Whats the purpose of a leader?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by bigfish, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    ducain and i always slide on a egg sinker and tie a hook on. i see alot of people use leaders. what is the reason behind this. i have heard a lot of people say that a knot is the weakest link in your line. our biggest flats as of yet are #30 & #35, but hopefuly we will do much better this year. so i was just wondering if a heavier leader than your line was to help get the bigger fish in or what.
     
  2. nuthinlikeacat

    nuthinlikeacat New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    I used to do it the way you mentioned above. For some reason, which I don't know why, I changed to a 3-way swivel set-up, With a 2.5 ft 80-100 lb liter, and the other is 1-1.5 ft liter with my sinker tied off. Since I switched, I believe I've had better luck. I have still been cut off by fish, but the line always broke somewhere above the liter.
     

  3. Dragger

    Dragger New Member

    Messages:
    538
    State:
    North Carolina
    Jim ,My reason for a leader is that a fish on the line puts a lot of wear on the line ,and the bigger the leader is the longer it will take him to saw it off,and maybe ill have time to put him/her in the boat. and when drift fishing, you can float the bait up off the bottom with the leader.....:0a26: ...................................
     
  4. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Jim, I like to use a wire leader. You still only have one knot plus you have a sinker stop,which lets the bait lay with out a lot of resistance from the sinker weight. It also helps with line abrasion from the flatheads teeth.
    :0a26:
     
  5. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    The leader is mainly to control the presentation of your bait. If you use cut bait in light current it will move around and flutter abit on a long leader say 12 to 15 inches or more if you prefer. This gives a cat a better chance to find it. In strong current you have to shorten it up or use the rig you described in your post or it will sit out there and twirl like a helicopter scaring the fish away. For live bait the leader lets you know exactly how far from your sinker the bait is when you pull the swivel back to the sinker after a cast, and still lets a big cat run without feeling the sinker weight. This lets you put it right up on a nasty snag and still keep the baitfish from going inside and getting hung on something or finding a hole to hide in. A 12 to 18 inch leader gives him enough line to think he's going somewhere so he'll keep swimming and drawing attention to himself. Use a lighter leader if you are snagging hooks and want to get the sinker back. Other wise I just use the same pound test or heavier leader cause I want the fish.
     
  6. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    yep, s-man summed it all up.
     
  7. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    thanks for all the info guys. just one more thing. i thought when using egg sinkers and you let it settle after casting then let out a little line that the sinker stayed put letting the bait move away from the sinker?
     
  8. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    If you have ever walked into a pond or lake you've probably noticed the bottom can be soft or firm. If its soft mud you could be burrying your bait 5 or 6 inches into the mud where the cats cant find it. I always pull the sinker a foot or so after it hits bottom this way I know my bait is on the surface, and my swivel is snug to my sinker. If the current is moving your rig all you can do is go with heavier weight. Also egg sinkers work great from a boat but tend to roll down river from shore, if this is the case try bank style sinkers.
     
  9. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I preffer a leader that is at least 10 to 20lbs heavier than my main line. Why would you go to the expense of a strong mainline and put a weaker leader on it to fight the fish with. Cause in essense that is exactly what you will be doing.
    If you put 40# line on your reel and use a 20# leader, you are fighting the fish with 20# line not 40# and the shorter the line is, the weaker it is.
    I also use the heavier leaders for abrasion resistance during the fight.
     
  10. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Same here. I almost alway's use 50lb leader for catfishing. And I usually use 30lb main line.:)
     
  11. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

    Messages:
    294
    State:
    Fayetteville, Ohio
    My reasoning differs from what JW posted. I use a lighter leader than my main line. When snagged, I want my leader to break so I only loose my hook and save the rest of my rig. This happens for me about 75% of the time when snagged. Currently, I am useing 72# test nylon braid mainline. If you have ever tried to break this when snagged from a boat it is next to impossible. I use either a 40# or 50# mono leader so in essence I have the same strength at the hook as JW's setup.
     
  12. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Messages:
    707
    State:
    Minnesota
    I'm with Catbird.
    I use 50lb powerpro as mainline. 40lb Berkly Biggame as leader material.
    I very rarley break my mainline, dont want to.
    thanks
    Larry
     
  13. CptAhab

    CptAhab New Member

    Messages:
    39
    State:
    Manitoba, CAN
    Hey there Bigfish,
    part of the reason that you use a leader is to reduce line twist when fishing in situations where you have current. Your leader is usually tied under your mainline to a barrel swivel and its the swivel that helps to minimize the line twist and stress that would otherwise be put on your line and reel.
    I've always made my leaders with lighter pound test than my mainline with the hope that if something breaks that its going to happen below the swivel as opposed to above so that its just a hook that I'm losing rather than my whole sliprig.