Line, Leader and Terminal Connection Combinations when Fishing for False Albacore
The only real difference between tuna jigging and casting lures, and striper casting and jigging lures is the size of the outfits, the heaviness of the leaders and the strength of the terminal connections. The lures themselves are not all that different in size, which means that by upgrading your terminal connections for tuna, you can use the same gear.
- Braided Line: With albies, the ability to cast long distances with accuracy is essential and the use of braid as opposed to mono is a no brainer. I will often use my lighter striper outfits for albies (if that’s what’s handy) that are loaded with 30lb test braid, which “does the trick.” That said, I find the extra distance associated with 20lb braid is well worth the cost and effort to ready for albie season.
- Leader Size: The lighter the better. You can expect to catch fish with 30lb fluoro leaders, more than 20lb test, and the most with 15lb test. The lighter you go, the more lures you will lose, especially if the bluefish cruise by. My default is the 15lb test and I will go as low as 10lb on hazy, greasy calm days when they are behaving extra finicky. I have personally witnessed enough times where a lighter leader by 5lb test will out fish every one on the boat.
- Leader Length: The simple answer is the longer the better. That said, if you are using 20lb test or heavier, your casting length will suffer. A good base linen is 36″ but I will often go to 48″, especially with 15lb or 12lb test leaders that have minimal casting interference. Tip: If using light leaders, re-tie often.
- Terminal Connection: My rig is hardware free. I go from braid to fluoro with a unit to uni knot and connect my lure with a loop knot.