Author Topic: Making own leaders  (Read 4355 times)

Offline Esox fisherman

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Making own leaders
« on: Oct 04, 2021, 07:17 AM »
So making your own steel leaders ive found from the other forums you use single strand for live bait and multi strand for lures but do you tie the end or crimp it to a swivel snap or lure

Offline EsoxVenator

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #1 on: Oct 04, 2021, 07:41 AM »
Use 50+ lb Floro. Low vis, but has to be replaced sooner. Pull it through your fingers to see if it feels rough.

Offline RapShack

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #2 on: Oct 04, 2021, 10:45 PM »
There are some tieable wires but most use crimps, barrel swivel on one end just a snap(no swivel) on the other.   As mentioned 50lb fluoro gets the job done and can be used for jigging and tipup leaders.
I'm a man, but I can change, If I have to, I guess.

Offline Esox fisherman

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #3 on: Oct 05, 2021, 08:25 AM »
Haven’t had luck with fluorocarbon

Offline WindRiderGear

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #4 on: Oct 05, 2021, 08:28 AM »
You will want to crimp.

Offline Esox fisherman

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #5 on: Oct 05, 2021, 08:31 AM »
Ok thank you any crimps in particular

Offline Walted

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #6 on: Nov 03, 2021, 10:55 PM »
Ok thank you any crimps in particular
The right size for the wire you are using. Otherwise use a figure 8 knot. It's not as pretty or streamline as a crimp but it will not slip.

Offline stripernut

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #7 on: Nov 04, 2021, 05:12 AM »
Crimping is fine, but for single-strand wire, a Haywire twist will get the job done. I have landed many sharks much bigger than any pike with single stand that way. Also if you ever wanted to use a coated wire I have had good luck with twisting it and then simply melting the coatings together, comes out nice and smooth and very strong. Just some different thoughts.

Offline Iceassin

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #8 on: Nov 04, 2021, 06:41 AM »
I'm going with Sunline Super Mono this season for my leaders....Palomar or Fisherman knot...no crimp. 20# test w/ 12# diameter. Use it on crankbaits and planer boards when trolling with no issues (breakage). Unbelievable stretch which should work to my advantage if a fight should occur. Probably change out leader after each time though just to be safe.
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Offline PikeKing23

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #9 on: Nov 04, 2021, 12:43 PM »
I'm going with Sunline Super Mono this season for my leaders....Palomar or Fisherman knot...no crimp. 20# test w/ 12# diameter. Use it on crankbaits and planer boards when trolling with no issues (breakage). Unbelievable stretch which should work to my advantage if a fight should occur. Probably change out leader after each time though just to be safe.

Don't do it!  Unless you are only going to catch hammer handles your heart will get broken.



Crimping is fine, but for single-strand wire, a Haywire twist will get the job done. I have landed many sharks much bigger than any pike with single stand that way. Also if you ever wanted to use a coated wire I have had good luck with twisting it and then simply melting the coatings together, comes out nice and smooth and very strong. Just some different thoughts.

I also use single strand if I am using wire and a haywire twist is also what I use.  I have to think a figure 8 knot would crimp single strand?

Offline river_scum

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #10 on: Jan 02, 2022, 05:40 AM »
Had good luck with 25#big game for several seasons and large pike.
real fishermen don't ask "where you catch those"

OANN the real story

- member here since -2003- IN.

Offline PenguinIII

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #11 on: Jan 02, 2022, 08:14 AM »
For what’s its worth I started Pike fishing with 50 pound Fluro thinking that was enough. Sadly it was not and I lost a few heavy Pike that bit right through. I then tried single strand wire with the haywire twist and that worked ok but the two drawbacks to that is number one the time it takes to do the haywire correctly and secondly the wire takes a permanent kink after each fish that is tough to get out. Now I make my leaders from black or red twisted coated wire and crimp the ends.. I have found in most cases Pike are not leader shy. The only other advise I have is add a quality crane swivel to the end of the leader to eliminate line twist on lively Golden’s. Tight lines and good luck.

Offline Smitty5313

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #12 on: Jan 02, 2022, 08:47 AM »
I started making my own leaders using AFW surflon 7x7 nylon coated steel leader material, 20lb. Ties easily with a basic knot and holds strong. Doesn’t kink as easily, but will after a number of catches. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it IMO.

