September 26, 2003 at 7:12 pm #81267
I'm new to the forum and also relatively new to alpine fishing. I'm enjoying the whole experience tremendously but am having a problem with lures being snagged on the lake bottom. Is this something I just have to accept in alpine fishing or are there techniques to minimize the snags? One thing that seems to help is to quicken the retrieve as the lure gets closer to shore.
September 26, 2003 at 7:33 pm #84898DJHParticipant
I am certain you are not the only one with this problem. Wood and rocks on the bottom easily snag many hooks. The thing I tell new anglers is to stay away from real woody bottoms at first. You will get a feel for it with a little practice. Maybe use a lighter lure. A single barbless hook will also help. If you do get snagged, try walking the shore and wriggling it loose from different angles. There is also bobber and fly technique. I once made my younger brother swim for a lure he got stuck (our last one). He learned rather quickly… ~Dave”
September 28, 2003 at 10:21 pm #84899
Welcome to the forum, Michael.
The best advice I can give is to begin the retrieve within a couple seconds of the cast if you are unsure of the depth. This will generally be enough time to keep the lure from htting bottom. Like DJH said, avoid wood unless you have a lot of lures to lose.
Other than that, just pay attention to what you’re doing, and if you lose a lure, try to figure out why you lost it so you can avoid it next time. Everybody loses a lure now and then, but with some experience, you shouldn’t lose too many.
Another tip is to not use too light of line. I used 6 lb. Maxima Ultragreen this season, and I caught more fish than ever before. It may seem a little heavy, but it’s a shame to lose a lure on a stick that you could have just reeled in with heavier line.
Or, like DJH said, you can just go with flies and you’ll never have to worry about another snag again (except for that fish that always runs for the underwater log, or the bushes behind you when you’re learning).
September 30, 2003 at 5:40 pm #84900
I use fireline, in the 4lb test. It is supposed to be about the same diameter of 1lb mono. I have caughts scores of fish over the past several years with this line. Because it is so light, I can cast much farther than I was able to with mono. I can honestly say no fish has ever broke it on me. I use the slightly bigger size for steelhead and salmon, and none of those fish have ever broken my line. Another advantage to this line is because the diameter is so small, you can get more on your spool. I find this handy. You mentioned snags? On many an occasion I have snagged a tree on the bottom of the lake, and because the line was so strong, I just wrap my arm several times around the line and pull straight. What usually happens is the hook pulls right through the log and rips off a piece of it. I rarely lose lures anymore. A person does need to be careful to watch that this line doesn’t get frayed. I don’t know if it frays easier, or that I just abuse it more because it can handle more. I use it exclusively now. If you want to, do a search on my user name here, and look at the pics I have up. All of these fish were caught using yellow 4lb fireline, and most of them on a Kastmaster lure. Disclaimer: These are my observations and I don’t claim to be an expert, your experiences may differ! 🙂
[Edited on 9-30-2003 by sooperfly]
[Edited on 9-30-2003 by sooperfly]”
October 2, 2003 at 4:26 pm #84901
“None of my local shops carry Fireline in 4 lb test. I didn't even know they made it. That might have saved the 6 to 8 lb lake trout I lost the other day up in northern BC. I'll track some down and give it a try. Do you find that it ages, like mono? Or are you able to use the same line for several years?”
October 2, 2003 at 5:43 pm #84902mossbackParticipant
I think I bought it several years ago at Cabela’s, Brian. At the moment, I only have the hunting catalog; sorry.
Be careful about wrapping that line around bare finger or arm. You will bleed before it breaks!
P.S. How far north? I watched 10 lb RB SE of Merritt starting two week ago.
October 2, 2003 at 6:08 pm #84903
I just found some at Cabelas on-line. They have some other interesting looking lines that are similar.
We were way north in BC in Atlin Park. It is almost in the Yukon. Here’s a page that talks a bit about the park
My dad caught a 37″ northern pike on 4 pound mono. The biggest I landed was 32″. Those things are really toothy and scary.
