Esox leaders.

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Moose439
Moose439's picture
Esox leaders.

Hey guys, I want to trysome pike and mutskee fishing in the next few weeks and want to make my own flurocarbon leaders. I'm wondering what the lightest fluro y'all would feel comfortable using for trophy esox. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Moose

Mike B
Mike B's picture
I'm totally cool with 80 lbs

I'm totally cool with 80 lbs test. It's pliable enough to tie good, strong knots with yet tough enough to hold the largest pike. I've tried fluoro up to 120 lbs test and found it a pain to tie with no appreciable gain in abrasion resistance. No matter what gauge I always check the leader after each fish and if I find some nicks I just quickly snip it down and re-tie. I often go 10 or more fish before I have to do that though. I've had the odd fish break me off over the years but it's pretty rare. I'll take the 80 lbs fluoro over a 100 lbs test wire leader when fishing for large pike. The key is having good snaps and swivels to tie onto your leaders. More often than not, that's where the rig fails. Hope that helps.

mike b

Moose439
Moose439's picture
Thanks man, if anyone knows w

Thanks man, if anyone knows what pike are capable of doing to terminal tackle it's you. If it's good enough for you, it's good enough for me and the hookers I sleep with.

Mike B
Mike B's picture
Are you taking the ladies fis

Are you taking the ladies fishing too? I hope you post an expedition report.

mike b

andy
andy's picture
Trying fluoro leaders

I have always wanted to try heavy fluoro for pike fishing, but just haven't given it a fair shake.  So Mike, you still use snaps and swivels?  What is the lightest you would go for pike up to say 15 pounds?  The main times I would like to experiment with it are when I am predominantly targeting bass with topwaters or big plastics and pike are always slashing in and stealing my baits.  Not that I dislike the pike attacks, I love them(especially when they cartwheel out of the water to kill a scum frog).  It's just that the action of the lure is hampered by wire and I believe fluoro could work well.

Bubbajoe
Bubbajoe's picture
I use 80lb fluro. Swivel at t

I use 80lb fluro. Swivel at the top, single snap at the bottom.  Tie everything together with jam knots (3-4 wraps is plenty) and you're good to go! 

@andy 20-30lb is plenty to prevent small pike bite-offs.

Mike B
Mike B's picture
My rig is similar to Bubbajoe

My rig is similar to Bubbajoe's Andy except I use a Trylene knot for my connections. Very quick to tie and very strong. I prefer a large Coastlock snap and swivel for my terminal and a barrel swivel to tie onto the main line. I'm not sure what you mean by "still using snaps and swivels." Is there something better that I should be using? I'm often the last to know because all I have for a tackle store in Yk is Crappy Tire.

I almost always use fluoro for leaders these days and will attach it to the main line with a uni-knot if the gauge is light enough -- about 30 inches is plenty long enough. Not possible with 80 lbs test though. When I'm not targetting big pike I usually have a fluoro leader on in the 6 lbs to 30 lbs test range depending on what I'm after. I'm pretty nervous when hooking pike with 10 lbs test fluoro on but have landed some massive pike on 25 lbs test with no problems. Fluoro is the bomb. I never use wire anymore. It kinks after one good fish, and best of all fluoro is easy to grab onto without cutting up your fingers when trying to subdue the fish at hand.

mike b

andy
andy's picture
Good info here

Thanks for the responses, guys.  And Mike, when I said "still using snaps and swivels", I was just wondering if you used these connectors or if you tied knots directly to your lure or main line.  When flyfishing for pike, I generally use a knottable wire leader material (Tyger Wire, e.g.) tied to my tippet with an Albright Special knot.  Then the fly is tied directly to the wire.  I haven't really targeted pike on the fly seriously for a few years, but plan to this Fall and I think I will be trying fluoro for that as well.  It's gotta cast easier and just be more pleasant to deal with than wire.

 

Thanks to Moose for bringing this topic up.  I'm definitely going to experiment with fluorocarbon for pike fishing now.

Bubbajoe
Bubbajoe's picture
Fly's aren't going to cause a

Fly's aren't going to cause a lot of line twist's like cowgirls, etc tend to, so I'd skip the snap and tie the fly straight to the leader to avoid the extra weight hindering action. 

Flouro IS the bomb! The only time I use wire anymore is for stiff leaders in front of jerk and glide baits, and stingers for quick strike rigs.  Other wise it's all flouro, all the time!

 

And here's to hoping that one day I can throw my hat into the very shallow pool of esox hunter's to which MikeB belongs! As alway's I love, love, love your contributions! 

Mike B
Mike B's picture
Glad I can contribute Andy. I

Glad I can contribute Andy. I've learned much and have adopted much from the information contributed by members on this website, so if I can add a small bit of useful information I'm honored when people find it helpful.
I go to a pike fly fishing tournament every year and a lot of guys use knottable wire tied directly to their fly but not many go full fluoro. Some use a tapered fluro leader tied together with uniknots and then a bit of wire at the end. After much experimentation I've concluded the best and simplest setup for myself is to take three feet or so of 80 lbs test fluoro and uni it to a sinking tip line and then tie the terminal to a big ol' Coastlock snap. That way I can change flies as quickly and as often as want without having to muck around jabbing my fingers with some stupid piece of wire. I caught three pike over 40 inches at the tournament this year so I must be doing something right. As Bubbajoe points out though, if you want to tie directly to the lure it's much easier to do so with fluoro than it is wire -- even the knottable stuff. For me, I  prefer having that extra inch of heavy-duty metal snap there because that's where the pike's teeth are doing the most damage. I've never noticed any problems casting a fly with the snap and it doesn't seem to affect the presentation much in the water. The fly launches like a rocket when casting with my eight weight. 

Thanks for the kind words Bubbajoe. It's a lot easier getting the photos I get you live in an area blessed with some of the best pike fishing in the world.

mike b