Cabelas lead core line

Cabelas lead core line DEFAULT

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08-01-2011, 09:00 AM

Okay...a few weeks ago I scooped up a Cabela's Deptmaster II trolling reel and a Cabela's Depthmaster trolling rod from a forum member. The reel was loaded with leadcore line, which I thought would be great for the laker trolling I'd intended it for.


The leadcore seems to have a lot of drag in the water, and my lure wasn't getting down nearly as deep as I wanted it. Also, because of the diameter of the leadcore (I think) my line counter was right out to lunch (verified with the downrigger/sonar a couple days worth of use in).

The rod and reel seemed to perform just fine except the leadcore screwed the line counter and the line counter is really why I wanted this reel in the first place! :lol:

I checked the Cabela's site but I can't seem to find out what line diameter is required to make the line counter work right. If anybody could point me to that info it'd be very much appreciated.


08-01-2011, 11:29 AM

Berkley 10lb XT is a good standard. Both in precision trolling guide and most line counters. Most of my line counters are digital and can be set to a specific line.

Should be ok with mono sizes of 8-20 lb. However you can calibrate your self.
run out a 50 feet and measure against a tape measure. Repeat every 50 feet or so than you will be able to convert to actual unit.

Hope that helps

ps even with the digital it is a good idea to check against a tape measure.


08-01-2011, 11:30 AM

someone correct me if i'm wrong but line counters basically decide amount of line out by the location of the the 'thing' your line runs through on the reel, the thing that goes back and forth across the reel as you let line out, or take line in, to evenly distribute the line on your reel,

line diameter should have nothing to do with it, u must remember a linecounter tells you how much line you have out, NOT how deep your lure is running


08-01-2011, 11:31 AM

as stated in he thread before mine, if its digital all bets are off, probably need to calibrate


08-01-2011, 11:33 AM

Cabela's Depthmaster® II Linecounter Trolling Reels
Model Gear Ratio Line Capacity (yds./ lb. test) Quantity Price
DM20A 5.1:1 290/14, 230/18, 210/20

DM30A 4.0:1 510/15, 420/20, 310/25

DM45A 4.0:1 580/20, 430/25, 330/30

DM15A 5.1:1 330/10, 290/12, 240/14

Don't know if this will help but it's all I could find


08-01-2011, 11:39 AM

Should have also mentioned each color of leadcore is 30 feet long.
When I am using leadcore on my counters I have a known leader length and may have a 1 to 3 color section of lead core followed by mono or superline backing. Count the backing get total and you know the distance back.

My leadcore counters are all mechanical counters.
2 with 1 color, 2 with 2 colors and 2 with 3 colors plus two full with leadcore. Duals of each so that a partner has the identical setup if needed.


08-01-2011, 11:41 AM

as stated in he thread before mine, if its digital all bets are off, probably need to calibrate

All line counters need to be calibrated.
And Precision trolling guide will help you with depths. It will get you in the ball park but you will have to adjust.

Line counters help so you can repeat your "depth"

PS leadcore is better at slower speeds. It is very speed dependant.


08-02-2011, 08:13 AM

someone correct me if i'm wrong but line counters basically decide amount of line out by the location of the the 'thing' your line runs through on the reel, the thing that goes back and forth across the reel as you let line out, or take line in, to evenly distribute the line on your reel,

line diameter should have nothing to do with it, u must remember a linecounter tells you how much line you have out, NOT how deep your lure is running

Right, but the levelwind goes back and forth based on the turns of the spool. If the spool is full, one rotation will put out more line than if the spool is closer to being empty. With the big thick leadcore line it gets close to the spool a lot quicker than a thinner "regular" line would. I think?

I know the linecounter doesn't tell me how deep I'm running, but I used the counter on the downrigger when we weren't moving to see just how out to lunch the counter on the reel was. The counter on the reel said I had about 85 feet of line out when the downrigger was only 60' down with it.

If I would have known before that each color on the leadcore is 30' then I would have been okay. Good times with untested gear! :lol:


08-02-2011, 09:17 AM

Jay, I'll be getting a box this week and will send you what I promised you as soon as it lands.



