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About mainbutter

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    Sr HSO Family

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    Minneapolis, MN
  1. 100% agree. I don't like fluoro at all except as leader material because of the weird ways it behaves sometimes. I love light tests as tippet material for fly fishing, I love 20-200lb tests as medium protection against esox bite-offs, and I love it when fishing in clear water for skittish fish and seeing a leader seems to spook fish I'm sight fishing for. Back to back unis are easy to tie, I start with an 18'' length and retie and trim down to 6-8 inches before putting on a new section of leader.
  2. See Igor's post for the key basic info. I'm going to type some things that will likely be useless for you, but hopefully show why your line choice doesn't matter too much. Mono definitely still holds its own. Braid is very strong for its smaller line diameter, but it cuts easily. Thick mono might have less breaking strength but more abrasion resistance. Fluoro is this weird middle ground where it is the "hardest" line, but once you do get it damaged you want to replace it - hence why some people use it to limit bite-offs when targeting esox but they don't want to use wire. Different mono brands will have different hardnesses, different breaking strength for line diameter, and some will degrade faster with time and sun exposure. The same goes for fluoro and braid. Different braids will use almost the same materials, but # of strands, type of weave, and any finishing techniques in production affect wear and tear, longevity, breaking strength, knot performance, cross section (rounded vs flat) etc. Mono and fluoro degrade with sun exposure, and should be replaced regularly with use. Braid doesn't and can last years. You're probably only fishing the midwest, but line choice gets much more complicated when you branch out, and even then it comes down to personal preference and the reels you are using. To give an example of the choice you WON't likely need to make: If you were loading a 16/0 penn senator, some prefer to maximize yardage by putting on braided backing and doing a mono topshot of anywhere between 10 and 50% of the total spool, and some like the simplicity of just spooling up the whole darn thing with 200lb mono. One of the benefits of using braided backing over straight mono is that re-spooling a 200 yard top shot is ten times easier than respooling 2000 yards of an entire spool, leave your braid on for 5 years or more and just change out the top shot as needed. Most like the mono topshot for the abrasion resistance. If you're doing a braid backing, do you go with 200lb braid? 400lb? Do you maximize your yardage by decreasing diameter? If you tie in to a 1000lb fish, do you want 2000 yards of 200lb test, or 4000 yards of smaller test? Different folks, different strokes, but this is the type of situation where line selection may very well result in a lost fish or a caught fish, or a live release versus a dead fish you intended to release. I've seen no reason to need braided line for fishing MN except for tossing musky lures or dealing with snags. Even with sturgeon and river cats, I'd make the argument I'd prefer a small avet lever drag reel with 80-130lb mono over an abu 7000 and 80lb-130lb braided line. That said: I have very few rigs, and almost all are 95% 50lb+ braided line, a few layers of mono backing to prevent slippage, and a leader of 25lb+ fluorocarbon tied directly on with back to back uni knots. This setup is versatile and can be easily taken to the river and fish for catfish and bust snags, but on a medium sized reel can be just as effective chucking crankbaits and spinnerbaits for predators in a lake. My favorite part is not changing out my line every season, and I can keep my two rods and two reels in my car with a limited tackle box and fish at any given opportunity. tl;dr: they all work great. There are some differences, but if you're walleye/bass/pike fishing it won't make a huge difference
  3. mainbutter

    Toad recommendations

    Honestly, I buy whatever the cheapest one is as far as weedless hollow soft bodied frog lures go. 90% of them are white on the bottom anyways, and pike chew them up badly when they hit. That's just me though.
  4. mainbutter

    Crazy Archery

    He is a very skilled trick shooter and very entertaining. Don't buy in to all his "historical" claims, however
  5. We have a complete mix of stuff that we've tried these past few years and still run metal spigots w/ hanging buckets as well as tubes going to jugs or buckets on the ground.
  6. mainbutter

    Top Water Pike Baits

    My go-to lures for pike fishing when I was a kid were: 1) buzz baits 2) jointed balsa rapalas I was convinced these were the only things that would work when I was 6. I've since proven myself wrong, but they still hold a special place for me. So yeah, topwater lures? Buzz baits.
  7. mainbutter

    What's your favorite line for your crappie rod's?

