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hanson

Favorite Line for Catfish

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What's your favorite line for cats?

Actually, I think I'm picking up an Okuma Bait Feeder spinning reel this weekend and need to spool it with something.

I searched a few pages back and found a couple recommendations for 50 pound PowerPro. I really like PowerPro in general so I wouldn't hesitate to use this line.

Any of you other cat pros have a favorite line?

And while we're talking line, in a normal bait rig for the river (sinker, bead, swivel, leader to a circle hook), what do you prefer for the leader material? Same line as the mainline or do you switch up to a mono leader?

This will be a general duty cat rod for me so it needs to handle average cats up to the larger MN river flats I hope to catch this sumemr.

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I have 2 cat rods, one has 50 lb Power Pro, the other has 20 lb Stren Catfish. With the power pro, i will usually tie on my sinker then bead swivel, 2 ft of mono, 30 lb will go on then, I don't really have a reason for it, if i do get snagged it will break before the Power Pro so i get my hook back, and i think that it acts like a little shock absorber. On the mono, i usually tie a 3 way rig, using the same line for both splits.

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I'm a mono guy .. and lighter than most other catfisherman.. For mono, Trilene Gig Game is by far the best I have found.. I have straitened split rings on 10" suicks Musky fishing(20# big game) with that stuff.

Overall .. I use 20# most of the time flathead fishing.. in real snag infested water I will use 30#.. sometimes I will use as light as 15# line if theres minimal snags, and lots of water to fight the fish. I use very long (8'-12') rods that absorb a lot of the shock on the big fish making lighter line possible... reels have drags for a reason.

Hooks(circle and other).. what ever size works best for the bait you are using. Flathead fishing, anything smaller than 3/0 is pretty useless. Hooks seem to vary greatly from each manufacturer.. I never use anything larger than 8/0, but some people will use 10/0 and 12/0 hooks.

I have yet to find extremely large hooks with a light enough diameter to not kill the average bait that needs that class of hook within a fairly short period of time.. I like my bait to kick more than 15 minutes. I have been known to make a quick strike type of rig with a 2nd single hook attatched to the bait with a rubber band.

Weights .. this can vary greatly also. If your in a boat you can get away with less weight by casting directly down current. If your fishing from shore and you need to make a considerable cast cross-current.. you may need an anchor to keep it pegged. I try to keep weights from 1oz - 5oz on hand. Most of the time it takes a weight around 2oz-3oz to hold my bait in place if I'm not casting 100 miles from the shore(shore fishing)... this can vary greatly from one bait to another.. it's easy to peg a 6" bullhead, but a 14" sucker is a whole new world.

Flathead fishing you do not need a long leader.. I use whatever line I have spooled on the reel. My average leader is 4"-6" long.. just enough so the weight doesnt damage the baitfish while casting, or knock it loose.

Beads come in handy to keep the weight from smashing the knot.. they seem far more forgiving than 3oz of lead under stress. A bead before the hook can be a little color attractant.. if anything, it might give the fisherman a little more confidence in their presentation.

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I've been converted to a power pro guy. I run either the 65 or 80lb with long rods, 10-12' I believe the longer rods give some stretch back into the equation that you lose with a super line. It's always kind of cool to see how big that snag really is! You will be amazed what you can pull up. If you are worried about losing stuff, youcan run a lighter line behind a swivel, but I don't. The last time I used mono was two years ago, that big mono sure can make a mess out of stuff. That and the power pro last for a very long time, I'm not to affraid to run a couple of years on the same line. tough stuff, very tough, and easy to work with.

my .02, MNRiverRat

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I also favor PowerPro. I actually do run a Mono leader after the swivel though. The Mono holds up better to abrasion then super lines, works as a shock absorber and the kitties seem to chew up PP after a few fish.

Has anyone else notice this? Not sure if others do this, but I run my leaders #5-10#less then the main line, if the hook snags I still can get the sinker back.

MNRiverRat,

I bet your RiverPo really goes with that 75hp?

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Power Pro guy here too. Allthough there are many good super braids....is that even a word any more? "super braid?".

Tuff Line Xp gets some use on my reels as well. It has a good "body" like Power Pro. I'll grab that if they don't have PP in my favorite strenght.