October 3, 2003 at 12:09 am #84904
“”Hooked on Toys” here in Wenatchee carries 4lb fireline, as well as many online places. There was some rumor going around the the manufacturer was going to quit making it ( heard it on flyanglersonline) but that they changed their mind because so many people complained. It does seem to not last as long as mono.. but to be honest that doesn't bother me. I usually go through one or two spools a year, at about 15 bucks a spool. Small price for me to pay for the performance. And yes!!! You do need to be careful with this line. The fish can't break it and neither can most people. I love to take it, hand it to people and say “here, break this”. I am sure somebody can, but nobody I have seen yet. I wrap some type of tape around the first loop or so that goes on the reel. My experience has been if I don't, then when the line gets wet, the WHOLE mess will rotate on the spool…. Not good when you have a steelie on. And yes, you need to be careful when you are trying to unsnag your line. I usually wrap the line several times around whatever shirt or jacket I am wearing and then pull. It is amazing how strong this stuff is. I even use it in a leader/tippet combo for fly fishing in the winter. Doesn't cast the greatest, but I catch tons of steelies.”
October 3, 2003 at 3:21 pm #84905mossbackParticipant
Atlin is interesting looking area. You and your dad know how to find them!! I caught my Northern Pike (in B.C.) at almost the opposite side: Charlie Lake, just north of Ft. St. John. They were minnows, however, compared to what you and your dad caught. About how much does a 37″ NP weigh?
When we are together sometime, I’ll tell you about how I caught a 12-lb Northern Pike on a safety pin (at lake in Minnesota). Interesting experience
I found fireline so limp it was hard to keep it from mouse-nesting (no big ones, like rats). And, like Sooperfly says, it doesn’t seem to last very long. I don’t use it any more.
October 5, 2003 at 3:24 am #84906
Brian- In my experience, Fireline actually lasts longer than mono. I’ve used it for a few years now. One of the nicest things about Fireline is that it has no memory–you never get line twist or have to re-spool it. It can fray, like sooperfly said, and I can imagine that fraying would cause greater problems with lighter line, which I dont use. (I use 10 lb+ for steelhead/salmon.)
One way to cut down on fraying is to initially wind it on with high tension so that it’s spooled very tightly. That way, when a fish takes out drag, the line on top won’t cut into loose line underneath it. In any case, I think it’s a great line, and yes, incredibly strong.
Sooperfly- I almost always use Kastmasters as well (In the mountains). Do you use a leader with the green Fireline? I have been to lakes where the fish will not touch the lure if its on a leader going to a swivel, even if the leader’s 4-6 feet long. Consequently, I end up with line twist. If I could just tie the lure straight to some Fireline, I imagine I’d be problem-free.
I go to Hooked on Toys whenever I pass through Wenatchee. They have a great selection of maribou feathers for my salmon/steelhead jigs.
By the way, what rivers do you steelhead on?
October 6, 2003 at 3:15 am #84907
“Nope! I never use a leader. I also never use a swivel. I don't like the action of the kastmaster when using a swivel. I always tie it directly to the line. Never have a problem. ^^^^I grew up on the Methow River, and that is where I steelhead. My Dad has a couple miles of riverfront on the lower part of the river so I am kind of spoiled.”
October 22, 2003 at 9:16 pm #84908
“Thanks for the good advice. I'm going to replace the treble hooks with singles and will try the fly/bubble technique in addition to using lures. If anyone has any tips for fly/bubble fishing, please let me know. I'm also thinking about experimenting with the Fireline. Brian, please let us know how it works out for you.”
October 26, 2003 at 6:12 am #84909
“Michael- With a fly and bubble, I always make sure to use a long leader with light line (4-5' of 4lb. test). It also helps to put some floatant on the fly and leader, just like in regular flyfishing. Oh and don't get a comically oversized float–you don't want to create too much commotion in the water. Make sure it has enough weight to get a decent casting distance though.^^^^Hope this helps^^^^Andrew”
October 26, 2003 at 4:52 pm #84910
I use a 2 lb leader when I’m using a fly and bubble. The best kinds of bubbles are either the teardrop shaped bubble or the slip bubble.
The teardrop bubble is pre-weighted. You can either fish it with the heavy end toward the fly, or the light end but each has advantages/disadvantages. If you are doing a lot of casting put the heavy end toward the fly because it is less likely to tangle. Then you can control the action of the fly by popping the bubble with your rod tip, or slowly reeling, depending on what the fish are going for. If you put the light end toward the fly it will want to flip as you cast and tend to cause tangles. But, when you retreive the bubble will wiggle back and forth giving your fly some action. This is mostly useful if you are trolling from a raft.
The slip bubble is the one I prefer to carry these days. Those are the ones that have a hollow tube through the middle. I weight it by filling it half full of water and slip it on my line. Then I attach a snap swivel with the leader tied to that. Then when a fish hits the fly the line can slip through the bubble and you don’t get as much drag as you would with a fish dragging an attached bubble under the water.
