Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

Do many of you here NOT use a fluoro or mono leader on the end of your braid?

I do use a short fluorocarbon leader on the end of my braid when I am lure fishing, but I am aware that some anglers don’t, and they seem to get on just fine without one. I could argue any number of reasons for trying a leader onto my braid - and with how strong the FG knot is I can’t bring myself to agree with anybody who says that another knot in your setup is a potential weakness - but via my persisting with this braid leader thing I have got to thinking. I can’t find anything yet that tells me to stop using braid leaders, and I am interested to see how a long-term evaluation will turn out. And yes, I accept that they could turn out to be pointless for my fishing - one thing I don’t mind doing though is trying different stuff out………….

An angler wrote something the other day about how via fishing with a braid leader for ages now they stopped using a fluoro leader and they haven’t had any issues at all. For me there are a few sub-£20 8-strand braids that I have used enough to trust implicitly (Sufix Performance Pro 8, Sufix 832, Daiwa J-Braid and SpiderWire Stealth Smooth 8  which for some reason doesn’t seem to get talked about much but is damn good stuff), and the ones I have on my reels the most for UK and Ireland bass fishing are Sufix Performance Pro 8 and Sufix 832 in the 0.13mm and 0.15mm diameters especially.


I have played around with a few different braids for leaders, and for the time being I have settled on the 0.24mm Sufix 832 which I have here in dark green and multicoloured. An FG knot from braid mainline to braid leader and so far the only thing that has ever snapped when breaking a lure out of the bottom is that knot in my fluoro leader to my Breakaway Mini Link lure clip (show me a better or better value for money lure clip for our bass fishing and I will be gobsmacked, these Breakaway things just never, ever let me down, and that’s with a few years of use now).


And as sure as night follows day I will then tie a fluoro leader on the end of that braid leader - for me it’s either the cheaper Sufix Super 21FC or the rather lovely yet not cheap Sufix Invisiline, but regardless of what lines I or indeed you use, I am very much used to tying on a fluoro leader for a number of different reasons. One thing though that I don’t subscribe to is that fluorocarbon is invisible to fish underwater, or rather I don’t believe that with how we might work our lures in our waters that fluoro to your lure is any less “invisible” to fish than braid or indeed mono. So no, I am not using fluorocarbon leaders because I think the fish can never see them, but on the other hand I don’t exactly like the idea of a bright braid mainline direct to my lure clip and lure.

So I have decided to have a go in certain situations at fishing with braid straight through to my lure clip, but one thing I can’t bring myself to do is have that 0.13mm or 0.15mm braid mainline right through to my lure clip, hence the braid leader becomes even more important to me here. I am perfectly comfortable with this dark green 0.24mm Sufix 832 being the line that the fish might “see”, or rather I will see how things go on the fishing front and then adjust accordingly. I tell myself over and over again that a fluoro leader is giving me an added bit of abrasion resistance in amongst the rough stuff, but I find myself retying fluoro leaders fairly often anyway with where I fish and how the leaders end up feeling in my hands. Is such a good braid like this 0.24mm Sufix 832 going to be any less robust than a thin bit of fluoro or indeed mono leader to my lure clip and lure? 

I don’t know is the answer, but I want to find out, and perhaps it will be easier to use a bit longer braid leader again and chop it back as and when rather than keep tying on new fluoro leaders when required because mine are fairly short anyway. Does this make any sense or am I tying myself in knots here? No pun intended. Please give me your thoughts in the comments section below because I would really like to hear about what you do here and if you can think of anything else that I should be thinking about with regards to leaders then I am all ears. Does it matter for example with soft plastics rigged weedless and weightless that braid floats yet that little bit of fluoro leader sinks, and so on?

Disclosure - if you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.