When Should You Upgrade The Size Of Your Leader?

When should you upgrade the size of your leader?

How do you know to bump up your leader line BEFORE you miss out on fish?

Losing fish because of leader line break-offs is the worst.

But here’s how to avoid running into leader line issues!!

When Should You Upgrade The Size Of Your Leader? [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡Find NEW Saltwater Fishing Spots In Your Area In 60 Seconds or Less!!!

Featured Line:

You always want to choose your leader depending on the structure in the area and the species you’re fishing for.

If you are fishing close to docks and hook into a solid fish, you definitely don’t want to break any fish off.

Whenever I am fishing close to docks or similar structure, I bump up to 30lb monofilament leader.

The reason for using a monofilament leader is that it can stretch and acts as a shock absorber.

Fluorocarbon weakens after it is constantly put under stress.

Monofilament leader does not weaken and tends to stand up better against abrasions.

I normally fish with 20lb Ande Monofilament Leader for everyday, all-purpose use.

When fishing close to oysters, docks, or hard structure, bumping up the leader size is your best bet to avoid break-offs.

You should always be checking your leader line when fishing tight to such structures.

Moreover, another reason to bump up your leader is when you’re going after the BIG fish.

Big snook have tough jaws that frequently rub against and tear through leader line.

Bumping up your leader size gives you that extra strength needed to avoid losing fish.

On the other hand, there are reasons to use fluorocarbon over monofilament in some cases.

If you fish in super clear water, you can use fluorocarbon to prevent spooking off fish because monofilament tends to stick out a bit more under calm conditions.

Another reason to bump up your leader is when you’re fishing with topwater lures.

Topwater lures usually trigger some awesome bites and a heavier leader helps to wrestle in those big fish.

What leader material do you prefer to fish with?

When do you bump up to a stronger leader?

Please go ahead and get the conversation started down below in the comments!!

Finding The Fish Help

In order to help make sure that you are targeting the right areas based on the latest feeding trends and upcoming weather forecasts, make sure to use the following 3 resources because they will save you a ton of time.

1. Weekend Game Plans (updated weekly)

These regional game plans will show you exactly what types of spots to target in under 10 minutes… just click the video to start, and you’ll be informed on what to do on your next trip.

➡ Weekend Game Plan Lessons

2. Smart Fishing Spots Platform (updated every 15 minutes)

This exclusive software literally shows you where the most fish are likely to be feeding based on exactly when you’ll be fishing. It factors in the tides, wind, and weather to help you quickly see which areas to target throughout the day.

➡ Smart Fishing Spots App

3. Community Reports (live feed)

The Insider Community platform is what you can use to see what is biting near you, and you can get to know other members who fish in your area. Plus, you can use it to keep a log of your catches so you can use past trips to help predict future catches.

➡ Community Platform 

Related categories:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jonathan Mieras
10 months ago

Good info. I generally use #20 now and #30 near structure. If I’m throwing the nlbn mini mullet I use #40. It floats a little better I think because I use it on the surface skipping under and around mangroves. They are expensive lol plus the fish hitting that don’t seem to mind if a rope was attached

11 months ago

I’ve found in my area (Sebastian, Brevard County inshore open water and in the magnroves) it’s best to settle on 30# — I have just lost too many big fish to 20# break offs, and they often bite even when not specifically targeting them.

Gary Graham
11 months ago

Thanks for the info.

Matthew Daecher
11 months ago

Do you think there is a noticeable/visibility difference between 20# & 30# mono leader when you are fishing in mostly stained water conditions?

Al Schellhorn
11 months ago

I typically use 20lb mono in the bay and surf, but got broken off this weekend hitting Spanish Mackerel and switched to wire. I know it’s sort of taboo, but in the surf, I have not found any disadvantage using wire over mono and that way, I’m always ready for whatever is biting. Not so in the bay, where I stick to mono.

Frank M
11 months ago

I use 20 and 30 mono but if I fishing offshore bottom fishing I use 40 mono

Bill Trask
11 months ago

Leaders: generally, 20# – Soft Steel mono is my mono of choice for any use. After many tests with a line test machine, Soft Steel mono breaks anywhere 30-40% over the listed line weight. It’s also the most supple mono I’ve ever used, making it great for knot tying and fly-lining live bait. My friend Tony Garza had the U.S. distribution rights for years (manufactured in Italy) until he sold to Okuma. Some bonehead exec decided to drop the product so when my current stock runs out, I’ll be looking.

Started using flouro for fly fishing leaders for durability, especially 4-6 wt.

I have not experienced a difference in hookups between mono and flouro. Unless read it in a biology journal – I don’t buy the “fish can’t see flouro” hype – unless it adds function (like my fly leaders), my $$$goes a lot further with mono.

Matt Pfeiffer
11 months ago

Good stuff, Matt. Thanks for sharing. Tight lines, not broken ones!!

Jean Long-Thomason
11 months ago

Probably use Ande 20# mono 90 percent of the time.

Dennis Kelly
11 months ago

Everything that can be said has been said in the comments. Between Luke’s line comparisons, Tony’s adding an 8-10 inch shock tippet, and the countless number of videos that I’ ve watched from the SS coaches the takeaway for me is don’t be afraid to experiment a little and you never know. Also, seeing you lose a couple of fish in the video makes you appear almost human, not necessarily beatable in a tournament, but human none the less ! Always enjoy your videos.


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Fishing Kayak (Must Read Before Purchase)

Do you want to discover the pros, cons, and "what to avoid" mistakes when it comes to buying a fishing kayak? Then check out this in-depth buyer's guide.
See Full post

Strong Angler Of The Week: Mike Farrell

These redfish are almost as big as the kids! Listen to this awesome story of Mike Farrell taking his kids out fishing and putting them on some nice redfish.
See Full post
No comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)