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Am I Intruding? The Intruder season is upon us.

Am I Intruding?

The rapid growth of Intruder flies in the UK makes 2017:

“The Intruder Season”

This is a particularly hot topic at the moment in UK fly fishing and whether you like them or not, they are here to stay and only becoming more and more popular.

The intruder fly (from the UK perspective) is predominantly a large salmon or seatrout pattern tied on a shank similar to a waddington with a wire traced trailing hook and more recently tied on tubes. The method and materials used are a dubbing-stop or chenille to splay the hackles; a hair constructed hackle of bucktail; and for a long wing usually ostrich, rhea, amherst and marabou.  Traditionally dumbbell eyes were mounted on the front of the shank, but most of our UK alternatives are mounted with cones, turbos or a simple varnish.

The intruder pattern is not new; it has been around for over 20 years, but for some reason the UK is just getting interested in them now except for a few guys that have been “in the know” for years. I have to say this is quite typical of the UK’s tackle trade however. This is repeated over and over again ie. switch rods, scandi heads, and even still to this day, most trout anglers are still buying 10ft #7 fly rods when the rest of the globe uses 9ft #5 even for the big browns of New Zealand and Patagonia. We might be slower in taking on the new ideas, however, when the UK likes something in the fishing tackle trade, it really likes it, and the emergence of the intruders are here.

In my eyes intruders have gone two ways, one which is the original style, weighted and fished deep or in fast columns of water with skagit lines and tungsten tips, AND, they have also gone super-lightweight on plastic or aluminium tubes that are easy to cast with your trusty shooting head. Both have their place and both are proven in our rivers.

 

Benefits:

So now you can cast a large profiled fly with a fantastic teasing movement further than before because of a sparse amount of materials tied in a way that gives the fly body but not water retention that hinders the line’s performance. Also, a better placed single hook at the tip of the tail, lighter and off-centre seems to rarely fail when setting a take. These flies arguably allow the angler to strike too, a knee-jerk reaction that has been drummed out of traditional Spey anglers since the dawn of time. The fact that the hook is the last thing hanging out the back of the fly means that any take should potentially hold, unlike double and treble hooks half way up the fly. The strike can be so addictive and powerful, and you know what you’re into immediately.

History:

You can find out the comprehensive history of intruders on many sites but in brief they are supposed to have been invented by the one and only Ed Ward… “Who?” you ask… Prior to the Millennium, Ward apparently designed the intruder to target the varied salmon of Alaska.  The rivers are fast and deep and getting down to the fish is difficult without a heavy fly. Long shanked hooks were cut at the bend and dressed and a stinger hook attached to the end, the rest is history. The success of the full bodied, yet sparsely tied fly boasting superb movement and great hook up success, that was also easier than more conventional flies  to cast, caught the attention of steelhead anglers too across the land. These anglers included the huge names in the US fly fishing world of Jerry French, Dec Hogan and Scott Howell. Ward developed the fly with these fledgling super-star anglers and guides from a fly that was a concept to a provender-like masterpiece. The intruder now takes priority in any steelhead or chinook anglers fly box, no question. The colours went from subdued and natural to everything from purples, to reds to fluorescent pink & orange sometimes all on the same fly. The brighter the fly, the more aggressive the fishing seemed to be.

GOLDEN GUNN INTRUDER

GOLDEN GUNN INTRUDER

So they’re here to stay:

I believe the recent shift to intruder style flies in UK waters has come from 2 main areas. The first and smallest is the ever growing accessibility to destination fisheries. UK anglers are flying far afield every year to sample the sport of distant freshwaters in search of a rendezvous with a silver tourist. The “tug is a drug” that can’t be left unattended by most salmon and seatrout anglers regardless of cost, family and work. So, when the UK Winter comes around, the Kings of Chile, or the Steelhead of BC beckon the adventure tourist and their pals looking to swing some feathers. The feathery temptations that work on these destination fisheries have been brought home to our waters, used, tweaked to suit, maybe even bastardised into traditional UK pattern colourations. Innovative fly tyers and now commercial fly suppliers have been getting excited to the point that we are at now coming into 2017, Intruder Season.

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The second reason for the shift into intruders is the organic path taken by those anglers who are now quite familiar with the skagit system ie. Shooting line, Skagit line and MOW tips. The Skagit line is now eternally set as one of three types of double handed lines for UK salmon anglers (Spey, Scandi/Shooting Head and Skagit) being the diesel-power delivery system of heavy tips and flies. Having this now established type of line take up prime space on our shelves made anglers enquire as to what flies work best with this style of fly fishing, the intruder quickly became the fascination of many because it gets to places only 2-3 inch copper tubes used get to, but easier and with even more possibilities if on a skagit system.

