Author Topic: steel vs flourocarbon experiment  (Read 755 times)

Offline Papa Sly

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steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« on: Feb 11, 2020, 06:51 AM »
Promised I would run an experiment with steel vs flouro leaders so here goes. I used seagar 30# flouro and knot 2 kinky tie-able steel leaders. I used the same hook and weight size on both  This was in Tupper NY at Simond pond, average depth is 6 feet with weeds, and the weekend after the big Northern Challenge for pike. We fished 4 days, with 30 tip-ups, and we used the same size bait the whole trip on all shiners. I set 6 tip-ups the whole trip out with steel, 20 % of the tip-ups. Results for the trip were as follows: 91 total flags, 85 on flouro, 6 on steel;39 fish caught on flouro and 2 on steel, 20 bass caught on flouro, 0 on steel, 14 pike caught on flouro, 0 on steel, 4 perch on flouro, 2 on steel. I couldn't use 50/50 ratio and cut down on fish caught but 6 traps with steel is 20% of our total traps and yet the results were amazing, only about 6% of the flags came on steel. We did have 1 bite off on the flouro, but the massive difference in flags and catches makes all the difference with flouro. This was our 6th year up there and I always wanted to document everything but never have before. The difference was even more dramatic than I thought.
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Online Seamonkey84

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #1 on: Feb 11, 2020, 08:11 AM »
Thatís a pretty skewed test, but yea, Iíd use floro over steel.

Offline Bigassbassman

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #2 on: Feb 11, 2020, 09:18 AM »
Great experiment!  I appreciate the scientific approach.  I found similar results back in a 2016 experiment.  I got nearly twice the flags for fluoro. 

I set up one tip-up with a steel leader, and one with a 20 lb fluoro leader.  Final tally was:
 
Steel -- 5 flags resulting in 3 pike
Fluoro -- 9 flags resulting in 7 pike
Jig stick with chubby darter -- 2 pike and one slab crappie

Now I use 60 lb fluoro with saltwater crimps, exclusively.
Flags up, gentlemen!!!

Offline Milwaukee

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #3 on: Feb 11, 2020, 09:22 AM »
My friends and I have been un-offically running this test for years.

They use steel leaders because "Pike have teeth!" and I use fluoro because I'd rather get more fish and be bit off once in a while.

So far, especially this year, my tip ups get hit way more than theirs with steel. I use 20# fluoro leader rigs, big treble hooks.

I think it's important to get to the flag as fast as possible and set the hook before the fish can inhale it and get the line across his teeth. I'd say the majority of my hookups have been in the corner of the mouth this years.
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Offline jmedy1

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #4 on: Feb 11, 2020, 10:16 AM »
are the bite offs happening during the fight or on the hook set?  I wonder if using a hook like a circle hook or octopus hook that mostly lands in the corner of the mouth would prevent more break offs.

Offline Knife2sharp

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #5 on: Feb 11, 2020, 10:31 AM »
I would be curious to know, at what lb test you start seeing a decline on the flouro.  I used to use 80lb, because that's what I had available for my musky leaders.  But after reading some posts on this forum a couple years ago I switched to 40lb.  Another reason I switched to lower lb test, is the 80 tends to stay coiled, especially if you keep them coiled when storing. 

Online esox_xtm

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #6 on: Feb 11, 2020, 10:36 AM »
Great experiment!  I appreciate the scientific approach.  I found similar results back in a 2016 experiment.  I got nearly twice the flags for fluoro. 


I'd say there's nothing scientific about it. Nothing. As I replied in his duplicate post on the Mass board, I respect his efforts and opinions but this is nothing more than anecdotal observation. I'll not double up here as you can see my reasoning on that other post.

