What weight flourocarbon line for winter steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Ed Call, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Maxima Fluoro 10lb for just about everything. Have yet to have a fish break it on me, and I've put the cork to some seriously hot ones over this summer.
     
  2. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    Ed,
    What tippet material isn't nearly as important as having Mike Kinney bless your flies! Send him a box of flies with a prayer hanky included and don't sweat the other stuff.
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    None. Maxima nylon monofilament is still the best tippet and leader material I've ever used for steelhead fishing. 8 or 10 pound test. Never had a WA steelhead break me off while using 8# Maxima, but had to increase to 10# on BC's Thompson River. Year before last I lost the only fish I hooked on a Sol Duc trip while using a manufacturer's sample of 17 # flouro. Never, repeat never, had that happen while using 8# Maxima on steelhead to over 20 pounds. Threw the flouro away.

    Ed, before you go ass over teakettle with getting your unweighted fly deeper, actually experiment with nylon and flouro, as in a test, to see just what benefit you derive from the slightly denser flouro.

    Sg
     
  4. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Maxima ultragreen is all I ever use. 10-15# depending on where I am. Usually 12#. Im not sold on fluoro being better, and it is a horrid material to produce as far as environmental impact. Ive watched my leader over summer fish in SUPER clear water, and have yet to see it spook a fish.

    Quit concentratng on gear and tippet, and get a big nasty fly in the water!
     
  5. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Also: I do switch over to Ultragreen 10lb when the water's a bit murkier. I've used P-Line, and all the other popular stuff out there. Haven't found any reason to believe there's anything better than Maxima.
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    With fishing outing so few and far between one ponders lots of angles. Not so fishy dude need all the preparation possible. I think I've got flies covered, from big and weighted down to small and sparse. I am preferring the casting bliss of the unweighted leting the sinking tip do what it is supposed to do.
     
  7. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

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    I may be in the distinct minority here, but I occasionally use fluoro up to 20lb while swinging winter and spring fish.

    I don't like killing fish, and after the initial grab and "all hell breaking loose" run, I prefer to put the fish in the net very quickly. I also fish a lot in bouldery, snaggy places, and the added dia of 20lb gives quite a bit of abrasion resistance.

    When not using fluoro, I use fairly heavy mono, .011" to .014".
     
  8. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Ill go heavier if there are kngs to be had. 15-20 for chums and kings so I can turn their heas in the water and save myself a long run down a slippery slope
     
  9. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    8-10lb Maxima for summer work.

    10-12lb Maxima for winter.

    Trout fishing with nymphs I use fluoro exclusively.
     
  10. stewart dee

    stewart dee Guest

    I have seen guides on the coast use 10lb Maxima 6 to 10 inches long in tow behind a sink tip. That will get any line and fly deep, besides there is no fish in the water anyway. Its all a pipe dream, save you gas and stay off the water. Mumbles knows what he is doing - he is hunting for a new idea to catch some unicorn out there in never- never land.
     
  11. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    I agree with Mumbles: the many long hours between each winter steelhead gives me too much time to think whether my terminal tackle, etc. is being all that it can be. Why not have the best?

    My normal winter steelhead tippet is 0X, .011" fleurocarbon. I was happy with Seaguar Grand Max and Rio premium before, but now I'm using Orvis Mirage, which has gotten stronger per size in recent years; that size is 16.5 lb. test. They say that fleurocarbon's visability is equivalent to mono three sizes lighter, so it's like fishing a midwinter river with 3X mono. I guess that a fleuro tippet would sink a fly about 3/8" deeper than mono, but it's cheap and easy, as sink tips go.

    In dirty water, fleurocarbon could have no optical advantage. I often fish .013" Orvis premium 18.5 lb. for tippet.
     
  12. rick matney

    rick matney Active Member

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    I use 20lb P-line for swinging for winters as well G-smolt. 15lb for nyphing. I only use p-line all across the board....all the way down to 4lb Halo which is about the same diameter as 4x rio powerflex and about twice as strong and will fit through any size 20 hook.. For the record I break 15lb all the time on winter fish, both P-line and maxima. If you aren't breaking a few off you are not pulling near hard enough and are probably abusing fish and fighting them too long. I think that P-line is stronger for the diameter than maxima (lb. rating and diameter are much different) and I like it for nymphing because it sinks well. Seguar is just as good as P-line if not a little better in some cases becuase it is a little more supple.
     
  13. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

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    Yup. Remember how many summer fish I broke off, horsin' the shit out of them with 14lb mono? 7 that one day alone.

    If you fight an ordinary 8-12lb steelhead longer than 4-5 minutes, you ain't doing it any favors.

    I use Super Sniper, but I think my last batch is crap - Chou and I break-tested a bunch, and it was failing waaay lower than stated test, and not in the traditional "frayed fluoro at knot junction" way...Might have to switch to Pline
     
  14. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

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    Good info! Thanks
     
  15. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    When you hang up with 17lb line, you get your fly back :)