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]

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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!!

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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

Keith
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

Matt,
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.

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