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Author Topic: Leader line for pike  (Read 774 times)

Offline Handberrydea

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Leader line for pike
« on: Jan 12, 2020, 10:30 AM »
Hit a new lake in mass last weekend and was humbled. We got on a great perch bite but I only went 1-3 for pike and had two break me off. One was right at the hole and she looked big. (They always look big when they get away). Anyways I was running 17lb flourocarbon line. What size leader do you guys run for gators?
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Offline Iceassin

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2020, 10:36 AM »
Coated wire for me...period. Don't have to worry about finessing them. Set the hook and pull 'em in. I usually go between 13 and 17#. Good enough for the Pike around here.
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Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 2020, 10:44 AM »
Ive caught a ton of big pike on 20 trilene big game mono with very few bite offs over 25 years of fishing for them.ive been trying uncoated 7 strand wire in 20# as of last year.i only caught one little pike and im not sure if it was the wire or bad luck.so this year i have 1 tipup with wire and 1 with mono.

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #3 on: Jan 12, 2020, 11:28 AM »
To actually "break off" a fish on 17# you'd have to be a pretty inept fisherman. Don't feel bad or thinking I'm making fun of you. There's a big difference between "breaking off" and being "cut off". Pike teeth are even sharper on their sides than on the points so they're like little razor blades as opposed to little ice picks. Fluoro leader and hard mono are tough but still no real insurance against getting cut off. A billion minus one out of a billion times if you lose a pike while fishing a plastic leader you've been cut off, not broken. Very, very different and not hard to do even if "you know what you're doing".

This makes me a wire guy. Not heavy or clunky, 13# - 30# depending on location and bait. I know, Doc is already thinking about blaming slow fishing on wire. I confess, I walked him into trying wire. Thing is I've never been significantly nor consistently outfished by fluoro guys for pike. There have been days where it's seemed like it but it's more about location than terminal tackle. Last year had a guy thumping all of us with a couple of hot holes. Couldn't keep his flags down while the rest of us had virtually zero action regardless of wire or fluoro. Of course we had to listen about how smart and good he was and how fluoro was so magical compared to my brutish, old school wire. He left early. I immediately jumped in his holes with my wire rigs. Guess what? Yep. Now I'm the big shot fish hero. But that's it most of the time. It's not me, not fluoro, not wire it's location.

Now wire's not magic either. In the pound tests I fish I have actually broken a couple. Both were right at the hole as the fish is coming out and gets to head thrashing. No stretch in wire and the right (or wrong) yank can snap it. It happens. Better have a buddy there with a quick pair of hands  ;)

You're going to hear a bunch of how wire is evil, fluoro is not only fine but magic, about how it's better to get more flags and lose some fish, that any kind of superline (braid or fused) is unbreakable over 100's of fish. OK. Believe it if you wanna. I've been all of those places, playing, not wanting to miss out on any advantage technology will afford me. Thing is I always wind up with a coil of steel in my tackle box.

Now... on the flip side I've been reading some from a source I've come to trust over the years that 20# fluoro is plenty for pike, even very big pike. I'm still not done playing. When I first tried fluoro I lost three fish on 25# before I could even get to the flag. We were fishing open spots in otherwise heavy weeds and when the fish took off the pressure of dragging the line a through the weeds applied enough tension to get cut off. The recommendation to use a lighter fluoro comes in open water locations where they can't really get around anything and you can just let 'em run when they want to. Gonna be on a great pike location in a couple of weeks with (hopefully) lots of mid 20 to mid 30" fish available and a daily shot at a 40" Really looking forward to this. I'm stocking with both wire and fluoro in multiple pound tests so if it gets really crazy I can test one against the other.

Tell ya what else. If I ever find that I've been completely wrong and there's a better way you won't have to tell me. You'll hear it here first.
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Offline Dieseldog

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #4 on: Jan 12, 2020, 11:36 AM »

Hit a new lake in mass last weekend and was humbled.

Keep those videos coming. I really enjoy the great job you do with them. I know it is a lot of work.
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Online striper50trout

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #5 on: Jan 12, 2020, 12:35 PM »
I use 50lb-80lb fluoro, just my preference. Never had one bite through

Offline lenz

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #6 on: Jan 12, 2020, 01:23 PM »
steel is real....i use thin picture hanging wire, you can tie knots with it and one qtr the price of 'pike leaders'
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Offline PenguinIII

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #7 on: Jan 12, 2020, 02:28 PM »
After losing a beauty on 50 pound Fluro its always steel for me. I mix it up with single strand and haywire twist as well as braided with crimps.

