What are your top braid tips?

Ben Field

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Sep 16, 2014
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with hard chrome rings does it still wear them out as it used to...? not all rod rings are lined... I used it with my browning Aggressor 13' heavy feeder (ceramic ring inserts...) it cut the inserts to bits

Only on the cheapest guides I think. Guides are really two parts. The frame (which’ll be chrome, stainless steel or titanium) and the insert (Fuji have O-rings, Fazlite, Alconite, SiC and Torzite). Even the cheapest O-ring inserts should be ok with braid these days. That said, a lot of coarse manufacturers stick to cheaper Korean or Chinese guides. Most are good, but sometimes could be questionable. I’ve not had any problem with any so far but can imagine longer rods and heavier feeders could occasionally see it happening if the quality isn’t there. Typically, if you’re spending more than £50 on a rod though, i can’t imagine it happening often these days. Although it obviously does. Sign of a VERY cheap guide if it does though. Vast, vast majority will be fine. Unlined ones... I wouldn’t use with braid personally as 8 strand ones especially may suffer.
 

Arry

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The Aggressor wasn't a cheap rod, being £90 back in the 90's... the wife wasn't happy as I'd blown £180 sovs on 2 rods and one was trashed in less than a season... bit of a moot point nowadays for me though, as all local commercials and my club waters only allow braids as a hoolink and not a reel line
 

Ben Field

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The Aggressor wasn't a cheap rod, being £90 back in the 90's... the wife wasn't happy as I'd blown £180 sovs on 2 rods and one was trashed in less than a season

yes, I know. That’s why I’m surprised. Things have definitely improved since the 90’s, but on a rod that price it was surprising.

I guess the worst combo these days could be an old rod with bad guides, combined with a modern, thin braid.
Actually, thinking aloud, I bet older, coarser braids were really the issue. I bet smooth, modern braids wouldn’t cut even a cheap guide half as much as an older braid with a tougher profile would. So worst combo is likely old guide with old braid - hence the theory about guides getting cut actually starting. I can’t imagine the same happening today with smooth braids and harder inserts allround.
 

Arry

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it was the tip section that got the most wear with grooves being cut in most of the lined guides (a sort of pink ceramic)
 

Silverfisher

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I didn’t get on with braid as a feeder line basically because I think using it on rivers at relatively short range probably wasn’t a particularly good idea. Just seemed to show almost too much and I missed and bumped more fish than on mono.

I wouldn’t be without braid for sea fishing though it’s revolutionised that 👍🏻
 

Nicky Dodds

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Most braids naturally float. During braid development and after discovering there may be another potential market to exploit regarding feeder fishing, manufacturers tried incorporating Kevlar fibres adding a little weight to aid sinking.
Unfortunately it proved itself very abrasive and the process was eventually dropped.
 

Alantherose

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Braids have changed a lot over the years and a lot of what you hear now are old theories, or not necessary.

Wetting it is one of the main ones. Braids have come a long way. There are still bad ones out there, but they’re fewer these days and most behave far better than they used to.

Ask many why it must be wet and most wont actually have an answer (sorry for sounding like a dick ).

Even if you don’t realise it, the actual reason that wetting it has taken off is that it increases friction on the cast. Since most of us like our reels looking fancy and pro, we load them right to the lip, just like with mono. While mono can handle this because it’s a stiffer material, braid is so supple that it comes from the spool too easily, so you get wind knots and crackoffs. The act of adding water does nothing but slow the braid down by adding a touch of resistance and friction as the line is leaving the spool. So wind knots or crack-offs are reduced. Of course, if you just underfill the spool by 2-3mm in the first place, you create all of the extra friction due to the extra spool edge, so you do away with needing the water to add the friction, or having to constantly worry that you may or may not have sprayed it enough. With mono you’d be losing casting distance by doing so as the amount of extra friction on the spool lip would slow things down. Modern braids are so supple however, that you lose almost zero distance, but do cut your risk of any wind knots or problems dramatically.
There were also theories about it “bedding in” on itself that water can solve. Again, braids are more tightly woven these days and we’re well past that point. Unless... you do need to put it on under some tension.
Wind knots will be caused almost exclusively by slack line getting back on to your spool.

1) Don’t overload the spool.

2) Wind it on under some tension. To be fair I usually just do it between my fingers. I’ve never cut myself. OR, if I’m feeling less lazy then I will pop the spool in a bucket of water. This has absolutely zero to do with wanting it wet, but the water does a nice job of holding the spool still whilst also letting it spin. Otherwise I end up chasing it around the room!

3) Close the bail arm manually when you’ve cast (cranking the handle over automatically puts one loose loop back on).

4) Pick up any slack line floating in the air and wind it back on under some tension (pull your rod to the side to tighten. Bringing it low so that the braid catches the waters surface can be enough).

Like Godber, I typically use a 1m leader now. My fishing is all less than 50m though. For long casts I’d use longer, on a rod with bigger guides so you don’t have to worry about the knot catching.
Although I can be a knob when talking lines, as far as leader knots go, I’m not too fussy any more. I use Albright’s exclusively for lure fishing (though I know an FG knot is stronger), and although I use one when feeder fishing most of the time, I never experience problems if I use loop-loop either. It’s fine on a short leader anyway.
Hi Ben,

Possibly the best answer I've ever had about anything on here- thank you, very much appreciated. I have now bought the new Drennan Acolyte in 0.12 and will spool up one of my Shimano Sahara spools with it. I have a feeling I'll be revisiting your advice fairly regularly (and all the others too- appreciate all your combined wisdom).

Have a great Christmas all, tight lines and God bless,

Al
 

davylad

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I reckon not filling the spool too near the lip, is a good tip. Personally I always get rid of ANY twist, before attempting to use it. I also wind it on tight, but that only guarantees your first cast, after that it depends on how tight it's wound in.
 
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