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Choosing the Best Leader or Trace for Your Days Fishing

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If you think about it, the concept of fishing is pretty simple.  Present a bait and hook in the most natural way possible to trick a fish into thinking there’s a free lunch up for grabs.   Simple right?  Well in some cases yes, but in a lot of cases no.  There are a few obstacles which result in this simple plan of attack not always going the way you want.  We’ll cover these and explain how choosing the right leader can increase your chances of getting more hookups and landing more fish.

 

Presenting a bait in the most natural way possible…

Easier said than done.  If a fish sees a line attached to their ‘free lunch’, or notice that it is not swimming/drifting naturally, they will most likely have second thoughts.  This most commonly affects the bigger fish who have seen it all before when it comes to finding safe food to eat.  So, the idea is to use a leader that has less visibility and/or a supple action.  A thinner diameter leader will help with suppleness and it will be harder for fish to see.  Remember though, choosing a leader with a thinner diameter means you are sacrificing strength and an element of abrasion resistance.  Heavier breaking strain leaders will work for you as long as they have excellent clarity.  This allows more light to pass through the line making it less visible.  Many lower quality brands will have a very milky colour – much easier for a fish to spot.  You’ll need to weigh these factors up and find a balance that works for you.  Whatever your choice, if it’s a monofilament leader, make sure its produced from high quality copolymers and if it’s a fluorocarbon, make sure its 100% fluorocarbon. 



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Bite detection and hook up…

In a lot of cases, you will be sending your baits, lures or jigs down deep while at other times you will be fishing in shallow water.  Each requires a different leader because the amount of line you have out gives you a variation in sensitivity – that is, how well you can feel bites or set the hook.  For example, if you’re fishing in deeper water, where it’s harder to detect bites and harder to set the hook, a lower stretch mono leader or a fluorocarbon are a better choice.  Low stretch leaders can be used in shallower water too but a supple leader gives you better shock absorption if you’re striking hard in these conditions.

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Once you’ve hooked up…it’s fight time…

After a hook-up the next step is to bring the fish to you.  But remember, many fish we are targeting hide out around structure.  Reefs, rocks and piers are common obstacles when fighting fish and even if they are out in the open sea, most fish have sharp teeth or abrasive mouths.  Be prepared for the fish you’re fighting to use everything they can to their advantage.  Apart from the hook, the one part of your set up a fish comes in contact with is your leader…and hopefully eventually your net.  You can therefore see why your choice of leader is critical. 

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Our range of leader has been developed, tested and refined over the last 25 years and has gained recognition for high performance around the world. We have five options to choose from, each with their own range of breaking strains. These have all been developed to offer anglers the best chance of landing their dream fish in the conditions they are facing. So which leader types suit you best?  Let’s take a look at each one so you’ve got the right options when you next go fishing.

 

Supple Trace

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As the name suggests, this is the supplest of our leader lines.  This gives it some unique features.

  • It’s easier to tie some knots and it pulls up very smoothly. 
  • The suppleness gives it very good shock absorption for when you are wanting to strike hard to set a hook, especially if you are using a stiffer rod with a faster action.
  • If you are trolling lures, particularly with higher breaking strains, the suppler nature allows the lure to “swim” more naturally.
  • Despite its supple nature, it still provides good strength around your knots and good abrasion resistance as well, and it has excellent clarity making it less likely your fish will get spooked.

Breaking strains: 20lb, 30lb, 40lb, 50lb, 60lb, 80lb, 100lb, 120lb, 200lb


 

Tough Trace

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Not much confusion here…tough and robust!  If you are looking for something that sits between our Supple Trace and a fluorocarbon, Tough Trace is a good choice.

  • It’s even clearer than the supple version and therefore harder for fish to see.
  • The abrasion resistance is higher making it a good choice for longer fights where you have a greater likelihood of chafing against a fish’s mouth and skin, or if the environment is more rugged.  It’s a great choice for jigging for example.  The knot strength is a “step up” too.
  • It has a bit less stretch than the supple leader, but there’s still enough there to act as a shock leader, particularly if you compare it to fluorocarbon.  Less stretch also means you feel the bites a little more readily which is great when fish are nibbling at the baits rather than hoovering them down.
  • It’s available right up to 400lb making it the right option when trolling or livebaiting for larger game fish species.

Breaking strains: 20lb, 30lb, 40lb, 50lb, 60lb, 80lb, 100lb, 130lb, 200lb, 300lb, 400lb


 

Tough Fluorocarbon

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You bet.  It’s tougher still and it has some added unique features being 100% fluorocarbon line.

  • For starters, it’s the least visible in water of all the leaders making it a good choice if the water is real clear.
  • It has a very low level of stretch, so again it’s a good choice when you really need to feel the bites.
  • It’s “king” when it comes to abrasion resistance, so it really is a good choice for harsh environments or tough mouthed fish.
  • Like most fluorocarbon line, it has more memory and this will make some knots a little more difficult to tie than mono leader, but the knot strength is extreme.
Breaking strains: 15lb, 20lb, 30lb, 40lb, 50lb, 60lb, 80lb, 120lb


If there’s another thing anglers like about these three leader types, it’s the packaging.  The clear spools are lightweight and don’t damage easily.  They allow you to see how much line is left on the spool and there’s a handy slot to slip the tag end into so you can find it easily when you next need to change your leader.  And talk about value.  You’ll find there’s generally more line per spool than many other brands in the market.



Fluorocarbon Tippet

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We have fluorocarbon covered in lighter weights too.  Although originally developed for the freshwater market, make sure you try it out for your saltwater fishing – any fish you’d use a light leader on, including squid is where it works well.

It has the same qualities of invisibility in water and better performance with knot strength and abrasion resistance than mono leaders.

Breaking strains: 4lb, 6lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb


 

Deception Tippet

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Deception gives you a light weight leader in a monofilament so it’s naturally suppler than the fluorocarbon version.  It’s green in colour and has a low gloss outer coating to give less reflection in water.

Like the fluorocarbon version, you can choose Deception for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Breaking strains: 4lb, 6lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb

 

With five options in our range, you’ve got the ability to change leader types to suit the fishing conditions you're in and species you're targeting. 

If you want more detail on these products, click here to read the editor of 'Hooked Up' magazines take on our range.


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About Us

The Black Magic and Wasabi range of tackle and accessories is the result of years of research and development. With over 500 products, we have something for every angler whether you are “mad keen” or just like to get out when you can.

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