Rock Star TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
I no longer own a boat, and I do not troll with heavy tackle. So this comment is a bit out of scope, but it may help to inform the broader subject of line choice for trolling. I do a great deal of light tackle trolling in shallow water from my kayaks. When I owned pedal drive kayaks, I trolled 4 lines at a time, but with the paddle powered kayaks I have now, I troll 2 or 3 lines.
The rods are all 6'6" and mostly are medium power. I often substitute a 6'6" light or medium light rod for one of the mediums. They have 2500 or 3000 series spinning reels filled with braid (10-lb PowerPro) all the way down to the spool. I add a short leader of 20-lb fluorocarbon or mono.
The tackle I use is mostly jigheads from 3/16-oz to 1/2-oz tipped with 3" to 5" paddletails or a Gulp twistertail. Occasionally I will run a crankbait or Rat-L-Trap on one of the rods, but the paddletails have been performing better over the past month.
I target shallow depths from 3' to 6'. With the water remaining warm for most of the fall so far, I have found abundant fish in those shallow waters. Two weeks ago, fishing in the Little Choptank River, I trolled up 65 stripers in 4 hours with 10 of them being above keeper size. Twice during the past week, I fished in the lower Potomac River and caught stripers, white perch, redfish, and speckled trout on the trolll on both days in 5-hour trips. These fish are not all little ones either. I caught many thick stripers over 20" and some at 23" and 24". The trout were up to 19" and fat. The reds were not huge (15" to 17") but still pulled hard.
I like braid for light tackle trolling because I can see any little twitch in the rod tip, and if the fish bites while I am paddling, it usually hooks itself firmly. It is a great rush when a medium spinning rod starts shaking wildly just 2 or 3 feet from your face. Trying to get the rod out of the holder and fight a strong fish, while trying to avoid tangling with the other lines is a challenge. It is a totally different game from trolling heavy tackle from a power boat.
Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
braid for main line to get the lure down mono for the leaders for shock absorption and abrasion resistance.
Platinum TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
I think the answer is that either can work well across most applications, but some applications slightly favor one or the other. Probably not enough of a difference to respool until you actually need to replace worn line.
As others have said, a key advantage for braid in trolling is that it can allow you to run the lines significantly deeper for a given length of line out. In the fall that can be a nice advantage, especially if you don't like dragging heavy weights.
With certain types of large spoons, however, (e.g., large Tony spoons) the lack of stretch in braid can make the lure act funny and lose its lazy wandering action. Also, most folks use large spoons in the spring when fish tend to be near the surface and skittish. Being able to troll a lure way back without it sinking too deep can be useful, so advantage goes to mono for both depth and lure action.
I've also been warned that braid on a baitcaster can cause the line to burry into the spool on hard casts and hooksets. I use 20# braid on mine and haven't had the problem -- yet.
As far as tangles go, if you're tangling while trolling, study up on trolling techniques and adjust your spread. Switching between braid and mono won't make your life any easier in that department. I've had epic tangles with both mono and braid -- I haven't noticed a clear advantage one way or another.
Finally, like others, I use a mono leader on all my braid rigs, about 4-5 feet on light tackle and 8-10 feet on trolling, mostly for shock absorbing.
TFer who Posts Some - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
Braid all day, despite it's drawbacks. Once you are used to it (which my pop is still struggling with), mono seems awesome for only certain setups.
My biggest gripe is that braid will accept crazy twist, without indicating as clearly as mono. In busy times, I've lost a fresh tandem to twist unseen by me or someone else, or reeled on. Let's face it even good swivels can't fix shell / bunker spin. With mono you know immediately not to clip another rig on...
+1 to JAV great point regarding braid for lighter rods on smaller platforms. Great hookups, and fish stay on till you get to them...
Big vote for braid is less lead swinging around is a straighter connection, keeps them hooked, and they don't tear huge holes in their faces or elsewhere because there is the equivalent of a brick hanging 7 feet from them...
Not everyone on deck plays fish so well, and I feel like a jerk screaming to quit dropping the rod tip inadvertently, or "pumping"... With mono this is less of an issue...
Reel capacity, casting, 2-3 seasons of use, most of the above, plus I've been bassing with braid since I was 12...
Parting shot*** the micro guides pinned tight on newer rods (Berkelylightning) are terrible with braid, as it used to flow off older guide supports but now gets hung up constantly after a missed strike, re-rig, nearly anything it seems.... We've all known to keep slight tension during rod handling, but it is tiresome to have to clear wind-blown braid from around guides just to drop a jig or rig...
Just my 2 cents, -Matt
Platinum TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
You forgot the drawback of braid cutting your finger to the bone! 😳🤣😅.......... Gary
Originally Posted by H-townLefty
Last edited by crabby and son; 10-31-2020 at 07:59 PM.