Capt. Art's Blog

Keeping up with Searcher

Ask A Captain! week 2 answer


Thanks for continuing to send such interesting questions for me to ask our awesome captains here at Team Searcher!

This week’s “Ask A Captain!” features an assortment of tackle inquiries. On Searcher trip departure days, after checking in our passengers, I have been checking out the amazing assortment of products at Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop to find out more about the items you have been asking about!  Still have a lot to discover, but I’m sure you will keep those tackle questions coming!

Let’s start this week off with two questions submitted to our Searcher captains:

Hello, my question is: what is the best line set up? Braid to mono to fluoro? Thanks! – Bob

If you are getting into some big fish – would you advise 50# topshot of fluoro (easier for the bait to swim) – or just go to 60#? Or even higher? – E.L.

Captain Ryan’s Reply:

Hi there, Bob and E.L. – and thanks for your questions!

The Searcher crew usually does line setups using braid to mono–mostly 65# Spectra and then a 100 yard topshot of your choice: 20#, 30#, 40#, 50# – whatever line class you want to fish.  If the fish are eating well, you don’t need fluoro, but if they are picky, you may need it. Unless that is the case, I’d caution against adding a third line type into the mix unless you really need it, because it’s just one more knot that can go wrong.

However, if you do run into some picky or line-shy fish, try adding just a 3 foot piece of fluoro to your topshot.

E.L., as far as the topshot of fluoro for bigger fish, I guess it depends on what you call a “big fish.” Obviously it is a good choice because they will just be chewing on that line, and you don’t want it to break. The fluoro will be more abrasion resistant and because it doesn’t stretch, it’s far less visible to the fish. It will depend on what size fish you are on, but you can do a lot with 50# to 60# line.

With “big fish” I would use nothing less than 50#, but if you are getting into 200# cows, yes, definitely go higher into the 100# line class.

Hey, good luck! – Get out there and Hook ‘Em!


After asking Captain Ryan this question, I walked into Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop and overheard Rock Cod Rick Maxa talking to a customer about fluorocarbon monofilament.  What is that?  Well, he explained that they put a coating of fluorocarbon onto monofilament line, and although it improves the abrasion resistance, it also affects the way the line behaves.  It doesn’t cast the same, it doesn’t cut through the water the same, it behaves more like a wire.  Rick said “In most cases of choosing tackle, there are pros and cons, but in the case of fluorocarbon mono, the cons outweigh the pros.”  He did comment that regular fluoro is great for larger fish, and for picky fish, since the refractive index is the same as water (it’s basically invisible!) The higher abrasion resistance is of course, very valuable in these situations.  Captain Ryan agreed that he does not recommend fluorocarbon mono. He says just use fluoro if you need fluoro, and mono if you need mono!

Next we have a “reel”-y insightful question from Ian R. which I took to Captain Aaron.

Good day,I understand the purpose of two speed reels. But if an angler primarily uses live bait, why not just uses a low speed reel? – Ian R.

Captain Aaron’s Reply:

Hey Ian, I totally agree with that reasoning, but up to a point…it does depend on the size of the fish.  If you are fishing anything over 50 lbs. it’s going to be a lot more work with a single speed reel!  You will be at the rail a lot longer, and the longer you spend at the rail, you have a bigger chance to lose the fish.  The 2 speed reel will give you the advantage to bring in the fish faster and reduce your likelihood of losing your catch, especially after a certain size threshold.

Get em hooked, and get em on the deck!  Thanks for the question, and keep them coming!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of “Ask A Captain!”  I’ll see you next week with some new answers!

Can’t wait to read your new questions!


Got a question about tackle or gear, Searcher history, long-range sportfishing, or maybe Baja fishing spots?

Submit your question via email to with “Ask A Captain!” in the subject line. I’ll hunt down answers from one of our captains and post for all to see.

Each individual who submits a question will be entered into a monthly drawing for a FREE tackle swag bag, courtesy of our generous sponsors. Selected questions and answers will be posted every week on, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else anglers gather.


Leave a Reply

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter