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This weeks AMFisH fishing vlog – fishing leaders and when to use what size leader – fish

Hi fellow AMFisHers!  This weeks AMFisH(LEARN more here: fishing vlog is about leaders and what size you should use for what application:

Leaders come in various sizes ranging from 4″ all the way up to 24″ and longer, with fisherman also making their own leaders of up to several feet to fit their specific application.  Most commonly used sizes for everyday fishing for pike as an example would be 12″ to 18″, as you want as much main line coverage as possible. What I mean by this is if a huge pike attacks your bait with a lot of force, the fish might inhale most of the leader along with the bait, so you don’t want those sharp teeth anywhere near your main line.

So how do you know what size to use for what application?  Common rules of thumb are to use smaller length leaders for casting and longer for trolling.  A shorter leader is best for casting as it along with the length of your bait will still leave some safe/comfortable swinging room around you to cast.  As you will see I discuss this in detail in this vlog as using a longer leader while trying to cast a long bait will only cause you nothing but grief and possible injury along with broken gear.  Trying to cast a 12″ bait on a 24″ leader is 36 inches of line that you need to swing back then forward, not an easy or safe task with a heavy bait.

On the other hand when you are trolling a 12″ bait you do want that extra long leader in the range of 18″ to 24″ in length and sometimes even longer.  When a big fish zones in on your bait as you are trolling and moves in for the attack with speed, in most cases the attack is so violent/aggressive that the fish takes the entire bait into it’s mouth along with some of the leader, so if the fish has your 12″ in it’s mouth and you have a 12″ leader on it where the fish also has half of your leader in it’s mouth, there is a high possibility that if that fish thrashes or turns quickly it’s teeth can cut your main line.  In that same scenario if you have a 18″ to 24″ leader on the fish can have a foot of that leader in it’s mouth BUT there will be very little chance of it’s teeth cutting your main line as the main line will still be 12″ away from the fishes mouth.


When you get into those short leaders in the 4″ to 6″ range they are great choices for when you are catching toothy critters like pike in that smaller range, where you just need a few inches on line protection from the teeth.  Due to us not knowing what size fish will attack our bait, I always suggest using a minimum length of 8″ to 12″ for a leader, that leaves you some extra line coverage if you get into some bigger fish.

Hope you found this vlog helpful!

The AMFisH guy…

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