Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Northern Pike

Making own leaders

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In my opinion it has more to do with the bait than the fish. You can get away with a really light setup with lures. Something like a quickstrike rig and a 12" sucker or chub and you need stronger gear. I've seen other ways to do it such as a bait clip through the nose with one hook, and a rubber band for the other. I personally prefer to hook my bait through the back meat, one behind the dorsal fin, and the other just behind the head. It takes a strong hookset to rip both those hooks out instantly, plus drive the hooks into the pikes mouth. 20 pound leader seems to work, I would not want any lighter than that. Once hooked it doesn't really seem to matter much. I'm with Hatandboots though. I've had way too many issues with light leaders to use them. 20# steel is fine. 30# steel is not unreasonable. 20 pound pike are very rare in my area too. Most of the time that's going to have to be a 42"-45" long pike. I've been fishing my entire life, and I've managed a single fish just a smidge over 40" that was a true 20 pounds. Pike 10 to 15 pounds are plenty good trophies.

I agree with Thomas on this one. 7 strand steel wire for me. I use big bait and fish for big pike. I've probably caught 100 over 36" and a handful of fish over 40". I've been cut off on all flouro up to 60#. Not worth using over that diameter. Single strand is useless unless using dead bait. 7 strand is thin, flexible, and tieable. I use a simple figure 8 knot and have had no issues. I'm not sure of the test strength but I am comfortable using anything around 25#-30#. Like Thomas said, nothing worse than losing a big pike to a broken/cut leader. 


--- Quote from: esox_xtm on Jan 20, 2023, 02:37 PM ---I've landed a number of fish whose weight exceeded the break strength of my line/leader, some up to 3 times the break strength. My belief is if you break a line or a rod and you've still got line on a spool it's 100% operator error, the fish is NOT responsible. This does not count lines/leaders that are cut by teeth or gill plates. I'd fish for 20# pike all day with 20# wire leader and not worry a bit. Plastic (mono/fluoro)is another story. Seen 60# fluoro cut very easy at times.

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I agree with you on this, it is probably operator error if it does break, but I was watching a Clayton Schick video and he brought up a good point to keep in mind. He had dead baits on rods with a Finicky Fooler, and when he had a flag he found his bail was totally frozen up and his drag wasn't working. He had a 38" or so fish on with no working drag. He said that's why he likes to beef up his line a bit, just to allow some wiggle room when things do go wrong. I think he said he used a 27# leader in that video.

Have any of you tried braided line like power prow for leaders.


--- Quote from: olefish on Feb 16, 2023, 05:14 PM ---Have any of you tried braided line like power prow for leaders.

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Horrible as leaders.
Even 100 lb test cuts easily.


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