Offline Hatandboots

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #13 on: Feb 03, 2022, 12:27 PM »
https://www.amazon.ca/American-Fishing-Wire-Surfstrand-Stainless/dp/B004VZKGV8/ref=sr_1_5?crid=LK500BTUBZOJ&keywords=american+fishing+wire&qid=1643912728&sprefix=american+fishing+wi%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-5


This wire is what I use for all of my leaders. It is super easy to tie and very tough to any cuts or abrasions. Are pike leader shy with wire? I don't think so, I mean i have caught a whole lot of pike on these, but maybe some saw the wire and left, who knows.

Offline HWeber

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #14 on: Feb 03, 2022, 01:23 PM »
7x7 is incredible stuff, the lighter pound test is nearly as limp as braid. Definitely allows for more natural movement than heavy mono/fluoro

Offline Hillsfisher

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #15 on: Feb 03, 2022, 09:49 PM »
After not being happy with the quality of premade leaders, I just started making my own leaders last season.  I use a single strand stainless wire (Malin Hard-Wire) and use crimps.  I use deadbait (smelt, chubs, or hotdogs) exclusively so movement is not an issue for me.  I find that pike are not hardware shy, so visible wire is not an issue.  I just caught my biggest pike of my life the other day (check it out in the general chit-chat section) so my leaders are solid! 

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #16 on: Feb 04, 2022, 08:10 AM »
I use haywire twist for single strand wire, just make sure to crimp ot trim the tag end properly. All of my quick strike rigs are pretied this way.
For mainline leaders, I use 40 to 50 lb fluoro leaders, tied with standard clinch knot. Most of my tip ups are rigged that way.


Offline musky-man

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #17 on: Nov 20, 2022, 06:12 PM »
Used the knot to kinky for the last 2 years. It's ok. Gotta make sure everything is lined up and wet before cinching knots otherwise it cuts the breaking point in half. If you wanna run flouro it's gotta be 60lb minimum. Even then you might get bit off. Iv never used crimps but I like the lower profile of knots
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Offline thomasthepikehunter

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #18 on: Dec 01, 2022, 09:51 PM »
I've made my own leaders since I was a kid since there never were very many good ones. Almost everything for sale is big and gawdy, silver and black. Big crimps and junk swivels and snaps on them. Surely there are good ones out there, but there isn't much reason to buy them when they can be made, and you can make rigs too, not just a basic snap and swivel leader.

I tried cheap coated steel leader. I'm sure Berkeley was one, the stuff is worthless don't bother. One of the best coated steel leaders is Cortland toothy critter. AFW surflon is good stuff too, but I hate the copper color. I've had decent luck with 20#. Cortland 20# is quite thin, it is strong, but it doesn't handle shock well. More than once I've broken the stuff while tying it. Once tied, the stuff is strong. I think 30# is the better option. for AFW, I think their 20# works good, they have a little thicker coating which helps.

I've tried Knot 2 Kinky. To be blunt, I hate it. I see no use for it and I was never able to make it work. It can't be wound like a solid wire, and the stuff is an absolute bear to tie like a braided leader. The goofiest thing is when you try and knot it the stuff stretches, but not like you would expect. While it is unexpectedly strong for how thin it is, it is bright shiny metal. I would avoid.

For solid steel leader, I don't think there is as big of a difference in brands. I like AFW here. It comes in odd sizes. I think mine is 27# which is plenty, and I think it is also the lightest they make.

For "clear" leaders I've used both fluoro and mono. Those that claim to have luck with 20# fluoro or similar leaders are not catching big pike. I started with 30# mono, likely that Big Game line, and got too many bite offs. I then went to 40# fluoro line with not much better luck. I then went to Berkely mono leader 50# and had much better luck. I tried Seaguar premeir 40# and it was all good until I lost a really nice pike at the hole. About that time Seaguar came out with their Abrazx leader for pike/musky so I've been using that at 80#. This stuff seems much harder, plus it's quite a bit thicker at 80#. So far I've not lost one on this leader. It does need to be replaced every few pike though.

For ice fishing purposes you probably only need to worry about flexible leaders. I would never use a solid leader with live bait. It might be an option for deadbait if you wish. solid leader is very easy to knot, it's not really a knot. Look up the "haywire twist". I still use fluoro, but I'm just not that impressed with the stuff at all. At 80# it is anything but invisible. It's not as durable as Cortland braided steel. It's not even more flexible. The one thing I do like about it is that you can tie them quite easily. It is a little tricky tying steel leader, and I'll get to how do to that next. For fluoro I use my normal knots. It's a little stiffer, but no real difference. Uni and snell knots work fine.

