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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 09-15-2008, 12:07 PM
Eastmeadow Mike Eastmeadow Mike is offline
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Default To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Hello, Frank...

Fall is beginning...in earnest. Had myself a ball in Montauk this weekend. I usually make it out once a year or so, and I hit it right-for a change. On the way home, I stopped at Borders Books and bought Trophy Stripers. I am devouring it.

Let me ask you about shock leaders, knots, line, etc. I got the indication reading that chapter that you are not a fan of shock leaders. The logical reason (please tell me if I am wrong) is you do not want more knots in the line, thereby increasing the odds of failure when it is show time. So that leaves tying direct.

Given these parameters (mine, obivously), what would you suggest?

I use a Penn 704, manual pickup. It is on a 10.5 ft. rod. I fish the south shore of LI almost exclusively, since I am minutes from the water.

I am also primarily an artificials guy, except for the couple of times per year I fall for the charm of chunking.

What weight line do you suggest? And what is your favorite knot? (Although, I think you said so in the book.)

Anyway, I have read 20 Years on the Cape and Eastern Tides. Both fascinating. But this one is unreal in its educational scope, and I wish I had found it sooner.

Thanks in advance.


Mike.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:13 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

If you like the feel of mono and prefer it, there is no need for a leader greater than say, 10 pounds over the line. With the new monos -- Silver Thread or Magna-thin -- you can have the performance of 20 pound test and the strength of 30 pound around .019 inches in diameter. Either go direct with the 30 pound or use 30 and have three feet of 40 pound leader. I don't approve of shockers and many here disagree with that but they do so because they probably tied them right. When I saw them for the first time on the Cape, used by Long Island surfcasters, they were all breaking off where the shocker connected to the line. Listen, I am not going to tell you again, the knot gets slammed on the guides on every cast. Michael, I wrote those books for you.
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:40 PM
Eastmeadow Mike Eastmeadow Mike is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

I know you did. In fact, after I hurriedly posted it, I read the chapter and got my answers. I was almost hoping you would not answer...you had to repeat yourself.


I understand you will be on a local radio show here this Saturday. I'll be listening. Thanks again, Frank.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:13 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Shock leaders utilize a knot that gets pounded on the guides creating a weak spot at the knot. Years ago on the Cape the Long Island guys were all using shock leaders and breaking off. I guess somebody in New York had advocated them.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:43 PM
Redando Redando is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Shock leaders utilize a knot that gets pounded on the guides creating a weak spot at the knot. Years ago on the Cape the Long Island guys were all using shock leaders and breaking off. I guess somebody in New York had advocated them.
With braided lines being used by 95% of people these days a shock leader is a necessity. Nobody ties braid direct to their hook or lure. I've never failed on my connection for big fish or Striped Bass. I use an Albright knot to tie braid to fluoro or mono. not very difficult to tie. Remember if you use a barrel swivel you have three knots vs. two with Albright and knot to hook or lure. To tie leader to the hook or lure I use a San Diego Jam Knot for all my connections from 20 to 80 lb leader.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:34 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Line tied to line is very dangerous. This is how all those guys I fished with broke off so often. Remember a "shock" leader is 20 or 30 feet long, tied line to line. I won't use one. What I do is tie my line to a barrel and about five feet of leader from the barrel to the lure or eel. People set up all wrong. Never cast with your lure/weight two feet from the tip. Your drop from tip should be as long as possible in order to harness centrifical force for the application of force for casting. When Biblical David hurled a stone at the bad guys he used a very long sling.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:53 AM
Rmarsh Rmarsh is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

No shock leader for me. I tie my lure direct to braid....palomar knot.
Know lots of others who do the same.
Never had any problems with dropped fish..... I make sure my drag is set correctly. The up side is less knots and/or hardware to fail.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:42 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Yes, Bob, I agree. Every time you bring something in, you introduce a possible failure.

Incidently, where the heck have you been?
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:25 AM
Rmarsh Rmarsh is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Yes, Bob, I agree. Every time you bring something in, you introduce a possible failure.

Incidently, where the heck have you been?
Busy with work, building houses.....demand right now is exceeding supply.
Going into my forty fifth year working construction...looking forward to semiretirement.

I check in to read the forum posts on a regular basis....I withhold commenting most of the time...... don't want to wear out my welcome.

PS...How much snow you get?? Down here near Westport ... almost 16"
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:40 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

I want all our members to be comfortable so I don't want to push. But the site is very slow and a lot of regulars don't post any more. If things are slow we have to assume that it is my fault.

We got about 12 inches of snow at the northern RI line, aka Woonsocket/Mass line. We already miss being in the woods. I may have to get back to writing to keep my feet wet.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:20 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Line tied to line is very dangerous. This is how all those guys I fished with broke off so often. Remember a "shock" leader is 20 or 30 feet long, tied line to line. I won't use one. What I do is tie my line to a barrel and about five feet of leader from the barrel to the lure or eel. People set up all wrong. Never cast with your lure/weight two feet from the tip. Your drop from tip should be as long as possible in order to harness centrifical force for the application of force for casting. When Biblical David hurled a stone at the bad guys he used a very long sling.
I've had line tied to line once...it broke and never did it since. Connect the two with a small swivel...more dependable.

I never understood why anyone ever came up with the concept of a 30' shock leader in the first place...never made sense to me having a leader any longer than the rod...at most. A leader that goes from rod tip to reel is manageable, and on a 10' surf rod is what, maybe 7'?

I also don't understand why some fly anglers will use a leader that tapers from 30 lb test to 12 lb test, and than tie on a one foot section of, say, 20 lb test "shock" or "bite" tippett. Just taper your leader from 30 down to 20 lb test and be done with it. People make too much work for themselves.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Frank, on the last (30lb to 12lb + bite tippet)... the *only* time that makes sense is when your fishing by reg or desire at a particular line class. Say trying to get the largest fish X at lb-test Y .
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:05 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

I don't follow that, Rob. What I have always done is beef up the last five or six feet of leader retaining the smaller line for casting. Keep in mind that many of my choices are based upon the older line protocols. Since the advent of the new unbreakable lines which came after the 1980s moratoriam, I have less experience. Striper fishing the way I knew it has all been removed by regulation.

You get a nice fish today and want to keep it, you have to quit. When an angler today is limited out with his one fish, he is all done fishing. Today's is not your father's fishing and I am presently much like your father ...... or is it grandfather?
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:14 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

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Originally Posted by RobS View Post
Frank, on the last (30lb to 12lb + bite tippet)... the *only* time that makes sense is when your fishing by reg or desire at a particular line class. Say trying to get the largest fish X at lb-test Y .
Right?! Some reg for IGFA fly records (I won't have to worry 'bout that! )
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2018, 11:20 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: To Shock or Knot to Shock.....

Does anyone really care about IGFA? The rule book is an inch thick and even then who determines if the rules were followed? I think being an IGFA record holder is kind of a non-event. All tackle might be meaningful if the fish is X-rayed for bricks.
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