08-02-2011, 09:20 PM

Jay, I'll be getting a box this week and will send you what I promised you as soon as it lands.


Cool, can't wait to test it out! :cool:

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Sufix® 832 Advanced Lead Core

  • Dyneema and GORE performance sheath
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  • Color-coded for precise depth
  • Dives 30% Deeper, 70% Stronger.Learn More Button

    The first lead-core line on the market to incorporate Dyneema® and GORE® performance fibers for the roundest, most abrasion- and UV-resistant lines available. This unique combination dives 30% deeper and is 70% stronger than other Dacron®/polyester lead-core lines. It also boasts increased sensitivity, tensile and knot strength as compared to traditional lead-core lines. Doesn’t require a special reel for effective use. Color-coded sections provide accurate depth measurement.

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    18 0.027 100, 200

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    Tuf-Line MicroLead Lead Core

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    Spool size:100 yard, 200 yard.
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    Sufix® Performance Lead-Core Fishing Line

    Sufix® Performance Lead-Core Fishing Line
  • High-density lead core is encapsulated in a polyester-fiber sheath
  • Line changes colors every 10 yds. so you can meter the line
  • Runs in a 10-color sequence
  • Suffix Performance Lead-Core Fishing Line presents lures in a fashion that can't be duplicated any other way – and it catches fish. High-density lead core is encapsulated in a durable polyester-fiber sheath for strength and abrasion resistance. Line changes colors every 10 yds. so you can meter how much line you have out. Runs in a 10-color sequence.
    Spool sizes:100 yds., 200 yds.
    Lb. test:12, 15, 18, 27, 36.

    Lb. TestSpool Size
    12 100 yds.
    15 100 yds.
    18 100 yds.
    27 100 yds.
    36 100 yds.
    12 200 yds.
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    Cabela's Dacron Planer Board Line

    Cabela's Dacron Planer Board Line
    This line makes it easy to see exactly how your planer board is tracking. Its fluorescent orange color is highly visible in a variety of water conditions. The low-stretch braided Dacron® line gives you superior control and is easily spliced. It resists kinks and tangles, yet coils easily. Spool consists of 150 feet of 135-lb.-test tow line.

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    Tuf-Line Lead Core Trolling Line

    Tuf-Line Lead Core Trolling Line
  • Tightly braided, high-tenacity nylon multifilament yarn
  • 99.9% pure lead core
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  • Ideal for the angler who needs extra weight for deep-water trolling, Tuf-Line's Lead-Core Trolling Line features tightly braided, high-tenacity nylon multifilament yarn that encapsulates a 99.9% pure lead core. This pure-lead construction offers a smaller diameter than standard lead-core lines. Color changes every 10 yds. Highly visible dye enables you to keep track of the depth without a linecounter. Made in USA.
    Lb. test:18, 27.
    Yds:100, 200.

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    1. Recomp on steroid cycle
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    Thinking about trying lead line. Suggestions?



    Post By: Goosehunter82      Posted: 7/30/2016 5:00:17 PM     Points:64953    
    I've never used lead before and considering it. What's the best weight and brand? Thanks.

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     Reply by: elkinthebag      Posted: 7/30/2016 6:21:07 PM     Points:2133    
    Depends a little goose. Lakers and kokes are eyes in the shallow res. If you want to be versatile I would suggest a 20 pound medium sink. If your fishing shallower water you can use a longer leader. Lakers and kokes are not very line shy and you want precise lure pal men so you can use a shorter leader and follow the chart and you will be real close to the depths they give you. As far as brands the cabelas lead core I have found to be the smallest diameter and ok strength but I have only used one other kind can't remember the name but it was thick and ran no where near the depths it said it would.

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     Reply by: bratfish      Posted: 7/30/2016 11:06:59 PM     Points: 1099    

    if you enjoy the fight of a fish on the line don't mess with that stuff. IF you just want to drag in weighted line with a fish you can't feel fight, go for it.

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     Reply by: fishman1      Posted: 7/30/2016 11:39:38 PM     Points:21181    
    Goose, I've used lead for 20 years. I get plenty of fight using it. Try 18 lb. with an 8 or 10 lb. fluorocarbon leader. I've used lead everywhere. If you're serious about using it I can help you get set up. Just give me an e-mail on my skipper link.


