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Hi,

I"m as crappy as they come when it comes to fishing and snag bottom every time I go out. Now, I realize thats part of the game when fishing the vedder river, however, I loose 2 to 3 hooks roughly every time. Sometimes less , sometimes more. My weight doesn't hook bottom, just my hook. Am I fishing too deep or am I just stupid? How many hooks do you guys loose?
 

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First, everybody looses leaders. Second, there are just too many variables to know why you are loosing leaders. Here are some of the more common places/ways:

1. Low water.

2. Boulder strewn pocket water.

3. Submerged branches/log.

4. Someone else's fishing line.

5. Drifting from upstream down to your position.

6. Drifting from a deep hole to a shallow tail-out.

7. Drifting from fast water to slow, shallow water.

8. Casting into foamy, white water.

9. Poor casts.

10. Poor line control.

11. Poor attention.

12. Too much lead.

13. Bad luck.

As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities to screw up. Yesterday, I didn't loose a single leader. Today, I lost 6, including 3 swivels and one float. That is just how it goes.

Dinsdale.
 

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losing 3 hooks in a day of fishing...

to me thats great! Most of the time i loose my float and whole setup, but sometimes not. It all depends on the day, like dinsdale said, sometimes you lose more and somedays you lose none.
 

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I agree, it can vary quite a bit, the number of hooks you lose while out fishing, but we can eliminate a few factors...spacecadet...I'd ask a couple of questions first. How long of leaders are you using? If you have some tied up now just pull one out and measure it. Also what you are using can impact how often you will lose the terminal end. What Dinsdale said there is true...too many variables. But the first thing I would do is make sure I'm not fishing deep enough that my weight is in the rocks at the bottom, then I would check my leader length. It doesn't do much good to have your hook catching rocks...the fish are little up from that so shortening your leader length might help. I'm sure you have considered this too, but I'll mention it anyways, different lures sink at different speeds. For faster sinking items like spinners or jigs, fish on a shorter float. For items that don't sink too quickly at all like wool, corkies, etc...fish a longer float. Inevitably we all lose gear, it takes practice and feel and some judgement of the water you are fishing...but a good rule of thumb is keep your weight out of the rocks...a lot of the literature over the years has preached the philosophy of always tapping bottom with your weight...this is not necessary really, the purpose of such a statement is to get people close to the bottom, where the fish are. Think of it more as your goal is to get your hook in the fish zone, not the weight, and you will begin to get a feel for drifting on the short float without bouncing bottom all the time. There is a short floating thread somewhere in this section you might want to read...A good starting point would be to adjust your depth so that your first one or two casts tap a rock or two, then shorten your depth anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet according to leader length and lure selection...
Hope that helps,
rib
 

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Like rib said, fish higher. Fish look up, so if they have to move 1/2 a foot (6 inches)to get the bait so be it! use leader any where from 20 to 35" Losing a few is just fine, it also means ur in the right zones, down where the fish are! Good luck and good fishing
 

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On a average steelheading day, I loose 1-2 leader. Usually to under water logs. It normal to loose a few here and there.
 

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I forgot to mention that having the float lead (in other words, having the float downstream of the leader) will result in more snags.

Also, don't forget that hooking bottom once in a while can be a cheap thrill on a slow day - especially if you hook a branch that has a bit of give. Likewise, I cannot remember the number of times I thought I'd hooked bottom, only to find a fish on the other end.

DP
 

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20-35" for a leader length? :eek:...Yer gonna miss a lot of fish with that length, my friend. If the water clarity is poor, I would cut that back to 12-14 inches from the swivel to the terminal gear. If the water is very clear (over 3ft. vis. I might lengthen that to 18 20". Several factors should be explored here.
I have seen a large piece of pencil lead firmly crimped onto the mainline and a 3ft. leader with the result usually being the lead is stuck on the bottom,the presentation never gets into the "zone" and the mainline breaks (somewhere) and quite often all gear is lost!
Consider:
...using shorter leaders with micro shot rather than one large peice of lead.
...smaller floats and swivels......(more fish)
...using a float that is not FIRMLY attached to the mainline(sometimes if you are hungup on the bottom and play out some line into the current, the drag on the float will often unhook you)
...smaller, good quality swivels (they get hung up far less)
...squeeze the pencil lead on the mainline, or leader just enough to hold it in place. (if you get hung up it will easily slide without nicking the line and often this will result in saving the gear)
...Use only enough drop from the float to the terminal gear to ,be slightly above the bottom. If you want to slow the drift, you can add a bit more weight. Don't let the float lead the presentation any more than necessary.
...work an area from top to bottom, so you'r not casting upstream.
If you cast into the trees or a bush, tighten your line VERY slowly, until the line is out of the water,then vibrate your line by quick wrist actions.....DO NOT PULL....Most of the time it will come out on it's own.
...If you are hungup on the bottom, it can often help to go upstream of the hangup and then VIBRATE the rod, don't yank on it.
.....Practice your casting at the park with targets......You will save yourself a lot of $$$
....Losing gear cuts into productive fishing time and using too long a leader to protect your float will likely result in less fish top the beach.
............................Ortho............... 8)
 

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Ortho. size 2 hooks in 2 feet of visibily with a 30 inch leader has caught me alot of coho. But ur suggestions will be experimented on. Thanks for the advice. My setup for the vedder right now is a 20inch leader with a 1/0 red gamy with corky wool and roe! Sound right! And once again thanks!


