do u guys do anything special to keep from cutting your line on the ice around the bottom of the hole? i keep losing fish this way, and i use 8 lb test, so its not wimpy line, it seems any time a fish runs, i lose it
Mustang, the solution that my fishin partner gave me is for stockers don;t worry about it. On big trout 5lbs or better we fight it below the ice edge, that is we stick our rods down into the hole and fight him down there. Have not lost one big one yet and remember drag and wear the fish down. His son landed a 10lb cut at antero this way fought him for 30 minutes and he now has a place on their wall.
Reach down in the hole sometime and feel the edge. Its been my experience, that the ice is always very smooth, not sharp. I'd say , ajust your drag better. Not just so it pulls smooth, when out of the water. Think about the extra tension on your line, from the depth of the water that your fishing and the tension created from the line against the ice. I'd say ,99% of the time, the ice being sharp, is not the culprit.
When you punch threw the ice, make sure you punched threw round. By that I mean that the hole is perfectly circle all the way down. Just lift your auger up and down a few times if it hangs then back the auger out and twist it then rescrew. Repeat untell your auger moves freely up and down. They are right in that there should be no sharp ice cuts at the bottom of your hole, if the ice chips it should be convexed because the force is pushing downward.
i also think that you just need good line, just because it is new doesn't mean it is good. breaking off on the bottom of the hole is just one of the challenges of ice fishing. i have brought some of my biggest trout up through 24+ inches of ice before and i have also lost some. i think a bigger hole helps which is one of the reasons i use a 10 inch hole now, and some trout when hooked go deep which is a plus and some fight near the undersurface of the ice which is not a plus, i somethimes change my ice line every month if i have caught alot of big fish, i havent had to worry about this so far this year( hopefully this will change soon) sometimes you just have to go to heavier line, i went to some of my reels having 8lb test last year,which works great and havent lost fish due to line breakage but this year they seem to be real line shy, so i have spooled one with 4,6 and 8 to see if the lighter line will help, it scares me to hook a tourney fish on 4lb but you gotta try something. and we always have long handled ice scoopers and we will go down and check the edge of the holw with it if it looks real sharp, just make sure you do like they mentioned above and completely drill through the hole,not cutting through all the way will really leave some sharp edges. also i have never stuck my pole down the hole to fight a fish, i have seen others do this and have never understood this as then you cant tell which direction the fish is going, i always stand right over the hole and watch the direction my line is going to try and keep it off of the edge of the ice, and i take my time, most trout iced(not sure about lakers) especially big ones only make 2 or 3 really big drag pulling runs, then they are usually little pulls here and there as you get them closer to the hole, i think that getting their head pointed to come up the hole is the real hard part especially with big fish as they just dont want to come up the hole. good luck and sorry about the long winded post..
As an alternative to changing your line, try tying different kinds of knots and stress testing them by uplling on your lure by hand. I have found that certain of my lines don't like modified clinch knots in cold weather, whereas other lines do just find with them. My ice lines don't like palomar knots, either, which are very strong when fishing with warm-weather lines in warm weather. As an alternative, I tie turtle knots *also called "uni-knots" I've discovered.
Some knots cause more drastic bends in the line than others that can weaken line in cold temps, when line is more brittle.
Good info Cutthroat! Another quick test for your existing line is to tie a simple overhand knot in it and see how much effort is needed to break it. I just checked some older 14# Iron Silk that broke like 2#, but stripped off about 10 feet and found solid, "unbreakable" line. It could be just the overused end of your line that is weak. Like Cutt I have found different knots hold better on ice. Looney.