I don't use a lighter leader when fishing cats. Yes your going to loose a few less sinkers, but why use such a strong line then put a weak link in it. I got money for sinkers....

I will however use a mono dropper or leader when fishing SHARP rip rap. You have to! wink.gif

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power pro guy here too. I always have at least one rod with 30# mono on it though. I don't use leaders. The weakest part of your rig are the knots. Why increase the number of knots by 200% when introducing a leader unless you want to increase your chances of a knot failing by 200% as well. Just my opinion smile.gif If you rig a dropper you don't weaken your direct link to the fish, you just weaken your link to the bottom unless you rig the dropper with the ever popular 3-way swivel. When I rig a dropper, I use swivel and let it slide freely on the main line and use a bead and bobber stop to adjust how far from the hook I want the dropper to be.

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I only use power pro as well. Way more sensitive than mono you can usually feel your bait wigglin around. As far as riggin with or without a leader weight on the line or on a dropper. Depends on conditions for me.

AHHHHHH.....the winter hibernation is over nice to be back on the board.

rob

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I'll take Berkley Big Game over anything on the market. My personal favorite is 20 lb. Berkley Big Game Solar.

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Berkley Big Game, High Vis. is my favorite. If U have a couple of guys fishing out of the back of a boat and one hooks up it is much easier to see where the fish is running with the high vis and I find the big game good on not nicking on our bottom.

Concerning leaders I NEVER use a leader nor a snap. I tie directly to hook using a palimor. I have had very few if any I can remember knots (palimor) break. Instead of using beads, try pieces of gasoline hose, I find it much softer and works better. Mind U I only use inline sinkers.

May I sugguest do NOT worry about snags. I find when U get snagged most and I mean most of the time it is the lead that is snagged up and let the fish pull the snag out. When U are snagged up your bait is NOT swinging crazy on the bottom. I don't leave it there forever but maybe an extra 5 minutes before I break off.

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Good tip on waiting the snags out, Canuck. That definitely works often up in the rocks at Lockport!!

I had used 30-40 lb Big Game or XT for many years. Made a switch to Cabela's Ripcord and loved everything but the cost. However the cost did pay because I used that line for about 4-5 years with no troubles or wear.

I switched to Stren Superbraid 65 lb. and 80 lb Power Pro and have had great success.

Braided lines work especially well when casting long distances when slip float fishing.

MJ

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MJ - Do you have problems adjusting the depth for slip bobbers when using braided line? Neoprene stoppers get destroyed on me and thread kinda gets stuck where I had it. Mono is what I use for slip bobbers.

Curious to hear how your rigging slip bobbers with braid...

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I ALWAYS use the Green FireLine and ALWAYS will, I'm sold on that stuff. Great strength and small diameter. I have yet to break a line on a fish yet, and until I do, it's what I'll use.

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Korn-

I have had troubles, but I do believe I've refined things to the point where the problems are minimal.

First off, I don't use the neoprene stops. I use the regular knot-type tops made from heavy-duty thread or whatever it is they use. Using the stops made from the lighter material has been a failure. I try to find the the heaviest manufactured stops. I wish I could give you a brand name, but it escapes me now. Since the dangling tag ends on the stop don't seem to interfere when you are using heavier cut bait and bigger bobbers, I leave them on and occasionally pull them tight with two pair of needle nose pliers. I've also tied the tag ends into overhand knot a couple of times. We have bused two stops together also. If I come across the names of the companies that make these stops, I'll post it later. Hope this helps.

By the way, I will use balloons from time to time for bobbers and that has worked quite well. Tie the first knot on the balloon like you normally would but try to pull a little extra "tag" on the balloon. Then tie another knot around your line. Be sure to bring some extra large beads to place just between the balloon and the bobber stop. Be careful not to blow them up too large or you'll have a casting nightmare with the balloon catching in the wind. They are cheap, easy to use, and highly visible. Using sport circle hooks with balloons lessons your odds of popping the balloon as well.

Hope this helps!!

MJ

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Berkley Big Game High Vis 40lb. 3-10 oz no-roll sinkers, Bead between sinker and swivel. Leader same as line, short for fast water, long in slack water, with circle hooks.

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