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Old 04-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
M'kay13
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Question Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

I fished this Sunday around Boardman and did pretty well, given the cold morning. My buddy and I hooked 8 in about three hours of fishing tubes. It was my first time fishing braid with a mono bumper for smallmouth. Before I moved over here, this was how I had all of my float rods set up this way.

I do have a question about jigging for smallmouth. Do I want to be running a light poundage braid, like 10# or 8# braid, or do I want to be running a heavier braid, like 15# or 20#? I am currently running some 15# Tuff-Line XP that i had lying around and a 10' bumper of 8# flouro. After great results fishing braid this morning, I would like to invest in the right line for the job.

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Old 04-23-2012, 07:25 AM   #2
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I fished this Sunday around Boardman and did pretty well, given the cold morning. My buddy and I hooked 8 in about three hours of fishing tubes. It was my first time fishing braid with a mono bumper for smallmouth. Before I moved over here, this was how I had all of my float rods set up this way.

I do have a question about jigging for smallmouth. Do I want to be running a light poundage braid, like 10# or 8# braid, or do I want to be running a heavier braid, like 15# or 20#? I am currently running some 15# Tuff-Line XP that i had lying around and a 10' bumper of 8# flouro. After great results fishing braid this morning, I would like to invest in the right line for the job.
I like running 8 or 10 lb braid to 8lb flouro. 15 is probably fine, although 8 lb is plenty strong and a little bit thinner in diameter.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

Thanks. It is super rocky where I fish and I would hate to break my more expensive braided line as often as I am breaking off. I think I will run 12-15# Suffix 832 braid and a 8-10# bumper of P-Line Flouroclear. I don't know if there is a 12# Suffix 832 line out, so I might go up to 15#.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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Another way to fish a tube that is far more resistant to snags is to texas rig it. I like to use a 1/8 or 3/16 oz bullet weight and a wide-gap offset hook that matches your tube size, I like the hook bend coming out of the plastic a 1/4-1/2 inch from the skirt. T-Rigging a tube makes it far easier to hop/drag your offering through the rocks.... save your jig heads.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

For whatever its worth, i dont understand using such heavy line in clear water. I could understand if fishing heavy weed cover, but i fish over on oxbow, brownlee, owyhee, etc all the time and use my 5ft ul with 4# mono. Tons of stretch, very rarely break off. lots of times ill straigten hooks trying to get a snag free and save my lure. re tie often. You will get so many more bites on light line, trust me. Its pretty easy to land a 5 pound fish on 4# line. We dont even use 15 pound line on channel cats. you could land strugeon on 15 pound line
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

You could just use 8 or 10 lb flouroclear as a main line. As long as your not casting ounces of weight or using huge lures.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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THE HEAVIEST LINE I USE FOR BASS IS 12LB MONO. MOST OF MY BASS RODS HAVE 8LB ON THEM. I EVEN USE 8LB WHEN STEALHEAD FISHING I EVEN CAUGHT A 15LB CHINOOK ON 8LB. BUT THATS JUST ME. ITS ALL ON HOW YOU PLAY THE FISH.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

If you are using braid with a mono or flourocarbon leader then try to keep your braid diameter as close as possible to the diameter of the mono or flourocarbon. The braid will be stronger than the leader but your splice Knot (uni-uni or albright) will tie better with the two lines being similar in diameter.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
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The weight line I use depends on the setup and the conditions. When I am fishing a deep crankbait around structure (rocks, trees, etc) I like to use 12lb mono. This is a tradeoff of line diameter and not losing plugs that cost many dollars For carolina rigging I also use 12lb mono(although I plan on switching to braid). Similar for most texas rigging I use 12lb mono. Setting the hook in cover takes a hard hook set. Similar for fishing spinnerbaits in heavy cover.

For jigs, grubs, tubes, wacky worms, etc. I use 6 or 8lb mono. I tend to fish these in somewhat more open water. Fewer line nicks, etc.

I am not sure about the rest of you all, but the only time I lose a fish to a break is on the hook set or if they get me wrapped in cover. The line weight I pick is what I feel I need to survive that.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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For whatever its worth, i dont understand using such heavy line in clear water. I could understand if fishing heavy weed cover, but i fish over on oxbow, brownlee, owyhee, etc all the time and use my 5ft ul with 4# mono. Tons of stretch, very rarely break off. lots of times ill straigten hooks trying to get a snag free and save my lure. re tie often. You will get so many more bites on light line, trust me. Its pretty easy to land a 5 pound fish on 4# line. We dont even use 15 pound line on channel cats. you could land strugeon on 15 pound line
The heavy line I use is due to all of the riprap and boulders i fish around. It's nice to get a tube or two back, even if you do have to bend the hook back into shape.

