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What is the purpose of a shock leader? Ive fished the surf on the outer banks every June since 1979, at 11 years old. In that time Ive caught several drum over 20 lbs, 1 cobia, I would guess was 25-30lbs, several large sharks and rays. All on nothing more than bluefish rigs and 4ozs of weight. I am perfectly content to fish like this just outside my rental property from5am to 9am every morning and 6pm to 10pm every night. Im only an avid surf fisherman 2 weeks out of the year, but am I missing something? If I ever decide to use my 12ft rod equipped with 30lb test, and 6ozs of weight, is the shock leader that important? Any advice or info would be helpful. TY
 

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What is your definition of "bluefish rig"? You may be already using a rig that essentially provides the same sort of protection to your terminal tackle that a shock leader already does.

A shock leader is generally a section of heavier or different material line either seperated by a knot or swivel from the main line. It servers several purposes, but in most cases where you are seeing it is also in a "fishfinder" rig.

You see it tied as a length of mono when the mainline is braid. This provides a little bit of give in the overall rig, as braid has almost zero stretch which can lead to pulled hooks under a hard fight. In braid, it also can add a bit of abrasion resistance. I know this sounds odd as braid is tough as nails, but you must remember that braid of the same size has smaller diameter and there for LESS abrasion resistance than mono of similar line class. ALSO, mono or flourocarbon leaders are far less visable underwater than braid generally is, so it can help provide a more "natural" presentation to fish wary of line.

It is used with mono mainline to provide a section of line just above the hook that is more resistance to breaking or being bitten through. Though I've learned that if you're targetting bluefish over 30", just go with wire because odds are they're going to bit through any line up to 80# test!

Hope this helps. Like I said, depending on your version of "bluefish rig", you could possibly be providing the same protection that a "shock leader" would provide. Many of your premaid bottom rigs are made from very heavy monoflilaments. And what I'd call a "bluefish rig" is essentially a fishfinder, but I've got a section of single strand wire instead of a shock leader.
 

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I almost always use some type of shock leader now that I have fished a little more and have more experience.

I'm running 17# line with a 40# shocker on my bottom and fish finder rigs. My reasons: getting more distance on the smaller line, leader is friendly on my fingers on cast, got something to grab ahold of when the fish is in the wash, can cast more often without breakoffs, less fish breakoffs, less lead hitting neighbors head down the beach, and on and on.

I fished a many of year without then started noticing how many times bad stuff happened without them. Not a hard thing to use. A roll of 40# big game or ande is about the same price as two 4oz sinkers and 2 bluefish rigs.

There's a great thread about this in the fishing bible section.

Do what you feel comfortable with and have fun.


Bubba Feesh
 

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What is the purpose of a shock leader? Ive fished the surf on the outer banks every June since 1979, at 11 years old. In that time Ive caught several drum over 20 lbs, 1 cobia, I would guess was 25-30lbs, several large sharks and rays. All on nothing more than bluefish rigs and 4ozs of weight. I am perfectly content to fish like this just outside my rental property from5am to 9am every morning and 6pm to 10pm every night. Im only an avid surf fisherman 2 weeks out of the year, but am I missing something? If I ever decide to use my 12ft rod equipped with 30lb test, and 6ozs of weight, is the shock leader that important? Any advice or info would be helpful. TY

If you're catching nice fish without shock,not having any problems,I agree,why use it?? Why fix something that "sofar" is not broken.... :)
 

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You only need a shock leader on the cast if you are trying to get some distance and swinging the rod hard. If you're just lobbing the bait into the wash or just past then there is no need for a shock leader within reason.

As for on the retreive if you aren't having problems then, like Drumdum said, don't fix what ain't broke.
 

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I see now my confusion...but wouldn't being bitten be a bit of a "shock"? lol

But then again, my mainline is 30#, so putting together a true shock leader that's higher would make for pretty hard casting on a 10' surf rod.
 

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not so much... your shock leader is only a few turns around your spool so if makes its way through the guides fairly quickly.

the idea of a shock leader is to SAFELY cast heavy loads while still being able to use a light main line. trying to cast 8 and bait with 15lb test wouldnt work out too well. but as drumdum said, if your catching fish then dont even worry about it.
 

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I also have not used a shockleader but I like the part about finger friendly since I use braid. So if I understand correctlly with me throwing 20lb braid on my 11fter I need a 40lb shockleader that will wrap about 4-5 times around my spool? Is the reason for so much around the spool that when I cast the force will not be near the knot? On my 7fter how long is the florocarbon you guys use for trout and pups with lures?:fishing:
 

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Here is my answer

I like 2-3 feet of flouro when trout/pup fishing. 20 # with double uni knot. Might even put 30# flouro on as bite leader when casting for spanish. The spanish and the blues that accompany like to chew!

As for wrapping a few rounds of leader around the spool on a shock leader; that's the purpose as far as I know. It takes the pressure/pull/force right there around the spool and rod tip when casting heavier weights instead of the smaller line. Not stretching/stressing my main line.

Again personal preference. After fishing all day or a few days, my hands are waterlogged and the line will cut right through at nothing. Even worse with braid, so I like a shock leader.

If I'm thowing in the wash no problem. Lob it out and have fun. Most of the time I'm trying to go over the bar, just inside of the bar or through the rip/cut. I need 6-8 ounces and a shock leader to do so and I do not want to have a stressed spot or shell nick near the end of my line when I hook a 30 pound or better fish.

Just a quik story, When I got started a few years ago. I took a buddy to cape point one night for his first trip. Got all my ugly sticks out, had some of that red 30# line and 8 or 10 7/0 J hooks and good bait. Well I thought I would get a nap and let my buddy fish. That did not happen. The fun started about midnight! Got reeled numerous times. Lost every hook, rig, and weight I had and "it"ate all our bait. I say it because we aint seen it yet! Was sitting at the Red Drum Tackle Shop at 5:30 am waiting on them to open so we could start over! What a night! Needless to say, I learned about shock leaders.

Bubba feesh
 
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