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MuskieFever

Braid on Ice

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I fish mostly perch and walleyes through the ice. I'm thinking about switching to braid for my walleye set ups. My main reasoning behind this is not only for better hooksets but this way I can break ice on my line better without worrying about line damage and sensitivity. How many of you use braid while ice fishing? Thinking about using 10lb braid tied to 6-8lb fluoro. Thoughts? What braid do you use?

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The problem I have with braid is that it absorbs water - and when it's below freezing, it stiffens up. In a shelter or when it's above freezing it works great, but for people like me who hole-hop a lot it's a gamble.

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I'm with Gelu, if you do a lot of hole hoppin on the open ice - line ices up badly with braids and you cannot get it off like mono you can on mono.  If I would find a braid/fused line that did not have this problem I would go with it since that is what I mostly use on my open water rods.  

If you mostly fish in a heated shelter then you won't have this problem, good to go with fluoro leader like you said.  10# braid is probably over kill for ice fishing.  I'd go with no more than 6#.

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I've got braid on my stiffer rods and mono on my panfish rods. One thing that can be a pain with braid is the knot will slip if you are using a bobber.

Edited by fishadb

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I was using Fireline Crystal Ice line and had that very same problem of the string type of stopper slipping . So I went to the plastic type with the 3 holes. It would hold  the bobber but by adjusting the depth a couple of times the friction would cause the fibers in the line to separate and really ice up.

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I only use Fireline Crystal Ice (black not white) and PowerPro Ice with no mono leader.  It does ice up initially JUST LIKE MONO.  After a while of fishing, the braided strands do "fray" or separate some from clearing the ice off the line and from the line rubbing against the side of your holes.  That's where you get bad waterlogged line and ice chunks.  I can go about at least 10 days of solid fishing before I notice it as a problem. 

Simple remedy is just to cut off 3-5' of line and re-tie your bait on.  This moves that "frayed" part down into the water where it won't be exposed to the freezing air temps and you will have a new section of line that gets wet and then exposed to freezing air temps when you jig up and down.  The frayed part isn't structurally compromised, it is just as strong, but the separated strands just absorb more water  causing it to freeze worse.  Last year I hole hopped probably about 40 days and only had to do this once. 

I'd rather deal with a little ice up than lose a fish due to line breaking.  Using mono, it's not a matter of if your line is going to break, its when!  I don't care if you've only snapped your mono off 5 times in the last 10 years or once caught a 15lb northern on 3lb mono, you will NEVER break 8 pound braid.  It is a simple as that.  You might go through a little more line but at $7 a spool it's not much if you think about it.  If you use mono and lose one lure, you just lost $5 that you will never get back and that might have been a once in a lifetime fish you just lost.  Personally, when I get that one chance at a 32" walleye or 16" perch, I'd rather be worrying about getting the fish up the hole than worrying about "is my line going to break". 

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I hole hop a lot and have Suffix Performance Ice Braid on all my rods and then use a 8lb fluro leader.  I know what some people are saying about ice build up on braid, but I guess I don't have that issue as much.  The ice braid is considerably better than just standard power pro type braid, but you'll still get more build up than mono.  However when I'm hole hopping I changing rods quite frequently until I find the find the right combo and then I should be catching fish which usually eliminates any of the build up. 

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I like to use Fireline Ice in 8# test or Nanofil in the same.  I've never had too much trouble with it icing up.  It holds really nice on the ice and I've yet to break it off on a hole edge.

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I don't care if you've only snapped your mono off 5 times in the last 10 years or once caught a 15lb northern on 3lb mono, you will NEVER break 8 pound braid.  

I've had pike bite through braid before - they're like scissors with fins. And if you use a fluorocarbon leader to reduce visibility or bite-offs, then you give up some of that "strength" that you pursued with braid in the first place. You're right in that it's very difficult to break braid by stretching, but it's painfully easy to do with a sharp object.

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I run the part of the braid that will contact water over a stick of chapstick this reduces freezup on sub zero days-get cherry, fish are attracted to it (kidding)

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I run the part of the braid that will contact water over a stick of chapstick this reduces freezup on sub zero days-get cherry, fish are attracted to it (kidding)

Seaguar recommends using chapstick as a lubricant when tying knots in their fluorocarbon lines . I think I will give your idea a try.

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The spacing between the braid is gonna hold water, there's not much one can do about that.  However reducing the speed of how fast you reel up will allow a lot of water droplets to run off.  Also line pinching goes a long way.

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Well ok I'm kind of a P line convert of late. I have a spool of Power Pro that I will use when I go for Tullies in a month. For Tullies the fish are deep so the no stretch is great, the weather will be warm so freeze -up will not be an issue. P line is great for ice fishing because it is supple like mono but does not absorb water like mono because it is coated with flouro. Flouro will stretch so again I will use PP for Tulies. Some of you are thinking but use a mono or flourocarbon leader. Those fish are so nearsighted, not needed I have tried it both ways. So of course we do not have one line that is perfect for everything.

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Fused lines like fire line or nanofil will absorb less water than a true braid. I run fire line crystal 6# on my jigging rods, and have a few with flouro for hole hopping when its really cold.

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I use 6# Fireline Ice on my walleye rods and have had no problems with it.  Instant hook sets are great and I don't usually have an issue with stiff, icy lines even in the colder temps.

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