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Offline Bigassbassman

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #7 on: Feb 11, 2020, 10:43 AM »
I'd say there's nothing scientific about it. Nothing. As I replied in his duplicate post on the Mass board, I respect his efforts and opinions but this is nothing more than anecdotal observation. I'll not double up here as you can see my reasoning on that other post.

https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=376635.msg4069099#msg4069099
Just curious then, in your opinion, what would classify as "scientific"?  The "process" of scientific investigation, includes generating a hypothesis, predictions, conducting an experiment, collecting data, and coming to a conclusion based on the data.  Papa came up with an experiment, and collected data.  It's up to you how you want to interpret the results.   ;)

I agree it wasn't the most perfectly controlled experiment (lots of variables that weren't fixed), so there can be some problems with interpretation.  But I applaud the effort to test something that might improve success rates for others.  It's up to you how you want to interpret the results.  In the end, it's whatever each angler is comfortable with, and whatever you think gives you the advantage!
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Offline sebago2jigtima

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #8 on: Feb 11, 2020, 10:45 AM »
 :unsure: :whistle:

Offline MC_angler

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #9 on: Feb 11, 2020, 11:49 AM »
Just curious then, in your opinion, what would classify as "scientific"?  The "process" of scientific investigation, includes generating a hypothesis, predictions, conducting an experiment, collecting data, and coming to a conclusion based on the data.  Papa came up with an experiment, and collected data.  It's up to you how you want to interpret the results.   ;)

I agree it wasn't the most perfectly controlled experiment (lots of variables that weren't fixed), so there can be some problems with interpretation.  But I applaud the effort to test something that might improve success rates for others.  It's up to you how you want to interpret the results.  In the end, it's whatever each angler is comfortable with, and whatever you think gives you the advantage!

Well for me, when you have so many variables that you can't control, to have a valid scientific experiment you'd need to at the very least collect a lot more data points both spatially and temporally! Otherwise it's just a good anecdote. Sort of like saying you conduct an experiment to determine the proportion of heads vs tails, and then only flip the coin 3 times. Even if you standardize those variables and use scientific "process" you are still not getting enough data to say anything. And, most important in scientific research, is it repeatable?

Online esox_xtm

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #10 on: Feb 11, 2020, 12:39 PM »
Just curious then, in your opinion, what would classify as "scientific"?  The "process" of scientific investigation, includes generating a hypothesis, predictions, conducting an experiment, collecting data, and coming to a conclusion based on the data.  Papa came up with an experiment, and collected data.  It's up to you how you want to interpret the results.   ;)

I agree it wasn't the most perfectly controlled experiment (lots of variables that weren't fixed), so there can be some problems with interpretation.  But I applaud the effort to test something that might improve success rates for others.  It's up to you how you want to interpret the results.  In the end, it's whatever each angler is comfortable with, and whatever you think gives you the advantage!

Science would require controls in the experiment design. If conclusions are to be valid when investigating a single factor all other factors must be controlled or (at the very least) their input minimized as much as possible. When there are so many uncontrolled factors present in fishing success to make a conclusion on an (self) admittedly skewed experiment such as this is not really any kind of experiment at all much less scientific. I mentioned some of the other variables in the sister post but I'm sure there are many more. Additional problems arise when unrecognized factors have an overshadowing effect on the experiment where, if not accounted for, can lead to completely wrong conclusions. Please do not mistake this for a knock on Papa pr his efforts, it is nothing more pointing out what is/is not science or an experiment by accepted definition.

As a career process improvement guy that's had a good amount of experience in Design of Experiments this is nowhere near able to provide any significant conclusion except that Papa likes to to fish, is a curious guy and is willing to share his opinions/actions with other like minded individuals. Which really is a good thing...  ;)2

Again, I also respect his efforts  :thumbsup: as I do much the same really every time I hit the water. The question begs what's next? If I flip a quarter and it comes up heads does not mean that a flipped coin always (or almost) comes up heads. I still play with fluoro despite my personal preferences. My problem is when a one off experience (not experiment) suddenly becomes accepted as the one true answer. It is not. Because lots of folks embrace results that align with their beliefs it becomes a self-fulfilling "superstitious dance" of sorts. It's kinda human nature to accept ideas we agree with and reject ideas that we do not. The hard part is staying objective. I've never said that steel is always better than fluoro. Only that, when targeting pike/muskies, it is much more cut resistant than any other choice.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree: "In the end, it's whatever each angler is comfortable with, and whatever you think gives you the advantage!" Fishing without confidence has you second guessing and often leads to switching options too often actually reducing chances of success. I have, however, quit trying to enlighten those that use any kind of superline for a pike/musky leader. That seems to be a losing battle.


