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FL Keys Backcountry question(s)

Old 07-09-2019, 07:34 PM
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Default FL Keys Backcountry question(s)

A little introduction here; I've lived in S Fl all my life. Grew up in "Deadsted" and have now lived in upper Monroe county about 20 years. I have fished from Biscayne Bay, down to Islamorada, out to Shark River, and of course offshore all my life. I had always just used whatever tackle/gear my father had.

Well, I've finally gone ahead and bought myself my first rod and reel. It's about damn time at 33. It's made by Okuma and built for 12-15lb test, MH, light tackle, inshore use. I know what kind of tackle I'll be using as far as hooks, sinkers, leaders, etc. However, I have no clue what kind of line to outfit her with. I'm not a fan of braided line, it's just a personal preference.

So I'm curious. Is fluorocarbon or monofilament better? Should I go with a pink color or a neon green type color? I'm gonna be fishing Everglades National Park and some inshore off Key Largo (reef line, basically). Target species will be trout, redfish, snook, snapper, and porgy. Looking to go with 12lb test. Should be plenty for the size of fish I normally catch. Not a noob when it comes to fishing, just new when it comes to outfitting line on a rod. TIA for any and all help.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:23 AM
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Whatever mono you prefer. I have always used Ande Tournament Clear mono. Used for over 25 yrs. Been great, and its cheap. Spool it up and have at it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:37 AM
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Ande clear would be fine. Definitely dont use hi vis. Flourocarbon would be what you want to use for leader. I use 30 lb for most backcountry species (not needed for reds and trout but snook yes). Depending on what your are doing out on the patches or reef will dictate what leader. We used to fish ande pink 12# right to the hook for yellowtails, now you need fluoro 15# and sometimes 12# leaders to get bites depending on conditions.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:46 AM
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Thanks for all the advice so far. A guide friend of mine, Capt. Chris Hanson of Scales Two Tales Charters, reached out on Facebook. He's gonna get me setup as he's already picked up some new lines for his rigs. I'll also be taking him some of my dad's rods to fix. He does it on the side and his work is impeccable. Highly trustworthy.

The rod/reel is already bought. Should be here Friday. There were 3 size options. 6'6", 7', and 7'6". I went with a 7' rod for more reach, than the 6'6", but not too big that it's a hassle around small creeks. It'll also fit into my rod locker. It's the Okuma Ricky Red. RTX reel.

My father used to own the Chevron, that's on the corner of Palm Drive and Krome Ave., in Fl. City. He actually had it built back in '88. He became good friends with a lot of the guides that stopped there, for fuel, before trailering out to Flamingo or down to the Keys; Capt. Murphy being one of them. When I saw he was coming out with that series of rod, I knew I wanted one.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:51 AM
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I think you should reconsider braid. I used to feel like you do about braided line but now I won't have it any other way. Anyway, fluorocarbon is nice because it doesn't stretch, but it's very stiff and in my opinion doesn't cast well because of that.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:19 AM
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All of my father's rods have braided line. I've used it for over a decade and still don't like it much.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:41 AM
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What I hate about mono is just how much it stretches. It's awful. It's no wonder the "Bassmaster Hook Set" is so common. On a long cast you really have to blast a fish with a hook set to get it to stick. With braid you just come tight. Anyway, there are tons of good monos out there these days. A lot of people still use it. Ande Ghost is solid.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:40 PM
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If you wanna do mono, I'd probably opt for 12lb momoi hi catch. It's a little pricey, but it's super smooth, doesn't get the "springy" memory that ande does and it lasts much longer.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:03 AM
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I still stop at that place for fuel every time I trailer to flamingo. Oh and some fried chicken too.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:10 AM
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Dion's fried chicken is awesome....I stop there anytime I'm in that area.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 2fastlx View Post
I still stop at that place for fuel every time I trailer to flamingo. Oh and some fried chicken too.
Originally Posted by Tb421 View Post
Dion's fried chicken is awesome....I stop there anytime I'm in that area.
It's good, but my daddy's was always better. My grandma, his mama, used to work in the kitchen there. I'd take another one of her sandwiches, over a Pub Sub, any day.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TurnMeLooseFLKeys View Post
All of my father's rods have braided line. I've used it for over a decade and still don't like it much.
It has its place. Trolling is not one of those. I use them on my inshore reels and can cast quite a ways with light baits/lures. I also will never by choice not use it on my bottom fishing rods.. It is a game changer there.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Troutman561 View Post
It has its place. Trolling is not one of those. I use them on my inshore reels and can cast quite a ways with light baits/lures. I also will never by choice not use it on my bottom fishing rods.. It is a game changer there.
I should have specified, all of his INSHORE rods do. His trolling rods have mono. I do think it's a strong line, I just don't like it for my own use. The main reason being that I still suck at tying hooks with it. I'm much quicker with mono/fluoro.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:05 AM
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Don't tie braid to a hook
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SHE GONE View Post
Don't tie braid to a hook
Hook, leader, whatever. I suck at all of it if it ain't mono.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:58 AM
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Learn the uni to uni for tying leaders to braid and the regular uni for tying on lures. And some kind of loop knot for life bait hooks. Braid will become your friend if you play with it.
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