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Various fishing hooks with leader and steel leader

When fishing, a leader is the line from the hook to the main line. Its thickness is usually 0.05 to 0.1 mm less than that of the main line.

A leader can serve various purposes. On the one hand, it usually represents a predetermined breaking point so that only the first few centimeters of the line are lost in the event of the fishing line being torn or bitten through . The damage can then be easily repaired by installing a new leader without replacing the entire installation. On the other hand, the line is often made more inconspicuous for the fish with the help of a leader directly on the bait . E.g. carp are very suspicious. This is countered with a very inconspicuous leader, which, when laid on the ground, does not make the bait for the fish appear to belong to the actual main line. This also explains the mostly thinner design of the leader compared to the main line.

A disadvantage of leaders is that they lead to the need for one or more knots in the assembly. With each knot, the tensile strength of the relevant part of the overall assembly is reduced (at best) to around 70 percent of the value specified by the manufacturer for a cord, which must be taken into account when selecting the cord strengths.

Steel leaders for catching predatory fish are only intended to prevent penetration. Although predatory fish are less suspicious and more likely to bite with suitable irritation, steel leaders can also be camouflaged by threading them into a stalk of plants.

Since steel leaders are relatively sensitive to breakage and current plastic lines with a small diameter can withstand heavy loads, steel leaders are no longer as important as they were a few years ago. However , steel leaders are still recommended for fishing for pike, as well as in waters where a pike could strike a predatory fish rig (e.g. for pikeperch rigs); some fishing clubs even explicitly stipulate steel leaders in their water regime in these cases. Steel leaders are also advisable for sea fishing for predatory fish such as tuna or barracuda , especially when spinning with artificial bait .


There are different versions of the leaders:

  • Monofilament leader (normal fishing line)
  • Multifilament leader (braided fishing line)
  • Steel leader (usually consisting of braided steel threads, for predatory fish, to protect against penetration, especially when pike fishing)
  • Shock leader (for sea fishing)
  • Fly leader (when fishing with artificial flies )

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Thomas Gretler: The fishing book for kids . Kosmos, 2018, ISBN 978-3-440-16111-1 , pp. 28 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  2. Günther Burk: Der Sportfischer The textbook for anglers with a practical and theoretical part of the examination. With lots of tricks and tips for beginners and professionals! 5th edition. 2017 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).