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Ksam1234

Leaders for pike

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Hey guys I looked on for the forums for this but came up short. I'm wondering what setup or leader is best for northern pike. I have a 7 ft MH fast action st.croix baitcaster. I'm trying to figure out what leader is best. The northern are not very huge where I'm fishing maybe 10 pounds. I don't need a huge leader Bc that will spook them Bc the water is clear. Anyone know the pounds or type of leader is good to get both strength but not be thick as cable ? Thanks !

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A-Jay

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What makes you think steel leaders will spook pike?  Trust me, they don't. Your boat won't spook pike. Buy steel leaders with the appropriate sized, quality hardware. If you are going to use larger baits, make sure the snaps are big enough.  7 strand wire leaders won't kink up as quickly as solid wire. If you buy solid wire leaders, check where the wire was cut for sharp edges. Those sharp points will split your hand wide open. Good leaders won't have them. If you are getting action, your leaders will get twisted and bent frequently. Makes sure you have extras.  Some guys like fluorocarbon leaders, if you are convinced leaders will spook pike, (again, they don't) get those in 80lb or larger size. The best thing about them is they don't kink easily, they can get cuts which will weaken them. 

 

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What Scott said about a leader spooking pike, I agree. If you still think visibility is an issue, there are fluorocarbon leaders that, although thicker in diameter, will work just fine.  They also have the advantage of not kinking the way wire does.  Beware, the length/strength of wire leaders will affect the action of some lures as they weigh the nose of the bait down. 

Sorry, I should have just agreed with Scott, but I'm one of those guys that likes to hear myself talk.

 

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I have only been fishing for a year so I am still new , but I saw some guys catching northern at a local lake so I was going to give it a try 

1 hour ago, papajoe222 said:

What Scott said about a leader spooking pike, I agree. If you still think visibility is an issue, there are fluorocarbon leaders that, although thicker in diameter, will work just fine.  They also have the advantage of not kinking the way wire does.  Beware, the length/strength of wire leaders will affect the action of some lures as they weigh the nose of the bait down. 

Sorry, I should have just agreed with Scott, but I'm one of those guys that likes to hear myself talk.

 

I was going with braided wire but I'm not sure what length or what pound I should get. I'm going to be throwing mostly spinnerbaits or inline spinners 

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The length should be just longer than your bait. I've been making my own leaders for so long, I don't even know what lb test leaders run. Anything steel over 25lb test, which is pretty, small will work. If you use a leader on a spinnerbait, you'll want spinnerbaits with a closed loop to attach to. The baits with the "R" bend wire where you tie on won't keep the leader in place.

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13 minutes ago, Scott F said:

The length should be just longer than your bait. I've been making my own leaders for so long, I don't even know what lb test leaders run. Anything steel over 25lb test, which is pretty, small will work. If you use a leader on a spinnerbait, you'll want spinnerbaits with a closed loop to attach to. The baits with the "R" bend wire where you tie on won't keep the leader in place.

Ok thanks man appreciate it !

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If u want to use r bend spinnerbaits get surgical tubing and close off the r bend with it to use a steel leader.  Alot cheaper then buying all new spinnerbaits.  I'm personally a fan of solid strand wire leaders but I make my own as well.  So one kinking isn't really an issue for me

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I target pike and chase musky when offered the opportunity.

 

Just got back from a week in Canada landed dozens of pike (including the big green girl below) and I can confirm that pike and musky are not leader shy.

 

I don't use commercially tied leaders (I think they are too expensive and I'm not wild about crimped vs. tied...but that's me. Someone will be along to say they have caught 12.4 million pike with commercial crimped leaders, and that's fine).

 

What I do is tie in either the Surflon material AJ linked to above, or Tyger Leader tieable leader material to the main line (I use braid, almost always 50# and up) with either an FG knot or an Alberto knot.  I use wire rated anywhere from 25# to 50#, but mostly use the Tyger 30# material. 

 

I tie my leaders anywhere from 12" - 18" long because I don't have to worry about getting the end through the guides.  With the FG in particular, I can run the knot inside pretty small guides with no issues.

 

In the "business end" I either tie direct to a hook if I'm fishing plastics, to a snap via a loop knot if I'm fishing crank baits or to a swivel with a snap for in-line spinners and spoons.

 

The Tyger Leader is very kink resistant, but it can take a beating from repeated smacking against rocks, or sometimes a really big fish can tear up the coating....check it regularly and you shouldn't have an issue...when it gets beat up...cut off the end and re-tie the business end until the leader is too short.  I haven't used the Surflon as much, but it has been very similar in performance with perhaps a tendency to kink a little sooner than the Tyger Leader

 

Amazon carries both Surflon and Tyger Leader.

 

Don't go overboard on wire leader weights...you don't need it unless you are into some huge fish.

 

On the fluorocarbon leaders...they also work well as reported above...but go heavier in line weight (I'd never use anything less than 30# and a good case can be made for 50# and up depending on the fish.  They won't kink as brought up above, but they will get beat up on rocks and other tough structure.  Check them often - you don't want to lose a 30"+ fish to a nicked leader.  Just run your fingers down the leader, if you feel nicks, cut it off and re-tie.  I also ties these direct to the main line with FG or Alberto knots (Here I lean towards the FG because of the fluoro line diameter.).

 

One last thought on the fluoro leaders: Use real leader material, not regular fluorocarbon line - the leader material is tougher and designed for that use - it holds up a lot better.

800 IMG_2730.jpg

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I've caught a hundred pike on moving baits like Mepps using fluoro leader and have never lost a lure on one, I usually use 40 lb blue label seaguar.  I even caught this 40" pike on a wacky rigged worm with a fluorocarbon leader.  If you're dead set on a metal leader, use 7 strand titanium.  It's what we use down here in the south for kingfish, awesome stuff.

 

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