POSH INTRUDER

POSH INTRUDER

Did you know?

Both Jerry French and Ed Ward who developed the intruder fly, mentioned above, were also the developers of Skagit style lines and casting, so these are two names to remember right? Well get this, the supposed inventor of the intruder, Ed Ward, and designer of skagit style lines and casting, is also one of three designers and the letters in the word now dominating the Skagit tip world from Rio in the acronym “MOW”. Along-side Mike McCune and Scott O’Donnel the three designers chopped up lines until they perfected the perfect short tip to compliment a skagit style line, the Mow tip. So, if you Salmon anglers pelting out skagit style lines and intruders thought you didn’t know Ed Ward, there’s three reasons for you to remember his name and maybe thank him and his buddies under your breath the next time you hook a locomotive in the cold Spring water.

CASCADE INTRUDER

CASCADE INTRUDER

Pardon the “Intusion”:

So to the point of this post from your friendly tackle store – we were easily convinced, in fact I think we begged our excellent supplier of flies, the Caledonia Fly Company, to send stock of the three new intruder patterns that are perfectly suited to our UK waters in proven colours. Tied on tubes to give you the angler flexibility of hook choice and importantly something familiar to have faith in, these stunning flies will tempt anglers and fish alike for the 2017 season and beyond. Welcome to the “Intruder Season”

The Caledonia Fly Company Intruders

Tie them yourself:

If you are a fly tyer and think you’d like to give intruders a go for UK waters, there are people out there all over Facebook that are just nailing the art of tying them. Have a look at Ali Hutchens, Nic Jepson, Stuart Foxall and Sean Stanton‘s pages for the how to’s and get inspired.

Ali Hutchens and Sean Stanton headline our annual Fly Tying Pro Day. See here: https://www.anglingactive.co.uk/magazine/fly-tying-pro-day/  

 

 

Free Prize Draw – HARDY WRAITH FLY ROD 10ft #8 worth £699

Free Prize Draw – HARDY WRAITH FLY ROD 10ft #8 worth £699

2017 River Teith and Forth Permit Prices

2017 Permits now available from Angling Active – Tags due June 2017

 

 

The Opening

Stirling Council Fisheries are known now for hosting one of the best opening ceremonies for any Salmon river on the globe!

On Wednesday the 1st February 2017 in Callander at 9am, gather in Ancaster Square for a pipe led procession along Callander’s magnificent main street and down to the river. There you will be met with the opening ceremony with the Provost of Stirling; Honoured guest, TV star, Hardy ambassador and famous fly tyer Jo Stephenson; and Fisheries Manager Scott Mason.

Deanston Distillery and Mhor84 are always there as strong supporters and ambassadors of the river, and will be providing complimentary coffees, pies and a dram to warm everyone up. There will be a fly casting masterclass after the official opening that will amaze spectators, fly tying demonstrations of successful flies from local anglers and a great cheer around the town of Callander celebrating the opening or the river and the nearing of Spring.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Season Dates: 1st February – 31st October

Available in-store at Angling Active – Visit us.

Please note – when applying for a permit you will need to provide:
-Proof of address is required for ALL Permits.
-Two passport sized photographs are required for both resident and visitor season permits.
-Two proofs of address for resident permits and one proof of address for visitor permits, both will be -required to be supported by photographic evidence eg driving licence or passport.
-A completed application form, with documentary proof, will be required for all concession permits.

Council rules state permits cannot not be issued unless this criteria is met. Passport photos are not required for day permits but please still bring your ID with you.
To establish if you require a Visitor or Resident permit, your main address is either within or outwith the Stirling Council.

River Forth & River Teith Stirling Council Fishing Map:

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Click to enlarge

Here is the confirmed price list for the 2017 season. More details will follow as the permits become available to us here for sale at Angling Active.

Resident Season Permit Prices

(must have a permanent address in Stirling Council area)

Residents Season Permits Roving Permits
Adult (3 tags) £200 £296
Juvenile (12-16yrs) (1 tag) £10 £15
Concession £148 £221
Up to 3 named Children (up to 16yrs) on Adult Ticket £5 £5

Visitor Season Permit Prices
(Not permanently resident in Stirling Council area)

Visitors Season Permits Roving Permits
Adult (3 tags) £289 £429
Juvenile (12-16yrs) (1 tag) £10 £15
Concession £226 £342
Up to 3 named Children (up to 16yrs) on Adult Ticket £5 £5

Day Permit Prices

(1st February – 31st August only. Catch and Release only.)