Steel i like ur chum avatar, like my bright steely?
 

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I am constantly adjusting my leader length from hole to hole. I will adjust untill I start hitting bottom throughout then take of 6 inches at a time until I do not hit until the tailout. Doing this results in losing a few leaders and hooks, but it also guarantees that I am right in the strike zone the whole time I am fishing. Fish for 30 to 45 minutes then move on to the next hole and repeat the process.

Wes Roffey
 

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Not saying its bad. Actually, not a bad set up at all for 'hos....BUT, for steel', if you don't micro lead your leader with bbshot or two so you will get down fast, you are going to zip over a lot of fishheads. My point is too many people use a long leader with no weight except the hook and expect this to get to the bottom of 4ft. of water instantly!...Guess we'll have to get the great Rib' to start a poll.....Leader length?????? ???...Ortho 8)
 

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Do not worry about snagging bottom it means you are only trying to get down. trust me ive caught a ton of rocks already this year
 

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My 2 cents.
In clear water , I run a 18" leader MAX, anymore is counter productive to having a good presentation.
If you wish to get your offering down quickly consider using varying sizes of split shot, have them go down in size as they go down the line towards the hook, with a few small ones on the ledaer even as close as 6 inches from your lure or bait.

In dirty water I run a short leader of 10 - 12 inches and will use 15 lb leader as well, and it does not affect hook ups.

Another reason I am sold on jigs is the ability to sink quickly and lead your presentation as it travels down river , no more bait or lure fluttering on the surface as your float goes by.
Remember you can tie jigs with just a tuft of wool or feather on them and tie in a elastic band, which you use to secure Roe or prawns to, this allows you to have a bait that plummets quickly and stays in the zone.
It's all about being in the zone without hanging up.

I often go a full day without having to re rig and use the same float for months, I run an elastic band on my float so in the unlikely event I hang up , I will not lose it.
 

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Ironhead said:
I often go a full day without having to re rig and use the same float for months, I run an elastic band on my float so in the unlikely event I hang up , I will not lose it.
There's good idea...definitely agree on the descriptions of leader lengths as well, there is a point where a longer leader works against you, for sure. I like fishing blades for the same reason IH likes fishing jigs...it's easy to fish with confidence when you are using a terminal item that gets in the zone quickly and is easy to control...anyone looking to improve their success should consider the advantages pointed out here...
 

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I guess thats why dad's hooking all the fish and i cant figure out what he's doin to catch them! ;D Never really took a look at his leader length! I loose a float every 1-2 months, light leaders help with this. 10-12lb leaders snap alot easier than 15 mainline so u do the math. I do use split shot on my leaders though, usually when i'm fishing pocket water!

My chehalis setup durring the indian summer for summer runs is 10lb, 32 inch leader #4 gammy 2 medium split shot on the leader and 4 magnum split shots on the 12 mainline, spaced out, then float.

Thompson is because of big water and big fish 22 inch 15lb leader 1/0 or 2/0 gammy with 2 medium and 1 magnum on the leader then pencil lead, then float. 20lb mainline

Vedder setup 12lb leader #1 gammy 25 inches 3 medium split shot on the leader, then pencil lead, then float, 15lb mainline

My new setup because of this forum topic!

Chehalis:- 22 inch 10lb leader, 2 medium split shot, 4 magnums on mainline, float

Vedder:- 19-20 inch 12lb leader, 3 medium split shot, pencil lead, float

Thompson:- 17-18 inch 15lb leader, 2 medium, 1 magnum splitshot, pencil lead, float

Sorry guys but i'm gonna stay on the long side of things for a little bit longer! ;D I will experiment and will probably hook my 11 steelhead of my life! Thanks guys!

P.S. I've only been steelheading 12 times, that says something! At least i hope it does, but i had an excellent teacher so i guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!
 

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I tie one length of leader - 21". Why 21"? Because that used to be the number on my dad's taxi cab! (In other words, it is a length I have confidence with.) I can easily "shorten" this length by adding a split shot or simply tying it on with more of a tag that gets clipped off. One thing is for sure - you cannot lengthen an 11" leader!
Now if you guys are saying I will have more hook-ups with a shorter leader, then be thankful I stick with 21". Otherwise it would be like going through the river with a hoover!LOL

Dinsdale
 
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