Choosing the optimal line, leader and terminal connections to rig for striper fishing can be a time consuming process, but it can also make or break your next fishing trip. That’s why I recommend a KISS (keep it simple, stupid) approach to spooling up for stripers.
- Braided Line: I go with 30lb and 40lb braid for stripers spooled on my Saragosa 5000 and 6000 reels 95% of the time. I have a couple of light set ups with 4000 class reels and 20 braid that I use almost exclusively for worm hatches that usually happen in May. My fingers are used to tying knots with 30lb and 40lb braid and it is durable, typically holding up for an entire season.
- Leader Size and Material: I carry four spools of fluorocarbon leader for stripers: 20lb, 30lb, 40lb and 60lb. I use 20 lb. in very shallow situations with clear water since stealth is more important in these conditions. I switch to 30 and 40lb when casting or vertical jigging around gnarly structure, as well as when using heavier lures and targeting bigger fish, but there are times when I will drop down to 20 lb. when the fish are spooky.
- Both 40 and 60 lb. can be used when trolling, with the latter also a good option for a bite tippet when dealing with bluefish. Many folks use wire when fishing for blues and other toothy critters, but I haven’t experienced increased cutoffs with heavy fluorocarbon if a solid contact is kept with your lure of choice and with a fish when hooked up.
- Leader Length: I keep it simple: 36” on a 7-foot rod, 42” on an 8 footer Rod and 48” on a 9-foot rod when casting, and roughly 12 feet as a striper trolling leader.
- Lure Connection: I use a loop knot almost exclusively on all my lures. Many anglers will use a snap for easy lure change but I choose not to on most lures to avoid weed and the added distraction of extra hardware.
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