When it comes to fishing, nothing beats being able to cast and reel in a big fish without having to spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment. But sometimes, even with the most expensive gear, you just won’t get any bites. And what’s worse is you lose that line and lures that cost a small fortune.
There’s a simple solution to this problem that can help you save some time, tackle, and ultimately money and that is using a fishing leader line setup. This fishing technique allows you to cast longer distances, allowing you to cover greater areas of water while catching more fish. All while saving your tackle when there is a problem.
What is a “Fishing Leader Line”?
Well, it’s basically a long string attached to a hook. But not just any string will work. There are different types of leaders available, each designed for specific purposes. Having a leader line attached to your main line can help you save time and tackle. Here’s how:
What is the Purpose of a Fishing Leader Line?
Fishing leaders help to stop your line from breaking
When you cast out 50 yards ready to reel in your big fish sometimes the problems occur. One big problem is a hang up. When your lure and line get caught up on a rock, stump, or some other underwater snag it can be a nightmare.
As you pull on the line trying to get it un-stuck you realize that the line will likely break at some point and the tackle at the end of your line will be gone. So you give it a tug and the line finally breaks.
The problem is the line broke near your reel when you just cast out 50 yards or so. You not only lost all your tackle at the end of your line but you also lost much of the line that was on the reel.
Having a fishing leader line that gets snagged like this may eventually break but it would break down at the end of the line. So you may have lost your tackle but you saved all the line.
Not only that but you’re not fishing in a spot that has 50 yards of line twirling around in the water just ready to get tangled in your next cast and having you face the problem all over again.
Using fishing leaders can help to avoid snags
When you have a leader line on your main line you avoid many of the problems that you’ll experience when you have one. This is especially true if you plan on using artificial lures that move about a lot.
Having a fishing leader line on your main line allows the end of the line to circle and move about freely. The line won’t start to gather back on itself.
Consider the circle action of a spoon when fishing and how twisted the line can be after only a cast or two. A leader line is usually attached by a swivel which can prevent this from happening.
Fishing leaders can help with reducing line visibility
The size of line you use when fishing can help a huge impact on whether you catch fish or not. For instance, you don’t want to try and catch blue gills with a 30 pound monofilament line. Instead you would opt for something much less visible in the water such as 4lb or so.
When you’re fishing in a spot that has a lot of debris and obstacles in the water however (think about lily pads for example) you need a stronger line in case you get tangled. The solution to this problem is by using a leader line that has 4lb as the leader line while your main line is a higher tensile strength.
This way the fish don’t see the line at your hook but you have the line strength to pull it from the weeds if needed.
Line memory and twist prevention using fishing leaders
Each time you cast a line it can start to have a memory. Braid is the exception as it does not experience line twist like other popular materials. By using a fishing leader line you can help to avoid much of the line twists however.
Since the leader line is attached using a swivel the bait can move freely without twisting the line. If you’ve ever experienced the dreaded bird’s nest when casting a reel that has been affected by line twist you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Why Some Fishing Leader Lines Are Better for a Particular Type of Fishing
When selecting a fishing leader, consider the type of fish you’re targeting and the conditions you expect to encounter. For example, some leaders are better suited for catching large gamefish like tuna and marlin, while others are designed for small gamefish like trout and bass. Leaders come in various sizes, shapes, materials, and weights.
Fluorocarbon Leader Lines
Fluorocarbon leader lines are made from fluoropolymer resins and they are stronger than nylon leader lines. Typically they also last longer even in heavy usage. But there are some downsides to fluorocarbon leader lines.
Fluorocarbon leader lines usually cost more than nylon leader lines. And, they’re not very flexible which can make them really difficult to tie.
This type of fishing leader line is known for not being durable but when used properly, fluorocarbon leader lines are worth every penny.
Monofilament Leader Lines (Mono)
The most important factor when selecting fishing leader lines is durability. There are two types of monofilament leader lines: braided and twisted. Braided lines last longer than twisted lines because they’re stronger. However, braided lines cost more than twisted lines.
If you fish often, go with braided lines. They’re cheaper and last longer. But if you only occasionally fish, go with twisted lines. They’re cheaper, last longer, and are easier to tie knots in.
When buying fishing leader lines, be aware of the differences between brands. Make sure the brand you purchase is reputable and has been tested by independent third parties. You won’t need to make sure the line is compatible with your reel and rod because it will only be used at the end of the main line.
Steel Leader Lines
When you’re targeting fish that have sharp teeth that can cut your line quickly such as sharks then you’ll need to have a steel fishing leader line. They’re made out of steel, not plastic. So they last longer and hold up better when you’re fighting large fish in strong currents or rough water. Plus, because they’re stronger, they won’t break off easily when you hook a fish.
Strength of the Leader Line to use?
When selecting a leader line, consider its strength. Do you need a strong leader line to catch large fish near shore or a weaker leader line to catch small fish in a river or stream? The leader line should have a tensile strength that will handle the largest fish you expect to catch of your target species.
It’s a good idea to also make sure the leader line is less than the main line tensile strength. This will ensure the leader line breaks before the main line which can help save the entirety of the main line on your fishing trip.
Fishing Leader Line Length
The length of your fishing leader line depends on several factors, including the type of fish you’re targeting and where you plan to use your leader line. You’ll also want to check the weather conditions. Whether you’re saltwater fishing or fresh water fishing leaders can certainly help your fishing experience.
If you’re going after trout, bass, salmon, etc., then you need a longer leader than if you were targeting catfish or carp. And if you’re planning to cast out over water, then you should consider a longer leader than if casting near shore to get more leverage on your cast.
When selecting a leader line length, keep these things in mind:
- Keep it short enough to cast easily.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different leader lines until you find the right combination.
- Make sure your leader line isn’t too heavy.
- Consider adding a weight to your leader line to help prevent snags.
- Use a knot that allows the leader line to slide freely through your fingers.
- Test your leader line regularly to ensure it doesn’t become tangled.
- Check your leader line frequently to ensure it hasn’t been damaged.
Common Leader Line Setups
The leader line is a simple yet effective method of attaching a fishing lure to catch fish and save tackle and line. But not everyone knows how to set them up properly. Here are some tips for setting up a common leader line setup.
First, use a hook that matches the size needed for your target fish. This will help prevent snags when reeling in the line on those occurrence when you don’t catch a fish. Use a small amount of lead to the leader line as well or above the leader line depending on setup. Then attach the leader to the hook with a knot that won’t slip. Finally, tie the leader to the main line with a fisherman’s knot.
Attaching the Hook to the Leader Line
Just like attaching a hook to a main line without the leader is how this is done. If you have multiple hooks on the leader line you will need to tie each hook at the desired depth from the weight attached.
Putting it All Together and Attaching to Main Line
When attaching the leader to the mainline, use a knot called a half hitch. It’s simple and effective. Simply tie a loop in the end of the leader, thread it through the main line, and pull tight. Then repeat the process until the entire length of the leader is attached to the main line.
Save Money, Lures, Line, and More!
Fishing leader line is a must have setup when you’re fishing. Not only does it save you money, but it also saves tackle and helps to land more fish. If you’re like most anglers, you probably spend a lot of money on tackle over the course of a year. Using fishing leader lines can help to save some of that money! Check out some of the best fishing leader lines available on Amazon.