Spey Pages banner
21 - 40 of 46 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,980 Posts
I need to know where these steelhead are that inspire the use of 20-30 pound test leader material! I'm always amazed at how heavy some anglers feel they need to go for a fish species that isn't real toothy and doesn't require a bite tippet. All the steelhead I have ever caught were taken on 8 or 10 pound test Maxima leader material, and that includes specimens of 20 pounds and larger. Of course Maxima tests heavier than is stated on the label, but it's nowhere near twice or three times heavier. I think some flies are harder on leader tippet than salmonids are. Turning over weighted flies, like coneheads, seems like it can weaken a tippet. I'm not certain of that; it could just be that weighted flies are more likely to abrade leader tippet on the river stones.

Not to mention this risks loss of (or serious damage to) the line due to something as simple as getting hung up on the bottom. In most places you really HAVE to be able to break off at the tippet without damaging the rest of your line. Now if you could get a barbless fly to stay in the fish’s mouth the way some of mine manage to stay on a tree branch on the other side of the river - that would be golden! :)

For the OP - you may be on to something. Unfortunately it could be the tippet. Pure age even if stored under ideal conditions isn’t good by itself. Heat exposure, even 110 in a locked car for a short time may weaken it permanently. Maybe something like that in combination with one of the other scenarios above did it.
 

·
The Skeena in the fall
Joined
·
515 Posts
Not sure what you were targeting or possibly hooked. My guess is you were underlined in terms of tippet strength for whatever you hooked, and how you fought it. Again, I have no clue what type of reel you were using, how tight the drag was set, rod position, etc. More information would lead to a more informed answer, but when I'm fishing for Steelhead on the WA Coast I fish 20-30 lb flouro leader. You need to gear up for the fish that you want to catch (fish of a lifetime) not the fish that you are likely to catch. Tight lines!
I agree completely and fish 20# fluoro for steelhead.
I always use the rod, line, reel, and tippet set up for the largest fish I might catch.
When that lifetime fish shows up we need to be geared up for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Not to mention this risks loss of (or serious damage to) the line due to something as simple as getting hung up on the bottom. In most places you really HAVE to be able to break off at the tippet without damaging the rest of your line. Now if you could get a barbless fly to stay in the fish’s mouth the way some of mine manage to stay on a tree branch on the other side of the river - that would be golden! :)

For the OP - you may be on to something. Unfortunately it could be the tippet. Pure age even if stored under ideal conditions isn’t good by itself. Heat exposure, even 110 in a locked car for a short time may weaken it permanently. Maybe something like that in combination with one of the other scenarios above did it.

I'd also add Lighter, softer, tippet also promotes more action on unweighted traditional flies. especially on heavy action patterns like the muddler he was using..

of course with many weighted patterns it matters much less
 

·
Registered
CF Burkheimer, Olson, Teno, Danielsson, Guideline, Rio, Nextcast.
Joined
·
148 Posts
As for Fluoro, stick to Seaguar which actually is the first manufacturer who started to produce fluorocarbon line.

One major mistake people make is to trust Maxima label........

Every maxima lines actually have ca. 20% lager diameter then advertised, giving illusion of strong line. Seaguar reports actual diameter.
12 lb Maxima 0.015"; 20 lb Seaguar: 0.015-0.016 "
15 lb Maxima 0.016", Seaguar 15 lb 0.013" , 10 lb Maxima 0.013"

If you use Seaguar of comparable diameter as Maxima with a proper knot ( Lefty Kreh Loop) or Trilene knot, wet it with saliva and put slowly and steadly increase tension, you will never have any issues.

Seaguar STS has a very, very similar stiffness as Maxima Chameleon of comparably ( REAL ) diameter.
Price of STS Seaguar on Amazon is in $ 10-15 per 100 yards spool. Red label is also a good one.
 

