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Thread: Any Advice for my First Centerpin Setup?

  1. #1
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    Default Any Advice for my First Centerpin Setup?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking at getting my first centerpin setup to learn how to use this fall and early winter. I'm currently planning on getting a Raven IM8 13' rod and 4 3/4" Raven Matrix Special Edition reel. Will this be a setup that can be used for both steelhead and salmon? What main line strength do people recommend if I plan on targeting salmon and steelhead? Is 10lbs reasonable?

    Any input would be appreciated. Tight lines everyone!

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk

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  3. #2
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    Yes, you will be able to use that setup for both rainbow and salmon, no doubt. I've used a similar for more than 10 years.
    I know friends that use inferior to that, and are still succesful.

    For mainline, you can go with 10 lb ... to be honest, I just use 6 lb fluoro all the way ... no knots.
    If I need to go to a lighter lead for trout, I'll just use about 8 ft of 4lb fluoro ... one knot.

    I use 6lb to catch +20 lb salmon all the time ... they take around 20 minutes to fight and land ... makes for a fun experience.

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your reply. I'm likely going to go towards 10lbs for now, since I definitely will need practice landing fish and light line might be a bit of an issue, but I see your method and it's definitely something to think about as I gain experience.

    In terms of backing line, are you ever supposed to reach it? As in, are the specific details about the backing line used important (for example, colour)? Or should the reel always have enough line to fight a big fish without running into the backing. I am assuming you use backing with such light line.

    Thanks again.

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG1 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I'm likely going to go towards 10lbs for now, since I definitely will need practice landing fish and light line might be a bit of an issue, but I see your method and it's definitely something to think about as I gain experience.

    In terms of backing line, are you ever supposed to reach it? As in, are the specific details about the backing line used important (for example, colour)? Or should the reel always have enough line to fight a big fish without running into the backing. I am assuming you use backing with such light line.

    Thanks again.

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk
    The backing is to get the reel line close tot he tope of the reel ... you don't want half a reel filled ... it takes far higher rotational speed to release a set distance of line. The game changer with center pins is the line is able to (almost) freely spool as the bait naturally floats with the river current. This presents things naturally to fish ... if bait is floating at a slower pace than the current, it is unnatural ... when the spool is full, one rotation is way more line, so there is in essence less resistance from the reel. Not sure if I explained that good enough ...

    Anyhow, here's the other point ... you're not going to be succesful if you use 10lb to the hook ... fish will see that all day long ... even 6 lb, I can see fish "move over" when they spot the line ... and that is fluoro ... should disappear in water ... but the fish spot it ... in green slightly dirty water ... 6 lb is okay. Also 10 lb is stiff, again makes bait presentation unnatural ... you want a line that whips and drags easily following current. So you'll have to as a minimum tie 6 lb lead (preferably 4lb for rainbow) to that 10 lb backing ... how much? Well, it depends ... some guys will do around 8 to 10ft ... some guys only 6 ft ... you'll get break offs ... and then will need to retie the lead each time. Technically this is the better way to go, but involves a lot of work.

    If you're lazy like me ... then I put A LOT of 6 lb flouro on ... in fact I have like 200 ft on or something ... but for your setup, say 50 ft. Then if you have a break off, you just cut and retie at the hook ... quick and easy ... no need to remove the lead, tie to mainline, and then tie at hook ... at least triple the effort to do that!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkB View Post
    The backing is to get the reel line close tot he tope of the reel ... you don't want half a reel filled ... it takes far higher rotational speed to release a set distance of line. The game changer with center pins is the line is able to (almost) freely spool as the bait naturally floats with the river current. This presents things naturally to fish ... if bait is floating at a slower pace than the current, it is unnatural ... when the spool is full, one rotation is way more line, so there is in essence less resistance from the reel. Not sure if I explained that good enough ...

    Anyhow, here's the other point ... you're not going to be succesful if you use 10lb to the hook ... fish will see that all day long ... even 6 lb, I can see fish "move over" when they spot the line ... and that is fluoro ... should disappear in water ... but the fish spot it ... in green slightly dirty water ... 6 lb is okay. Also 10 lb is stiff, again makes bait presentation unnatural ... you want a line that whips and drags easily following current. So you'll have to as a minimum tie 6 lb lead (preferably 4lb for rainbow) to that 10 lb backing ... how much? Well, it depends ... some guys will do around 8 to 10ft ... some guys only 6 ft ... you'll get break offs ... and then will need to retie the lead each time. Technically this is the better way to go, but involves a lot of work.

    If you're lazy like me ... then I put A LOT of 6 lb flouro on ... in fact I have like 200 ft on or something ... but for your setup, say 50 ft. Then if you have a break off, you just cut and retie at the hook ... quick and easy ... no need to remove the lead, tie to mainline, and then tie at hook ... at least triple the effort to do that!
    Thanks again for the reply and all of that information.

