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  1. Default Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Hi all,

    Looking for some advice on break strains, the commercial fishery where my 9 year old goes to fish at the moment has up to and around 27-30lb carp in the lake he wants to fish.

    Is there a general rule of thumb for main line break strain compared to size of fish in the lake i.e. based on 27lb fish would 25lb break strain mono (braid not allowed) be suitable and then what would be the hook length break strain compared to the main line break strain.

    If you could advise the general rules for choosing break strains I would be very grateful.

    Thanks,
    Scott.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Scott,
    are you talking about carp fishing, buzzers, boilies etc, or fishing for carp with normal rod and line/pole tactics? The answers you may get could be quite different depending on your response.

    Amongst the specialist carp world, it's not at all uncommon to use hooklinks of greater breaking strain than the mainline. Amongst more general anglers, it's relatively unusual to do so. However, the match fraternity sometimes seem to buck that trend with their current obsession with line diameters and high tech Vs standard monos.

    However, get as far away as you can from thinking that you need anything like 30lb line to land a 30lb fish. There's barely a fish swimming in UK freshwater that can't be landed on 10lb line. The use of greater breaking strains is usually down to factors other than the size of the fish.

    When full on carping (buzzers, bobbins and all), I rarely use mainlines over 12lb. I've never used greater than 15lb. However, hooklink materials are usually a bare minimum of 10lb, mostly 15lb+.

    When fishing more generally, with rod and line or pole, I doubt that I've ever used greater than 8lb mono mainlines. Hooklinks will invariably be less than the mainline I'm using.

  3. Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply, its basic carp fishing with rod and hair rig, I can see that you probably don't need 25lb line to catch a 25lb fish as long as you reel in correctly.

    My son has 12lb Daiwa Sensor on a reel, assuming this would be fine what would be the recommended hook length break strain and are there any general rules of thumb when it comes to choosing line break strain and what weight fish it would be suitable for.

    Just a basic understanding of how to choose the right break strain line for each occasion.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    12lb Sensor wouldn't be my first choice, but the breaking strain will be fine. 12lb is a good allround mainline breaking strain. I'd only go higher if the fishery insisted (some do) or if it were a fairly snaggy water.

    As far as hooklinks go, where braided or coated braid hooklinks are banned, I'd tend to use flurocarbon, probably in 15 or 20lb, maybe in 12lb in certain circumstances. Again, there's no absolute correlation between breaking strains and the size of the fish you could encounter. The reason for the higher breaking strain than mainline is mainly due to the fact that I know that mainlines are often under rated. Fluro tends to be weaker than stated, especially when knotted.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Sam's given you very good advice, one thing I would add about the high breaking strain is partly because of the size weights often used in 'carp' fishing, these are often bigger than 4oz and can be heavier when using pva bags etc.. This puts the line under a lot of pressure when casting; the weight of a fish in water is really quite light, but the power that they can exert can be very high.

    I would disagree with Sam's dislike of sensor line, I like and use it, not 12lb though. If you read through some of threads, no one will agree on line. Neither of us is right or wrong, it's just what we like and get on with.
    Last edited by iannate; 31-10-2015 at 14:45. Reason: adding more detail

  6. Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Thanks guys,

    So 12lb main is ok, if we stick with mono hook length would the break strain be about same as the main. I am a bit wary using same or higher break strain hook length just in case it gets caught, what are the main reasons/benefits for a higher break strain hook length.

    Again, thanks for the advice, still learning (and lots to learn).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Quote Originally Posted by scottm1976 View Post
    Thanks guys,

    So 12lb main is ok, if we stick with mono hook length would the break strain be about same as the main. I am a bit wary using same or higher break strain hook length just in case it gets caught, what are the main reasons/benefits for a higher break strain hook length.

    Again, thanks for the advice, still learning (and lots to learn).
    The benefits of a higher breaking strain hooklink are dependent on the material concerned. Some type hooklinks offer relatively poor resistance to abrasion. Others have relatively poor knot strengths. In either instance, there can be a case for using such materials in a breaking strain that exceeds that stated for the mainline. However, it's worth bearing in mind that mono reel lines are generally underrated and hooklinks are often overrated.

    Though I rarely use mono for hooklinks, I'd use the same breaking strain, or less, than the mainline, especially if using one single type/brand of line.

    Many carpers don't bat an eyelid at the prospect of using 20/25/30lb hooklinks with 10/12/15lb mainlines. I've found that those with more of a general coarse/match background (like me) are a little more hesitant. However, when you look around at the hooklink materials available, you'll not find too many less than 15lb. That should tell a story in itself.

    The Tackle Box line tests may be enlightening for you. It gives some statistical backing to what I'm trying to get across. However, they aren't testing hooklink materials, just mono, fluro and braid mainlines.
    http://www.tacklebox.co.uk/pdfs/line_tests_issue3c.pdf

  8. #8

    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    Personally I think your 12lb sensor is spot on. Along with that mainline i'd go with a ten or eight pound leader. You could use sensor as your hooklength if you preferd it...now't wrong with it, it's great line, just a bit coily in the 12lb but it's very abrasive and reliable.
    I wouldn't use the same breaking strain mainline and hooklength, the common beleif that line snaps on the knots is cobblers so your mailine could snap anywhere along it when under pressure. I'd go either lighter or heavier on the hooklength (lighter for me) certainly not the same....jmo.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    The advice given is very good. What you havn't mentioned is the rod and reel.
    Forgive me if I am wrong assuming but if you needed to ask those questions you are not an experienced angler yourself( carp wise anyway).

    He does have a proper carp rod and reel I presume???
    As Ian stated the heavier lines in carping are as much about the weights being cast as the fish playing.
    Try casting a heavy weight on 12lb mono with an under gunned rod is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Just asking.

    John

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    Default Re: Main Line and Hook Length Break Strains

    I am going to be different, my choice in Nylon would be Shimano Technium, or Pro Gold in 15 pound breaking strain with a 10 pound hooklink, you are absolutely right to be concerned about tether, i would never use a hooklink stronger than the mainline. The reason its done with some braids is that it is mistakenly beleived it prevents mouth damage, that is why the anti braid crowd justify its use as a hooklink, rubbish, see what condition the mouths are like on this commercial you are about to fish. As a general rule of thumb the line strength should not exceed 5 times the Test Curve Rating of the rod, otherwise you risk a break and remember to set the clutch correctly.

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