:unsure: :whistle:

And yes, this can often be one of those "gonna grab the Jiffy Pop" topics.  ;)2


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Offline OldSailor

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #11 on: Feb 11, 2020, 12:52 PM »
Wait a minute, and let me grab a fresh cup of cawfee!!! ;)2
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Online esox_xtm

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #12 on: Feb 11, 2020, 01:07 PM »
Wait a minute, and let me grab a fresh cup of cawfee!!! ;)2

C'mon man! You gotta let it get around 50 - 60 posts and have guys start calling each other names first...  :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

And I'll buy the first round of popcorn. Butter or no? Or is that another thread?  ;)2
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Offline Bigassbassman

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #13 on: Feb 11, 2020, 01:50 PM »
Science would require controls in the experiment design. If conclusions are to be valid when investigating a single factor all other factors must be controlled or (at the very least) their input minimized as much as possible. When there are so many uncontrolled factors present in fishing success to make a conclusion on an (self) admittedly skewed experiment such as this is not really any kind of experiment at all much less scientific. I mentioned some of the other variables in the sister post but I'm sure there are many more. Additional problems arise when unrecognized factors have an overshadowing effect on the experiment where, if not accounted for, can lead to completely wrong conclusions. Please do not mistake this for a knock on Papa pr his efforts, it is nothing more pointing out what is/is not science or an experiment by accepted definition.

As a career process improvement guy that's had a good amount of experience in Design of Experiments this is nowhere near able to provide any significant conclusion except that Papa likes to to fish, is a curious guy and is willing to share his opinions/actions with other like minded individuals. Which really is a good thing...  ;)2

Again, I also respect his efforts  :thumbsup: as I do much the same really every time I hit the water. The question begs what's next? If I flip a quarter and it comes up heads does not mean that a flipped coin always (or almost) comes up heads. I still play with fluoro despite my personal preferences. My problem is when a one off experience (not experiment) suddenly becomes accepted as the one true answer. It is not. Because lots of folks embrace results that align with their beliefs it becomes a self-fulfilling "superstitious dance" of sorts. It's kinda human nature to accept ideas we agree with and reject ideas that we do not. The hard part is staying objective. I've never said that steel is always better than fluoro. Only that, when targeting pike/muskies, it is much more cut resistant than any other choice.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree: "In the end, it's whatever each angler is comfortable with, and whatever you think gives you the advantage!" Fishing without confidence has you second guessing and often leads to switching options too often actually reducing chances of success. I have, however, quit trying to enlighten those that use any kind of superline for a pike/musky leader. That seems to be a losing battle.


And yes, this can often be one of those "gonna grab the Jiffy Pop" topics.  ;)2
Excellent points, Esox!  I agree with a lot of your statements, for sure. Better controls would definitely help future experiments and interpretation of the results, but "A" for effort in terms of trying to figure out what works best for him.  I'm just not gonna bash the experiment and say it wasn't scientific.

I read through your comments on the other thread and I agree, there were a lot of things that could have been done better.  Lots of variables, for sure.  I like your idea of switching tip-ups between holes.  In fact, I did that in my testing a while back.  And of course, I think the number of tip-ups with steel and the number with fluoro should have been the same.  To make it really interesting, the experiment could be repeated on multiple days as well, in order to get an idea for the variability within days, and to gather enough data in order to conduct a statistical analysis (N>3?).  Why not throw in a different lake with multiple days of tests?  That could account for lake-specific preferences in fluoro vs. steel.  You know what, maybe we should try this under controlled laboratory conditions?  Pike in a tank.  Fluoro vs. steel.  Repeat 100 days in a row?   Live bait?  Dead bait?  ;D  Get's complicated fast...   