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     Reply by: CNR Walleye      Posted: 7/31/2016 12:29:39 AM     Points: 31    

    I learned about lead line a three years ago, and it been the best fishing I've had in those three years for walleye. It's a learning curve and can be a pain if you get it tangled while fishing at night, but well worth it.

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     Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: 7/31/2016 5:40:14 PM     Points:64953    
    Thanks guys. Bill when I get time and get around to it I'll certainly look you up on how to use the stuff. I think cabelas has some in the cave currently so I may go see exactly what it is.

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     Reply by: ralpert      Posted: 7/31/2016 7:23:24 PM     Points: 143    

    I just bought two spools of suffix leadcore at cabelas on sale for $12 a piece.

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     Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 7/31/2016 7:50:42 PM     Points:33274    
    Depending on he size reel you have, only 1/2 spool may fit on there. I only really troll the front range lakes and rarely get more than 4 colors out (10 on a spool)

    Once you get it figured out a bit, it's a great way to catch fish!

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     Reply by: fishman1      Posted: 8/3/2016 6:28:37 AM     Points:21181    
    Sorry Goose, didn't see your reply. I use the Suffix 832. It's a smaller diameter but sinks faster with less line out. It does cost more than other brands but worth it. I have tried them all and the Cabelas brand is one of the worst ones. Ajax is right also. I have reels that hold 10 colors. While it is true most of the front range lakes require 4 or less colors, if you're after kokes or fishing Horsetooth you need to be able to get down to 30 to 40 ft. That will take 5 to 9 colors. It just depends what you'll use it for.


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     Reply by: Jdhusk65      Posted: 8/3/2016 7:16:23 AM     Points:669    
    Allows you to run a shallow running crank to the desired depth. I often troll #7 & #9 floating rapala minnows for walleye at 10-20'. Without it, i would be at 4' deep at best. Touch the bottom, then reel up a foot or so. comes with a learning curve but once youve figured it out, youll use it regularly. I finally use all of those little shallow runners i bought years ago.

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     Reply by: RoyR      Posted: 8/3/2016 9:21:36 AM     Points: 3344    

     Reply by: Raskal      Posted: 8/3/2016 9:34:39 AM     Points:2821    
    Works great for trout also .... allows you to get the smaller lures down to the depths you need. You might also try some reasonably small flashers in case the fishing is a little slow.

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     Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: 8/22/2016 11:43:07 AM     Points:64953    
    Alright. I ordered 2 7ft okuma lead core trolling rods, 2 penn 20 warfare line counter reels and some advice sufix 832 in 18lb test. Next question is how long of a leader do you guys run? What weight and type of line are you using for the leader? I'm going to be primarily using it for flicker shad in less than 35 fow for walleye. Will probably also try it for lake trout this fall. Thanks for the help guys.

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     Reply by: elkinthebag      Posted: 8/22/2016 12:18:40 PM     Points:2133    
    Could save money and not get the line counters for lead core it is marked so you know the distance. I run about 30' leader of flouro just so if I do go shallower I can still get some distance out behind the boat. For eyes and lakers hard mouth fish I use a flouro leader not so much for the visibility but for a a good solid hook set. Lead core gets a pretty good arch in it when trolling with a lot out.

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     Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: 8/22/2016 12:27:03 PM     Points:64953    
    I considered the non line counter reels but have read on more than a few forums that guys have suggested getting the line counter so you don't have to keep track of colors or if you loose track of colors if your running multiple rods. I've also seen guys use the line counter it the lead ends up breaking and the colors get a little off.

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     Reply by: Dakota Dude      Posted: 8/22/2016 1:46:58 PM     Points:2591    
    I use 20lb flouro 40' long. The longer the better for visibility, lure action, and distance from the boat when you don't intend to run many colors.

    I roughly measure 40 feet by cutting 10 wingspan lengths off the spool of flouro.

    You're going to love your new lead core setups. I use them for just about every species depending on the time of year.

