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Braid or Mono for Early Brown Planer Board Lines?


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And which reels do you like?

I'm sure this has been covered a million times,

But I'm having a difficult time finding any current posts.

I've always run 6-8# fluorocarbon with a 6# fluorocarbon leader behind a ball bearing barrel swivel for early brown trout.

I fish behind planer boards on Lake Ontario (Pulaski/Mexico/Oswego area) in April.

I only get up once every few years, now that I'm getting closer to my golden years I try to get up every April.

I'm going to replace my brown trout reels this year, I've been using Abu Garcia bait cast reels that I bought used from an fellow in Florida 20 years ago.

I'm leaning towards replacing them with Daiwa SeaLine Line Counters, I want to stay in the $100 range.

I have SeaLines spooled with 14# fluoro in case the kings are in, I swap the reels if the need arises.

Then I'll drop down 40' and 80' with downriggers.

OK, enough rambling.

Is anybody using braid on their planer boards?

What about braid on their downrigger rods?

I know the difference is stretch vs no stretch, I fish braid exclusively in Long Island Sound (my home water).

But this trout/salmon thing is totally different.  I think the stretch of mono might be a good thing.

And its a lot cheaper; I'm spooling four reels (eight if I do the salmon reels as well).

And, while we're at it, does anybody have a recommendation for a light line counter reel? (These reels will be specifically for browns, I have the other reels for larger fish).

The last time I looked into this was when I first started going up for spring browns back in 2009, and that's when the braid vs mono posts I've found lately were posted.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Using braid with longer fluorocarbon leaders will be fine. Once the water warms up and the fleas appear, the braid will load up with fleas and be unusable. Adding approx. 150 ft. of #30 lb. Big Game mono to the braid will help with fleas during summer months. I have gone a different route, spooling all my reels with #30lb. mono, then changing leaders to meet the season and conditions. #15 flouro. for browns, #20lb. for kings, no leader for flashers, dodgers, meat rigs.

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I use 10# Fireline on a few of my planer setups for spring browns and Oneida walleyes. It's great stuff but if you're using a light leader you definitely want it on longer, lighter action rods to absorb the shock without popping the leader.


If I was just fishing browns and didn't need the added depth for walleyes I'd probably use all mono mainline and fluoro leaders, which is also what I use on my rigger rods.

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Thanks for the tips;


Re: FishUSA and The Okuma Cold Water 153D, they're $5 cheaper than that with free shipping from Amazon ($87.60).
I keep vacillating between the SeaLine SG-3B and the Okuma Cold Water 153D reels.


And 15# fluoro leader for springtime browns?

I feel that's high, but I also have fish break off at the net with the 8#...

And those fish are usually not the cookie-cutter 3-pounders.

Anybody else have a thought on Spring Brown Leaders?

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20 hours ago, Chowdaire said:

Just saw that FishUSA has the reels I use 15% off today. The Okuma Cold Water 153D. Warning. The drags are what I would call sluggish. I've never had them fail or stick but they don't react well in small increments the way high end reels do.

This is a known issue with the coldwater line. If you follow Rochester Reel Repair on facebook he put up a lengthy post on this just the other day. If you read his post and purchase a carbon fiber drag washer kit ($10) you can fix the issue. There is a plastic washer in the reel which is replaced with a CF one from the kit, there is also a stack of 3 curved metal washers that need to be re-orientated. $10 and 15 mins of your time (there are multiple YouTube videos cover the disassembly process) and you can fix that issue.

Edited by FishingFool34
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Thanks for the info!

I already bought the drag upgrades and swapped out three 303s that I use for musky. But even after the swap out the drags don’t have the fine adjustment I hoped for. I’ll check out the Reel Repair materials.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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