If is fish top water, I use lighter line as well.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:26 AM   #11
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For whatever its worth, i dont understand using such heavy line in clear water. I could understand if fishing heavy weed cover, but i fish over on oxbow, brownlee, owyhee, etc all the time and use my 5ft ul with 4# mono. Tons of stretch, very rarely break off. lots of times ill straigten hooks trying to get a snag free and save my lure. re tie often. You will get so many more bites on light line, trust me. Its pretty easy to land a 5 pound fish on 4# line. We dont even use 15 pound line on channel cats. you could land strugeon on 15 pound line
This is kinda some poor advice for anyone who is not fishing a lake like oxbow, brownlee, owyhee etc. Those lakes have some decent fish in them but the majority of the bass are small. I used to fish UL rods and small lb. test while catching small bass, yeah it was fun, but once I got more into bass fishing and targeting large fish I realized the nessessity to upgrade in tackle. You will get better hook-ups and land more big fish if you match you tackle to the size of fish you are targeting. For a place like Boardman, which I have fished numerous times, the gear I like to use for tube fishing is a 6'6" medium action spinning rod, with a fast action. 8 lb. braid with a 6-8' section of 8lb. flouro leader. I use either 1/8 or 1/4 oz. of weight depending on depth being fished. I feel this setup gives me great feel, good hooksets and the power to move fish if need be. If you used a 5' UL with 4 lb. test there I promise you would miss many fish and not have the power to properly move/hook fish in the faster currents of the Columbia. For people just getting into bass fishing or looking to get better at it the advice to use UL tackle may be strearing them in the wrong direction, and may lengthen the learning curve.

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Old 05-02-2012, 08:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

I agree, there's no sport in breaking off a fish because of light line.

I just use 8-10# mono on spinning rods, I don't see a need for flouro.

Crankin' - GOOD 12#, maybe 15# for heavy baits.

If I'm putting a spinnerbait or jig in the brush, 20# isn't to much. With the water high you may find some big fish in the brush!

Actually it sounds like your set up is about right. I'm still not a huge fan of braid in most applications of Bass fishing, but this old dog is learning.....

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Old 05-03-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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This is kinda some poor advice for anyone who is not fishing a lake like oxbow, brownlee, owyhee etc. Those lakes have some decent fish in them but the majority of the bass are small. I used to fish UL rods and small lb. test while catching small bass, yeah it was fun, but once I got more into bass fishing and targeting large fish I realized the nessessity to upgrade in tackle. You will get better hook-ups and land more big fish if you match you tackle to the size of fish you are targeting. For a place like Boardman, which I have fished numerous times, the gear I like to use for tube fishing is a 6'6" medium action spinning rod, with a fast action. 8 lb. braid with a 6-8' section of 8lb. flouro leader. I use either 1/8 or 1/4 oz. of weight depending on depth being fished. I feel this setup gives me great feel, good hooksets and the power to move fish if need be. If you used a 5' UL with 4 lb. test there I promise you would miss many fish and not have the power to properly move/hook fish in the faster currents of the Columbia. For people just getting into bass fishing or looking to get better at it the advice to use UL tackle may be strearing them in the wrong direction, and may lengthen the learning curve.
Thank you!
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #14
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I agree completely. Bass don't have nasty teeth and don't require braid. Personally, I like 6 to 8lb line, and have 4lb on standby. If you have solid knots tied, and your drag is set right, and you use the rod correctly, you can land big fish on light line. Not to mention you can cast small lures much farther. Just my 2 cents.

