Author Topic: Leader shy?  (Read 875 times)

Offline DanR

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Leader shy?
« on: Jan 18, 2023, 03:23 PM »
Saw both huge and smaller trout pass by my lures and waxworms on a recent day.  Monsters swimming right under me while jigging! Totally possible they were not feeding, which happens.  OR, I could’ve messed up my presentation: my bait leader was 12-pound test with a pinkish hue fishin wax worms and my lures were tied to “low vis orange” 8-pound test line.  On my spoons, I used a small clip swivel.  On the jig heads, micro, small, and medium, I tied directly. 

Should I make adjustments to any of those, you think?   Add a fly teaser?   Just a slow day or didn’t like my life options or movement? 

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 18, 2023, 06:16 PM »
Saw both huge and smaller trout pass by my lures and waxworms on a recent day.  Monsters swimming right under me while jigging! Totally possible they were not feeding, which happens.  OR, I could’ve messed up my presentation: my bait leader was 12-pound test with a pinkish hue fishin wax worms and my lures were tied to “low vis orange” 8-pound test line.  On my spoons, I used a small clip swivel.  On the jig heads, micro, small, and medium, I tied directly. 

Should I make adjustments to any of those, you think?   Add a fly teaser?   Just a slow day or didn’t like my life options or movement?

I'd go with Floro leaders.  Makes a difference IMO.
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Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 19, 2023, 07:03 AM »
Gotcha.  I believe it.  Almost threw on some 25lb fluoro I have, but think I’ll grab some lighter stuff that’ll be a bit more limp at least.  Thanks!

Offline TimK

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 19, 2023, 09:02 AM »
Fluoro leader and jaw jacker.  On trout specifically, my jacker will out fish me with a panoptix unit at least 3 to 1.     SLAYER usualy will out fish me 3:1 also though so maybe its just me. ??? ;D
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Offline Bigassbassman

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 19, 2023, 01:31 PM »
Why would anyone purposely try and catch trout?   :P ;D ;)
Flags up, gentlemen!!!

Offline skifisher

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 19, 2023, 02:10 PM »
Why would anyone purposely try and catch trout?   :P ;D ;)
Why would anyone purposely try and catch bass? 🤔
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Offline skifisher

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 19, 2023, 02:16 PM »
I think it was more a problem of presentation rather a than a leader issue. Trout will hit a jigged lure sometimes, and a static lure others. Too many variables to narrow it down to just the leader.
I don’t know where you were fishing, but an 8# test leader seems a bit extreme. I fish a straight 4# test hybrid line, and rely on the drag to ice even heavier fish. MYO
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Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 19, 2023, 02:41 PM »
I think it was more a problem of presentation rather a than a leader issue. Trout will sometimes hit a jigged lure sometimes, and a static lure others. Too many variables to narrow it down to just the leader.

I'll second this. Folks get all worked up about "leader shy". If true, then why don't they recognize hooks as dangerous? Blades and beads are only on lures, no kind of natural edible food. Why do outrageous colors sometimes outproduce natural patterns?

Fish are pretty stupid creatures for the most part. Brains that are literally pea-sized or less. Not much room there for reasoning and extrapolation. Conditioning, sure, but that's a result of repeated negative cues; not any kind of superior cognition. Of course it makes US feel more special if we've "outwitted" a superior being. I call mostly hogwash.

I DO believe that leaders can factor into success but not because they're "invisible" or anything like that. The stiffness and diameter of your leader has a big impact on how your lure behaves. Less action, more action, easy to inhale, more restricted movement, like that. Small changes can make a big difference. Say I've got a nice lively minnow swimming about on a very flexible leader under a tipup. Ain't gettin' any bites because the fish just don't want to chase. Even a little bit. Use that same leader but anchor that minnow with a jig to restrict it's ability to swim away and you get bit. Or reduce the diameter of your jigging leader can make it easier for a fish to simply inhale and get your bait without actually having to swim up and bite it.

And yep, sometimes fish are just off their feed. Nothing more frustrating to be on fish and not be able to even get a nibble. Situation like that I'd jig in one hole and have a deadstick nearby. As noted above sometimes they just want it sitting there...

