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Done waiting? A spring-time fishing preparation guide

The frustration is real! More and more of my social channels are plastered with last year’s summer photos from people all over the world. Big pikes and angry zanders are spinning around in my head! I hope spring will come fast this year!

A trustworthy leader

A lot of times during my years as a sport fisherman, leaders have become a crucial point in my fishing. There are so many different materials and options for leaders and one million suggestions for which one is the best.  So, I will to take the opportunity and explain my personal thinking on this matter and how to build your own leaders! 

I will make this review based on pike fishing which are the prime target species for me. I’ve tried all kinds of material, but I prefer a fluorocarbon leader. 

There is a couple of reasons why I think there is an advantage in using fluorocarbon materials:

It is nearly invisible in the water and has good camouflage in various types of waters. The high abrasion resistance is one of the great things when using fluorocarbon, I´ve been struggling through stony areas and a good amount of pike teeth´s with a high attrition level. Of course, there is always a day when it’s just “bad luck” and you need to change the leader more regularly. However, in the big picture it’s really strong and can hold up for a long time. 

Additionally, the stretch is quite low which gives you a more distinct strike and lets you feel every little thing on the end of the leader.  It tends to sink a bit faster than regular nylon material, which makes it very good for a leader material. 

The build 

I use up to 1,2 mm fluorocarbon when I’m tying a leader that is reliable for my pike fishing. It’s quite thick, but I tend to fish with “bigger” lures and heavier rods then average. You can easily go down to a smaller diameter like 0,80mm or even 0,60mm if you want. 

The next step is to choose some building components like split rings, crimps, and swivels.  

Rapala have their own split rings which are highly recommended. I tend to go for at least a 9mm or higher as I tend to use the split rings as the last connector and add nothing else to the lure. It does take you longer to switch your lure, but it is definitely secure. I use both rings and swivels or even sometimes fast attach clips for some situations, but mostly a strong split ring or swivel.  

For a 1,2 mm fluorocarbon leader you will need a suitable swivel around 60-95 kgs strength. It’s a rather big swivel but this leader is quite upsized.

The crimps I use are a “double 1,5 mm” model which will suit the fluorocarbon’s thickness. 

From here you choose a good length for your leader. I prefer to take as long as 40-50 cm for “big pike-leaders”, so that you have the space in the gap if the pike swallows your lure. 

Take your fluorocarbon and slide on the crimp, followed by the swivel and go back through the crimp again and press it together with pliers or crimping-pliers. At the other end of the rig, you do the same procedure except that you can choose how you want to rig this part, if it’s only a split ring or a swivel clip or a fast clip, it is completely up to you. Once again, press it together and you are done! 

To secure your leaders even more, you can get yourself a couple of shrinking tubes and cut them to suitable lengths to cover your crimps and shrink them with a lighter. In this way, you will not have any sharp edges on your leader! 

The award winner 

If you think that leader products are a bit overcrowded in the market, I suppose the choice of line is even worse.

If you are just starting out with fishing, I would recommend you talk to your local fishing store and they will be able to help you find a line that will suit your fishing style. I can only give advice and guidelines for the lines I use which are made by Sufix. 

The first line of recommendation is Sufix 832 Advance superline. It is a very strong and durable line. You will not be disappointed when choosing this line. It has some great features and comes in different colors for your choice. 

The second line has become my own favorite and is something really special. At Efttex 2018, Sufix managed to win “best braided line” of the year with the new 131. It was for a very good reason as this is a highly sophisticated line with a real ‘Wow’ factor to it. 

I was eager to try out this line and it didn’t disappoint me. First of all, the feeling when you handle the line is smooth like silk. It’s built with 13 fibers, 12 HMPE fibers and the 13th one is a GORE performance fiber in the core to guarantee consistently strong construction, with no weak points for reliable braided line during casting, strikes and fighting action. 

The water resistance in Sufix 131 is remarkable and it’s something I have never experienced before.

If you need something for long casting; that is quiet, strong and a super round and smooth line, then this line is for you. A big thumbs up from me. I can of course only speak for myself, but I think it’s well worth it to take a look at Sufix lines.

Re-use and ready for spring. 

Hot tip! 

Let’s say you have purchased a new superline and plan use it for the season. You can easily “turn it backwards” and re-use the line for a while longer. A good beginners tip that will save you some money that would probably go to a new lure instead! (speaking from my own experience)

Another thing to remind yourself is not to throw away your old braided line into the water or local environment. The best way is to have a little bag or a small trash bin in your boat and throw it there. Its almost impossible for Mother Nature to break down a braided line so let’s act like responsible fisherman! 

Don’t forget to check out my other articles on the blog, you can find more tips and tricks for your fishing! 

Checklist:
•    Assemble your rods and clean them up! 
•    Check your hooks on your lures and sharpen those any blunt ones. 
•    Make some new fluorocarbon leaders and attach your new braided lines and you are ready to hit this spring season for big predators!