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     Reply by: Raskal      Posted: 8/22/2016 2:07:37 PM     Points:2821    
    I use the leader behind flashers. Usually (for trout, bass, pike) 5 to six feet is fine. Anymore and you'll wind up pulling your fish to the boat by hand. If you don't use flashers the longer leaders work a little better.

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    Raisuli said:

    Hi Steve K,

    I know there are BIG fish in many of the Eastern Sierra lakes...and HUGE boulders at the bottoms of 'em! As I have grown a little wiser I've come to appreciate the importance of turning a fish's direction away from the bottoms of lakes.

    When we first got into fishing, we used ultralight stuff, and we still do for creeks were it's appropriate. But for lakes, we fish nothing lighter than 6lb line, which is for throwing surface spoons. We also take an outfit with 8lb line.

    I have thought of using heavier lead core line, but then again I've thought of using down riggers as well.

    I hope you have an fantastic season

    Click to expand...

    It's precisely because of those boulders that I don't use my Downrigger at some lakes, mostly the Alpine Lakes like Sabrina, South, Convict, etc. Using it at Crowley can be a pain in the butt, too, as when it starts to green up, that junk gets on the cable and planes the whole thing up on an angle.

    Flatlining, or toplining is mostly what I fish. I use Rapalas, mostly 9-13 CM floaters; black and gold and black and silver. Mark 'em up a bit with a nice thin red line the length of the lure and a few black dots as well. Fishing mornings it can be pretty cold and I don't tolerate that very well any more. I like fishing afternoons into evening until I just can't see any more. Troll 'em pretty fast, in the shallows and give it a yank every once in a while to action it up. I'm fishing a graphite 7' rod, St Croix blank, 10-17 lb rated; built it myself and use a downlocking reel seat. 5500C3 reel spooled up with Big Game 12 lb and a 20' piece of 15 lb Seguar Premier fluorocarbon completes it.



    Lead core line cabelas

    Lead Core Line Buyer's Guide

    It’s ironic that lead-core line has become all the rage for big-lake trout and salmon fishing. The line has been around since before the invention of downriggers. But anglers are rediscovering how simple, yet effective, lead-core line can be.

    Jim Balzer with CohoIt imparts an action to trailing lures that can't be duplicated with any other method, and excels when fish are shying away from more traditional techniques and presentations. Alternatives, like non lead-weighted line and braided copper line, perform like traditional lead-core line and are viable options. Though alternative lines cost more than double the price. The non-lead line has a sink rate similar to lead core. Copper line sinks much faster and deeper than lead-core line. Because of the sink rates of braided copper, less line is needed to obtain the same depth as when using more lead-core line. Trade-offs with copper line are its cost, larger diameter and its propensity to kink.

    Lead-core trolling line is made with a nylon-braided sheath and an extruded, lead center core. The outer sheath of nylon changes color every 10 yards, and is used as a gauge to keep track of exactly how much line you have out. Anglers refer to the colors when describing how much lead-core line they have out. Basically, the more line you let out, the deeper the trailing lure will go. Lead-core line is available in 100-yard and 200-yard spools. In trolling jargon, a full core is 10 colors of lead core line or a full, 100-yard spool.

    Cabela's lead-core line has some added features. The line is also lubricated, which makes it slip through guides easier, and the finish is heat-set for colorfastness.

    Lead core line is available in different pound-test lines. The breaking strength refers to the nylon sheath and not the weight of the line. 27-pound lead core is stronger than 18-pound lead core, but it is not heavier. During tests I've conducted I found that a 100-yard spool of 27-, 36- and 45-pound test lead core line weighed nearly the same with only .06 pounds difference in weight between the spools.

    10 colors of lead-core line being pulled at approximately 2.5 mph will sink to a depth of about 50 feet. How do I know that? Because I have had 10 colors of lead core out and gotten snagged on bottom in 50 feet of water. How deep the line actually sinks is kind of irrelevant. If you have five colors of lead core line out and 75 feet of backing and you're catching fish, all you need to know is how to duplicate that exact presentation. The colors on the lead-core line will allow you to do that. Realistically, you can figure that for every color of lead core (10 yards) you put in the water it will sink five feet if you are trolling at an average speed of 2.0 to 2.5 mph.