    5wt intermediate sinking line, I can throw slightly heavier flies and also get them down a bit deeper 4wt WFF, my classic favorite for panfish as long as they can come up to shallower than 6ft deep and hit a fly. both typically using 4-6lb fluoro tippet to any decent leader
  8. mainbutter

    spoolin up

    I run braid on all my rigs, it doesn't deteriorate like mono does and I'm not sure how fluoro reacts with UV light etc. Most of the time I tie on a small section of fluoro leader. I probably start with 18'' and can retie it down to 8'' or so as I change lures. This gives me some protection against pike and a little bit of line invisibility at the connection. I figure if 6 month old babies don't have the concept of object permanence down, fish probably aren't that great at it either, and a few inches is pretty good.
  9. mainbutter


    +1 on the cocoons. Love the things, as does my crappy eyesight and wallet.
  10. mainbutter

    Pike reel

    You won't hook more fish with a curado 300 vs the 200. Match the tackle to the lure/bait As long as you have braided mainline and proper drag settings, you'll have more than enough muscle to go after any esox around. I actually do most of my June fishing with medium power spinning gear, as I'm trolling jointed shad rap 9s quite a bit (I don't use big lures much at all in the early open water season). 20-30lb braided line lets me put 5-10lbs of drag on any fish, which is more than enough stopping power for any size esox. I probably even start out with 3 or 4lbs of drag. A true monster is a great fight, but lets face it these aren't tuna. Your 200's max drag should be in the 15lbs area for a full spool, that'll muscle in a 4 footer with ease if you have line and terminal tackle to match. The baitcasting reels and big lures come out later in the year for me.
  11. mainbutter

    How much rod for how much reel?

    This question is totally dependent on what species you are targeting and what tactics you're implementing. Lindy rigging/slip sinker bait fishing for 4lb nibbling fish where sensitivity is necessary - reel is much less important than the rod. When it comes to casting lures, there are a million rods in the <$70 market that will do the job, but I'm always willing to invest more than $70 in a reel. Nothing is more of a pain than a reel that gives you problems when you're casting over and over. When it comes to bigger-game fishing, both are important, but big game reels are just more expensive to design and manufacture than big game rods. There is no way I'd consider a $400 rod with a $50 reel for shark or tuna fishing, but especially buying used I could make the reverse work even if it's not ideal. So this begs the question: what do you want your combo for? The difference between $40 and $60 rods is often negligible and you won't be buying more bites. The difference between $40 and $60 reels can be the difference between frustration and easy fishing IMO. Most of the spinning reels I've bought on sale for $60+ or not on sale for $70+ I've been tremendously happy with. Keep an eye out for sales leading up to opener, all the big box stores will be competing for business with sales where practically everything is cheaper by 15% or so.
  12. mainbutter

    Mille Lacs Muskies

    Age, environment, genetics, and of course there are the food sources. I was astounded at seeing the sucker spawn there a few years ago, just incredible how huge it was. Having a forage that can consist of tullibees and suckers has got to do good things for growth rates.
  13. mainbutter

    Crappie-Killing Pike

    really makes me want MN to liberalize what can be used for bait. Sigh
  14. mainbutter

    Trading in guns

    The nature of the business is you will lose, guaranteed. They make a profit selling used guns for used gun prices, and buying used guns for less than used gun prices. Just because you get the short stick doesn't mean the stick should be tiny compared to what the retailer gets. Find a place where you are both happy with a trade-in offer. To maximize a trade-in, stay away from big-box stores and find a small business that has good volume. Volume keeps them from needing gouge you, and you're more likely to be able to bargain for a good deal to get store credit from somewhere that isn't Gander Mountain/Cabelas/Bass Pro. Do some phone legwork so you're not wasting $ on gas just trying to save some $ by finding a deal that is good for you and the place you trade at. Just my .02, good luck!
  15. mainbutter

    Using a gaff?

    from the regs: - (canada/mn border) A person cannot possess or use a gaff while fishing on the Rainy River - (sodak/mn border) It is unlawful to possess a spear, spring gaff, or bow and arrow on or adjacent to any body of water where the spearing and archery season is closed. I've always assumed it is, but your local CO is just a phone call away, and the DNR is even easier to contact via email, if not necessarily as immediate to repsond. Please don't gaff fish if there is a chance you'll release them. Even those lip grippers (not ideal for esox for sure) are a better choice than gaffs for a potential release. There is still potential for harm for any fish you use a lip gripper on, but a gaffed fish is a dead fish unless it's very lucky.