by Dan Carns
There are two things that will change everything about fishing for you and ultimately increase your catch rate, learn how to tie several knots and switch to fluorocarbon leaders. I know this sounds kind of boring and perhaps elementary but I promise that if your dedicated and diligent it will pay off!
First for the knots, you will find countless online videos and numerous websites like Animated Knots by Grog, NetKnots.com and many others. When I’m learning a new knot I take my favorite beverage out to the picnic table with my laptop and all my cutters, leaders and lines and begin to practice for an hour or so tying just the one knot over and over as many as 50 or 60 times! The following day I’ll repeat it again until I really begin to understand when it fails or succeeds and I’m beginning to tie it from memory without direction. Again the following few days or weekends I continue to re-tie the same knot, over and over again until it’s cemented in my memory. There are two reasons why this is important, first and foremost knots may be the weakest point in your fishing gear and without a good connection you may lose fish but just as critical is that moment when your in a school of feeding fish and you break off a lure, hook or leader you want to re-tie as fast as possible to resume the hunt! Although I know dozens of knots I use three all the time; my favorite braid to leader knot is the Yucatán (fast and efficient) followed by the Tarpon Loop for all leader to hook and most lures and finally the Improved Clench affectionately known as the Fishermans Knot.
Next up are leaders and leader material and this one change will improve your catch rate instantly. Leaders have always been important for some targeted species as they may crush your lures with such force that they shock and break your line or may have super abrasive lips and sharp teeth. I would recommend that you always use a leader and more importantly a fluorocarbon leader. This material virtually disappears under water making your hooks and lure appear to be suspending alone and isn’t prone to spooking fish although some species like Snook have excellent eyesight so you may have to down size the diameter and pound rating. There are countless companies making fluorocarbon leaders but they are not all created equally as some are stiffer and have a larger diameter so I recommend that you buy a top of the line brand name and don’t cheap out here, yes this stuff is expensive but worth every penny as you’ve already spent a ton of money on gear, time and maybe bait so skimp somewhere else! I usually start out with a three foot section and retie until its no less than sixteen inches long. Add these two suggestions to your arsenal and catch more fish!
It’s A Wild World-Get Out There!