Offline Jschumacher

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #8 on: Jan 12, 2020, 05:51 PM »
After losing a beauty on 50 pound Fluro its always steel for me. I mix it up with single strand and haywire twist as well as braided with crimps.
I remember. Cut that 50# floro like it was 6# mono. ByeBye big one. You'll get him this year Frank. Your do for a big one.
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Offline Papa Sly

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #9 on: Jan 12, 2020, 06:24 PM »
To actually "break off" a fish on 17# you'd have to be a pretty inept fisherman. Don't feel bad or thinking I'm making fun of you. There's a big difference between "breaking off" and being "cut off". Pike teeth are even sharper on their sides than on the points so they're like little razor blades as opposed to little ice picks. Fluoro leader and hard mono are tough but still no real insurance against getting cut off. A billion minus one out of a billion times if you lose a pike while fishing a plastic leader you've been cut off, not broken. Very, very different and not hard to do even if "you know what you're doing".

This makes me a wire guy. Not heavy or clunky, 13# - 30# depending on location and bait. I know, Doc is already thinking about blaming slow fishing on wire. I confess, I walked him into trying wire. Thing is I've never been significantly nor consistently outfished by fluoro guys for pike. There have been days where it's seemed like it but it's more about location than terminal tackle. Last year had a guy thumping all of us with a couple of hot holes. Couldn't keep his flags down while the rest of us had virtually zero action regardless of wire or fluoro. Of course we had to listen about how smart and good he was and how fluoro was so magical compared to my brutish, old school wire. He left early. I immediately jumped in his holes with my wire rigs. Guess what? Yep. Now I'm the big shot fish hero. But that's it most of the time. It's not me, not fluoro, not wire it's location.

Now wire's not magic either. In the pound tests I fish I have actually broken a couple. Both were right at the hole as the fish is coming out and gets to head thrashing. No stretch in wire and the right (or wrong) yank can snap it. It happens. Better have a buddy there with a quick pair of hands  ;)

You're going to hear a bunch of how wire is evil, fluoro is not only fine but magic, about how it's better to get more flags and lose some fish, that any kind of superline (braid or fused) is unbreakable over 100's of fish. OK. Believe it if you wanna. I've been all of those places, playing, not wanting to miss out on any advantage technology will afford me. Thing is I always wind up with a coil of steel in my tackle box.

Now... on the flip side I've been reading some from a source I've come to trust over the years that 20# fluoro is plenty for pike, even very big pike. I'm still not done playing. When I first tried fluoro I lost three fish on 25# before I could even get to the flag. We were fishing open spots in otherwise heavy weeds and when the fish took off the pressure of dragging the line a through the weeds applied enough tension to get cut off. The recommendation to use a lighter fluoro comes in open water locations where they can't really get around anything and you can just let 'em run when they want to. Gonna be on a great pike location in a couple of weeks with (hopefully) lots of mid 20 to mid 30" fish available and a daily shot at a 40" Really looking forward to this. I'm stocking with both wire and fluoro in multiple pound tests so if it gets really crazy I can test one against the other.

Tell ya what else. If I ever find that I've been completely wrong and there's a better way you won't have to tell me. You'll hear it here first.

I have got a lot of help over the years from Esox....especially when it comes to crimping and tying leaders. That being said we fundamentally disagree on steel vs flouro. I fish for pike in upstate new York every year for the last 6 years and set tip-ups out side by side with my friends who only use steel. I use 30# flouro and have had more flags EVERY year  by an average of 3x as many. Not saying I get bigger ones or even catch a better % but always, always get more flags side by side. I have lost fish having had the leader cut off but I fish for the action so running 3x more often is worth the risk. I have also tried the tie-able wire but didn't compare to Flouro. So much out there on both sides and everyone uses what they like based off their experience, this is only my 2 cents worth and thanks Esox for the help over the years!
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Offline PikeKing23

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #10 on: Jan 13, 2020, 07:37 AM »
I've been cut off on 40# flouro and 50# flouro so now I use 60#.  I tried single strand titanium, but I feel like I get less bites with wire.  it's so hard to tell cause the bites are few and far between anyways, but nothing under 60# for me.

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #11 on: Jan 13, 2020, 09:01 AM »
Part of the issue I have with plastic is by the time you get to a #test that provides a level of cut protection the leader is very stiff. Same deal even more so with single strand Ti.