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For whatever its worth, i dont understand using such heavy line in clear water. I could understand if fishing heavy weed cover, but i fish over on oxbow, brownlee, owyhee, etc all the time and use my 5ft ul with 4# mono. Tons of stretch, very rarely break off. lots of times ill straigten hooks trying to get a snag free and save my lure. re tie often. You will get so many more bites on light line, trust me. Its pretty easy to land a 5 pound fish on 4# line. We dont even use 15 pound line on channel cats. you could land strugeon on 15 pound line
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:53 AM   #15
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THE AREAS UP BY BOARDMAN CANT BE ANY WORSE THAN THE UPPER S.FORK SANTIAM WHICH IS WHERE I HOOKED AND LANDED A 15LB SPRING CHINOOK ON 8LB TRILENE XT WITH A LAMIGLASS ULTRALITE. WITH THAT SAID ANYONE CAN FIGHT A BIG LAREMOUTH OR SMALLMOUTH ON LIGHT LINE. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FISHING IN DOWN TREES OR THICK WEEDS. ROCKS NOT A PROBLEM. LIKE I SAID BEFORE IF YOU KNOW HOW TO PLAY FISH YOU SHOULDNT HAVE A PROBLEM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:26 AM   #16
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I land huge fish on my ul all the time. I fish the snake river impoundments and below hells canyon dam for trout, bass, steelhead and even the occasional chinook. AS long as you got room to move around the bank, and no thick weed cover, its quite easy to land 15 pound fish on 4# line. Tie good knots, re tie very often, change line on spool all the time (sometimes 2 or 3 spools a day) and you'll get way more bites and land more fish. Seen it happen dozens and dozens of times. Bass guys throwing huge lures on heavy line with bait casters getting frustrated because theres no fish to be found. We walk up with our ul and throw smaller 1/4 oz panther martins and 2 inch deep diving cranks and start catching fish on every cast. Even nice bass up to 5 pounds. Its ok if you dont land the fish in 8 sec, taking a full minute to land the fish is fun. Very rarely loose fish to line breakage, worst problem is the smaller hook gaps on the smaller lures. its worth it though, because you'll seriously get three times the bites. We land chinnook all the time over in idaho on small mtn streams when fishing for trout with our ul. Caught my biggest lmb, several in the 6-7 pound range, on 1 inch trout magnet jigs on 1/64oz jighead. Big fish do eat big baits, but they also eat plenty of small prey too. For me it comes down to: would you rather fish all day with heavy stuff (which really isnt fun to throw all day) and get a few bites and land all 6 six fish that bit, probably nice fish, or: throw small stuff all day, its fun, get dozens of bites, land almost all fish, just as many big ones, but also tons of smaller bass and crappie, perch, cats, trout, etc mixed in as well?

Last edited by codeman; 05-04-2012 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:46 AM   #17
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I 100% agree with you codeman landing big fish on small gear is a blast. If you are breaking fish off then your playing the fish wrong.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:29 AM   #18
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I never said that you can't land big fish on light gear, you certainly can and I have. Like I said, I used to do the UL gear for bass until I got tired of catching 8-10 inch bass all the time and started "targeting" large fish. I still target large fish with 4-6lb line when I'm drop-shotting, but when fishing tubes, like the question in the beginning of the thread stated, I use braid with a flouro leader. The braid isn't for strength, its for feel. When your fishing 20-25' feet deep you need all the feel you can get. I'm sorry, but if you say that your fishing an 1/8oz tube on an UL with 4lb test and you have great feel to detect all these bites, your crazy. Even 4lb flouro stretches a ton. Big fish do eat small baits, but they eat big baits much more often. You can weed through the 10" bass, I will continue to weed through the 3lb bass.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:38 AM   #19
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I 100% agree with you codeman landing big fish on small gear is a blast. If you are breaking fish off then your playing the fish wrong.
I was wondering when you would clean your keyboard.

I enjoy catching smallmouth on UL gear also.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #20
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I never said that you can't land big fish on light gear, you certainly can and I have. Like I said, I used to do the UL gear for bass until I got tired of catching 8-10 inch bass all the time and started "targeting" large fish. I still target large fish with 4-6lb line when I'm drop-shotting, but when fishing tubes, like the question in the beginning of the thread stated, I use braid with a flouro leader. The braid isn't for strength, its for feel. When your fishing 20-25' feet deep you need all the feel you can get. I'm sorry, but if you say that your fishing an 1/8oz tube on an UL with 4lb test and you have great feel to detect all these bites, your crazy. Even 4lb flouro stretches a ton. Big fish do eat small baits, but they eat big baits much more often. You can weed through the 10" bass, I will continue to weed through the 3lb bass.
+1.... Why use 4lbs test and re-spool several times per day (as mentioned above) when you can use the heavier line and catch just as many fish? There is no reason to play out fish until complete exhaustion using 4lbs test and a UL rod. Use heavier line (line test designed for the baits you are using), land the fish in a timely fashion, and send her back on her way.

