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Why Do You Need a Fishing Leader on Fishing Line?

Braided fishing line and fishing reels.

Due to the thickness of the heavy-colored fly line used to throw lightweight flies and the ease with which fish may detect them, fly fishing leaders are an absolute necessity. For most fishing applications, tying a bait directly to a reel’s spool is the norm. To catch fish, though, you’ll need to use a leader line tied to your mainline.

What is a Leader for Fishing Line?

ANGRYFISH 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line-Invisible Underwater-Faster Sinking- Ultralow Stretch-Fishing Leader Line 2-30LB(Clear,2LB/0.128MM-55YD)

You connect one end of the leader to the eye of a hook or lure, while the other end is connected to the mainline on an angling reel. Using a knot or swivel, the two lines can be attached, although it’s more common to tie the two lines together.

When using a fly fishing rig, fish can’t see the line as easily because of the use of a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader and a tippet. Whenever I fly fish, I often utilize a 9-foot leader of 2- or 4-pound fluorocarbon line.

What are the Advantages of Using a Leader?

The use of a fishing leader has numerous advantages. As an example, it makes it harder for fish to detect the fishing line. If you use lures known for twisting the line, it’s a good idea to include a leader. The swivels will ensure a straight fishing line as it rotates.

Using fishing leaders while fighting fish with scales and sharp teeth is also a good idea. Even braided lines are susceptible to breaking in this area. In this case, adding a wire leader is the best option.

The Various Types of Leader Line

Fluorocarbon and Monofilament fishing lines are the most common materials used to make leaders. Each of these options has its own set of pros and cons.

Fluorocarbon Leaders

Sufix Invisiline Fluorocarbon Leader 33-Yards Leader Wheel Fishing Line (Clear, 150-Pound)

Unlike monofilament fishing leaders, fluorocarbons haven’t been around as long. They are still commonly employed because they have a virtually identical refractive index to water, making them nearly undetectable. A lengthy fluorocarbon leader is an absolute must when fishing for species that are afraid of your main fishing line, such as trout.

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  • The modest line stretch makes it possible to detect even the tiniest of bites
  • Abrasion resistance is excellent
  • The knots are strong
  • The visibility of the fishing line is low
  • Water will not be able to soak inside
  • UV radiation does not affect its properties


  • Monofilament is less expensive than this
  • The line sinks because it is heavier than water
  • Knots are more difficult to put together

Monofilament Leader

Catch All Tackle Monofilament Fishing Leader Kit 100yds 2.0mm-400lb Clear-Loop Protectors crimps

Since the dawn of time, anglers have used monofilament leader lines. It’s the most affordable choice you’ll find. If you’re on a tight budget, there’s no need to seek further help. There are other advantages to monofilament besides its affordability.


  • It is not as dense as fluorocarbon, for example. It sinks more slowly as a result of this
  • Fluorocarbons absorb less water than monofilament
  • It is affordable
  • Easily forms the necessary knots
  • Having a wide range of motion will allow you to absorb the force of an aggressive fish
  • Good resistance against abrasion.
  • The knots are really strong.


  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light causes it to deteriorate
  • As water is absorbed, the material’s properties will alter
  • Stretchable, which makes it difficult to detect even little bites
  • Less dense lines will float

What Purpose Does the Leader Line serve?

The use of leader lines can help anglers handle a variety of fishing-related issues. You need to know what issues you’re going to come upon before you start constructing leader lines.

ZASIE 50 lb Fluorocarbon Fishing Leader,20 Inch Fluorocarbon Leader Line with Swivel and Snap, 100% Fluorocarbon Leaders Saltwater, 10 Pack Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing Leaders

Fish, like cod, tend to hide in rocky areas of the water when they’re fishing, for example. There is a considerable risk of becoming entangled in a rock if the fish rubs against those rocks. Fishing lines can potentially be chewed through by the sharp teeth of codfish.

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Take the time to learn about the likely situations your line will encounter before you begin your project. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.

The following are some of the situations that I encounter regularly.

Breaking Lines: In the depths, you can easily overlook how much wear and tear your line has taken. When it comes to underwater dangers, most people overestimate how many sharp items there are. A fish’s teeth can sever your fishing line if you forgot about that.

Many of these problems can be alleviated by using the right fishing line. Lines with more strength are usually thicker in diameter, as is the case with fishing lines. There is more meat to cut through because of this.

Because of their high abrasion resistance, monofilament fishing lines are extremely durable. The capacity of a fishing line to endure rubbing against an uneven area is referred to as abrasion resistance.

Preventing Line Snags: You’ll have to deal with some snags if you’re fishing in rocky or vegetative areas. Lacking experience in jiggling the rod firmly enough is the most common reason for snags.Weeds get caught while fishing.

Because of your inexperience, the only option is to keep fishing. However, removing the hook from the rocks and vegetation is a possibility. Snagging is far less likely when your leaders are constructed in such a way as to get one’s hook from the ground.

The drop shot is an excellent illustration of a fishing leader setup. Positioning the hook above the weight will prevent the hook from snagging on the ground.

Line Visibility Reduction: To catch fish, you must uniquely target them. Anything that moves in the water will elicit an attack from some fish. Before taking a bite, some fish will study the bait.

If fish see the line linked to the bait, they will not eat it. A fluorocarbon fishing line leader will be your best bet to ensure that you have the best presentation of your bait.

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When submerged, the fluorocarbon fishing line is transparent to light. Fish can’t see the line at all because of this. Because of this, fluorocarbon would be the finest choice for your leader line if you are concerned about the presentation of your bait.

Bass Fishing With Leader Lines

A young boy holding a large mouth bass.

For baitcasting and spinning gear, Bass Fishing Leader lines are also critical for preventing twisted lines when using specific lures and to decrease line visibility. When using a spinning reel to fish finesse baits, a lot of the bass pros I’ve encountered recently prefer to use a light fluorocarbon leader with a braided line.

Recently, I’ve been following their lead as well as using an 8 or 10-pound braided mainline including an 8-foot fluorocarbon leader to fish floating worms, Senko, etc. with wacky-rigged fluorocarbon leaders.

A fish got caught with hooks attached.

This combination of lines allows me to detect even the tiniest of bites. When fluorocarbon is connected directly to a spinning reel, it often results in line tangles because of how quickly the line comes off the spool.

Don’t Get Your Line Twisted

Wiggling jerkbaits with monofilament or fluorocarbon lines might also cause a line twist when using a baitcasting reel. Excessive line twists might degrade the line, increasing the risk of a fish breaking off and resulting in a loss.

Adding an extra swivel and a 3-foot fluorocarbon leader to my main monofilament line fixed this issue for me. Casting this configuration is a little more challenging but it keeps mainline from warping, as well as makes the lure sink more quickly if I’m fishing deeper.

When Fishing in Saltwater, Do You Require a Leader?

A person holding a fishing rods in the ocean.

Saltwater fishing necessitates the use of leader lines. In general, saltwater fish are bigger, stronger, and more toothy than freshwater fish. You’ll lose a lot of fish if you don’t use a leader line which might hold up to the abuse it will receive.