As I think about it maybe that's part of the difference where the stiffer leader limits the activity of the minnow to make capture seem easier. I've done a similar thing with shot spacing along a leader (more for walleyes) but most often I tend to let bait swim more as opposed to less. That could be be a hidden variable and a mistake when overactive bait actually puts fish off.
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Offline Handberrydea

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #12 on: Jan 13, 2020, 09:40 AM »
To actually "break off" a fish on 17# you'd have to be a pretty inept fisherman. Don't feel bad or thinking I'm making fun of you. There's a big difference between "breaking off" and being "cut off". Pike teeth are even sharper on their sides than on the points so they're like little razor blades as opposed to little ice picks. Fluoro leader and hard mono are tough but still no real insurance against getting cut off. A billion minus one out of a billion times if you lose a pike while fishing a plastic leader you've been cut off, not broken. Very, very different and not hard to do even if "you know what you're doing".

This makes me a wire guy. Not heavy or clunky, 13# - 30# depending on location and bait. I know, Doc is already thinking about blaming slow fishing on wire. I confess, I walked him into trying wire. Thing is I've never been significantly nor consistently outfished by fluoro guys for pike. There have been days where it's seemed like it but it's more about location than terminal tackle. Last year had a guy thumping all of us with a couple of hot holes. Couldn't keep his flags down while the rest of us had virtually zero action regardless of wire or fluoro. Of course we had to listen about how smart and good he was and how fluoro was so magical compared to my brutish, old school wire. He left early. I immediately jumped in his holes with my wire rigs. Guess what? Yep. Now I'm the big shot fish hero. But that's it most of the time. It's not me, not fluoro, not wire it's location.

Now wire's not magic either. In the pound tests I fish I have actually broken a couple. Both were right at the hole as the fish is coming out and gets to head thrashing. No stretch in wire and the right (or wrong) yank can snap it. It happens. Better have a buddy there with a quick pair of hands  ;)

You're going to hear a bunch of how wire is evil, fluoro is not only fine but magic, about how it's better to get more flags and lose some fish, that any kind of superline (braid or fused) is unbreakable over 100's of fish. OK. Believe it if you wanna. I've been all of those places, playing, not wanting to miss out on any advantage technology will afford me. Thing is I always wind up with a coil of steel in my tackle box.

Now... on the flip side I've been reading some from a source I've come to trust over the years that 20# fluoro is plenty for pike, even very big pike. I'm still not done playing. When I first tried fluoro I lost three fish on 25# before I could even get to the flag. We were fishing open spots in otherwise heavy weeds and when the fish took off the pressure of dragging the line a through the weeds applied enough tension to get cut off. The recommendation to use a lighter fluoro comes in open water locations where they can't really get around anything and you can just let 'em run when they want to. Gonna be on a great pike location in a couple of weeks with (hopefully) lots of mid 20 to mid 30" fish available and a daily shot at a 40" Really looking forward to this. I'm stocking with both wire and fluoro in multiple pound tests so if it gets really crazy I can test one against the other.

Tell ya what else. If I ever find that I've been completely wrong and there's a better way you won't have to tell me. You'll hear it here first.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. The line was definitely cut and not snapped but I wasnt offended by your post at all. In the past Ive got away with using very light line for pike. This sounds crazy, but  I feel like the smaller diameter (10-12lb) some times can help because the line sits between a gap in there teeth. This was my first trip beefing up my rigs and I lost more fish. I was also experimenting with circle hooks for the first time. I may try 50lb leader or steel next trip.

Offline Handberrydea

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #13 on: Jan 13, 2020, 09:40 AM »
Hit a new lake in mass last weekend and was humbled.

Keep those videos coming. I really enjoy the great job you do with them. I know it is a lot of work.
Thanks man, that means a lot!

Offline Handberrydea

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #14 on: Jan 13, 2020, 09:41 AM »
I've been cut off on 40# flouro and 50# flouro so now I use 60#.  I tried single strand titanium, but I feel like I get less bites with wire.  it's so hard to tell cause the bites are few and far between anyways, but nothing under 60# for me.
Ill give that a try! You ever use heavy mono?

Offline PikeKing23

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #15 on: Jan 13, 2020, 10:28 AM »
I personally don't use mono leaders for anything with teeth.  Flouro is much more abrasion resistant and (virtually) invisible to boot.

Offline Mrbass

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #16 on: Jan 13, 2020, 12:25 PM »
Great Video! I've been using 50LB Seaguar Floro Leader on pike for a decade now. I can remember tying bad knots, but never getting cut off. From my experience, the key is to do a visual inspection after each catch. Doing that will make sure you aren't putting a damaged leader in your fish of a lifetimes mouth.

Offline sebago2jigtima

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #17 on: Jan 13, 2020, 12:37 PM »
steele  ::)

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #18 on: Jan 14, 2020, 08:12 AM »
Doesnt matter what you use...I know many guys stuck on this topic and have never iced a pike bigger than 30"

Do what you feel works best.  I like steel and the big tiger musky and pike ive landed didn't mind it one bit. 






