Leader length

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by bro_catfish, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. bro_catfish

    bro_catfish New Member

    Ohio ,Coshocton County
    I upgraded my lb test to 30 this year and doing so made all my 30lb leaders unhelpfull, Ive always heard that you want the leader to be a higher strength then the main line. The problem or question is this, I found 45lb test leaders but they are all 18 inches or longer. Ive read and heard Doug Stange and Steve Hoffman from Infisherman say that if anything at all I want shorter leaders. Do you all agree ?. And if so is 18In too long?
    I fish mostly lakes but this year with the help from a few BOC Brothers I hope to do more river fishing . thanks

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    DJ there are as many opinions on leaders as there are fishermen. The key to your leader being usefull is abrasion resistance. Generaly they are a higher pound test then your main line. Get yourself some good leader material and make your own. You can take some time and snell your hooks onto them and you will be ready to go when ever you need a hook. I use a carolina rig and all my leaders are at least 18" long. I'm sure that other type rigs require a shorter leader to be effective.

  3. river scum

    river scum New Member

    hooterville indiana
    we bro. i can tell ya what i use. as for leader line its the same as my main line. if i was going to use a different line it would be lighter to save lead(the expensive part of the rig). i also only use a leader because of the swivel part of my slip rig. for cut bait n channels i use a 12-18in. leader. the longer leader lets them pick it up off bottom easier(imo no proof just a confidence thing) when i fish live gills for flaties i use a 6-8 in. leader. the shorter leader helping the bait stay free from snaggs and helping the flat catch his meal. i always use plenty of lead while useing live bait to keep it from tangleing up in the snagg also!

    good luck on the river this year. i hope it treats you well brother.
  4. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Wilmington, NC
    He pretty much said it for me. What we have always done was if fishing in a lot of current we would use a lot shorter of a leader. But other then that we usually use at least 18 inch leaders with 50-80lb line.

    Good luck fishing man! Zakk:)
  5. JReed

    JReed New Member

    Lima, Ohio
    Here is my general setup. 12 big game main line, lead, swivel, and a 12" - 18" 25lb copolymer leader (Silver Thread Excaliber). The lighter main line allows me to make farther casts to reach the holes and the copolymer leader gives me the abrasion resistance that I need. I got a 20lb flathead a couple years back and when I checked my leader it had nicks and cuts all over it but never broke. I have no dought that if I was using a regular mono line that I would have never seen the fish.
  6. Abu65

    Abu65 Active Member

    I use 12" to 24" and I dont think it matters at all. Just whatever I cut off. I pre rig all my own leaders. I use one of those worm bags that bass fisherman use. Its got those clear plastic bags in them. I make up a leader the roll it up and put one in each section. I put 8/0 leaders on the top section and 5/0 on the bottom. I bought extra packs of the bags so I have about 15 of each size hook in my bag. It works for me!....Abu65
  7. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    katfshn50 is right; ask 10 people their opinion and you will get 12 different answers.

    I use a 18"-24" leader on my drift rigs, but this is dictated by wanting to float the bait off the bottom. I use an 18" leader on my bottom rigs, and the line is slightly heavier than the main line for two reasons. One for abrasion resistance (reduce wrapped fish cutting through line with fins) and some added strength at the boat when the stretch of the line is minimized.

    I have seen some people use heavy line and slightly weaker leaders so that when they are snagged they can break the leader and only loose the hook.

    Personally, I don't use any special leader line for the leaders. I jsut use regular fishing line. Maybe that is bad, but it works for me, and that is really what counts.
  8. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    clk. tn
    It will depend on the conditions you fish in. Are their alot of snags or is the bottom clear of such things. The main reason I switched to such a large lb leader is because of abrasion. I use a 185lb test braid cord for my leaders and when combined with spiderline you don't loose much at all, which is what I want
  9. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    I agree it is usually a matter of personal preference.
    On my flathead equipment I use 65# and 80# PowerPro High Vis line and tie all my leaders out of the same line. I like High Vis line because it is easier to work with in the dark - I don't worry about strength. I want line that is just about tough enough to pull a water skier with; both on my main line and on my leader.
    My channel rods have 20# Trilene Big Game Solar and some 20# Fireline. My rule of thumb for cut bait leaders is: The more current, the shorter the leader. In heavy current I might not use any leader at all and have the No Roll sinker riding right up to the hook. I use 3/0 to 5/0 Octopus circle hooks almost exclusively when fishing channels. I snell all my hooks to the leader or line.
    On my flathead live bait leaders I have shortened them all to 6". I pre-tie all my leaders with snell knots and store them on a leader holder so I can retie quickly and easily in the dark. I use 7/0 and 10/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks on my flathead live bait. I primarily use 5" to 7" bullheads for bait - that is one reason for the shorter leaders. Bullheads will try to hide in bottom cover so I try to keep them anchored a little closer to the sinker so they cannot hide. I constantly give them a little jerk to keep them swimming and vibrating.
  10. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Newport N.C.
    I use a carolina rig, 30# berkley big game/no roll sinker/bead/ 1/0 2 way swivel/ 80# gorrila braid/ 7/0 gamakatsu octopus hook. Its never failed me yet. All tied with polymer knots