Here Are The 2 Ideal Times To Retie Your Fishing Leader

By: Tony Acevedo on January 10, 2020
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retie leader line

Are you a risk-taker?

I’m all for taking risks, but thinking, “Eh, this leader should last me a few more snook,” when it clearly has a couple of nicks in it is not a risk I’m willing to take.

I’ve been broken off by too many big snook to take a gamble on a frayed leader.

And to save you from getting broken off by big fish, in this video, I’m going to share with you the two scenarios when you need to retie your leader.

Let’s dive in!

When To Retie Your Leader Line [VIDEO]

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There are two main times to change your leader:

  1. On the water
  2. At home

Here are the factors that let me know when to retie my leader line:

Changing your leader on the water

You want to change your leader on the water when you see frays or nicks in the line.

These mostly happen when you’re fishing for tarpon or snook, which have abrasive mouths and gill plates, or when you’re fishing in structure and your leader is brushing up against dock pilings, mangrove trees, or oyster bars.

In most cases, if the nick is close to the hook, you can just clip the leader below the nick and retie your hook or jig head on.

Changing your leader at home

I change my leader line before every fishing trip.

When I’m out fishing, the leader will be stretched and beat up, as well as the knot that holds the leader and mainline together.

There may even be nicks or frays that you can’t see in the leader or knot.

To help avoid any potential risks of getting broken off because of this, I always tie on a new leader before I go fishing.

How long your leader line should be

When you’re on the water and you clip your leader shorter and shorter to remove frays and nicks, eventually your leader line will get too short.

I like to start with a leader about 2.5-3′ and then I’ll use it until it gets to about 1.5′.

After that, I’ll tie on a new leader.


retie snook leader

Whether you’re fishing for snook in the mangroves or redfish around oyster bars, chances are that your leader is going to get scuffed up.

If you see any nicks or frays, it’s a good idea to clip your leader or retie it because it could cost you a big fish.

Have any questions about when to retie your leader line?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who needs to retie their leaders more often, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Dennis BloomJohn CastleSteven FreeTony AcevedoGary Rankel Recent comment authors
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Dennis Bloom

Hi Tony, I fish the surf using a 2 hook Pompano Rig. I recently went to braided line. When using Mono I tied a snap swivel to the main line and then the Pompano Rig to the snap swivel. Can I use the same for the braided line? Should I add a mono leader to the braid before the snap swivel? Thanks for any help. Denny

John Castle

Will an fg knot hold up during an outing if you cast it through the guides? Since I typically wade fish I will have only one rod with me and I prefer a little longer leader because I may change lures several times while fishing. I typically put a new leader on after each trip.

Steven Free

Totally agree Tony I never take any chances I am always checking my line and my girlfriends as well for nicks or fraud and it’s been a while since we have lost any fish from breakoff because of it to measure my leader i take the leader spool in one hand and the leader in the other and pull till arms length then cut it that gives me plenty to work with thanks for the tip and all you do😁

Gary Rankel

Hey Tony……my tip is to avoid ladyfish. It usually just takes one to fray up your leader. I don’t change my leaders at home unless I spot or feel knicks or abrasions, and haven’t had a problem not doing so.