For braided steel leader don't use crimps. Crimps work, but it adds a lot of bulk for no reason and they do nothing except catch weeds. There is a method to fuse the coating of the leader, and this provides a fantastic quality end. This is the best way if you make all your rigs at home. It's not something you can do on the lake. I've made a how-to on doing that in the past which you may find. I currently mostly knot my braided steel leaders. It's simpler, and it works. I've not had luck with a palomar knot, but a uni seems to work good here. The trick is to tie them and tighten the knot with the tag end as much as possible. If you don't, all that tied line will pull through and you will have a bunch of coiled and kinked leader above your hook or whatever you have. No matter what you will probably have a small loop. For the most part it is no concern. One trick to straighten it is to hold the leader taught and run a lighter over it quick. It doesn't tie as easy as your 8# mono, and you will fail a few times, but once you get it right you will realize the sky is the limit. Want a quckstrike rig? Easy. Want a deadbait rig, just as eazy. Want to make something completely new? Go for it.
-Tom

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #19 on: Dec 02, 2022, 05:25 AM »
Great info Tom, thanks for sharing :tipup:

Offline Hatandboots

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #20 on: Dec 20, 2022, 03:33 PM »
I used to use the pre made quick strike rigs but they are huge and bulky. Clayton Schick uses American Fishing Wire brand 7x7 nylon coated wire

( found here https://www.amazon.ca/American-Fishing-Wire-Stainless-20-Pound/dp/B001447NWE/ref=sr_1_2?crid=8DLRNB5NFM1A&keywords=american%2Bfishing%2Bwire&qid=1671571811&s=sports&sprefix=american%2Bfishing%2Bwir%2Csporting%2C158&sr=1-2&th=1 )

I've used it for two years now and it is deadly. Super tie-able, and very durable. I just do a uni knot with 5 twists ( or recently a surgeons knot ) and have caught 20lb pike on it no problem.


Offline kayl

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #21 on: Dec 23, 2022, 08:40 PM »
I used to use the pre made quick strike rigs but they are huge and bulky. Clayton Schick uses American Fishing Wire brand 7x7 nylon coated wire

( found here https://www.amazon.ca/American-Fishing-Wire-Stainless-20-Pound/dp/B001447NWE/ref=sr_1_2?crid=8DLRNB5NFM1A&keywords=american%2Bfishing%2Bwire&qid=1671571811&s=sports&sprefix=american%2Bfishing%2Bwir%2Csporting%2C158&sr=1-2&th=1 )

I've used it for two years now and it is deadly. Super tie-able, and very durable. I just do a uni knot with 5 twists ( or recently a surgeons knot ) and have caught 20lb pike on it no problem.

20#?

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #22 on: Dec 24, 2022, 04:31 AM »
20# stranded wire has been my standard for decades. I've only recently (past 4 -5 years) gone to the nylon coated stuff to minimize curling after the catch. Only exception is I use 30# on big dead bait Q/S rigs.

I'd be interested to know what part of the country Hatnadboots is finding those 20# fish. Very uncommon in most of WI unless you go to the Bay or Mississippi backwaters in the spring.
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Offline Hatandboots

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #23 on: Jan 20, 2023, 01:12 PM »
I'm up in Saskatchewan. Pike and lake trout can grow pretty large here, especially if they are close to spawn. If you go east you will find some monster musky that might snap a 20lb wire too.

What leader you use will for sure depend on what size fish you are catching, but I've had too many leaders break to go light now. It for sure sucks to lose a big fish, but leaving hooks in a fish is never good either. It is also quite a bit cheaper to build your own then to buy them, and they are also smaller and better camouflaged with this wire.

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #24 on: Jan 20, 2023, 02:37 PM »
I'm up in Saskatchewan. Pike and lake trout can grow pretty large here, especially if they are close to spawn. If you go east you will find some monster musky that might snap a 20lb wire too.

What leader you use will for sure depend on what size fish you are catching, but I've had too many leaders break to go light now. It for sure sucks to lose a big fish, but leaving hooks in a fish is never good either. It is also quite a bit cheaper to build your own then to buy them, and they are also smaller and better camouflaged with this wire.

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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Offline thomasthepikehunter

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #25 on: Jan 24, 2023, 11:44 PM »
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.
-Tom

Offline PikeKing23

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #26 on: Jan 25, 2023, 03:09 AM »
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. 

Offline Hatandboots

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #27 on: Jan 31, 2023, 10:57 AM »
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.

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.

Offline olefish

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #28 on: Feb 16, 2023, 05:14 PM »
Have any of you tried braided line like power prow for leaders.
olefish

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Making own leaders
« Reply #29 on: Feb 16, 2023, 05:24 PM »
Have any of you tried braided line like power prow for leaders.

Horrible as leaders.
Even 100 lb test cuts easily.

 



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