Day Permits (Catch & Release) Adult Child
1 Day Ticket £30 £5 (acc by adult)

 

Corporate Ticket

Is available to organisations/businesses.

Organisations/businesses in Stirling £296.00 per rod.

Organisations/Businesses out with Stirling £429.00 per rod.

Details from Stirling Council (01786) 237792

Concession permits

Available directly from the council offices and cannot be purchased from Angling Active.

Saving the Forth and Teith Salmon

To promote conservation of salmon and sea trout that run on the Forth and Teith river system, catch and release is strongly encouraged. Stirling Council were one of the first in the UK to introduce carcass tagging in an effort to limit the number of fish removed. Continuing this policy, anglers are required to tag each fish that is kept and the number of tags supplied with each ticket is limited to the following:

Adult Forth season permits – 3 salmon tags, 3 sea trout tags
Adult Teith season permits – 3 salmon and, 3 sea trout tags
Juvenile season tickets – 1 tags
No additional tags are provided for juveniles added to an adult ticket
A roving season permit will be supplied 3 salmon tags and 3 seatrout tags

Angling Active Ltd, Stirling is working in partnership with Stirling Council to promote conservation of Salmon & Seatrout that run the Forth and Teith River system. Anglers that clearly demonstrate conservation will be rewarded with a fishing cap with the message “Saving Forth & Teith Salmon” thereon. It is hoped this initiative will encourage anglers to consider catch and release, it should always be bourne in mind “dead salmon don’t spawn”.

For Stirling Fisheries Code of Conduct:

Visit: http://my.stirling.gov.uk/services/community-life-and-leisure/countryside-facilities-and-wildlife/fishing/fishing-rules/code-of-conduct

 

Free Prize Draw – GREYS GTS900 6/7/8 FLY REEL

Free Prize Draw – GREYS GTS900 6/7/8 FLY REEL worth £179.99

Trout Spey

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What is “Trout Spey” we hear you ask?

In a nutshell… Trout Spey rods are 10-11ft #3 -#5 weight double hander rods.

Besides the fact that we can already catch trout on a Spey rod, and we all know what a Switch rod is capable of, do we really need another style of double hander…? The answer for many UK fly anglers and ourselves here at Angling Active, is a resounding “Yes”, and we explain why.

It’s like life repeating itself – The long period from the early 2000’s where anglers argued that Switch rods have been around well before the angling industry made a song and dance about them, is back again to haunt the UK. This time though, with a shift similar to how Switch rods became popular, the Trout Spey style of rods will impress even those critical of the expansion. UK anglers are historically slow or even sceptical to pick up on new ideas in the fishing market, it might be a British thing, but we know for sure when anyone has a shot of a Trout Spey, they’ll be consumed by it, just want to use it, and they’ll start thinking of all the scenarios that will just make their fishing better.

History

The use of double handers has historically been used solely for those pursuing salmon and occasionally seatrout. For this reason Spey rods have heavier line weights and have enough backbone to fight these often big and unassuming fish. Recently though, tackle manufacturers have quickly picked up on the growing number of already established Switch rods being sold in #7 and #8 weights and there is often the request for a #6 weight Switch. This shift has opened the door to the development of even lower line weight double handers.

Introducing the double handed Spey rod for trout reaching as low as #3 in line weight! – the Trout Spey.

Here’s a video from the very cool guys at Redington using the REDINGTON HYDROGEN TROUT SPEY rods.

Why Trout Spey?

Besides the fact that fighting butts have been around forever and single handed Spey casting is no new thing, the Trout Spey style of rods is just so much fun. Here are just a few uses:

  • Imagine the unpressured, tight tree-lined overhung sections of river you couldn’t fish before because there was no room for a backcast or significant D-loop. No problem.
  • Also, if most salmon anglers could, they’d love to re-learn the beautiful art of Spey casting from scratch; This is as close as they’ll get and they can use their perfected muscle memory for trout and seatrout if the salmon are not biting or if they haven’t turned up yet.
  • Trout anglers are now lucky enough to learn the double hand Spey style of casting for the first time on the very same water they are used to fishing whether it be stillwater or a river.
  • Then there is the very exciting prospect to seatrout anglers now fishing with a light double hand rod that provides the fight of a lifetime without the backcast into the darkness behind them and reaching further for those splashes across the main stream.