Go post that you annually land Chinook on 4lbs test on the main boards and see what reaction you get.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #21
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FYI, you can get Maxima in 2lb and 3lb test - even if its just leader material. Splice a few leader spools together and hit up some fly fishing shops for some #22 hooks. Pretty quick the bass will all spawn and there will be millions of bass fry to target.


Think about the numbers potential there!

Sorry for the hijack...I'll post up a mid columbia report in a couple days.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:39 PM   #22
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I WAS JUST STATING MY OPINION. AND HONESTLY IF YOU ARE CATCHING FISH WHO CARES WHAT LINE YOUR USEING.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #23
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Medium action, for a little of both, and a little more challenge with both.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:54 AM   #24
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I WAS JUST STATING MY OPINION. AND HONESTLY IF YOU ARE CATCHING FISH WHO CARES WHAT LINE YOUR USEING.
Looks like I spoke to soon. It seems your keyboard is gummed up again. You might want to have that looked at by a trained professional.

I agree use whatever line works the best.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #25
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I fished my new tube rig this morning and loved it. I went 6 fish in 6 casts at one point. I am using Suffix 832 15# and 10# P-Line Floroclear. The Suffix cast really well and the whole setup was really sensitive and I could really feel every little bite.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:17 PM   #26
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FYI, you can get Maxima in 2lb and 3lb test - even if its just leader material. Splice a few leader spools together and hit up some fly fishing shops for some #22 hooks. Pretty quick the bass will all spawn and there will be millions of bass fry to target.


Think about the numbers potential there!

Sorry for the hijack...I'll post up a mid columbia report in a couple days.
Thats what im talking about!
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:14 AM   #27
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I fished my new tube rig this morning and loved it. I went 6 fish in 6 casts at one point. I am using Suffix 832 15# and 10# P-Line Floroclear. The Suffix cast really well and the whole setup was really sensitive and I could really feel every little bite.
But with lighter line you could catch 2 at once!
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #28
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IMO If you are keeping fish light line is fine, but if you are doing catch and release go a little heavier. If you play a fish out you might as well kill it.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #29
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Everybody should use heavy line because all the bass pros on here say its the right thing to do. This stuff cracks me up.Personally I use a line that performs flawlessly and dont give a #$%@ what any so called bass pro thinks or types... Tight lines fellow bassers and do whatever works for you..
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #30
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I fished the Columbia again this morning. Things started out slow, but we made a few changes and ended up having a blast. I will probably gog to a lighter mainline and leader next season, but for now, the Suffix 832 + P-Line Floroclear is doing great.

Today, when crawling tubes along the bottom, I could feel almost every hangup as it developed and knew not to set the hook.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #31
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Everybody should use heavy line because all the bass pros on here say its the right thing to do. This stuff cracks me up.Personally I use a line that performs flawlessly and dont give a #$%@ what any so called bass pro thinks or types... Tight lines fellow bassers and do whatever works for you..
I agree 100% that you should do whatever works for you, whatever you're comfortable with. My point earlier was that its not great advice to tell a beginner to start with a 5ft UL and 4lb test because the learning curve to feeling the difference between a bite and a rock can be frustrating. I think a beginner using braid with a flouro leader is a great starting point because the sensitivity is increased and bites are far more obvious. Once you learn the ropes its far easier to define what type of fishing and what setup works best for you. Some will go the UL route because they just love to catch fish, no matter the size, some will go the heavier route because they want to target large fish or like the versitility of braid. To each their own, but don't preach one way or the other like its the gospel just because thats the only way you've ever fished.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:16 AM   #32
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

Fished that area yesterday and it was decent. Main lake river was 48-49. Water was warmer in the backwaters(up to 53) and colder if you were near any creeks/rivers dumping in. The river is still sky high and off colored.

Fish were grouped up so if you caught one you could usually grind out a few more.

For the record I was using 8 and 15lb test, because thats important.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:29 AM   #33
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Everybody should use heavy line because all the bass pros on here say its the right thing to do. This stuff cracks me up.Personally I use a line that performs flawlessly and dont give a #$%@ what any so called bass pro thinks or types... Tight lines fellow bassers and do whatever works for you..
Slow down there hot shot, there are no bass pros on here, just some guys that care about fish and don't want some jack-o out there playing 3lbs smallies for 45 minutes on 2lbs test or just crankering every fish off so its swimming around with 10 yard of line and 3" Senko in its mouth.

