replace the top 1/2 more often - annual replacement or every other year will work.

For quick replacement of leaders I pre-tie a set of 6-10 leaders and put them on cardboard. These all have a loop at the top. If I get an older hook (yes you will catch so many fish you will literally wear out the hook point) you can change the hook in a minute. Loop-to-loop is amazing for quick-changes! I tie 2 lb. leaders on the 4 lb./ 3 lb. main. I also have on hand a few thick hook lengths (some 3 or 4 lb. hook lengths) just in case I start to break off bigger fish.

You are in luck living close- Elk Grove Village - Lee's Bait & Tackle is my home store and they will have everything in stock I talk about and more this Spring. There are new tools on the way that will start their life at this store. I am working on line and hooks. If you are interested in our fish ing club we meet and fish around DuPage County mostly and some to the North but I rotate the club events all around. The good news is they are to the West. All club members get 10% off at Lee's (Carol Stream and Elk Grove Village). You could wait for the Spring show coming up in a few weeks, they have a barbecue and seminars - I most likely will be there as well.

Some day the big box stores will carry a small portion of what I have been harping on. Believe it or not there are some stronger line rigs I am going to work on coming up as well as jig and fly presentation so I have a thing or to to brush up on! It has been ages since I have presented anything but ultra-natural rigs. Jigs!?!!

Thanks for the note Peter, hope to meet up with you on the bank or at the store this season.

For Trout fishing I do head out West as well. We do have classes this Spring in Naperville, Downers Grove and Oak Brook. I teach advanced float fishing, trout fishing and even bass fishing.... (what?!).

Kind Regards,

Johnny

Meant to put this under Donald Kern's post:

This is why I carry multiple colors.  I've found that with bright sunshine, the classic red/white combo works great.  However, low-light conditions, such as clouds, early dawn, twilight, dimly-lit areas at night, etc., a chartreuse float works great.

For night-time use, I prefer to use floats that have a plastic stem running completely through the float.  I will use those little rubber sleeves from Rod & Bob's, and slip it over the stem.  Then, I insert a lithium battery LED into the other sleeve, and turn it on.  On smaller floats, like the cigar floats from Comal Tackle, this will tend to make the float list, but not topple.  A weighted slip-float might work better, but I tend to switch over to a styrofoam pear slip float at that time.  On my big pole floats without a stem, I just use black electrical tape and tape the LED to the top of the float.  I've also seen a balsa slip-float that incorporates a translucent plastic cover over one or more of these LEDs.  I don't have any, yet, but it's on my "to-get" list.  Of course, I haven't done much night-fishing in the past couple years, either.

Orange in bright sun is great or black will also work - one tip, you can use is to carry some white out with you so that when it gets dusk and low light, you can pain the tip with some white out to buy yourself another :45 minutes of fishing before the sun goes down. The best bobber for night that I have seen for casting is the Gamakatsu lighted LED bobber. It is really nice although a little big.

The stem floats can all have a light stick attached to the tip of the float where you can extend your fishing well into night time. I have a great pole float coming where you can just pull the stem out and slip a light stick in as the new stem - really cool.

Have you ever tried wrapping the top stem of a float with reflective automotive tape?  I do that with the tips of my Catfish poles for night-fishing.  Most of the areas I fish at night are lit, and the reflective tape really helps me see the tips of my poles.

I have not done that but that would work well with some sort of small light pointing at them.

I have made my own glow tip floats when I was forced to. 

If you find the right surgical tubing that matches the thickness of the stem of your float and you get some of those crack-glow sticks that fit the tubing - you are in business if planning to stick it out into darkness. Some store sell this tubing in packs - large silicon tube. At one point when Lindy was a real float company, they were selling a large yellow silicon in a package. Any generic tube from a hardware store will be 5x less expensive.

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