·
FKA Bhudda from 06’
#aflyanight
Joined
·
442 Posts
12lbs Ultragreen all year around…even on the baitcasters😎
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
everyone here is smarter than me . this just my personal experience .
i use 12# and 8# tippet throughout the sh season without problems . no high dollar tippet . berkley vanish or p-line fluoro ( blends ) . an observation ... the tarpon guys land 200 # + tarpon on 12# fluoro . i realize that we sh fisher folks don't play our quarry that long as it is hard on the fish . but clearly fluoro is capable of landing big a** fish and it sinks faster and is less visible . i know that it breaks down way slower in the river if you break off and i try my best to avoid doing that . if i do hang up with 12# , it takes a mighty hard pull to get it break off .
like i said though , everyone here is smarter than me . :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
CF Burkheimer, Olson, Teno, Danielsson, Guideline, Rio, Nextcast.
Joined
·
148 Posts
Considering a TRUE diameter :

25 lb Seaguar marginally thinner then 20 lb Maxima
20 lb Seaguar the same diameter as 15 lb Maxima
17 lb Seaguar is very marginally thinner then 12 lb Maxima
15 lb Seaguar has dimeter of 10 lb Maxima


For Salmon go with 20-25 lb Seaguar
Main steam Skeena, for example, 20 lb Seaguar
Skeena tributaries 15-17 lb Seaguar

When fishing for Steelhead and Salmon, rock as big factor, which does not exist in a salt water.

Diameter, Diameter , Diameter !!!!!!!!!!

Fluorocarbon line is made form polyvinylidene fluoride polymer which is very !!!!!!! resistant to UV and oxidation, does not absorb water and has density of ca. 1.8 g/cm3 ( sinks like intermediate line).

Nylon ( Maxima) absorbs 4-8% water, what weakens the line and also get weaker permanently as it is exposed to oxygen and UV ( sun ) light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Along with Nickels, I too experienced enough unexpected failures and breakages using fluoro. line the few times I used it, to not want to risk it again. Snap offs above the fly while casting, suddenly it was gone, similarly the line parts lifting into a fish, again well away from any knots- no nicks or wind knots. Then reading only a couple of brands are 'best/ safe' to use..plus only a couple of knots work with it..
Even the very cheapest nylon seems more reliable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I need to know where these steelhead are that inspire the use of 20-30 pound test leader material! I'm always amazed at how heavy some anglers feel they need to go for a fish species that isn't real toothy and doesn't require a bite tippet. All the steelhead I have ever caught were taken on 8 or 10 pound test Maxima leader material, and that includes specimens of 20 pounds and larger. Of course Maxima tests heavier than is stated on the label, but it's nowhere near twice or three times heavier. I think some flies are harder on leader tippet than salmonids are. Turning over weighted flies, like coneheads, seems like it can weaken a tippet. I'm not certain of that; it could just be that weighted flies are more likely to abrade leader tippet on the river stones.
It's being geared up for the fish you want to catch, not the fish you are likely to catch. I would much rather have 20-30 lb flouro when I hook into the fish of a lifetime than be babying 12 lb. Taking a play out of the Bill Herzog playbook with this theory. I agree that the majority of fish you catch, 12 lb works just fine, but unless you're chasing leader shy spooky fish, make sure you're bringing a gun to a gun fight if you know what I mean.
 

·
The Skeena in the fall
Joined
·
515 Posts
I need to know where these steelhead are that inspire the use of 20-30 pound test leader material! I'm always amazed at how heavy some anglers feel they need to go for a fish species that isn't real toothy and doesn't require a bite tippet. All the steelhead I have ever caught were taken on 8 or 10 pound test Maxima leader material, and that includes specimens of 20 pounds and larger. Of course Maxima tests heavier than is stated on the label, but it's nowhere near twice or three times heavier. I think some flies are harder on leader tippet than salmonids are. Turning over weighted flies, like coneheads, seems like it can weaken a tippet. I'm not certain of that; it could just be that weighted flies are more likely to abrade leader tippet on the river stones.
I've noticed a lot of differences of opinion on rod weights, line weights, tippet strength, in many posts like this one.
My steelheading has been pretty much the Skeena system, the Gold and the Dean
There are(was) big fish in those rivers and close to tidewater, so are quite strong.
20 lb. plus steelhead are not uncommon on the Skeena system
Based on that I wouldn't dream of going out with less than 20# fluoro and 14' 8/9 outfit throwing 550-650gr.
You've got to get these big fish in quickly and released properly