    So why use different pound-test lines of lead-core line? For the same reason you use different pound tests of monofilament line for different species of fish. The most commonly used pound tests of lead core for big-lake trout and salmon applications are 27- and 36-pound-test line. Walleyes anglers prefer 15- or 18-pound test. You can fit the smaller diameter line on smaller, walleye-size reels. With species like walleyes, you also don't have to worry as much about line breakage. The more lead-core line you put on a reel, the bigger the reel you're going to need.

    Fishing long lengths of lead core line requires some specialized tackle. A full spool of 27-pound test lead-core line will not fit on a traditional downrigger reel and allow much room for backing. A reel that has the capacity to hold 325 yards of line is perfect for using three-, five-, or seven-colors of lead-core line, but the reel is too small for a full core. If you're going to fish with 10 colors of lead-core line or more you need a reel with a line capacity of between 350 and 475 yards.

    Rods for lead-core line are a matter of personal preference. There is no perfect lead-core rod, but longer, diver-type rods provide an advantage. A perfect lead-core rod is a 9 to 9-1/2-foot diver rod. With the longer rod you can keep more line out of the water, you can lift boards at critical moments and you have more leverage on the fish. With each lift you take up more line with the longer rod. To land fish consistently when using lead-core line you need to be aggressive and concentrate on keeping the line tight and remain in constant contact with the fish. Dragging the weight of the heavy line, it's very easy for the fish to create slack and shake free of the lure when using lead-core line.

    Backing is important when fishing lead-core line. To get the full sinking effect of the line you need to have the entire lead core in the water, regardless of how much you're using. Also, if you're running the lead-core line off of in-line boards, you don't want to attach the board directly to the lead-core line. It will weaken it at that point, causing the sheath to fray and eventually break.

    Super-lines are ideal for lead-core backing because they're strong, abrasion-resistant and have a very small diameter. Favorite super-lines are the 10/30-pound test line in the flame green color. Super-lines are tough, doesn't abrade when attached to planer boards and the high-vis green color makes it easy to see where it's entering the water.

    Lead-core leaders can be standard monofilament or fluorocarbon. It's a matter of personal preference. Leader length can vary. I would normally start out with a 50- to 75-foot leader of 20-pound test and cut it back each day checking for frays and abrasion. Once the leader gets down to 15 or 20 feet, replace it.

    Connecting lead-core line to backing and to leaders can be a little tricky. There are several knots you can use. My favorite is a Nail Knot like the one used to connect fly lines to leaders.

    Sometimes the knot will slip off the end of the lead core. In that case, remove about two inches of the lead from the lead-core line near the end and tie an overhand knot in it. The nail knot will then jam down against the overhand knot when you tie the nail knot and keep it from sliding off. With a little patience and practice you'll get the hang of tying the nail knot. It makes for a very strong, small knot that travels easily though the guides.

    How do you know how much backing to put on the reel with lead–core line? A simple solution if filling multiple reels is to put the lead-core line on the reel first and then fill the reel with backing. You'll have the exact amount of line on the reel– but in reverse. Now connect the backing to another reel and reel the line on to the new reel, but stop when you have just the backing on the reel and make note of how much line is on the spool by measuring the remaining space on the spool. That way, when you fill subsequent reels, as long as they're the same model, you'll know exactly how much backing to put on the reel.

    Lead-core line can be run directly off the back of the boat or off planer or in-line boards. The advantage of running lead core off boards is that you can fish multiple lines, cover more water and keep tangles to a minimum. By fishing with various lengths of lead-core line you can cover different depths. Shorter lengths are run on the outside boards and longer lengths on the inside. The larger planers and in-line boards are ideal for lead-core line. They will pull long lengths of lead core far out to the side of the boat and the release system on the boards makes it quick and easy to get the line free when a fish is tugging on the other end.

    Most captains will admit that catching even hard-fighting fish like salmon on lead-core line is not the most fun way of putting fish in the box. But the fact is, lead-core line catches fish when nothing else will.

    Lead Core Fishing 101


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