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Still Undecided on Leader Use

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Bud Kennedy

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I still get twisted around the axle about the use of leaders.  It seems like that most folks use leaders but don't seem to be able to explain fully why.  All I really want to know is what is the true benefit of this tactic.  Are you trying to provide a level of stealth to your presentation, are you trying to prevent line failure due to abrasion situations or do you believe that the performance of certain baits is enhanced by using a leader.

For the most part I use straight braid.  I tie direct and I do not use any connecting devices of any type to the lure other than the line itself.  In reality I don't care what you use, I just want to know the perceived advantage of using a leader and perhaps the material you believe that works best as a leader.  The knot deal through smaller guides in another deal and I suppose has been the most of my concerns.  It just seems like adding a leader is just adding another possible point of line/knot failure let alone having a knot that does not pass through the guides smoothly.  I guess I am just most interested in what advantages a leader provides.

Isn't it interesting that as long as I have been fishing to still be asking what appears to be a simple question.  I am not having a senior moment i just want to know why.  LOL



coldfront

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right now i'm tossing my topwater walking baits on straight braid.  at times, I get a hook that goes THROUGH the braid.  necessitating cutting off and re-tying.

thinking long and hard about adding a length of leader (mono) to help this situation.

might not bother others.

big g

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I will start by asking, are you fishing stained water, weedy lakes, are you targeting weedy banks.  If you are, I would not bother with the leader.  If your fishing faster reaction baits, I would not bother.  If you were in rocky, weed free mountain lakes, with gin clear water, a leader might make a difference.  I have used them years ago but I hate tying them, and then dealing with the knot.  The one weakest part of the system is the knot.  When the leader gets frayed you often have to redo the entire leader or deal with a shorter version.  Not worth the trouble, but its all up to the user.  I know people that love them, and use them all the time.  It's just not for me, especially in the waters I fish.  I do love fishing 100% floro for all my plastic baits and often fish them slow and deep.  So fish detecting the line is never a problem.
Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 06:25:47 PM by big g
(Fish) - P/B 11.4, Everglades, L67, L28, Little 67, Alligator Alley, Sawgrass, Holey Land, Loxahatchee, Ida, Osbourne, Okeechobee, Weston Lakes. Broward and Dade Canals.

Bud Kennedy

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Big G.  My home water (Waccamaw River) is very stained.  Visibility often under 6 inches.  We have no real weeds or grass in the river that is lined totally with cypress trees.  The river is tidal.  Water in our area tends to be quite stained in most places.  At Santee the water is stained similar to the water I have experienced in Florida.  Santee also has a lot of vegetation and stumps.  Our area just does not have rocky areas for the most part.  In Upstate SC however they do have some rocky content.

Eric-Maine

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right now i'm tossing my topwater walking baits on straight braid.  at times, I get a hook that goes THROUGH the braid.  necessitating cutting off and re-tying.

thinking long and hard about adding a length of leader (mono) to help this situation.

might not bother others.
I use a leader 18 or so inch of 20lb floro on my spook setup 65lb braid. With straight braid when a fish knocks it in the air the spook cartwheels all the trebles are fouled. The stiff floro prevents that so when the fish comes back to its "kill" the bait is ready.
Rest of my baitcasters are either all braid or all floro. I do not like braid anywhere I might get hung up. Need to be able to break off and retie easily.

Spinning setups are all 10lb braid with leader size as needed 6-15 lb. I use 15 for around zebra mussels and 6-8 for open water drop shot. 10-12 for neds or moving baits. All clear water situations. Down in Florida I will sometimes skip the leader on the rare occasion I use a spinning rod there.

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Capt. BassinLou

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right now i'm tossing my topwater walking baits on straight braid.  at times, I get a hook that goes THROUGH the braid.  necessitating cutting off and re-tying.

thinking long and hard about adding a length of leader (mono) to help this situation.

might not bother others.

A mono leader will fix that problem right away.  :-*

Capt. BassinLou

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It was a thread similar to this one that lead me to try out leaders many years ago. Since then, I have learned that leaders have their time and place. Only time on the water can answer if a leader works for the angler or not. 

FlatsNBay

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Leaders=More hits than strait braid

Good Leader Knot=No problems

J.W.

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Clear water and skittish fish might be cause for a fluoro leader. I heard a pro angler (can’t remember who now) talking about how he likes to use straight fluoro or braid to a long fluoro leader as opposed to straight braid when fishing in certain vegetation because he said fluoro will go over pads and such without cutting or biting into the vegetation the way braid does. Haven’t tried it myself yet. I’ve always just thrown braid in thick vegetation because I assumed it was the best option.

D.W. Verts

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Hmmm... I've been using straight ten pound braid (same diameter as 3 lb mono) for five years on both spinning and casting tackle, mostly in cold/clear water "finesse" situations using twister tail grubs, "Hula Grub"-style baits and Tubes. If it has hurt me I can't tell it.

I ain't using no leader. It just isn't happening.

Dale
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Oldfart9999

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For topwater I would use a mono leader, it doesn't foul the hooks like braid does, other than that I'm of a mind that a leader is not needed on most braid setups. 15 or 10 lb test braid, I've used 8 lb test on dropshot, is skinny and harder for fish to see if they can see it at all so don't see any knot problems. I generally fish clear water lakes, if that helps.
The best thing to do is to try it out and keeps some notes to see what works for you.
Rodney
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