Catfishing with a Steel Leader

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by the_nis, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. the_nis

    the_nis Member

    Messages:
    360
    State:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Hey guys...Usually when I'm fishing for cats, I throw on a steel leader just in case a nice muskie or pike hit. But, I know with some kinds of fish, a steel leader will spook the fish away. Does this happen with catfish? Thanks!
     
  2. Rainman4u2

    Rainman4u2 Guest

    I was using them for a couple of years, and I'm not sure about spooking them, but when they were picking up the bait I noticed alot of misses. I've read that they feel that extra weight of the leader, and know it's not natural and drop it. So this last year I re-tied all of my dip bait set ups with 1 ft mono leaders, and used 1-2 ft mono leaders for cut and live bait. I noticed not as many drops, and more hook ups. I use 30lb Stren big game as a leader, tied to a barrel swivel tied to my main line. It worked great last year, and I'll be using it again this year.

    Ray
     

  3. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i doubt it but id rather use some of these super braids though. the weight of the leader would weigh down your bait and keep it on the bottom. remember, even though they are "bottomfeeders" they usually cruise about 8 to 12 inches off the bottom.
     
  4. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I have never used a steel leader, my leader is always the same as my main line.
     
  5. the_nis

    the_nis Member

    Messages:
    360
    State:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    The reason why I starting using a steel leader is because I've had other fish bite through my power pro on a couple occasions so I don't want that to happen again. Now what about using a heavy mono leader...Won't that get bitten through fairly easily also if I get a big "toothy" fish on? Thanks!
     
  6. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    I tried using steel leaders but the cats kept bending them up till they were unusable. Since then I have gone to 30 and 40Lb clear Big Game mono 12" long and it works well.
     
  7. BIGCAT GarryEads

    BIGCAT GarryEads Head Cheese of the USCA!

    Messages:
    334
    State:
    Francisco Ind
    Itch25cratch [ Ken ] Welcome to the BOC.

    BIGCAT GarryEads :)
     
  8. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    Thanks Gary..its an honor to be among all you good folks of common interest. :D
     
  9. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    I know a lot of catters will actually use a LIGHTER leader than the reg line. Reason being is that it will break off in snags easier, thus you being able to keep your sinker & wivel & only having to replace your hook.

    on the other hand:

    I know a lot of catters use a HEAVIER leader too. :know-big: I guess its all just personal preference. I usually use the same leader as the main line for the most part, but do not use a steel leader.
     
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I'm one of those who use a lighter leader for catfishing so I don't break off my expensive braided line. However, back when most of my fishing was done in saltwater, I often used a heavy mono leader; they aren't the best choice for shark, 'cuda, or bluefish, but it works fine for fish with smaller teeth than that. Of course, for shark, I did use a length of it between the mainline and the steel leader to keep the shark's rough skin from wearing the mainline. If you do decide to go with steel leader, I'd recommend braided rather than solid. Maybe a circle hook would be a better choice for solving your problem, since they almost always hook up right in the corner of the mouth, where the teeth aren't a big factor.
     
  11. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Im one of the ones that use a very large lb test leader. Where I usualy fish at their are alot of snags that will wear through mono and even braid, so I switched a while back to about 200lb test trotline as my leader, a little different but works for me. It is very rare for me to loose tacle anymore. Straighten out some hooks, but that is rare too. I usualy pull through a snag or pull it to the surface. I tried the steel leaders and in heavy current they would get bent up.
     
  12. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I quit using steel leaders a long time ago. It is cheaper to make them out of mono yourself, and are much more effective than steel.

    In my oppinion, Why would you use a heavey main line (say 40#) and use a smaller leader say (20# or 30#). This would only serve to defeat the purpose of the heavey mainline. You might as well use a 20# mainline and a 20# leader, because you are esentualy using 20# line to fight the fish anyway.

    I use heavey leaders because, my mainline will stretch and give more than a short leader will. And there is also the chew factor to think about. You don't always hook them in the side of the mouth.

    This is just my of thinking on the subject of leaders.
     
  13. rockbass

    rockbass New Member

    Messages:
    1,107
    State:
    Ohio
    I do not use steel leaders, but after finding a spot last year that has both big catfish and some nice pike, I will start using them there. Just because I had too many pike cut my line. I really see no advantage to them other than stopping the toothed critters from cutting the line.
     
  14. james

    james New Member

    Messages:
    747
    State:
    Blue Ridge texa
    ive never used steel leaders waste of money if you ask me. i use ande 30 main and 50 for leaders
     
  15. centralcalcat

    centralcalcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,163
    State:
    Marion, TX

    If Pike and Musky are in your area, stick with the Steel Leaders. Their teeth cut through line like butter. If not then I would recomend using mono or braid. I typically use the same test as I do on the rest of my line. Catfish do not have the razor like teeth that other preadator fish do, so there is little danger of them cutting your line.

    As far as the bite ratio, using steel leaders probably will cut back on your bite to hook up ratio, they add a extra piece of takle the cats take into their mouth and I imagine they feel the difference.
     
  16. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    i used to swear by steel leaders but now only use them mainly on my yoyo's when runnin them in water i know has a lot of nasty jackfish in it. (chain pickerel) leaders off the three way swivel is just bits of the thirty lb mono thats on the reel. i notice no difference now and when i used steel leaders to tightline for cats.
     
  17. the_nis

    the_nis Member

    Messages:
    360
    State:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    How does mono, say 50# or so, stand up to a decent sized muskie or pikes's teeth?
     
  18. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    Before switching to circle hooks I would take 2 or 3 strands of my main line and make a leader. Seems like the big cats would wear on the mono. So I figured there was less chance of losing a fish if they had 2 or 3 pieces to wear thru. Since the circles usally hook in the conner of the mouth I don't notice this problem. So I just use 1 strand of the main line now.
     
  19. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    Not very well. My Grandfather took me up into Canada to do some pike fishing over the summer. After losing several steel leaders, I thought that i'd try some heavy mono, because i had a spool w/ me. I was using 80lb. Trilene Big Game, and i caught 2 out of 20+ pike that day. They just tear right through the leader.
     
  20. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Jason, good to see you posting again. I started out using steel leaders with regular J - style hooks and never had problems hooking into flatheads. The problem with some of the steel leaders are that the crimps are not that strong and bigger flatheads will straighten out the wire that holds the hook.
    Also I have found that I missed a lot of flatheads when I tried using circle hooks on a steel leader. Im strictly using mono leader line now for my leaders with the hooks being snelled at one end of the leader and a huge barrel swivel at the other end. But that still wont solve that muskie/pike strike in my opinion. You might want to consider making your own steel leaders or modify the ones you bought using a soldering iron to strengthen the weak spots.
    Good luck brother!