 Just curious why you're using 12# leader for trout unless the prospect is great for a 20# fish? Most of the time I figure I can land a fish that weighs three times the break strength of my line/leader. I don't fish trout but for walleyes here that could grow to excess of 10# I'll use 6# leader and would not feel compromised if I stuck, say, a 12#er.
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Offline Iceassin

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 19, 2023, 03:09 PM »
As Esox__xtm says. Fish aren't as line shy as we may think. One U.S. Ice Team member I know of uses 5# Hi-vis orange line fishing pannies...with no clear leader. Won the championship a couple years back.
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Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 19, 2023, 03:52 PM »
As Esox__xtm says. Fish aren't as line shy as we may think. One U.S. Ice Team member I know of uses 5# Hi-vis orange line fishing pannies...with no clear leader. Won the championship a couple years back.

I will say here in the west we often fish in truly Gin-Clear waters.  In these clear waters, you can see mono down the hole away deep.

Send floro down that same hole and depth you can't see it.  Ive seen it with my own eyes.

Does it matter? Who knows? ;D
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Offline Bigassbassman

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 19, 2023, 04:03 PM »
Why would anyone purposely try and catch bass? 🤔
Good point...  ;D ;) 

I will say I've accidentally caught plenty of pesky trout while fishing for perch with 4# fluoro, and also while fishing for bass with 12# fluoro.
Flags up, gentlemen!!!

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:00 PM »
Well lots to consider here…

Thanks for the input, everyone.  Much appreciated as I’m trying to recalibrate. 

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:03 PM »
I will say here in the west we often fish in truly Gin-Clear waters.  In these clear waters, you can see mono down the hole away deep.

Send floro down that same hole and depth you can't see it.  Ive seen it with my own eyes.

Does it matter? Who knows? ;D

Saw it too.  yes, who knows?

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:09 PM »
I'll second this. Folks get all worked up about "leader shy". If true, then why don't they recognize hooks as dangerous? Blades and beads are only on lures, no kind of natural edible food. Why do outrageous colors sometimes outproduce natural patterns?

Fish are pretty stupid creatures for the most part. Brains that are literally pea-sized or less. Not much room there for reasoning and extrapolation. Conditioning, sure, but that's a result of repeated negative cues; not any kind of superior cognition. Of course it makes US feel more special if we've "outwitted" a superior being. I call mostly hogwash.

I DO believe that leaders can factor into success but not because they're "invisible" or anything like that. The stiffness and diameter of your leader has a big impact on how your lure behaves. Less action, more action, easy to inhale, more restricted movement, like that. Small changes can make a big difference. Say I've got a nice lively minnow swimming about on a very flexible leader under a tipup. Ain't gettin' any bites because the fish just don't want to chase. Even a little bit. Use that same leader but anchor that minnow with a jig to restrict it's ability to swim away and you get bit. Or reduce the diameter of your jigging leader can make it easier for a fish to simply inhale and get your bait without actually having to swim up and bite it.

And yep, sometimes fish are just off their feed. Nothing more frustrating to be on fish and not be able to even get a nibble. Situation like that I'd jig in one hole and have a deadstick nearby. As noted above sometimes they just want it sitting there...

 Just curious why you're using 12# leader for trout unless the prospect is great for a 20# fish? Most of the time I figure I can land a fish that weighs three times the break strength of my line/leader. I don't fish trout but for walleyes here that could grow to excess of 10# I'll use 6# leader and would not feel compromised if I stuck, say, a 12#er.

True!  Great points.  Must consider the movement allowed by the leader as well. And fish can be dumb.  I’m used to fishing much heavier gear in cover for bass.  Logs, rocks, lilypads, etc. Still have to wrap my mind around fighting fish in open water where heavy line is not needed.  Sounds like I gotta go light.

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:12 PM »
Fluoro leader and jaw jacker.  On trout specifically, my jacker will out fish me with a panoptix unit at least 3 to 1.     SLAYER usualy will out fish me 3:1 also though so maybe its just me. ??? ;D

That’s unreal about the jaw jacker.  Guess the fish like consistency.  And SlayerFish.

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:13 PM »
I think it was more a problem of presentation rather a than a leader issue. Trout will hit a jigged lure sometimes, and a static lure others. Too many variables to narrow it down to just the leader.
I don’t know where you were fishing, but an 8# test leader seems a bit extreme. I fish a straight 4# test hybrid line, and rely on the drag to ice even heavier fish. MYO

There are some monsters in Lake John but sounds like I overprepared.

