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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, first how much shock leader should I be using? Right now I have about 3-4 feet and thinking that isn't quite enough. I am also using some cheap 20lb mono until that wears out. Once that happens, I have some Berkeley 17lb smooth cast line I plan on putting on there. I'm not using more than 4oz at the moment, but it manages to get me some distance, and plenty of ooo's and ah's from the tourists. As well as some puzzled looks from the other fishermen. :p
 

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Emanuel,

As you probably know, you can cast much further with 12 pound test than you can with 20 pound test. The problem is you can't perform a powerful cast, with 4 ounces of lead, and 12 feet of graphite (or, glass for that matter) without snaping the light line. If you could use the light line with that kind of heavy equipment, you could cast a mile!

The solution is the "shock leader." It's a length of heavy line connected to the end of your lighter, main line. It should be long enough to wrap around the spool 3-5 times, and the weight of the shock leader should be 10 pounds to every ounce of lead (e.g., a 4 ounce weight = a 40 pound shock leader). Using such a heavy shock leader ensures the safety of bystanders, and helps with the abrasion the end of your line gets from rocks, shells, and the like. Remember; we're talking a "shock leader," which absorbs the shock of a serious cast, and wraps around the spool several times. We're not talking about how much line you have hanging from the end of your rod when you cast. That's a "leader" too, but it doesn't imply that you're necessarily using a "shock leader."

Any good surf fishing book should show the knots used to connect a shock leader to your main line. Personally, I prefer not to use a shock leader because of how much that knot weakens the line; and my cast does suffer since I have to use heavier line, lighten up on the lead, and hold back a little on my cast (especially if others are within casting distance [about 250 feet -- Ha!]).

Emanuel, I hope that helped a little. Take care.

Bottomfisher
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The 3-4 feet I was referring to is the 50# mono shock leader I have. It's secured with an Albright knot which connects it to the 20# I mentioned. So, I am thinking of going down to the 17# smooth cast once the mono wears out, or get stripped, whichever happens first. The pole is 15' and the whole combo only put me out a little over $60. I am just not sure if I need to throw more than 4 or 6 at most.
 

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Hi Emanuel,

'Bottomfishers' description of a shockleader is spot on, the main reason for it's use is primarily the safety of others :eek:

To gauge the length of the leader required is simple, thread the shockleader from the tip down to your reel then tie the two together and make at least 5 turns around the reel, this applies to either conventionals or spinners. Then trim the shock leader at at the appropriate point for your rig. I prefer to have between 8-12 turns of leader on my reel and on average my shock leaders are around 33ft.

With more and more anglers using stiffer rods and trying to reach the horizon, it's only time before a fatal accident happens and I wouldn't want to be either party. Safety is paramount and is something that costs very little and life is very precious.

Led.
 

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Emanuel,

It sounds like you know what you're doing with the shocker. Since every rod is different, you have to experiment to see which weight is optimum. (Just use different sinkers and listen for the loudest "Ooo's & Ah's." Ha.)

As far as the line goes, here's what to do: Go out there right now, take your pocketknife and scratch that old line down the length of the spool (careful not to nick the spool). Now it's time to spool up with the good stuff. You said it's cheap line, so you've probably already got your money's worth out of it. And it sounds like you really want to try that Berkeley 17. Why wait just to squeeze another 2 cents outta' 2 dollar line? Take care.

Bottomfisher

Led,

You're "spot on" yourself with your concern for safety. A few years back, I made a sling (like David used to kill that big fool with). It was just a strip of leather, 'bout 5 foot long, and tapered at the ends. One end had a loop to hook on my middle finger; the other end, a knot to hold between my thumb and index finger. You stick a rock in the pouch, twirl it around a few times, and let go of the end held by your thumb and index finger. The rock shoots out like a bullet, and can definitely kill (like it was originally meant to do). I said all that to say this: A few ounces of led on the end of a stiff rod travels much faster and farther.

Take care,

Bottomfisher
 
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