The transition

Salmon fly anglers will find the transition to the shorter and lighter Trout Spey setup with lighter lines and reel etc. quite easy and very enjoyable. However, the salmon angler will have to consider that a trout is actively feeding and will require a different kind of fly choice theory and as importantly a different line presentation be it the retrieve or just how the line is swung.

The experienced single handed trout fisher will have to learn the art of double handed Spey casting (which will be an absolute pleasure), but they will be able to employ their existing experience in how trout think and where they tend to sit/feed.

Another type of angler that will benefit from the Trout Spey rod design, is the still water boat fishermen. A 10 or 11 foot rod provides greater distance, reach, dabbling, and line control in comparison to a shorter rod, and the fact that these come in #3, #4 and #5 weights means that these anglers are now presented with a greater range of rods to choose from – very attractive to the wild hill loch fly anglers.

Lastly, if you suffer from tennis elbow or if you are struggling casting your “10 for 7” all day, these Trout Spey rods make for easy roll casting using the leverage of another hand. The result is less work on your casting arm and greater distances.

How do you set up a Trout Spey outfit?

The rod and reel choice is a repeated exercise/formula for all fly outfits, just match the line rating that the rod dictates to the same size of reel. This will mean you have chosen a reel that is not too heavy and balances the rod nicely giving you capacity for enough backing and the line. The choice of brand/model is yours, though we’d suggest a reel with a good bit of space for backing. Fish taking a fly swung below you have the advantage of being able to peel more line faster using the current.

Trout Spey lines?

Choosing the correct line for a Trout Spey outfit is different to what most fly anglers would be used to. Based on salmon lines where the grain rating is recommended in either a scandi or skagit style, Trout Spey lines need a heavier and shorter head than most trout lines. Generally, for those anglers looking to achieve delicate presentation with light tips and small flies, the scandi style is best. Seatrout anglers will be in favour of this style too. In order to lob heavy flies and/or fast sink tips, choose a skagit line which is an even more condensed, thick head, with a thin shooting line and options for differing tips.

Trout Spey Line Chart

Trout Spey Line Weight Scandi (grains) Skagit (grains)
#3 200 – 225 250 – 275
#4 250 – 275 300 – 325
#5 300 – 325 350 – 375
#6 350 – 375 400 – 425

 

The above table is our guide to the recommended Trout Spey line weights. Notice that skagit line recommendations are consistently 50 grains heavier than scandi. This is a good rule of thumb, though very general, through heavier salmon dedicated weights too. We believe between Scandi and Skagit styles, that scandi lines will be the more popular on UK waters for Trout Spey users, but there will be some anglers looking for skagit lines too. Please see our line recommendations below:

 

rio_scandi_shooting_head_-_salmon_fly_fishing_line

RIO SCANDI SHOOTING HEAD

 

The Rio Scandi Shooting Head has historically been a versatile line for all spey casting anglers which was originally known as the “AFS” before being updated. The range of line weights now available in the Rio Scandi is perfect for this expansion into light double handed rods, in particular the Trout Spey style. Using our Trout Spey Line Chart above, choose the corresponding weight by clicking the below shopping button. NB. There is no harm in rounding up a grain weight, many will be doing this being common place to salmon anglers. Additionally, this is a head only option which will require a running line. There are no integrated running line (aka ‘Outbound’) options available yet in these grain weights.

rio_intouch_single_handed_spey-_salmon_spey_fly_line_fly_fishing

RIO INTOUCH SINGLE HANDED SPEY

The Rio InTouch Single Handed Spey line just keeps surprising us. This line was designed for one main purpose, but even to the surprise of the line designer Simon Gawsworth, it has become a universal line across many sophisticated casting styles. First of all it excelled at what it says it is, a very forgiving and excellent performing single hand line for performing single handed spey style casts. THEN, we realised it is just the most beautiful line to cast over-head on a single hand rod. It just stays airborne and lands as straight as any line we have ever fished with. Lastly, we have discovered that it works beautifully on a Trout Spey style setup if you go up 3 line sizes. Much like adding a trout line to a switch rod, double handed rods require allot more weight in the line to compensate for a water anchor when spey casting. In order for you to make an informed decision, some examples would be to use a #6 Rio Single Hand Spey line on a #3 Trout Spey rod or even a #7 line of a #4 Trout Spey rod. This is an all in one line, so no seperate running line needs to be purchased.