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #16 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:14 PM »
As Esox__xtm says. Fish aren't as line shy as we may think. One U.S. Ice Team member I know of uses 5# Hi-vis orange line fishing pannies...with no clear leader. Won the championship a couple years back.

Think trout and panfish are same game though?  Feel like I’ve had more trouble with the trout.

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #17 on: Jan 19, 2023, 08:15 PM »
Good point...  ;D ;) 

I will say I've accidentally caught plenty of pesky trout while fishing for perch with 4# fluoro, and also while fishing for bass with 12# fluoro.

Ha!  Welp, I must say I do enjoy bass.  Just lots of cold water around here.

Offline Crazy Tom

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #18 on: Jan 20, 2023, 02:58 PM »
There are some monsters in Lake John but sounds like I overprepared.

4-6 lbs line with a good drag will land any fish Lake John has. Try 4-6 lbs flouro and if you are jigging spoons 8-12 lbs flouro.

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #19 on: Jan 20, 2023, 05:58 PM »
4-6 lbs line with a good drag will land any fish Lake John has. Try 4-6 lbs flouro and if you are jigging spoons 8-12 lbs flouro.

Will def respool.  Thanks for the numbers!

Offline Snitch#8

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #20 on: Jan 20, 2023, 06:24 PM »
I don't use a leader too much for anything but steelhead and then the reason why I use one is so if I get a break off I lose a few feet of leader and not numerous yards of line.  As for being line shy, gills can be quite shy if you use too thick of line.  I usually use 2lb test.  I was fishing the other day and doing quite nicely, when a guy came over and asked what I was using.  I told him I had a pink and white tungsten jig with a waxworm.  He promptly stated "I'm using the same exact color but can't catch a thing".  So I asked him to show me his set-up.  He went over to his holes and came back with his rod.  I begain to tell him what I thought his problems were.  He had mono line and I knew right away it was way too thick.  I asked what lb test is this 8lb?  He replyed he thought it was some ten lb he had laying around.  He thougt he should use it because the place we were fishing had a lot of trees and stumps and didn't want to lose his hooks.  I then noticed he had a big snap swivel connected to the line and the hook he was using was three times bigger than mine.  It had to be in order to get it onto the snapswivel, lol.  I then showed him what I was using.  I had 2lb test on my Dave Genz in-line reel, attached to my Snitch #8.  Tied onto the line was a #3 tungsten jig.  I told him that gills are line shy a lot and on some days you have to use very light line and small jigs.  I told him to eliminate the snapswivel, as well.  I also told him that some days I can't catch them on tungsten jigs because they fall too fast, so I use lead head jigs on those days.  After explaining his problems, I promptly asked if he wanted to use one of my rods, at which he started beaming and replied sure.  I hand him the rod I wasn't using and he went back to his chair.  He wasn't sitting there three minutes and had an 8 inch gill laying on the ice.   After an hour or so, he came over and thanked me for the information and the use of the rod.  He stated, "I have to leave so that I can make it too the tackle shop before they close"!  I laughed and told him he should be able to catch some gills after getting the right equipment.  He says, "well, I can thank you for that.  I haven't fished for gills very much, but I will certainly be doing more of it, now that I know how to catch em"!  I felt better about getting him started at catching some fish than I did about the limit of slab gills I took home.  Isn't that what all this is about?

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #21 on: Jan 20, 2023, 07:01 PM »
I don't use a leader too much for anything but steelhead and then the reason why I use one is so if I get a break off I lose a few feet of leader and not numerous yards of line.  As for being line shy, gills can be quite shy if you use too thick of line.  I usually use 2lb test.  I was fishing the other day and doing quite nicely, when a guy came over and asked what I was using.  I told him I had a pink and white tungsten jig with a waxworm.  He promptly stated "I'm using the same exact color but can't catch a thing".  So I asked him to show me his set-up.  He went over to his holes and came back with his rod.  I begain to tell him what I thought his problems were.  He had mono line and I knew right away it was way too thick.  I asked what lb test is this 8lb?  He replyed he thought it was some ten lb he had laying around.  He thougt he should use it because the place we were fishing had a lot of trees and stumps and didn't want to lose his hooks.  I then noticed he had a big snap swivel connected to the line and the hook he was using was three times bigger than mine.  It had to be in order to get it onto the snapswivel, lol.  I then showed him what I was using.  I had 2lb test on my Dave Genz in-line reel, attached to my Snitch #8.  Tied onto the line was a #3 tungsten jig.  I told him that gills are line shy a lot and on some days you have to use very light line and small jigs.  I told him to eliminate the snapswivel, as well.  I also told him that some days I can't catch them on tungsten jigs because they fall too fast, so I use lead head jigs on those days.  After explaining his problems, I promptly asked if he wanted to use one of my rods, at which he started beaming and replied sure.  I hand him the rod I wasn't using and he went back to his chair.  He wasn't sitting there three minutes and had an 8 inch gill laying on the ice.   After an hour or so, he came over and thanked me for the information and the use of the rod.  He stated, "I have to leave so that I can make it too the tackle shop before they close"!  I laughed and told him he should be able to catch some gills after getting the right equipment.  He says, "well, I can thank you for that.  I haven't fished for gills very much, but I will certainly be doing more of it, now that I know how to catch em"!  I felt better about getting him started at catching some fish than I did about the limit of slab gills I took home.  Isn't that what all this is about?

