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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Braid in the river is a bad thing! It's also bad laying in clumps on the river bank. It just doesn't biodegrade nearly as quickly as nylon mono does and becomes a hole clogging nightmare in the river and an environmental hazard on the bank.

Having said that, I've been drift fishing with braided line since about 1980. (Gudebrod braided dacron.)

So, how do you keep from leaving chunks of braid in the river?

It's as simple as always using at least a rod length mono "bumper" tied directly to the braid and matching the braid-bumper-leader strength correctly.

An example would be:
For winter steelhead--30# braid (6# mono equivalent diam.) joined with a back to back uni-knot to a 15# mono bumper tied to a swivel followed by 10 or 12# leader.

With this setup, the weak point is almost always the leader, followed by the bumper to swivel connection, followed by the back to back uni-knot bumper to braid connection. The key is balancing the braid-bumper-leader strengths so that the weak spots are in that order, leader, bumper, bumper to braid knot. Since the actual break strengths of the various braids and monos differ significantly from their stated strengths, you need to do some knot testing for the specific lines you are using. The rule of thumb I use is: Braid strength(Spiderwire braid)= twice mono strength(Berkley Big Game)=any leader that is weaker than bumper mono. (Some braids are much stronger than others for their stated strengths, use whatever works). 30# main line may sound too heavy, but, hey, you've still got about 6# mono equivalent diameter, how small do you need to go?

For throwing spoons or spinners just tie directly to the heavier bumper (works good for plugs, too).

Using this bumper system you will almost never leave any pieces of braid in the river, your braid will last much longer (less abrasion on the rocks), you'll break off less fish on rocks (the mono bumper is much more abrasion resistant than braid), you have a slight shock absorber for hooksets and playing the fish (stretch of the bumper), you'll spook the fish less than running the more visible braid through the hole (maybe), and you'll actually leave less line in the river than the straight mono fisher!!!! (since the braid will almost never break like mono occasionally does at the reel). If the braid does break it is almost always at the mono to braid connection. So the most line you will leave in the river will be a rod length of mono bumper.

As with all trash, pick up and pack out any pieces of discarded braid. Use a mono bumper system--keep braid from getting a bad rap and have more fun!

[ 05-24-2003, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: WillFish ]
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