In all, I think I can say they were some interesting results, pointing out an interesting trend, but they are not conclusive given the experimental design.  I hope people don't accept what others tell them as gospel.  If someone says steel catches bigger fish than fluoro, or fluoro results in more flags, test it yourself!  (And always include proper controls).   ;D

And I'll buy the first round of popcorn. Butter or no? Or is that another thread?  ;)2

Without butter, please!   :thumbsup:

Flags up, gentlemen!!!

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #14 on: Feb 11, 2020, 06:09 PM »
I've run similar tests, but steel numbers were better for me than this one here. Note that I was using 30 lb steel line, vs 40 lb fluoro, both with quick strike rigs. They ended up almost even, with a very slight edge to fluoro. Have never been bit off to date with either.

As a side note, I stay away from that knot2kinky garbage. Lost to trophies on a open water trip to Northern Quebec because of it, never again.
There's got to be bigger ones in here :)

Offline shiveringjoe

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #15 on: Feb 11, 2020, 08:03 PM »
I've run similar tests, but steel numbers were better for me than this one here. Note that I was using 30 lb steel line, vs 40 lb fluoro, both with quick strike rigs. They ended up almost even, with a very slight edge to fluoro. Have never been bit off to date with either.

As a side note, I stay away from that knot2kinky garbage. Lost to trophies on a open water trip to Northern Quebec because of it, never again.

What happened with the knot2kinky? I have been using that exclusively for 4 years after trying 60# fluoro (with crimps) and 30# fluoro. I have to be careful when I tie the wire to make sure the knot tightens properly. I grab the swivel and hook with pliers and pull until the wire stretches. Never had a field failure and I've pulled in some 5 pound pike with at least 15 pounds of weeds... that's the same as a northern Quebec trophy right???

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #16 on: Feb 11, 2020, 09:05 PM »
What happened with the knot2kinky? I have been using that exclusively for 4 years after trying 60# fluoro (with crimps) and 30# fluoro. I have to be careful when I tie the wire to make sure the knot tightens properly. I grab the swivel and hook with pliers and pull until the wire stretches. Never had a field failure and I've pulled in some 5 pound pike with at least 15 pounds of weeds... that's the same as a northern Quebec trophy right???

Was deadline big 12 to 14 inch mackerels back when it was legal. In one instance, the leader snapped right in middle. In the other, it snapped at the know boatside, real heartbreaker. I triple check all my knots before setting the lines by yanking and pulling on them.

For fluoro, I've never gone higher than 50 lb, never needed crimps, hand tied were fine.
There's got to be bigger ones in here :)

Offline Salmonquest

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #17 on: Feb 12, 2020, 07:55 AM »
Papasly....Thank you for sharing your results. I'm a science teacher and I get what the guys are getting at regarding quality of experiment but who care! You provided your experience and it's appreciated.

I think we all know that there are soooooo many variables that can affect fishing success. It's great to hear someone else's experience so we can add to our collective knowledge!

Online mcarey97

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #18 on: Feb 12, 2020, 08:04 AM »
love this thread.  these guys using steel leaders with quick strike rigs, two treble hooks (even 1)  is just silly IMO.    20#  floro  single circle hook size 1   is all you need to catch big pike. 
even worse when I see guys using similar set ups for lakersÖ such over kill

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #19 on: Feb 12, 2020, 09:19 AM »
Every day on the water is an experience. Most of those days for me involve some sort of impromptu "experiment" where strict controls are rarely in play but different things are tried and observations noted. Two thumbs up to Papa for sharing. More of us should do that. I do when I share my opinions as they are all based on my real field experience, without exaggeration, rather than parroting marketing or other anecdotal rhetoric. Certainly no two experiences are alike and I embrace that diversity. That is also what makes it so difficult to replicate results whether well controlled or not.

I keep playing with fluoro. Made a number of rigs to go to MI with earlier this month. Didn't make a difference but I still had 'em. I've been reading recently about using what I would call "stupid" light fluoro (based on my actual experiences). Due to the source of this information I'm strongly considering re-visiting that "experiment". Can it work? Obviously it does for many people. In those attempts, using circle hooks and #25 fluoro, I got cut off three times before I could even get to the flags. Fishing in extremely heavy weeds had fish taking enough line and enough turns in the salad to put enough tension on that line where it was cut very easily. My next attempts will be on open water scenarios where I'll at least stand a fighting chance.