Well, mighty kind of you to extend this story, no parable! to us as well.  That’s fantastic and I’m sure made a fisherman’s day.  Yes, I’d like to think so as well.  Will absolutely be rerigging carefully.  Thank you.

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #22 on: Jan 20, 2023, 07:17 PM »
I'll step in it and say that trout are vastly overrated. Both as a sport fish and table fare. Just me... Nothin' special even though lotsa folks feel better if they've outsmarted something special. Sure, the ability to present a fly in a way that mimics something alive well enough to get one to eat is something, but soaking meat or working a hard lure is very different.

As for being line shy, gills can be quite shy if you use too thick of line.  I usually use 2lb test.  I was fishing the other day and doing quite nicely, when a guy came over and asked what I was using.  I told him I had a pink and white tungsten jig with a waxworm.  He promptly stated "I'm using the same exact color but can't catch a thing".   Isn't that what all this is about?

Again, it's probably not as much "line shy" as it is making it much easier for a tentative gill to inhale a small jig. It's very light line as opposed to the same jig on much heavier line. That stiff stuff just doesn't move very much with the minute amount of water a gill can suck in. Light line just wafts in on the "gentle breeze". Not as much about visibility as it is flexibility.
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Offline Snitch#8

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #23 on: Jan 21, 2023, 08:39 AM »
I'm not sure what it is, but it is entirely possible that it may be that they don't see the line as good when it is smaller in diameter and that the hook falls more effectively on lighter line, or it could be both.  I can clearly see where heavier line may spook fish somewhat but you make a very valid point about the hook actually having a better presentation using lighter line.  All I know for sure is that I catch a lot more gills since I started using 2lb test.  And, like I stated above, somedays I can't catch them on tungsten because, the hook falls quicker, an assumption on my part, so I switch to lead and seem to do better.  And, some days I can't catch em at all.  But, I'm pretty sure that happens to a lot of us, lol!

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #24 on: Jan 23, 2023, 05:25 PM »
Got this 20.25" eye on 4 lb floro.  Guy next to me didn't catch squat.  I know he wasn't using 4 lb floro! ;D

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Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #25 on: Jan 23, 2023, 10:32 PM »
Got this 20.25" eye on 4 lb floro.  Guy next to me didn't catch squat.  I know he wasn't using 4 lb floro! ;D

(Image removed from quote.)

Well damn, that’s solid!  A big fish and light line.  All the more exciting.  I used to give the fisherman blessing of “tight lines.”  Maybe I should switch to “light lines.”.

Offline arkansas angler

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #26 on: Jan 24, 2023, 08:44 AM »
Several years back, my friends and I were ice fishing Lake John. We were seeing fish but not catching. Stopped for lunch and went into the bait shop and talked to Bill, the owner at the time. He sold us some 4lb test magna-thin or vanish line. We all respooled and immediately started catching fish. Same jigs, same bait, same presentation, smaller diameter line.

Offline DanR

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Re: Leader shy?
« Reply #27 on: Jan 24, 2023, 09:33 PM »
Several years back, my friends and I were ice fishing Lake John. We were seeing fish but not catching. Stopped for lunch and went into the bait shop and talked to Bill, the owner at the time. He sold us some 4lb test magna-thin or vanish line. We all respooled and immediately started catching fish. Same jigs, same bait, same presentation, smaller diameter line.

That’s unreal.  Proof point!  Light lines.

 



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