Leader for pike
Soon I'll be able to chuck flies for pike on some of the local lakes and that made me realize, I have no leaders for pike. I did some research online and the answers really seem to vary between wire and heavy duty mono/fluoro.
What do you folks use? I'm leaning more towards something with wire as I've seen pike slice thru 40 lb mono like butter.
50 lb test or higher flourocarbon tippet with 30 lb mono main leader. Works great for pike - check out the fishing reports forum and look for North of Superior.
After trying both, I settled on light wire leaders made from beading wire.
I know several great pike fishermen that swear by heavy mono/fluorocarbon tippets, but I just did not like the way that such tippets effected the action of my flies.
Light (15 to 20 pound) wire bite tippets around four inches long work best for me.
Up to you, though. Both seem to have their devotees.
Thanks for the insight guys. I stopped thru the local Scheel's and found some wire tipped leaders on sale so I guess I'll be giving that a try.
The wire leaders work well enough in preventing bite offs but what you might notice is that they tend to curl after a few fish. Tie a snap swivel to your flouro tippet. This allows all the action you want on your fly and makes changing easier. Usually on pike flies the little bit of added weight makes no difference to casting or anything else.
I use 25 to 30 lb fluorocarbon when I'm in an area with pike. Since the main target is smallmouth, I really don't like to use wire. I've had a few bite offs but not enough to make me want to switch of over to wire. Another trick is to tie the fly on a long shank hook. Start the pattern in the back and tie it only half way up the shank. I've never had issues with the heavier tippet affecting the fly action. The only time I get any twisting with the leader is if the fly has a prop or spinner blade in the front.
I don't want to get into a peeing match as everyone has their own favs. so I'm sharing this coming from my own couple decades of fishing for "teeth", both pike and muskies...which my favorite! So, for what it's worth...
From the end of your fly line which has a loop tied in the end by way of 3/0 tying thread and the wraps coated with "something hard". I've use Sally Hansens Hard As Nails but now prefer Clear Cure Goo as I have some and a light. Either does fine..
Make a 4-5 ft leader out of any 20-30 lb mono. The cheap stuff. You can spend a lot of $$ if you wish ... I use Trilene XT just 'cause I have a ton of it from my casting days.
Tie a Perfection loop in the end of this mono leader. Small loop. On the business end I use some supple, braided 17 lb (pike) 26 lb (approx.) American brand Wire or Tyger brand wire.
Attach this to the leader via an Allbright knot and leave it about 16" long. This length makes it easier to use more flies w/o having to re-tie another wire tippet on....nothing other than that. I'll change/re-tie another wire tippet when I get down to around 6-8" left!
It's called a Jig Loop. Tie an overhand knot about 3" from the end of the wire tippet BUT don't pull it totally shut. Leave it "just loose enough" to insert the end of this wire back into. Now put the tag end into the hook eye.
Now push this tag end through that overhand knot...that you left loose "enough" but not too loose, right? Now, take and make a 1/2 hitch just behind that overhand knot and snug it up.
Make a second 1/2 hitch again behind this one but this time pull her tight with a pair of pliers!
Done! If it turned out right..and sometimes it doesn't, depending on how tight that overhand knot was...you'll end up with a neat little "jig loop" that your fly can swing freely on!!!
If it didn't turn out just perfect don't sweat it. Fish it anyhow. And I find it best to try to tie a few of these in the plain cheap mono before I go fishing...for a test!
Really, it's simple.
Yeah, wire kinks but only when I finish tussling with a fish. If it's too bad I'll just re-tie.
Both the mono and stranded wire have had both good and bad days with me depending on the Pike, so I started making leaders with single strand stn stl wire only because I was given a roll of it to try out. Works okay, but I am always looking for something different................thanks Jeremy.
I recently tried something called knot 2 kinky. I really like it a lot. Easy to tie and doesn't kink or bend like other materials. I found mine at Walmart but I know you can get it online. I'll be using that for musky this year as well as pike.