I read about others fishing 6/7 weight gear, lighter lines, lighter tippets.
Is this because there's great variation in the size of steelhead in the PNW and river sizes also vary a great deal?
Are some steelhead rivers producing mostly 6-8 lb fish?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I've noticed a lot of differences of opinion on rod weights, line weights, tippet strength, in many posts like this one.
My steelheading has been pretty much the Skeena system, the Gold and the Dean
There are(was) big fish in those rivers and close to tidewater, so are quite strong.
20 lb. plus steelhead are not uncommon on the Skeena system
Based on that I wouldn't dream of going out with less than 20# fluoro and 14' 8/9 outfit throwing 550-650gr.
You've got to get these big fish in quickly and released properly

I read about others fishing 6/7 weight gear, lighter lines, lighter tippets.
Is this because there's great variation in the size of steelhead in the PNW and river sizes also vary a great deal?
Are some steelhead rivers producing mostly 6-8 lb fish?
Couldn't agree more. 9 weights only (11'9", 13'5", or a 14'5" depending on the river) for me where there's a greater probability of larger fish (20+ lbs) being encountered. WA summer steelhead, and AK spring steelhead I'm doing 7 weight rods and shorter (10' or 11' switch rod).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Well I'm going back Friday maybe I'll get him.
But I did wonder if the hook may have been an issue
Maybe you will. I am 99% sure that I caught the same fish today that I landed on Wednesday morning. Feel kind of bad about that actually.

You might try reducing your mono loop diameter, too. Just another thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
10 lb -12 lb Maxima Ultragreen, has worked fine with no need to change. I have landed 20lb + fish, both winter and summer run, and released to swim away. Always aggressively fight fish and have had hook start to straighten before line failure. Long line releases due to knot failure. I do not need calipers to measure line dia. as for the most part Steelhead are not leader shy to a swung fly. Just my experience and no need to complicate things at this point in my life.
 

·
Registered
CF Burkheimer, Olson, Teno, Danielsson, Guideline, Rio, Nextcast.
Joined
·
148 Posts
10 lb -12 lb Maxima Ultragreen, has worked fine with no need to change. I have landed 20lb + fish, both winter and summer run, and released to swim away. Always aggressively fight fish and have had hook start to straighten before line failure. Long line releases due to knot failure. I do not need calipers to measure line dia. as for the most part Steelhead are not leader shy to a swung fly. Just my experience and no need to complicate things at this point in my life.

10-12 lb Maxima is really 13-16 lb line......and 20% thicker then advertised.

I guess Seaguar should label their their 17 lb FC ( which has diameter smaller then so called 12 lb Maxima ) as 10 lb and everybody will be bragging how strong to is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
10-12 lb Maxima is really 13-16 lb line......and 20% thicker then advertised.

I guess Seaguar should label their their 17 lb FC ( which has diameter smaller then so called 12 lb Maxima ) as 10 lb and everybody will be bragging how strong to is.
What is your point? I just stated my experience, no bragging, over and out. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
This thread reminds me of someone asking ‘what oil to use’ on an automotive forum. Lots of absolute opinions bashing or loving brand xyz. Somewhere between post 2 and 37 you will find my exact thoughts on the subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Who’s out there measuring the diameter of mono anyways? That’s some real ****ing nerd **** right there! Just shut up and go fishing.🤘
 

·
The Skeena in the fall
Joined
·
515 Posts
Who’s out there measuring the diameter of mono anyways? That’s some real *ing nerd * right there! Just shut up and go fishing.🤘
There are many people who study rods, reels, lines, and tippets
They test and measure and through the process improve their gear and become better fishermen.
Others do what they've always done and do just fine.
So why do some fishermen criticise other fishermen who take a different approach?
 
21 - 40 of 46 Posts
Top