Feeder fishing shock leader, why,when,what & how?

TrickyD

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After decades of fishing mainly small rivers on the float or pole, I am about to venture into the world of feeder fishing, and possibly long distance with a big feeder.I've been looking briefly online, lots of different opinions about leaders, some do, some don't, some have a leader of a higher B/S than mainline, some have leader of a lower B/S.Theres possibly loads of info out there, but as with most things, loads of different ideas.Any ace feeder fishers with any pointers, or links to articles/videos ? Going to be fishing the Thames from Teddington to Chertsey areas, so fairly longish chucks with big feeders for bream (or anything that has a go). Got suitable rods, one up to 90 grams, one up to 150 grams, and a 5000 size feeder reel, just need to know about leaders.
 

corkycat

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I have been fishing similar long-range tactics on big Irish loughs since 1983 and I have never used a shock leader. I'm sure it has its advantages but I have never found the need for it.
 

Cobweb

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I also fished loughs in Eire and likewise never found a problem without a shock leader. However, there are a couple of issues to talk about. Here in my part of the world (softy south east) there is more or less a blanket ban on using braid as a mainline - which for distance feeder work is handy for much better bite detection, as mono stretches. I'm nowhere near an ace - more like a deuce, but recently I've been using Flourocarbon as a shock leader, with a low stretch mono as mainline. I think it has improved my catch rate, but it might be worthwhile switching to a low stretch mono for distance work, and experimenting a bit, There is an argument that as Flouro is practically invisible, it makes a difference. I'm unsure, but for me, using a low stretch mono seems to have made quite a bit of difference
 

rd115

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The leader is just there to take the punishment of the cast, and also for when a fish goes mental under the rod tip.

My setup currently on my distance rod is 5lb Guru Pulse Pro mainline to a 15lb shockleader, few turns on the spool so when fish is almost in netting distance i'm playing it on 15lb leader and not the 5lb mono.

You wouldn't want to punch out a 45-60g feeder on just the 5lb mono, disaster waiting to happen.
 

TrickyD

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I'd have thought low stretch or flurocarbon would be more prone to crack offs than standard mono ? Also, isn't flurocarbon thicker, thus causing more resistance to the flow of water over the line (talking about using it as a main line here) ?. I have used Pro logic excellent line, it is a halfway point between mono & braid, 8lbs is .22mm, but it has a bit of give, sounds like it may be ok to use this with no leader.
 

Jipes67

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I use shockleaders for all my feeder fishing no matter if I have braid or mono on the reel.
First reason being if I ever should have a crack off, I just have to re-attach a shockleader without needing to measure my fishing distance again. I carry pre-tied and pre-rigged shockleaders.

I use :
- 1 meter 0.25 mm fluorocarbon when fishing for shy biting fish. The rigidity of the fluoro and the shortness offer me a good bite detection and still a bit forgiveness when playing fish close in under the rod tip. I must add that I use quite soft rods such as the Drennan Acolyte Ultra or the MAP Parabolix.
- 7 meters 0.28 mm mono for all my standard feeder fishing. The thick diameter of the 0.28 makes it more rigid and therefor more tangle free.
- 10 meters 0.28 mm or 0.30 mm mono for the long distance casts.

I tie all of the above twice : one with a 2 inch feeder link and one with an helicopter rig.
 

Cobweb

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I'd have thought low stretch or flurocarbon would be more prone to crack offs than standard mono ? Also, isn't flurocarbon thicker, thus causing more resistance to the flow of water over the line (talking about using it as a main line here) ?. I have used Pro logic excellent line, it is a halfway point between mono & braid, 8lbs is .22mm, but it has a bit of give, sounds like it may be ok to use this with no leader.
Using flourocarbon as a mainline is going to be costly as they only usually come in 50m spools. Yes non stretch line's major disadvantage over mono is an obvious one, but a shock leader only runs to about 12 feet using mono as your mainline, so how much of a problem is that at distance feeder work?

You have a drag control on your reel yes? -Something worth thinking about if you are thinking about going with flouro as mainline: assuming where you fish that is permitted, then a way to really test your reel is to use the drag system extensively- could prove costly as many budget reels (and some more expensive ones) have low tolerance to excessive clutch wear

Yes using a low stretch line for distance work does seem a sensible and practical option, but rd115 makes some good points
 

TrickyD

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I've just dug out some Sunset Amnesia line, 15lb, says ideal for leaders, would this be overkill ?
 

rd115

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Be absolutely fine, just make sure quivertip eyes are oversized for shockleader knots, most distance / heavy feeder rods should be (y)
 

TrickyD

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Be absolutely fine, just make sure quivertip eyes are oversized for shockleader knots, most distance / heavy feeder rods should be (y)
Do you leave long tags on the knot, similar to a slider knot ?
 

Dave

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I've tried shock leaders, I've used shorter lengths to prevent damage to mainline over the landing net frame, and tbh Ive never felt the need for them.

The logic of using a fine line to hide from the fish, to be less noticeable also goes out of the window if you're using 15lb leaders.

Balance your mainline to your rod and to your casting weight/feeder weight, and you shouldn't have any issues imho.
 

TrickyD

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I've tried shock leaders, I've used shorter lengths to prevent damage to mainline over the landing net frame, and tbh Ive never felt the need for them.

The logic of using a fine line to hide from the fish, to be less noticeable also goes out of the window if you're using 15lb leaders.

Balance your mainline to your rod and to your casting weight/feeder weight, and you shouldn't have any issues imho.
The idea of them, I think, is to absorb the shock of casting heavy feeders without having to use heavy line all the way through.
 

Mike atkinson

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I use 0.10 braid, tied direct to 4ft of 0.28 mono, the mono is ideal for tying your rig, whichever you choose, I’m useing feeders from 50-75gram, for distance work, and I can’t remember the last time I cracked off, it must be years ago.
 

rd115

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Do you leave long tags on the knot, similar to a slider knot ?

You could leave tags like I would on a stop knot for a pike float ledger setup but most people don't seem to and don't have issues.

I leave small tags but I don't fish anywhere weedy so unsure if weed on the line could be a problem with tags.
 
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