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Setting Up a Super Braid Outfit
Many fishermen are now getting into trolling deep or heavy since the relatively recent introduction of super braids made with Spectra , Dyneema and other super fibers.. I've been using Spectra for over 20 years. You might say "it hasn't been around anywhere near that long". Well, have you ever heard of Hercules competition Kite Line? It's spectra fiber (same as the tackle companies are now selling). And it's old. By now we all know what the advantages of Super Braids are. No stretch, U.V. resistant, rot resistant and about 1/3 the diameter of monofilament of older braids like Nylon and Dacron. Braids made of Spectra fiber are the most commonly used but the others work just as well. Be careful when selecting one. There are some cheap ones that have a diameter just as big as standard line. They work well because the smaller diameter has less drag than other lines with the exception of wire which also acts a weight. Drag is a trollers enemy. Since it doesn't sink you need to use some sort of weight to get your rigs down deep. Super braid trolling is becoming popular among the guys that don't like using wire or don't want to go out any buy more tackle.
With Super Braid Outfits you can get away with using lighter rods and smaller diameter reels. Some say they get to feel the fish better and enjoy it more. I personally don't care as long as I am catchin' and not just fishin'.
Let's set up an outfit
Your rod is the first consideration. I like a broomstick action rod about 8 feet long. Get one with a carbide or ceramic tip top. Super Braids will cut softer tips real fast. Why a broomstick and so long? Since you will be trolling with a weight attached to the running line your ability to get the fish close to the boat stops at the weight unless you crank real hard and somehow manage to wind the weight through your guides. I could never do that. A leader over 8 feet long thus becomes impractical. (with a "wire set up" we go up to about 20 feet) If your rod is around 6 feet long a leader anything over 6 feet long now becomes difficult to use. When a fish runs around or under the boat, the long, stiff rod allows me to work him around the motors or under the running gear without wrapping my rod around the boat. And you will usually be trolling heavy tackle which will just turn a soft stick into a pretzel.
Your reel is next. Pick your favorite one but not too small. You will be hooking up big fish and trolling heavy terminal tackle. The size should match the rod you have selected giving you a pleasant appearance and nice balance. You'll know it when you see it.
Line Spool up with your super braid. I like to use 80# line. The lighter lines in the 50# class are just too thin. No matter what the line manufacturers say about being abrasion resistant, they fray up pretty easy. Even the smallest abrasions leave almost nothing on the lighter lines. 80# line can take the abuse a little better but if you see a fuzzy spot remove the line below the fuzz and retie. Color of the line can be important if you want to put out an exact measured distance every time. If you buy white line it is very easy to mark. Measure out 150 feet and color about a foot of it with an indelible magic marker. Measure out another 50 feet and mark it up again. And do this to another 50 feet.
It's helpful to use different colors so you can tell how many feet are out at a glance. (just like wire) The colors may wash out after a few trips so you may need to redo the marks from time to time. If the white line near your terminal tackle makes you nervous, just color the first 20 feet or so with a black marker. Now you need to attach a weight to the braid. 4 ounce weights bring you down about the same as wire. I have a very strong opinion on which weight is the best. Beaded chain drails corrode from within unless you wash them out in a bucket of soapy water after every trip. Yeah, I'm sure we all do that!
If you don't, U will eventually GET one of those mystery break offs. The trophy of the day, no doubt. Many of them have their end loops stamped out of flat metal leaving sharp edges. You'd be surprised how efficiently those edges can cut a line! Some people slide an egg sinker on their line than tie on a barrel swivel. N.G. The egg slides up and down your line and frays it. The egg continually bangs into the knot at the swivel and frays it. It's mystery break off time again. So you'll pin it with a tooth pick. N.G. again. Your line will still be rubbed on the knot against the egg. Especially with the action of your trolling rig. "it's mystery time" These are the little details we all need to be conscious of.
I can't say enough how much you need to pay attention to details. I like to use an egg sinker with a stainless steel loop on one end and a barrel swivel in the loop at the other end. Nothing moves. You can't buy them. I make em' up. So many guys want them that this may be our next product here at TGT With this weight I can tie a Palomar Knot to the swivel first and another Palomar Knot on the looped end to my braid. Do it in this order so you don't have to feed your rod and reel through the loop of the Palomar. (See the knot section about Palomar knots for an explanation.)
Now tie a sturdy snap swivel to the end of your leader with a Trilene Knot. If you only have drails or egg sinkers, tie the drail on in the same sequence or tie up the egg sinker and swivel combo, but the only practical choice it to use a clinch knot or some other substandard knot to the barrel swivel. You NEED to know a Palomar Knot is the BEST knot to use with super braids. Others will pull out no matter how good you tie them. The only solution is to burn the tag end with a cigarette (or cigar if that is what you smoke) or melt it with a lighter or match. It will make a knob on the tag and act as a stop if you have to pull real hard on the line and the knot starts to slip. You're ready to clip on your secret lure and go fish.