    That makes sense about the backing. I will definitely follow that advice.

    In terms of the second point, I was planning on using 10lbs as the mainline but then using 6lbs flourocarbon leader for steelhead and maybe 8lbs for salmon. Is having 10lbs mainline an issue for steelhead if the leader is still 6lbs?

    Thanks again.

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkB View Post
    ... even 6 lb, I can see fish "move over" when they spot the line ... and that is fluoro ... should disappear in water ... but the fish spot it ...
    The best way around that is to use a green highlighter and blotch your leader for 5 - 8 inches here and there, and give it essentially a camo pattern. The highlighted bits of leader refract light differently than the clean fluoro does, so it breaks up the pattern and fish don't see a single continuous line. That's what they're shying away from.

    All plastic line (incl fluoro) has fibre-optic qualities. Fish don't really see the line, but they absolutely do see the sunlight running through it. The highlighter camo bit really does work to break up that appearance.

    I learned that trick from a guide in the Bahamas. When you fish the flats the water is super clear and crazy shallow, even 4 lb fluoro stands out like a rope. Try it, it really works.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG1 View Post
    I was planning on using 10lbs as the mainline but then using 6lbs flourocarbon leader for steelhead and maybe 8lbs for salmon. Is having 10lbs mainline an issue for steelhead if the leader is still 6lbs?
    No problem using 10 as main line if you're running a lighter leader. I usually use 10 as main line. It's definitely stiffer, so I find I tend to have fewer tangles from side-casting, especially on windy days when straight 6 will just fall all over itself.

    Having said that, most of the time straight 6 as MarkB suggests is less hassle, no question.
    Last edited by Symmetre; October 30th, 2020 at 10:30 AM. Reason: fixed a typo

  8. #7
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    Thanks for your reply.

    I ended up going with 10lbs mainline in a low visibility colour, as was recommended at the store. I also ordered some good quality 6lbs flourocarbon leader, so I will run that as my leader. I went with 10lbs so I have the option to run up to 8lbs leader for salmon in the fall. I will try that highlighter trick; it sounds very cool. Thanks again.

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk

  9. #8
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    Thanks for everyone's advice here.

    I ended up getting a Raven Matrix Special Edition and a Raven IM8 13' 2 piece rod. I got it spooled up with 10lbs Raven mono mainline. I practiced casting today with a typical float setup for steelhead in a private pond I stock. Casting is definitely a learning curve, but I got it more and more as a practiced. I also ended up catching a nice 3lbs stocked brown which was a lot of fun on the centerpin. I'm looking forward to giving it a try on the river.

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
    The best way around that is to use a green highlighter and blotch your leader for 5 - 8 inches here and there, and give it essentially a camo pattern. The highlighted bits of leader refract light differently than the clean fluoro does, so it breaks up the pattern and fish don't see a single continuous line. That's what they're shying away from.

    All plastic line (incl fluoro) has fibre-optic qualities. Fish don't really see the line, but they absolutely do see the sunlight running through it. The highlighter camo bit really does work to break up that appearance.

    I learned that trick from a guide in the Bahamas. When you fish the flats the water is super clear and crazy shallow, even 4 lb fluoro stands out like a rope. Try it, it really works.



    No problem using 10 as main line if you're running a lighter leader. I usually use 10 as main line. It's definitely stiffer, so I find I tend to have fewer tangles from side-casting, especially on windy days when straight 6 will just fall all over itself.

    Having said that, most of the time straight 6 as MarkB suggests is less hassle, no question.
    Wow, awesome trick buddy, with the highlighter. Thanks for that!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG1 View Post
    Thanks for everyone's advice here.

    I ended up getting a Raven Matrix Special Edition and a Raven IM8 13' 2 piece rod. I got it spooled up with 10lbs Raven mono mainline. I practiced casting today with a typical float setup for steelhead in a private pond I stock. Casting is definitely a learning curve, but I got it more and more as a practiced. I also ended up catching a nice 3lbs stocked brown which was a lot of fun on the centerpin. I'm looking forward to giving it a try on the river.

    Sent from my Mi MIX 2 using Tapatalk
    Well, if you caught a brown, it means something worked! Was the water clear or somewhat dirty?

    In clear water, I honestly don't think you'll get away with 6 lb fluoro lead ... you'll probably need something more like 4 lb (or less, like 3.8 lb).
    One thing I used to do is add the tiniest quick snap swivel you could imagine on the main line, and then added an 8' leader to that ... it allowed me to setup a bunch of leads, with weights all staggered (minimum used, added more if necessary), and I rolled them around a pool noodle off cut ... could add 6 on one piece no problem. If anything happened with one lead, it was easy, take it off, unroll a new one and connect it up. The only thing I didn't like is the memory the fluoro line had when wrapped around the pool noodle, it was a bit of a spiral, but I don't think that really impacted the fishing all that much.

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