You dont get many flags on 14" baits anyways...

Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #19 on: Jan 14, 2020, 08:29 AM »
17# mono leader.40 i catch lots of pike over 30.this big mama did have another broken mono leader in its mouth tho.


Offline teamtip-up

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #20 on: Jan 14, 2020, 08:51 AM »
FWIW -About 100 pike total for me and my son.  40 lb Flourocarbon  on every one.   Not a single bite off or broken line. 

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #21 on: Jan 14, 2020, 09:13 AM »
I should have added that I know guys that have caught big pike on fluoro too...point being fish how you like.  It all works.

Offline ICEHOLE

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #22 on: Jan 14, 2020, 09:33 AM »


This 29" incher came on 40lb floro  ;) :P

Doesnt matter what you use...I know many guys stuck on this topic and have never iced a pike bigger than 30"

Do what you feel works best.  I like steel and the big tiger musky and pike ive landed didn't mind it one bit. 






You dont get many flags on 14" baits anyways...


Offline ICEHOLE

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #23 on: Jan 14, 2020, 09:36 AM »
Doesnt matter what you use...I know many guys stuck on this topic and have never iced a pike bigger than 30"

Do what you feel works best.  I like steel and the big tiger musky and pike ive landed didn't mind it one bit. 






You dont get many flags on 14" baits anyways...
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Offline jigmaster5

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #24 on: Jan 14, 2020, 10:31 AM »
Anyways I was running 17lb flourocarbon line. What size leader do you guys run for gators?

I use 17 lb fluoro for pickerel + sometimes that's not enough...too light for pike if they get it on their teeth.  anything that cuts easily with a pair of kid scissors is no good....light mono, light fluoro, braid...all bad.  you can test leader material easily that way.

basically, i'd think of them like bluefish and you should be OK.  heavy fluoro or wire.

i use 80 lb fluoro in open water - mostly b/c I'm used to it fishing SW for bluefish.  it ties easier than wire for me.  i don't like crimps.  a few turns of a simple clinch knot, wet it, seat it down snug (that's the hard part), + a micro drop of superglue + you're good until they shred it up. there's some tie-able wire leader out there that's OK - some of them get kinked up easily which I don't care for.  only had 1 pike saw thru 80 lb fluoro....and I ended up getting my lure back later.

try some of the options above + find 1 you like.

good luck!



Offline pmaloney86

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #25 on: Jan 14, 2020, 12:40 PM »
You need to know what type of fisherman you are and match the type of line to that.  If you like to set the hook as the catch is ripping line out and you set the hook like a maniac then you may want to use steel or heavy fluoro.  If you play the fish and dont use a hard hookset then you can prob get away with lighter fluoro.  Personally I mix it up.  Usually have 3-4 traps out with single strand titanium and then 1-2 with fluoro.  If I start jigging the first to go are the fluoro traps.  However, I've caught two rat pike this year and both were on fluoro.  Dont think there is really a "right" answer.
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Offline PikeKing23

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #26 on: Jan 14, 2020, 12:48 PM »
This one came on mono.........

This one came on 40# flouro........

This one came on 50# flouro........


Oh yeah, I don't have those pics due to line failure!!!!  ;)


Offline Ice-A-Holic

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #27 on: Jan 14, 2020, 01:30 PM »
I have always used old school 50 or 75lb dacron braid main line (what most factory tip-ups come with) and don't recall every having a fish break it off.  I have had them spool me several times.  Last year I decided to try something new and loaded half my tip-ups with 30lb suffix ice braid.  On the first 3 flags I broke the line on hook-set.  Don't know if it's the shock of the hookset, the sharp jagged ice hole, the cold temp or combination of the above but it got replaced with dacron that night.  The dacron has enough stretch to absorb the hookset.  It's also much easier to handle and tie with cold hands and low light conditions.

I use the Y bait rigs with coated steel wire (Zleaders or Northland) for dead smelt, shiners, suckers.  40 - 60lb test.  I have tried the bait rigs with floro leaders but they have too much memory - they prevent the bait from hanging naturally.  We catch a lot of big fish (15 - 20lb) and occasionally a monster (20+) so I tend to go overboard on the strengths.  In my experience watch a lot of pike with cameras I don't think they are a real visually fussy fish like walleye, crappie or trout.  They will usually swim up and study the bait the bait for while (sometimes a long while) and it doesn't seem to matter whether you have a clear leader or log chain.  If they are hungry they will take.


Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Leader line for pike
« Reply #28 on: Jan 14, 2020, 02:27 PM »
IN LOVE WITH THAT TIGER JON. NEED ONE OF MY OWN

Me too Matt! It's still swimming!

 



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