Every autumn I look forward to a winter of Pike fishing. Today I’m checking my traces left over from last year, anything too mangled I will replace. Whenever possible I will break down the old traces and reuse the hooks, swivels etc.
For dead bait fishing I mainly use 30 plus twin treble ready made rigs with either size 6 or 8 hooks. I have used these for several seasons and on the whole they work well. They are made with 20lb wire trace, strong enough for most Pike, but I have had the odd instance where the hook has straightened. This has been my fault, I have either set the reel clutch too tight or pulled the fish too hard.
I like to use braid on my reel, 30 – 50lb depending on how I’m fishing. I could use mono, but all the rivers in my area have mud bottoms, I don’t need to worry about sharp stones or gravel cutting the braid. The main reason I use braid is to set the hook on the strike. A Pike’s mouth is very tough, striking like you would with other fish generally won’t do. Braid has no stretch which gives me a higher chance of setting the hook first time. A strong sweeping strike is required, but once hooked I usually get them in.