The length of leader I use depends on conditions. I normally don’t go longer then about 3 feet and only if the fish are spooked by the bubble. This is very rare. More often fish will hit the bubble and I’m wishing I had hooks on it.
October 27, 2003 at 8:48 pm #84911
I use almost exactly the same method Brian, except for leader length.
I’ve never done very well with a leader much shorter than 4′. Maybe the 4 lb. line I use is too heavy to be coupled with a shorter leader? I’ve tried 2lb. test, but I’ve broken a few of the fish in the 13-15″ range off with it.
I wish they’d make clear Fireline. 😉
November 8, 2003 at 9:36 pm #84912Little JohnParticipant
What color fireline do you guy use, green or smoke? Or does it matter?
Gart Sports in Bellevue has good prices on 1/4 oz. Kastmasters (2 bucks or so). They work pretty good but I’ve caught more fish on Thomas Bouyants. Is it just me or do the Kastmasters make a lot of noise when they hit the water and tend to spook fish?
November 10, 2003 at 2:30 am #84913Cliff ChurchParticipant
Sorry I’m coming to this thread rather late, guys. Brian, are you referring to the plastic bubble with the clear pastic tube down the middle, or the model with the surgical tubing running top to bottom? I’ve used the clear plastic slip float in the past with bait and small swivel – the fish takes the bait and runs with it not knowing it’s hooked. But the kind I carry in my high lakes tackle box these days is the one with the surgical tubing. It’s easy to place at various lengths on your leader and is held in place simply by twisting the tube on the line. I’ve had good luck running Berkley 4lb Ultrathin (discontinued now) as my main line and simply using it as the leader, running it through the bubble and on to a Hares Ear or Pheasant Tail, about three feet beyond the bubble.
Fireline: I used this for steelhead fishing a few years ago and it seemed to work well.
November 10, 2003 at 5:09 am #84914
“What I call the slip bubble is the one with the clear plastic tube down the middle. The ones with the surgical tube are, as you say, easier because you don't need leader. I like to go down to 2 lb test, so I go with the slip bubble. Realistically, it probably only makes a difference if you are using really small flys.”
November 12, 2003 at 10:47 pm #84915Cliff ChurchParticipant
Originally posted by Brian Curtis
What I call the slip bubble is the one with the clear plastic tube down the middle. The ones with the surgical tube are, as you say, easier because you don’t need leader. I like to go down to 2 lb test, so I go with the slip bubble. Realistically, it probably only makes a difference if you are using really small flys.
April 12, 2005 at 5:10 am #84916mcmahon2005Participant
I was wondering if u could use 6lb spiderwire braided line. It has the same diameter as 4lb fireline adn it would be even better for ripping the hook out of sunken timber
April 12, 2005 at 6:31 am #84917
I bought some 6 lb Spiderwire a few years ago but I’ve been afraid to try it. I get paranoid in the super clear water of high lakes. That being said, I was fishing with a guy a few years ago who used a larger test Spiderwire and said he didn’t have any trouble with it.
I’d love to have you be the guinea pig and let me know how it goes 😀
Maybe I’m going to have to give in and just try it this year.
June 15, 2005 at 4:38 am #84918
I’m happy to announce that using single hooks, stronger line, better-placed casts and smarter retrieves have all resulted in fewer snags. Thanks for the advice.
Surprisingly, the biggest impact is the Curtis Raft. When I get hung up, I just paddle to the opposite side of the snag, pull and I’m free. I love this thing. Not only do I get better access to fish and a relaxing time on the water, I save money on not having to replace lures.
August 19, 2007 at 2:19 pm #84919
I came across this older thread looking for an answer about fireline weight. I started with 4lb mono this spring, but lately it’s been breaking with just my cast. It’s a weird feeling to see your lure go sailing waay out there, then realize it wasn’t your best cast ever – the dang line broke with just your cast, and your lure is a goner!
Anyway yesterday Doug kindly took my reel in, explained the problem, and they sold him 10 lb fireline in crystal. The guy said it was the same diameter as 4lb mono.
Is this too much line for trout fishing? Several folks in this thread referenced using 4lb fireline, which apparently is stronger than 4lb mono, but being thinner can allow one to cast farther?
Any advice is appreciated.
