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Thread: Fluorocarbon Leaders - How Long Do They Last?

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    Fluorocarbon Leaders - How Long Do They Last?

    I'm sorting through my tackle for this October's trolling season. I tied on new Stealth 130# fluoro leaders last fall and pulled them for one week on LOTW. They worked great. I was wondering if they'll be good for another season? They are a little roughed up from rocks, as I troll Kraves and Jakes in 10 feet of water, but they have no nicks or cuts. Last year was my first year running fluorocarbon leaders, and I don't have much experience with them. Any thoughts on if they are one-season leaders or can they be used again? I have new ones to use if these are no good, but at $12 a pop I don't want to throw them out. Same question for my 14" casting leaders which I used this season. Are they good to go for another season if they're not visibly damaged? Does the weather or sun degrade them? If nothing else, I'll salvage the snaps and swivels and learn to tie my own.

    Thanks.

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    Salvage the snaps and swivels. You're next cast may be the fish of a lifetime....

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    That's a good question. I replace my fluoro leaders as needed -- pull the leader through your fingers and if you feel any nicks or rough spots, replace it. But I suspect that fluoro might deteriorate with age just sitting on a shelf. Same question goes for replacing main line.

    Found some more info on fluoro deterioration. Unlike monofiliment, fluoro isn't affected by sunlight because it doesn't absorb UV radiation.
    Last edited by lpmaure; 08-28-2014 at 01:44 PM.
    "All men are equal before fish". - Herbert Hoover

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    I might be the dumb one here (especially for my rep as a non-fishcatcher)..... but I likely go through 18-24 Stealth leaders per year. I almost assume any sort of abrading "AT ALL" as a good reason for replacement. Let's face it, the guys who don't use floro, only don't for potential bite-offs (etc). The guys who do, do so to get the bite in the first place. For me, with all I spend on my fishing, this is the low-cost no-brainer. This stuff (like certain other stuff I thought was going to stay sturdy forever) wears out. So, I say..."Get the bite, get the fish, replace the leader." Naturally, smaller fish caught on bucktails, seldom get all over the leader---rocks do however!

  5. #5
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    I remember hiring Ryan Bock a few years back and he hands me a pole with a floro leader that looked like it had gone through barbed wire fence, nicks all over the place. I asked Ryan, "don't you want to change the leader?", and his response said it was fine no need to worry. I proceeded to catch a 39 incher on the leader. I don't know what pound leader he had in fluorocarbon, but they are pretty tough.

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    I let mine go until either they have a really big nick in them or the season ends. Fluoro is just fine if it's roughed up a bit and even with small nicks, but with the large nicks there is a significant loss of overall strength and the leader should be replaced.

    Also, fluorocarbon, like other plastic products, is degraded by the sun. I wouldn't use any fluoro leader for more than a season if you're outside a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t n t View Post
    salvage the snaps and swivels. You're next cast may be the fish of a lifetime....
    +1.... Jmho

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    There's an instructive article entitled "The Truth about Fluorocarbon" on this web page: http://www.bigindianabass.com/big_in...orocarbon.html
    It dispels several notions I had about fluoro. Fact is, fluoro is transparent to UV light and is not degraded by exposure to sun. Not so for mono.
    "All men are equal before fish". - Herbert Hoover

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    I'm extremely picky and prefer to not leave anything to chance. That said, I use my Stealth leaders until the Stay-Lok snap seems to open more easily, or until the leader material gets abraded, no matter how slight. I went through a lot of fish last week and only replaced two leaders the entire time.

    I've found I use considerably fewer fluoro leaders than I used to with wire ... maybe about a third. It's really good stuff, and I firmly believe the near-invisibility helps catch more fish. Total win-win situation.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick W View Post
    I'm sorting through my tackle for this October's trolling season. I tied on new Stealth 130# fluoro leaders last fall and pulled them for one week on LOTW. They worked great. I was wondering if they'll be good for another season? They are a little roughed up from rocks, as I troll Kraves and Jakes in 10 feet of water, but they have no nicks or cuts. Last year was my first year running fluorocarbon leaders, and I don't have much experience with them. Any thoughts on if they are one-season leaders or can they be used again? I have new ones to use if these are no good, but at $12 a pop I don't want to throw them out. Same question for my 14" casting leaders which I used this season. Are they good to go for another season if they're not visibly damaged? Does the weather or sun degrade them? If nothing else, I'll salvage the snaps and swivels and learn to tie my own.

    Thanks.
    I tie my own, using 60-100 lb flouro material... never noticed a lot of difference with brands, other than some a little softer or harder material. I often start with a little longer leader, and when my snap starts to go soft or looks suspect, I replace it, and assuming the flouro still looks good, I tie on a new snap, and now my leader is a few inches shorter. I usually go through just a couple of leaders per season due to the flouro showing damage.

    For my 100 lb leaders, I used size 4.5 or 5 Stay-Loc snaps, and good quality BB swivels on opposite ends of the flouro. For 60 lb leaders I might use a size 4 Stay-Loc snap and slightly smaller BB swivel. I'd typically use the lighter leaders when fishing smaller lures, likely using bass equipment.

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