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RIO SKAGIT TROUT MAX

For the 2016/17 market. The Rio Skagit Trout Max heads are short, powerful shooting heads designed for lightweight Trout Spey and Switch rods, as well as for single handed rods. It is recommended that you put a ‘light’ or if you already have the ‘Medium’ Mow tip on the front for effective presentation and line energy transfer. This line will also give you the option to use sinking Mow tips, getting your flies deeper than the other two line suggestions above. Use our line weight chart above, and note that no over rating of the grain weight is required with this line. Similar to the Rio Scandi line above though, you will require a running line as this is just the head.

 

Techniques of Trout Spey:

The main difference between swinging a fly for trout to salmon is the location of the fly. Generally, Salmon tend to sit in the tail of pools, underneath fast water, behind/in-front of boils etc. These lies are simply areas that a salmon will rest in or use to make their journey upstream more efficient. Trout on the other hand are not running upstream, they have a territory and they will station themselves in order to feed efficiently in a small area of the river. They’ll expel energy, but as little as possible in order to feed effectively. Trout are, again generally, found in feeding lanes, this is the foam line, or on the edge of an eddy or large bank structure, under branches or just amongst sunken structure where they can ambush their prey. Focus on these areas and you will be rewarded.

The action of the fly is also a key factor in swinging a fly for trout. You are not necessarily looking to provoke an aggressive take, yet this can be good for targeting a territorial fish. Mostly you will find yourself trying to mimic the prey of the trout in as natural a way as possible as to not raise suspicions on your offerings. The more realistic the better. This goes against most salmon tactics when you are trying to aggravate the fish into a killing mood. You will have to be very responsive to the surroundings of your fly, slow it down in cooler and deeper water, in shallow warm water speed it up, also speed up your retrieve during a follow like prey trying to escape, and if you get hit but it doesn’t stick, retrieve like your fly is wounded, even drop some line and let the fly drift for a foot and then recover.

Most sink rates of short sink tips like 5ft Airflo polyleaders will be effective on the Rio Scandi line mentioned above and some of the slower sink rates will be reasonably easy to cast on the Rio Single Hand Spey. The Skagit Trout Max however will cope with any sink tip up to 10ft, but an even better option would be to connect a Mow Tip as suggested above. Remember the longer your sink tip the shorter your leader/tippet should be. This will bring the fly down to the depth you are looking for.

Angling Active’s Summary

Trout Spey rods have opened up allot of fishing that was limited by the equipment we had available before now. We praise this shift toward lighter line weights for double handed rods because the materials being developed to build modern day rods have only become lighter and stronger too. Gone are the days of wielding heavy slow action rods to spooky, wily trout, a good decade ago, but even better we now have even more dedicated tools for challenging jobs that can perform and will only become more refined in time.

Here are all the things you should consider to get yourself into Trout Spey:

 

 

 

Braid or Mono?

braid-vs-mono

So, do I put braid or mono on my new spinning or multiplier reel?

It’s a conversation we have in-store and online daily here at Angling Active, and there never seems to be one answer.

If experienced, one angler will swear braid is better than monofilament, but the very next just as experienced customer will plead testament that his mono setup beats braid hands down.

Confused – No wonder;

What chance do less experienced anglers have if the pro guys can’t agree? We have to draw on conclusions from the learnings in-store and on the water for ourselves.

We believe braid and mono have properties that lend themselves to differing techniques and disciplines of angling on our UK waters and further afield. Listing our recommendations and findings, some will not agree with them… Hopefully, you will.

Before going into specifics, here are the main obvious differences in braid over mono:

  1. Braid has less stretch.
  2. Braid diameter is much thinner for the comparable breaking strains.
  3. Braids are more tangle prone.
  4. You can use really strong braid to reduce fish breaking off.
  5. Braids are more expensive.
  6. Braid can cut through your finger like cheese wire.

As with every customer that we have looking for advice, we always ask “What are you fishing for and how?”

Below we have listed as many styles of fishing we can think of that we cater to with braid or mono. From there you can make your own informed decisions:

 Spinning for Salmon –

Nobody can dispute that a sensitive, low drag and non-stretch line is preferred for Salmon fishing with a lure in a river. Being all of these qualities, braid is the obvious choice for most. The softest takes are felt by the angler due to the line not being able to stretch, and this non-stretch quality boosts the success rate of good hook-ups. Casting distance also benefits from the low diameter braid providing little air resistance or drag, lighter lures are cast easier too as a result. The capacity of your reel is also increased because lb for lb in breaking strain, you will fit allot more braid on a spool than you would mono. If you get into a good fish that wants to head back to the sea, you’ve got plenty of line for peace of mind. We’d recommend a few feet of monofilament or fluorocarbon at the front end of the braid attached with a palomar knot and swivel before the lure as braid is quite visible in the water. Use anything from 30lb or even 40lb breaking strain. This may seem like overkill, but we’d all rather see a fish carefully returned than breaking off with a hook and line hanging out its mouth. Generally this strength of braid will be the same diameter as 10lb monofilament.