August 19, 2007 at 4:47 pm #84920
The Fireline 10lb diameter = 4 lb mono is a bit of marketing hype. It is true that the diameter is equivalent to a thick mono of that test, but they’ve been constantly reducing diameter in recent years and you’ll find clear 4 lb mono or other types of line in smaller diameters these days. The downside to Fireline is solid instead of clear so it is more visible at the same diameter. I’m convinced that in crystal clear high lakes visibility is a major concern.
All that being said, you will catch fish with that line. The Fireline is very strong and casts very well. Fireline is a bit fussier about knots and you need a knife to cut it (as opposed to cutting 4 lb mono with your teeth like I do).
I carried an extra spool with the 10 lb Fireline when we were kayaking in Alaska to use in salt water. It was a blast catching rockfish with my high lake gear and that line.
With mono you have to constantly check your line for nicks. After catching fish always feel the line above your lure with your fingers. If you feel nicks in the line cut it off and tie a new knot. The other problem mono has is that it gets weak with exposure to UV. If you’ve been fishing a LOT or left your line out in the sun it will get brittle. Test a bit by pulling on it and see how strong it is. I find that I pretty much always need to replace my line every year.
August 19, 2007 at 9:30 pm #84921
Thanks for the reply, Brian. The 4lb mono that kept on breaking on me was brand new, I bought it probably less than 2 months ago with the new Shimano reel you recommended on nwhikers.net. I initially thought it was a problem with that particular line, but I did the exact same thing on Doug’s rod last weekend, the line is a year old, and a different color – more golden – and also 4lb mono. And he isn’t experiencing that problem. It must be something with the way I cast. And trust me, I’m not some steroid built Amazon! I’m 5’2 with no upper body strength.
It only happens with the “Wyoming Whoopie” lure btw – which is heavier than the others.
You’ve echoed my concern with the visibility of that monster 10lb fireline. Should I dump it and get 4lb fireline? Also, Doug says the guy did not want to put on 6lb mono because the Shimano reel was so small….
I should have asked before he went down, but I thought I would be fishing today….. Didn’t try due to car vandalism @ Lake Margaret TH.
August 19, 2007 at 10:07 pm #84922
Your car was vandalized? Or did you keep going because you saw problems? I hate that!
If you catch your line, or forget to flip your bail and you are casting the way you should be you’ll snap a Whoopie off and it’ll fly a loooong ways. Sometimes a loop can come off your reel and catch on something. You’re using a snap swivel with the Whoopie? Let your lure hang down so your line can untwist occasionally. That can help prevent loops flying off your reel.
August 19, 2007 at 10:42 pm #84923
We kept going because we saw the vandalism. I was pretty sure the “perps” had left, but you never know.
I’m pretty good about not forgetting about flipping up the bail, in fact my mantra is “flip, hold, and toss” lol. But yep, those Whoopies go WAY far when this happens!
edit: I’m using a swivel with the whoopie too. As well as Doug is. It is bizarre to me I’m breaking them off, and he isn’t.
August 21, 2007 at 1:04 am #84924
I can’t count the fish I’ve caught using fireline.
For everything up to steelhead, I use the 4lb stuff. I have never had a fish break off this line in an alpine lake. I’m a total convert.
For steelheading I use 8lb. For salmon I use the 14lb. That is probably pretty big, but I err on the side of caution with the kings. I had a king spool me with 14lb fireline…. I was at a spot in the river where I couldn’t run up or down the shore, and he zippppppped up the river and took all my line. I tightned my drag down the whole way, but it wasn’t helping. when the line got to the spool I wrapped my arm around the line and my hook finally bent and came out the fishies mouth.
August 21, 2007 at 1:08 am #84925
As it happens, I needed to refill my reel so I went down to Sportsmans Warehouse this afternoon. The cheapest way to go is to have them fill the reel with Stren or Trilene. It is dirt cheap and really quick and easy. But I ended up spending a bunch to get 4 lb clear Fireline. That’ll be a new one for me.
You’ll quickly start remembering to flip your bail when you pay the bill to replace those Whoopies. 😀
August 21, 2007 at 7:39 pm #84926
Thanks Sooperfly, Brian – now I really want to get rid of the 10 lb as I only do lake trout fishing, but I guess since we paid for it I’ll give it one try.
@Brian Curtis wrote:
You’ll quickly start remembering to flip your bail when you pay the bill to replace those Whoopies. 😀
Uh… yeah. Tell me about it. Painful! I already had to order more last week. I don’t want to lose anymore – at least not for a stupid reason.
August 23, 2007 at 9:30 pm #84927Sandy McKeanParticipant
10 pound test???? And I thought you guys were sportsmen!
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