What is a shock leader? It's a length of line heavier than your main line tied to your main line and the other end to your terminal tackle, and may be 30-80 lb test. It does several things for you but is first intended as a safety measure to prevent breakoffs (hitting someone/something with the 2+ oz sinker). The extra benefits are extra abrasion resistance and something to grab and rely on when landing a fish. I didn't think I needed one til I had 3 breakoffs in a row, one cast after another, with a 2 oz egg sinker, a shad head on my new saltwater 10' rod and a beefy SLX20SHA reel running 17 lb Sufix Tri+ main line. I was hitting it hard but since using the shocker I've had no problems. How do you know if you need a shock leader? Are you hitting 2+ ounces of lead, plus a big bait hard on a surf fishing setup for maximum distance? If so you probably need a shock leader, unless your main line is 25 lbs or better, and then you'll be losing a good bit of distance due to line drag so I'd recommend sizing down and using a shocker anyway. Boat guys don't really have any use for one since they're generally tossing out a few yards or dropping straight down, except for abrasion resistance. You probably already have the right size line to make your shock leader if you tie your own rigs. If not, an easily found spool of Berkley Big Game will work great. You want 10 lbs of line strength for each ounce of lead you're throwing. So, say you want to throw 3 oz, get 30 lb line at the minimum, if you toss 4-6 oz, get 50 lb, and over 6 oz get 60. Tying your shocker can be a bit confusing at first, as there are usually two knots involved. One is generally a knot to form a loop, like the spider hitch or bimini twist. The second is to connect your shocker to that loop, like a noname or bristol, uni, whatever. There's also one knot methods like the albright or alberto knots. Uni to uni works also but is weak when compared to other knots. Use what you're comfortable with. Every knot you'll see on my rigs is a spider hitch to noname. It hasn't failed me yet with some nice fish caught. To start tying it, you will need to tie a spider hitch in your main line. Goggle "spider hitch knot" and you will find plenty of methods. Leave your loop about 3" long. Then take your shock leader and tie a noname knot in the main line loop. Google will find directions on it, too. Cinch down extra tight and trim your ends almost flush on the shocker part and leave about 1/8th" on your main line loop knot. Take her out for a few casts and you'll get used to it fast. To prevent cutting your thumb pad, wind on your knots to the far left or right of the spool, then continue to lay your line evenly. No more breakoffs during the cast! Hope this helps. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them via PM. I don't think you can reply in this section of the board.