rock fishing advice

Discussion in 'West Coast - Saltwater In-Shore Reports' started by mmhendrie, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. mmhendrie

    mmhendrie Member

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    Guys,

    Just a bit of line advice - I've been out in the Santa Monica Bay a number of times rock fishing. I've been using what I guess you'd say is the very basic in low cost minimal setup equipment- cheap rod & reel, and 30lb mono. I've decided to invest a little more into my setup, I've picked up a Penn Battle 2, and after much reading, I've made the switch from mono to braid.

    I'll be planning on fishing mostly rock fish 100-300ft - basically anything else i can find down there, ling cod, halibut etc.

    My question is regarding the leader. The braid I have is 65lbs - and for fishing on the bottom - I'd anticipate attaching a swivel (60/80lb?) on the end of that, and then a leader - as I've read the braid won't hold up well if it comes into contact with the rocks, and is also more visible to the fish vs. mono. What should i use as leader? Originally I was planning on using about 3ft of the 30lb mono I already have, but now read a lot about fluorocarbon, which i've never used before.

    It sounds like the fluorocarbon would handle the rocks better, but to be honest, I've never had an issue with the 30lb mono. The big thing i read is the 'invisibility' factor with fluoro. How do you folks feel about that, fishing down 100ft and deeper? Is it a worthy investment? It's very expensive, but only using it in 3-4ft sections as leader, it would probably last me a long time, so i don't mind the expense if it does give me an edge....

    thanks in advance,
    Matthew
     
    #1 mmhendrie, Jul 17, 2015 at 1:26 PM
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  2. bluefin

    bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Topshot 30' of mono.I wouldnt worry about floro for bottom fish
     
  3. wils

    wils Well-Known Member

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    braid to swivel to 10' 30# mono. double dropper loop
     
  4. Carnivore

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    I run 50# braid (only because I got it at a great price) and 20# leader about 3' long. 20 will hold up well against abrasion but If you get caught in the rocks, busting off 30# at 300' is going to be a pain. Just my 2 cents, everyone does it different.
     
  5. pete j

    pete j Well-Known Member

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    Carni makes a great point Ive lost alot of braid just trying to bust off the store bought rock cod jigs. That bums me out cause braid aint cheap but worse yet Im putting trash in the ocean. looks like Ill be changing all my jigs over to 20 lb I think most store bought are made with 50 lb and I have never been able to break one off
     
  6. mmhendrie

    mmhendrie Member

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    thanks for the advice guys!

    I'll stick with the mono. I've been making my own rigs, and wrapping extra ones around a piece of a pool noodle that I keep inside an empty two liter soda bottle, so they're ready and easily accessible when I'm out there. I learned two knots from youtube videos - the dropper loop and the palomar, and do the whole rig using those two knots. For the rigs, I've been tieing a double dropper loop on the 30lb mono, then after the lower loop I tie a swivel with a 15lb mono running the final 1ft or so to the sinker. I figure in a dropper loop, the sinker's the thing most likely to get caught in the rocks, so having that 15lb gives me something that's easy to break, and should I have to break it, having that dedicated weak spot below both my hooks would hopefully keep my lures (and any fish that might be on them) in tact. By putting a swivel clip at the very bottom of the 15lb line, I find i can 'rig up' in just a minute or two - tie the top swivel to my rod line, clip on a sinker, and thread the two dropper loops through hooks, and I'm ready to fish. So far I've only lost one sinker, and never a hook - but I don't get out there nearly as much as I'd like to.....

    What size swivel should i be using? Right now the swivel's I have are overkill and are rated for 180lbs - I assume I could drop all the way down to something rated 60 or 80lbs?
    thanks,
    Matt
     
    #6 mmhendrie, Jul 21, 2015 at 3:23 PM
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  7. Carnivore

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    Swivels go anything from 20 to 40 pound is fine. Just grab the cheapest one. I find them on sale from time to time so that defines what I buy since it isn't that crucial.
     
  8. wils

    wils Well-Known Member

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    The reason that I put the swivel above the mono is because the dropper is whats spinning - plus it easier to change leaders. :D
     
  9. mmhendrie

    mmhendrie Member

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    thanks again guys! I was looking some more at leaders - what are folks opinions when it comes to hybrid-fluorocarbon leaders? In particular Yo-Zuri and McCoy Mean Green? It seems like you get predominantly the benefits of fluorocarbon without the high cost....
     
