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I just got an 11'6'' rod and want to catch reds and sharks what kind of leader should I use?
 

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For my casting surf leaders I start with 200# mono that is 3ft long give or take. Tie a swivel on one end, slide a bead on, a big snap swivel, another bead, and then a tie another swivel on. From there I taek a 2' or so piece of 400# 49 strand cable and crimp it on to the swivel, for the hook I use 14/0 and 16/0 mustads circles most of the time. The snap swivel allows you to snap your spider weight on. If you are in Texas you are going to need a spider weight to hold your bait in the surf, but oddly enough it seems that us texans are the only folks who use them. To simplify casting you can take the eye of the hook and slide it on the leg of the spider weight with your bait on it, this cut the leader length in half basicallly. Ofcourse the 6oz will sink faster in the water/air and the hunk of mullet you have on it will slide right off.
 

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Would you need the wire when targeting reds? Would 3 ft of 50lb Fluorocarbon below a "fishfinder" rig (allows weight to slide up line) and swivel (stops fishfinder and attaches leader) be sufficient for reds? This is how we fish Striped Bass in New England. We would use the wire for Bluefish.
 

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You don't need wire for reds. I have used the pre-made mono liters at Acadamey with no problems. A lot of people make there own liters though.

If there are a lot of sharks in the water then you might want to use a wire liter. It's not going to hurt your chances of catching a red.
 

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Would you need the wire when targeting reds? Would 3 ft of 50lb Fluorocarbon below a "fishfinder" rig (allows weight to slide up line) and swivel (stops fishfinder and attaches leader) be sufficient for reds? This is how we fish Striped Bass in New England. We would use the wire for Bluefish.

Its really hard to use fishfinder rigs here for surf fishing if you are using long rods. The current along the beaches will just drag the bait and weight down the beach. fishfinder rigs and spider weights don't mix either as the legs will tangle around your main line and make a hell of a mess. I almost always use wire i fsurf fishing because we always have sharks in the surf here. In the summer time they are very, very thick but as teh water cools we only have a few sandbar sharks left. Reds don't mind the steel at at so versus taking the chance of losing a fish I just use steel on almost all of my surf rigs.
 
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