Those of us who are into fishing and have noticed anglers tying an extra piece of a fishing line called a leader; between the main fishing line and the hook may have wondered, what is a leader fishing?
Well, to put it simply, a leader fishing essentially means fishing with a leader. And a leader is a short, sturdy piece of fishing line that can be attached to the end of your main fishing line before tying it directly to the hook or lure.
In this article, we are going to tell you all about leader fishing along with the pros and cons that come with the use of this small fishing tool. We will further be describing the methods of using leader fishing as well as the circumstances under which you can use this fishing style for the best results.
To know more about the methods of attaching different parts of fishing equipment, you can read our other article on how to tie braid to mono. So without further ado, let us get right into the article and finally comprehend what leader fishing is.
What is a leader fishing
A fishing leader, or leader, is a small piece of a fishing line whose one end is tied to the main fishing line while the other end is attached to the hook, fly, or lure. Many of you may be wondering what is the point of attaching an extra fishing line to the existing one when you can directly attach the main fishing line to the hook.
The fact is, a fishing leader is used to strengthen your existing fishing line by acting as a protective unit for the main fishing line against breaking and damage. This equipment is the most effective to catch big fish that move fast or those with sharp teeth to bite through the bait.
Moreover, it helps in presenting better bait by somewhat concealing the main fishing line and making it less likely for the fish to spot it. It is extremely helpful in delivering the bait to the fish efficiently and is used by fishermen and expert anglers all the time for successful fishing expeditions.
Although using a fishing leader is not an absolute necessity for regular anglers, it is still considered a mandatory piece of equipment for any fly fishing setup and some other situations.
Types of leader fishing
The two commonest types of fishing leaders include those made from fluorocarbon and monofilament.
The biggest advantage of this type of leader is that it has almost the same refractive index as that of water. This makes the fishing leader nearly invisible to the fish and works great to lure them into the bait.
It also stretches less; meaning, it yields better sensitivity. This feature enables you to feel even the slightest tug or bite on the fishing leader.
Although fluorocarbon leaders are more on the higher end, they do in fact, present a lot of advantages such as protection against UV light exposure, good knot strength, abrasion resistance, etc.
If you want a more affordable option, monofilament leaders will work best for you. Since these are less dense than fluorocarbon leaders, they do not sink fast and can easily absorb the impact of an aggressive fish.
This type of leader is also very flexible and has easier maneuverability; making it easier for beginners.
How to make a leader fishing
Let us now look at the process that works best for setting up a fishing leader.
Although this method is a little advanced and will require practice to grasp, it is the best way of making a fishing leader that will save you from the hassle of having to cut the main fishing line every time the leader snaps.
This method is also effective in increasing the strength of the leader which increases your chances of making successful captures.
Step 1: Gather a few connectors, a set of crimpers, and swivels.
Step 2: Cut your main fishing line to the desired length but make sure you add a few extra inches.
Step 3: Take the fishing leader and pass one of its ends through the connector. Then, add a swivel to that end.
Step 4: After adding the swivel, pass that very end back through the connector again. You will find a loop with the swivel inside.
Step 5: Use the crimpers to squeeze the connector. Make sure not to apply too much pressure as it may cut the line altogether.
Step 6: Repeat the same steps for the other end of the fishing leader. In the end, you will have yourself a leader with a swivel at both ends.
Step 7: Finally, attach the leader to the fishing line and tie a knot to secure the attachment.
How to use a leader fishing
Understanding how to use a fishing leader requires practice. But once you get used to the work, it is very easy.
Let us now look at the steps of using a leader.
Step 1: Determine the length of your leader line. This will vary from person to person based on their choices, preferences, and experience. The longer the length, the wider the area for the live bait to swim around.
Step 2: Tie the swivels to your leader. They will allow your leader to rotate freely underwater. You can follow the steps mentioned above for the making of the leader and following this step.
Step 3: Tie your hook, fly or lure to the fishing leader by using a strong knot; preferably the snelling knot, and cast away your fishing line.
Read Also: Best Types Of Fishing Hooks
Why use a leader fishing
There are several advantages of using fishing leaders. And although it may not be a necessity, it enhances your fishing efficiency by several folds.
Some of the reasons why you should consider using a fishing leader are given below:
- Fishing leaders help to avoid line breaks which can occur due to several causes including the presence of sharp objects like rocks, shells, etc. underwater. Microfilament leaders work great for this as they have high abrasion resistance which enhances the ability of the fishing line to withstand friction with sharp or rough terrains.
- Leaders help to prevent the hook from getting snagged. Oftentimes, the weight of the hook forces it to stick to the bottom of the water where it may get stuck in between rocks of organic growth. Retreating the fishing line is not always a success. But when you use a leader, its aversion to water helps it float longer which ultimately keeps the hook at a higher level than the ground and prevents snagging of the hook.
- Leaders, especially fluorocarbon leaders, have nearly the same refractive index as water which helps the light to pass through them easily; making them almost invisible. This increases the chances of the fish not noticing the fishing line and taking the bait.
- When you add swivels to your leader, it keeps the leader line free to allow easy rotation without twisting the main fishing line. A fish will struggle to break free once it gets stuck on the hook, during their rapid, haphazard movement, they often manage to get away by twisting and turning your fishing line; leaving it weak and even snapped along the way.
To prevent this from happening, using leaders with swivels is ideal.
Now that you have read our article on ‘what is a leader fishing‘, we hope you have a better understanding of the function and use of fishing leaders in general.
A good fishing leader in the right size will not only increase your fishing accuracy but also help to improve your casting distance, and ensure more strikes; that is, increase your overall fishing experience.
Although the limited disadvantages will vary depending on the type of material of the fishing leader, using a leader has far more advantages than not using one at all.