If you don't give a $^&* what anyone thinks, why do you come on here?
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:45 AM   #34
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I think that there is room for all methods of fishing. Some folks love fly fishing, some folks like ultra lights, some use spinning tackle, others use conventional reels. In the end we all use what we think gives us the most pleasure and the best chance to catch the fish we want an a given day. Some days (and conditions) I use the ultralight a ton, some days I mostly use heavier tackle. For me it is about having as much fun as possible. I don't think we need to belittle anyone's approach, because guess what, they all work We live in an area where there are so many fish in so many conditions that you can always fish where your techniques (whatever they are) are the best.

Also, you can bring in a multi-pound fish on 4lb test pretty quickly. I caught quite a few bass in the 4 to 6lb range in North Carolina on an ultralight (and had a bunch break me off in cover as well). You can apply a good bit of pressure with fresh 4lb test line. The fish I have landed on my ultralight were never close to belly up. The funny thing is that I much prefer fighting a fish on heavier tackle because I can pull harder against the fish (and them against me). Once again, this is just a personal preference.

I always try to remember that it is us against the fish, not against each other. I recommend a large dose of bass for everyone
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #35
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

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Originally Posted by MXRacer105 View Post
Slow down there hot shot, there are no bass pros on here, just some guys that care about fish and don't want some jack-o out there playing 3lbs smallies for 45 minutes on 2lbs test or just crankering every fish off so its swimming around with 10 yard of line and 3" Senko in its mouth.

If you don't give a $^&* what anyone thinks, why do you come on here?
LOL you guys are crazy. 5 lb smallie still only takes a min or less to land on 4#Line. Generally dont break any fish off, maybe one over a weekend. I think most guys break off or feel they have to use heavy line cause they're using huge heavy lures with big thick hooks that really get jammed down in the rocks. Again, you still catch the big fish on small lures, you just happen to catch all the smaller ones in between. I dont use ul because i think its the way to go, more fair, or something like that, you just get tons more bites. If you like you using heavy stuff, go ahead, no problems. Telling someone new to fishing to go that route though, is detremental. They're not ganna have much fun using a heavy rod, throwing big ole lures, and getting few bites. A newbie would have much more fun using a rod that doesnt wear you out, throwing lures that are small, easy to fish, and will cast a mile on light line. Plus they'll get action all day long. so what if they break off a few fish a day while they're learning to fight fish?? If I witnessed heavier tackle working better, i would use it. Not some philosophy of mine. Ive spent thousands of days on the water, and all my experiences have shown me light line and smaller lures out fish the big stuff most of the time. And not just on little fish, but on the big ones too.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #36
built2fish
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

Using light line definitely does not equal more bites. There are many times when I get many more bites on 14lb test and a tube then 8lb test and a drop shot and many times when I have been broke off in a wood pile because I could not turn a fish with the lighter line I wash fishing. It all depends on what is most appropriate for the technique and the bio-habitat. If fishing a clear deep lake with no significant bottom structure, than 4lb test is probably the way to go, if fishing heavy cover, rock reefs, submerged wood, etc. than heavier line is going to be the ticket. If you throw 4lb test on the California Delta, you will never land virtually anything, period. That said, if you are throwing 16# flouro at Flaming Gorge, you will probably never get a bite.

That is my thoughts on it and I am definitely a Super Pro tournament bass fisherman extraordinaire, 10 time Bass Master Classic winner, and 8 time FLW cup champ.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:13 AM   #37
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

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Originally Posted by built2fish View Post
It all depends on what is most appropriate for the technique and the bio-habitat. If fishing a clear deep lake with no significant bottom structure, than 4lb test is probably the way to go, if fishing heavy cover, rock reefs, submerged wood, etc. than heavier line is going to be the ticket. If you throw 4lb test on the California Delta, you will never land virtually anything, period. That said, if you are throwing 16# flouro at Flaming Gorge, you will probably never get a bite.
Bingo!! While this seems so common sense, I think it is forgotten by many. Your line/lure should always match the water/forage you are fishing. If you only read one post on this entire thread, this should be the one.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:50 AM   #38
Roosevelt7x7
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Default Re: Mid-Columbia Smallmouth Report and ?

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Originally Posted by hooftracker View Post
Everybody should use heavy line because all the bass pros on here say its the right thing to do. This stuff cracks me up.Personally I use a line that performs flawlessly and dont give a #$%@ what any so called bass pro thinks or types... Tight lines fellow bassers and do whatever works for you..
Really?...throwing a temper tantrum proves you point so much better.
To each their own.
Embarrassing to the trade...HaHaHa!
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