Hopefully PapaSly, you have not been offended by my observations here. None were personal nor intended to be belittling, insulting or otherwise disrespectful to you. In fact, most of my comments were directed at others here that, on viewing your experience, seized upon it as "the absolute proof". Even my own personal observations are not absolute proof of anything except that one singular experience. Tomorrow is always another day.

@mcarey97 - A 30# steel Q/S with a pair of 4x #6 trebles is not silly when you're swinging a 14" dead bait looking for mid 40" FISH. I'd call it prudent...
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Online mcarey97

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #20 on: Feb 12, 2020, 03:51 PM »
I think thatís a prudent application.  Where Iím from we donít really have fish like that, and guys are using that same rig quick strike on a 5 inch pike shiner, disappointed they didnít get a flag all day long chasing 10-12 pounders Max    5-7 on more of an average.   

Offline Papa Sly

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #21 on: Feb 12, 2020, 06:02 PM »
Every day on the water is an experience. Most of those days for me involve some sort of impromptu "experiment" where strict controls are rarely in play but different things are tried and observations noted. Two thumbs up to Papa for sharing. More of us should do that. I do when I share my opinions as they are all based on my real field experience, without exaggeration, rather than parroting marketing or other anecdotal rhetoric. Certainly no two experiences are alike and I embrace that diversity. That is also what makes it so difficult to replicate results whether well controlled or not.

I keep playing with fluoro. Made a number of rigs to go to MI with earlier this month. Didn't make a difference but I still had 'em. I've been reading recently about using what I would call "stupid" light fluoro (based on my actual experiences). Due to the source of this information I'm strongly considering re-visiting that "experiment". Can it work? Obviously it does for many people. In those attempts, using circle hooks and #25 fluoro, I got cut off three times before I could even get to the flags. Fishing in extremely heavy weeds had fish taking enough line and enough turns in the salad to put enough tension on that line where it was cut very easily. My next attempts will be on open water scenarios where I'll at least stand a fighting chance.

Hopefully PapaSly, you have not been offended by my observations here. None were personal nor intended to be belittling, insulting or otherwise disrespectful to you. In fact, most of my comments were directed at others here that, on viewing your experience, seized upon it as "the absolute proof". Even my own personal observations are not absolute proof of anything except that one singular experience. Tomorrow is always another day.

@mcarey97 - A 30# steel Q/S with a pair of 4x #6 trebles is not silly when you're swinging a 14" dead bait looking for mid 40" FISH. I'd call it prudent...


no offense taken, I think I should have used the word experience vs expirement. You have always been great to me and very helpful and my way is just that my way and there are many orther ways also.
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Offline nbourque

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #22 on: Feb 12, 2020, 06:24 PM »
love this thread.  these guys using steel leaders with quick strike rigs, two treble hooks (even 1)  is just silly IMO.    20#  floro  single circle hook size 1   is all you need to catch big pike. 
even worse when I see guys using similar set ups for lakersÖ such over kill
You sir have been lucky. 20# flouro for pike? No. I would say 50# at a minimum. Iíve been cut off with 50# seagar last fall fishing open water. And circle hooks.....to each their own. If you hook up regularly with them then great but I like my quick strikes.

Offline Fry Flier

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #23 on: Feb 12, 2020, 06:25 PM »
Being a musky fisher and seeing all that is available to both open and ice as well as fly fishing for these critters I have a lot of faith in flouro. Use what you want and knowing the likely low chance that you will lose the fish on your choice of leaders keeps me using flouro.

May your tip-up spool while your flag raises with hopes of landing the big one.

Offline sebago2jigtima

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Re: steel vs flourocarbon experiment
« Reply #24 on: Feb 13, 2020, 02:54 PM »
 :whistle: :roflmao:

 



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