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Braid or mono?

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Hey Guys -

Forgive the basic question... I'm just getting back into cats after a long absence - haven't fished them since the Red was in my back yard in college - so my cat knowledge is circa 1990... I'm a little behind the times. But my in-laws are in SW MN close to some decent cat water, so I've been getting after them a little now and then when I'm down there visiting.

Mostly fishing spinning gear drifting cut bait under a slip bobber, and occasionally using either cut bait or dip bait on a slip rig with baitcasting gear. I'm using circle hooks almost all the time, and I'm wondering about braid vs. mono. Back in the day we used to do slip rigs with mono main line and a dacron leader because the dacron was softer than heavy mono.

I'm fishing some pretty small water (sometimes real small), so the cats I'm dealing with aren't huge. An 8 pounder is big. I can get away with 12-15 lb mono or 20# braid pretty easily. I've found walleye fishing that mono actually works a little better than braid with circle hooks because of the stretch, but I really like how braid handles on spinning gear vs. stiffer abrasion-resistant mono like XT or Big Game.

So - anyone noticed any difference in hooking success with braid vs mono using circle hooks, or have any opinions? Or am I overthinking this?

(I'd forgotten how much fun wading for cats is. Makes me want to try Flatheads sometime. Only major gamefish in MN I've never caught - heh. smile )

Thanks -


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Sound like you've already got it figured out.

Other than line capacity and sensitivity, you won't be gaining much by using braid and since you are using circle hooks, I would probably stick with the mono, the stretch factor helps a lot in letting the circle hook do what it's designed to.

However, if you find that braid is making life so much easier in terms of casting distance and placement, it won't hurt to switch over either, just go easy on the hooksets wink

If you ever want to tag along on a Flathead hunt, let me know.

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Hiya -

Thanks dtro. The spinning rod I use for drifting floats is pretty soft in the tip so I think I may keep braid on it. Does handle better, although distance isn't really an issue - lots of my 'casts' are underhanded flips. Might keep mono on the slip rig rod though. It's a little stiffer so the stretch from Big Game might help.

Love to take you up on the Flathead offer sometime.



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