Leader Line Experiment: Will Fishing Without Leader Have An Impact?

Will fishing without leader have an impact?

I decided to hit the water this past week and fish WITHOUT leader line – just straight braid to hook.

Have a look below for the results of this test!!

Will Fishing Without Leader Have An Impact? [VIDEO]

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Setup For The Test:

I was curious to see whether or not I could trigger strikes without leader and if I could land fish.

Typically, leader line serves two purposes: stealth and shock absorption.

Out of all the fish I expected to land without leader, I definitely would not put my money on snook.

But the first fish of the day happened to be a pretty decent-sized snook that I was able to get into the boat.

Snook have tough mouths that can easily break through line which is why having leader is so important.

Braid has very little resistance to abrasion so I was definitely shocked to have landed this fish.

After getting that fish released, I checked the line and it was slightly frayed up.

The first thing you should always do whenever you land a fish is check the line right above the hook.

If it is frayed and you continue fishing, you risk losing the next fish you hook into and it might just be that fish you’ve been searching all day for.

To be safe, it is best to cut and retie.

Palomar Knot Mini-Lesson

The knot I used on this trip to secure the line to the hook is the Palomar Knot.

It is very strong and super easy to tie.

To tie this knot, double the line over itself.

Then, pinch the end to form a loop and feed that loop through the eye of your hook.

Next, perform an overhand knot with that loop.

Now, take the loop and open it and slide the lure through the loop.

Hold the tag end and the mainline and cinch that knot down.

Lastly, cut off the tag end and you’re ready to rock.

Overall Conclusions

All in all, this was a success.

I was able to land a really solid snook without leader on the end of my line.

However, I would not do this if you can avoid it.

If you’re in a pinch and it’s all you have to fish, then it will get the job done.

If you’re plucking fish off of a big redfish school and you’re leader gets broken off, you can quickly retie to straight braid to continue to fish that school.

One other bonus to straight braid is you won’t pick up any floating grass.

Usually, the line to leader knot will collect grass floating in the water.

But without leader that is not the case.

Also, I recommend loosening the drag a bit more when fishing straight braid as opposed to having a leader.

Braid has zero stretch and heavier setups will put a lot of pressure on the hook which can pop it out of the fish’s mouth.

I highly recommend sticking to fishing with a leader line when using braid.

The stealth and shock absorption alone will give you more confidence to head out and target big fish.

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Randall Scheffer
48 minutes ago

Thank for the test.

Mike Amato
4 months ago

Hello Coach Tony! Great video. I was actually going to send you a message about this before you posted this lesson. I’m an Insider and I’ve watched your lessons on using cut bait to catch Reds. I was curious if this method (no leader line / straight braid) would work that method of fishing as well? A lot of times I like throw cut bait up under the mangroves at high tide and catch Reds. It works very well. Would this method work for that using no leader line?



Alan Day
4 months ago

Thank you for following up with the test results. Great work as always.

Ronald Peedin
4 months ago

will try this

William Travers
4 months ago

It would be interesting to see if braid color would make a difference.

Logan Iffland
4 months ago

I fish in the upper Texas coast water is very murky I have caught fish with and without a leader (I usually start out with a leader and if I break off go straight braid from there) wondering if it makes a difference. Had a guide I went out with when I first started inshore fishing tell me there is no need for a leader in the murky water fishing for reds and flounder. What are your thoughts?

Last edited 4 months ago by Logan Iffland
Steven Free
4 months ago

Back in 03 when I first started fishing saltwater inshore I never used a leader and I really never heard anyone talking about using one either then around 2010 I read am article in florida sportsmanah about using leaders and catching more fish because of it so I tried it and immediately noticed catching more fish and now from then on I always use one whether it be fluorocarbon for my jigs or anything I don’t wat to float to mono which I use for my topwater plugs but around here in northeast fl where the water is about 85 percent of the time murky except in winter or very early spring when the water is still a bit chilly I believe leader is pretty much a confidence booster and not needed as much as where you fish or where Luke fishes where the water is mostly clear all year long anyways great info and thanks for all you do😉👍

Al Schellhorn
4 months ago

Good topic Tony. For us older gents with lesser eyesight and dexterity for tying leaders, this is good advice to get back in the water quickly. Especially yak fishing, where keeping it simple is a premium.

Paul Galeno
4 months ago

Thanks for the information. Back in the day when braid, such as power pro was new to the market I was told by my local bait and tackle store that with the new braids on the market you can cut your sinker weight in half. Awesome, let me try it on an offshore codfish trip. We were using 24oz Viking jigs with a teaser 3 feet above. Every time I swung at a fish I popped my braid at the jig. $20, $40, $60 in jigs, I thought I had purchased a bad batch. I switched back to mono and my next fish was a 45lb cod. When I returned home I called power pro and they explained to me about the stretch with a shock leader or top shot for that type of fishing. They sent me a new spool of power pro and have really never fished with mono again. Love it. Tight Lines.

Jason May
4 months ago

Awesome evaluation. I’ve been wondering if that was possible. Thanks for the test and results!


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