A Guide to Choosing Lines & Making Leaders
Choosing a fishing line may not seem like an easy task. Or you might be going back and forth between different kinds of leader materials. After reading this article you should be able to make an educated decision on your lines and leaders.
I am aware that during my years as an angler, I have been jumping between a lot of different materials and techniques. But in the end, I think it all comes down to a couple of crucial things:
1) In order to fish with the needed confidence, you need to feel secure first.
2) That means you must use a leader that you trust will handle even the toughest situations. And quality lines that will deliver over and over again.
Let me take you through some of my personal choices for lines and leaders.
Make your own leaders!
After trying out many different materials and leader options, I’ve ended up making my own leaders. I prefer fluorocarbon since it is a quite hard material, yet has a bit of stretch in it. Fluorocarbon is easy to handle and makes strong and extremely reliable leaders. My favorite fluorocarbon line is the Sufix Invisiline®.
Sufix invisiline is made out of 100% fluorocarbon. It is a very clear (see-through) and almost invisible in the water. A good choice if you are fishing in clear water and the predators are picky. You´ll find the Sufix Invisiline in dimensions from 0,12 mm all the way up to 1,17 mm.
When making my pike leaders, I prefer to keep them a bit longer. Around 70-80 cm long is optimal. And there are especially two reasons why:
1) In case you damage your leader (due to sharp underwater stones, pike teeth…), just shorten the fluorocarbon leader by cutting and removing the damaged part.
2) When chasing bigger predators, especially in the summer when the fish can be really active and like to jump and make those deathrolls. A longer leader provides a safe zone between the fish and the braided main line. This way you keep your main line protected.
Start with measuring around 80 cm of fluorocarbon. Use high quality split rings and swivels.
Insert one end of the fluorocarbon into the swivel. Go back and make two rounds around the line again. Moisturize the knot before closing it tight.
Since I am using 1,17 mm fluorocarbon for my pike leaders, I use pliers to tighten the knot. This way I avoid unwanted tension on the fluorocarbon.
Repeat the same procedure at the other end of the line. Connect the split rings to side where you are going to attach the lure. And we are done! I personally prefer to connect my main braided line to a swivel as well. I know it´s extra weight. But for me it’s such a small weight difference, especially when fishing for pike.
Also, I’ve had some bad experiences on connecting the leader directly to the main line. Under evenly distributed tension, the knots are extremely reliable and will not break. But if you get a strike while having a slack line, the result might be a snapped line.
And here we are. A 70 to 80 cm fluorocarbon leader made from the Sufix Invisiline. Trustworthy leader that will definitely never disappoint you.
I like to fill my tackle box with leaders during my spare time. That way, I always have some in stock and can effectively and easily replace them when needed.
Which lines to use?
Now that we have covered the leaders, let’s focus on the main lines. There are several different braided lines in the Sufix product range that I really like.
The Sufix 131 G-Core is one of them. It’s an award-winning line that really changed the way I see braided lines. It has a convincing strength, and this line will not let you down. My own experience on this line is just overwhelming. You can really feel the roundness that everybody is talking about. It’s a silky smooth line and even at the thickest dimensions (such as 0,40 mm) feel reasonably thin.
The Sufix 131 G-Core line has a really high water resistance, and it will not get flat over time when wet. It is built to be durable and suitable for long casts.
When do I use the Sufix 131 G-Core then?
First of all, it is my main go-to line in basically all my pike fishing. Especially for bigger pike and in predator fishing competitions. This is because of the unmatched strength and the improved knot resistance. It is a line that I just love to fish and handle out on the waters.
In competition situations you need a line that runs smoothly through both the air and the line guides of your rod. You also need to cast accurately and without extra hassle. For that the 131 G-Core is perfect.
I often seach for the big pike in pelagic style. In this fishing style your line will be wet most of the time. I need a line that is highly water resistant, so this is why the 131 G-Core is my first choice.
Another line favorite of mine is the Sufix 832 Advanced Superline®. I think it has some very special benefits. It is advanced line and super strong. Actually, it is the most durable small diameter braid there is. It’s built with 8 fibers (7 HMPE plus 1 GORE® Performance Fiber) and and 32 weaves (pics) per inch. Due to its high-pitch count, it is also hydrophobic (water-repellent).
The R8 Precision Braiding and fiber technology provide superior strength, roundness, and line consistency. By adding GORE® Performance Fibers we improve abrasion resistance, increase casting length/accuracy, and reduce line vibration. HMPE fibers provide high strength and sensitivity, hydrophobic water-repellent protection, and small diameter.
Choose between the 832 or the 832 Multicolor. On the Multicolor, every 10 meters has its own base color. Within the 10-meter segment each meter is marked with a 5 cm long red line stripe and every 5-meter section is indicated by a 20 cm long black stripe. The five base color sequence is repeated throughout the full length of the line.
So, when do I use the Sufix 832? In situations which high abrasion-resistance is needed. Like when I am going for a trolling session. The Multicolor version of the 832 helps you count the line length when trolling.
Also, in situations when it’s time to hunt toothy predators such as zander or perch using a jigging technique. The Multicolor coloring is really helpful, and you can easily control your line.
The Sufix 131 and the 832 Advanced Superline® are two really good lines. Combine them with your home-made fluorocarbon leaders, and your experience on the waters will be better than before. They are quality gear that you can trust in, again and again.
And in the end, that’s what it’s all about. Using gear and materials that you feel secure with. I’ve experienced with a lot of different stuff out there on the market. Which also makes it easier for me to proudly recommend the products that I personally use in my own fishing.
Take a look at it. Try it out! And make a couple of those leaders!