In our newest blog we are calling out some of the bull claims we found on the internet about the best leader line length for saltwater fishing (and why)!
Ryan also gives his reasons about how long your leader should be for different applications… Some you may know and some you might not have thought of. And how to choose the right length and size for inshore saltwater fishing.
The difference between getting a trophy fish to the boat and losing it (arrgggh) often comes down to the little things. And leader line length is one of those little things.
Leader Line Length – smashing the myths!
NINE MYTHS ABOUT LEADER LENGTH.
1. Lure action is restricted
As you can see from the above video, we tested 1 foot vs 4 foot and found no restriction in the lure action whatsoever. Myth busted!
Incidentally, after 30 years as a charter guide and thousands of big fish caught, I’ve never had an issue catching big fish with a longer leader length. Incidentally I feel it has enhanced my fishing immensely!
2. Running through the guides damage the knot.
These run through the guides pretty well.
The smallest and most “guide friendly” knot is the FG knot… However you must snip the tag in very close (as it faces the wrong way and can catch). Plus you must tie it very well or it will let go.
So my personal preference is the bimini/albright and I teach a neat trick to tie it quickly here – but that is horses for courses.
3. Casting accuracy is better with a shorter leader.
With a wind on leader system, you can wind the leader onto the reel so that is not an issue.
I prefer to cast overhead from a safety perspective. I demonstrate my overhead casting technique here.
4. Shorter leader = less slack in the line. Therefore better hook setting.
Bait fishing should always be done with some run in the water. e.g. tidal flow.
Hence the line should always be tight to the bait no matter what the leader line length.
An interesting demonstration of how a running rig operates underwater can be found here.
5. Short leaders are less likely to tangle.
When it comes to leader line length, the main reason for a tangle is a wind knot.
But this is not actually due to the leader line length.
It occurs on spin rods when a tiny loop is caught under other loops on the spool.
Then when casting, the loop is pulled off by braid exiting the spool resulting in a tangle.
6. Shorter leader line length is easier to rig and adjust.
I would argue that it is the opposite!
A longer leader length gives you more opportunities to change lures and rigs without having to tie a new leader system.
That is if you are using a perfection loop for lures – which would be my recommendation over a snap swivel.
7. Longer leaders are more prone to coiling.
An easy way to avoid this if you don’t want to leave your lures and rigs on your rod is to make a loop for the handle.
In effect the leader is not coiled around anything so will not gain that memory.
8. Longer leaders are more visible underwater.
I don’t agree. If anything, leader thickness is more important.
9. Fish can “feel” longer leaders.
The “sound” of a leader line of 4 foot vs 1 foot in the water, over the electric motor, wave action etc. is minimal.
I haven’t tested it – other than catching thousands of trophy fish for clients.
The lure action and any rattles would create more vibrations than the 3 extra feet of leader in my opinion.
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LEADER LINE LENGTH BEST PRACTICE
My rule of thumb is to use a 4 foot leader for two main reasons.
- Braid is particularly fragile when under load and will snap if touching an oyster, a branch, a rock or a ledge. A longer leader eliminates this fragility.
- It is longer than my target fish (if not make it longer e.g. 1000 pound marlin). This reduces any braid touching or rubbing on the fish body from mouth, gills to tail.
LIVING ON A BOAT IS A CAPTIVATING ADVENTURE!
From the awe-inspiring wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, to amazing fishing and secluded beaches, join us as we explore amazing remote locations only accessible by a big boat.
While it can be challenging and expensive, it offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking natural beauty and marine encounters.
We often also pop tips into our fishing adventure blogs – so keep your eyes peeled!
I hope you enjoyed our myth busting leader line length tips.
New episodes drop each Thursday so stay tuned…
And while you’re here, why not take a look at some of our other tips and fishing action videos below.