  10. Carnivore

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    Don't waste your time with fluoro on bottom fish. They are in no way line shy. Fish like yellowtail, tuna, halibut are line shy and setting up a fluorocarbon leader is worth the money but for bottom fish, what ever line strikes your fancy. Bottom fish are toast once they are about 20 feet off the bottom anyway. Lingcod will fight all the way to the top but even for them, line isn't important. They will hit about anything.
     
  11. tdfayram

    tdfayram Well-Known Member

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    I may be in the minority here, but for rock fish, I would tie 20 lb braid to a swivel and then your regular rock cod rig with appropriate weight.

    If using a jig, I even tie the braid straight to the jig. However I do like a John Collins type knot to a few feet (2 to 4 feet) of 20 lb mono or flourocarbon line.

    You dont need 60 lb line and it works against you. Braid is the way to go as it has less diameter and allows more feel
     
  12. Nardo

    Nardo Well-Known Member

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    Stick with 50lb braid, 65lb has a larger diameter and therefore more resistance. Personally I do not like swivels and prefer a Tony Pena knot.

    10' mono leader...20/25lb for whitefish, 30lb for most everything else, and 50lb for ling cod.

    Double dropper with 4oz-6oz for whitefish, 3-8oz jigs & 5"-7" swimbaits for most everything else, and 9" swimbaits for lings.

    Don't over think it. Keep it simple.
     
    #12 Nardo, Aug 3, 2015 at 2:29 PM
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  13. Rip

    Rip Well-Known Member

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    Braid on a crowded cattle boat! Don't do it! If the boat is at least 50ft long and only has like 20 people then get out the braid, otherwise 25-30lb mono with double droppers tied directly to mainline. Keep it simple. You also may want to consider a conventional reel for greater winching power.
     
  14. Michael J

    Michael J Well-Known Member

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    This! I always use Braid with a leader of 25lb Mono.I dont like leaders either so I tie a Improved Albright and have at it! RFs dont get my Flouro! Good luck and go get em. MJ.
     
    #14 Michael J, Aug 3, 2015 at 9:12 PM
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  15. mmhendrie

    mmhendrie Member

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    what's the problem with using braid on a crowded boat?
     
  16. Carnivore

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    People that don't watch their lines can get them tangled up with others running mono and the braid can cut them off. It isn't a good idea to run braid when running after yellows or other fish that can run the boat but for rockfish just make sure your line is going straight down or as little of an angle as you can. If the drift is fast or there is a heavy current it is best to run more lead to keep from tangling up with others.
     
  17. Nardo

    Nardo Well-Known Member

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    Mono??? Why, how, huh?!

    1. With braid can actually feel the bite but with mono you mostly just feel the weight.

    2. With mono you have to use more weight because mono 'floats' and has a greater diameter which creates more resistance in the current. If you are able to stay straight up and down with a 4oz on 50lb braid, it would take 6oz with 30lb mono. With lighter weight you get to fight the fish, not the lead.

    3. With braid you can shake loose a snag but with mono your chances go way down. And when you brake off you better hope it is at your dropper loop so you do not lose 50 yards of mono.

    On my boat we use 50lb braid on 300 size baitcasters when we are targeting ling cod and rockfish. Same gear as we use for calico bass. It's small, compact and fun to fish. And it's super productive.

    On a party boat you will most likely have to bump it up a little. Something like a Okuma Andros 5S or a Torium 14 but stick with the 50lb braid. Please trust me on this one!
     

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  18. Nardo

    Nardo Well-Known Member

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    And more, all on bass gear.....
     

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    #18 Nardo, Aug 5, 2015 at 10:17 AM
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  19. Rip

    Rip Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't look like a crowded boat Nards. Go be shoulder to shoulder, the deckhands will love you. Just last month on the Stardust fishing right next to a guy with all the top quality gear and no clue. Braid tangling the whole side of the boat. I ended up just waiting to drop just after that would happen(several times)I'd have the whole area to myself.
     
  20. Rip

    Rip Well-Known Member

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    Braid has its purpose and place.
    Maybe there can be a three tangle rule. After three tangles you got to fish with the mono rental rod.
     

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