Lure fishing for Pike –

It has to be said that braid again wins here . The smaller diameter and non-stretch qualities benefit bite detection and spool capacity. But the main advantage with braid over mono in Pike lure fishing is that you are more likely to snag up on weed or debris and you want your lure back. Loosing lures is expensive and so frustrating, and this happens allot less with braid because of its abrasive qualities. Some anglers will use braid as strong as 80lb breaking strain.

Deadbait fishing for Pike –

This is a difficult decision to make – Most will argue the same as above with lure fishing for Pike, but what has to be considered is that when bait fishing, you are usually using a stiffer bait style rod. Playing a good fish with a stiff rod requires some very good intuitive fighting technique or a bit of stretch in your line. This is where mono comes in as an advantage. We’d recommend to beginners in deadbait fishing that if you don’t want to pull the hooks out of your long awaited catches mid-fight, then get set up with mono until you feel like you know how Pike like to fight. You will adapt a style to play the fish and predict their aggressive temperament. You will now be happier to move on to braid with your softer yet more efficient fighting technique and you’ll be holding the rod allot higher to allow the reel and rod more chance of absorbing sudden fits of speed. Again up to 80lb breaking strain braid can be used here or use 30lb mono if you are just getting started.

Trolling/Harling –

This is yet another style of fishing that is broken down into braid and mono being best for differing reasons. Your choice of what line to use will depend on what the quarry is, what equipment you are using and how fast the lure is moving, and also what angle out the back of the boat your rod is pointing. Most anglers trolling over deeper or a minimal snagging loch bed, even those with outriggers and down riggers will choose mono as their desired line. The reason being there is more forgiving flex in mono, you are moving and the fish is moving potentially in a different direction, you need something other than the short stiff boat rod to absorb the take. Likewise if you have a trolling rod pointed directly out the stern of the boat. If however you are using longer more flexible rods for trolling that are pointed off the gunnels i.e. when harling, then there is allot more absorption to cope with a take. In this instance you can use braid and you will have the added benefit of abrasion resistance more commonly found in on river beds. Give us a call or email us for advice on what breaking strain for what purpose of trolling/harling.

Jigging/Bottom fishing –

Hands down, braid is the best for this job. It is all about sensitivity to a bite, and being able to pull a weight that has managed to get wedged in. Additionally, if fishing at serious depths of 600ft or so for Cod/Skate then you want as much line as possible on your spool to get all the way down to them. Most Skate and Cod anglers will use 100lb braid on an 80lb class rod and with a 40-50lb drag setting.

Coastal Spinning & LRF –

The worst environment of all fishing disciplines is the barnacle covered, sharp edged rocks covered in bullet-proof kelp and a swell to toy with your abilities. Braid is your best option for casting from the rocks. It will stand being snagged and pulled over barnacles longer than mono. Braid will potentially cut through kelp if you are lucky, whilst mono will simply try to strangle it, and we all know who wins that painful fight. The very moment you manage to dislodge a hard fighting fish from a deep ledge amongst some kelp, you’ll be so grateful you chose braid over mono. Depending on the size of your quarry and the characteristics of where you are fishing, braid of 10-30lb should cover all situations.

Bait fishing/coarse/carp –

We are now entering the biggest area of conversation/confrontation whether braid or mono is best. For swimming a maggot or worms, braid seems arguably to be the best option for abrasion resistance and senstivity. Be weary however, many systems especially South of the border have banned braid for the welfare of the fish, and most would say rightly so. It can slice through flesh like a cheese wire and because it is non stretch it will pull hooks through the fishes mouths causing damage. Most fishing braid is coated, but this will not completely remove risk of damage. If a fish were to take and the line snagged and broke, that fish is likely to be stuck there with no escape. Mono provides more stretch  and will not pull hooks as easily, and because it can break easier for its diameter and snagged fish should be able to wriggle free easier than that of braid. Most braids will start at 5-6lb breaking strain upwards.

So there are some recommendations of what to use and why. This is a guide and many people will contest or agree with what we have said. To be honest, it all boils down to what feels intuitively right to you, and this will be the correct line option for you.

Shop for braid and mono here:

 

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