Building your own leaders is a very simple way to create a fishing product
that is actually superior in quality, and significantly more inexpensive than
many of the commercial offerings available.  It requires a minimum of
both tools and time, but leaves you with a great feeling of having built
something that works, and works well!

I only use single strand stainless steel leaders.  They are dependable,
tough, and very resilient.  They are easy to work with, and are very
adaptable to a variety of construction designs.

For casting, I prefer a shorter leader of 12 inches in length.  This
makes performing L Turns and Figure 8's much easier.

Construction Specifications:

                                                       1        12" piece of .024 stainless steel wire
                                                       2        Size 0  Rosco Crane swivels
                                                       1        Size 5 Rosco Duolock snaps

This design will leave you with a 12" stainless leader with a
breaking strength of about 90 pounds test.

For trolling, I prefer a longer leader of 36 inches in length.  This
longer leader helps to protect the line from fish that often roll.

Construction Specifications:

                                                   1        36" piece of .030 stainless steel wire
                                                   1        Size 0  Rosco Crane swivel
                                                   1        Size 2/0 light downrigger swivel with coastlock snap

This design will leave you with a 36" stainless leader with a
breaking strength of about 135 pounds test.

The Tools of The Trade:

                                                               1        pair of 6" needle nosed Vise Grip pliers
                                                               1        pair of duck-billed welder's Vise Grip pliers
                                                               1        tape measure
                                                               1        pair of wire cutters
                                                               1        wire forming tool

Bend the wire on wire former so that a 1 1/4" tag end remains.

Grip the loop with the duck billed vise grips, add swivel or snap.

Grip the tag end firmly with the needle nosed vise grips, and
complete a minimum of 4 complete and tightly grouped wraps.

Clip off the excess tag end.  Optional: shrink tube the wraps.

Time to go fishing!

Back to Main Page