Do you want to know how long should leader line be?
You’re in luck because we have the answer. In this blog post, we will discuss what length of the leader line is best and why it matters. We will also cover some other factors that play into your decision on choosing the right length of leader line for your fishing needs.
The main thing to remember when deciding on a specific length of the leader line is that it mainly depends on how long you plan on casting. For example, if you are surf casting and need to reach the ledge then you need to go with something longer than 30 inches (0.76 m) while if you’re casting short distances than 20 inches (0.51 m) would be sufficient. A happy medium for a variety of casting distances should have a leader length of 26-32 inches.
What is a Leader?
Before we get too far in, let’s cover the basics.
A fishing leader is the section of line between your mainline and your lure. It’s usually made of a different material than your mainline, such as fluorocarbon or monofilament. Leaders are important because they help to protect your main line from getting damaged by abrasive surfaces of fish teeth.
Leader line is used to help protect your primary line. It is also used to help the presentation of your lure or bait. Different leader line materials will have different amounts of strength, abrasion resistance, and stretch. It is important to use the right leader line for the type of fishing you are doing.
For instance, if you are fishing in a rocky area, you’ll need a leader with good abrasion resistance. If you’re fishing in shallow water where snags are likely, then you’ll need a leader that is more resistant to becoming tangles.
When to Use a Fishing Leader?
The simple answer to this question is all the time. Leaders are an essential part of fishing and can help with lure presentation. Not only that, but you will find yourself replacing your primary line quite often due to it breaking if you choose not to use a leader.
How Leader Length Affect Casting Distance
The size of your leader can influence how far you cast. The longer your leader, the further you’re able to cast. However, too long of a leader will create the excess drag, slowing down how fast your lure or bait can travel through the water. If it’s too short, then there’s not enough weight for how far you’re trying to cast.
The recommended leader line length for different casting distances is as follows:
Short- 20 inches (0.51 m) to 26 inches (0.66 m)
Medium- 30 inches (0.76 m) to 32 inches (0.81 m)
Long – 36 inches (0.91 m) to 40 inches (1.02 m)
Extra Long- 44+ Inches
As you can see, the best how long should leader line be for fishing really depends on how far you plan to cast. If you’re looking for a happy medium, then 26-32 inches should work for most situations.
Types of Line Used For Leaders
- Fluorocarbon: A material made from plastic that is nearly invisible in the water, making it great for presentations where stealth is important.
- Monofilament: A popular choice for anglers because it is affordable and has good strength and stretch properties.
- Braided Line: Is low diameter and super strong, making it a great choice for fishing incredibly heavy cover. However, braided line is known to be the least abrasion resistance of all three types of leaders.
How Important Is Your Leader Line Visibility?
Leader line visibility is important, but it’s not as critical as the strength and abrasion resistance of your leader line. You don’t want your line to be too visible because it will scare the fish away. However, you also don’t want it to be so invisible that you can’t see it at all.
How Does Abrasion Resistance Affect Your Leader Line?
Abrasion resistance is how well your leader line can handle being scraped against abrasive surfaces. This includes rocks, logs, coral, and any other sharp or rough objects that could be in your fishing area. The more abrasion resistance your line has, the less likely it is to get damaged.
What happens if the leader is too short or too long?
If the leader line is too short, it will affect how far your bait can be cast. If you are casting too tight of an area, then your presentation might not be as good as it could be. Your lure or bait may also come into contact with snags more than if you were using a longer leader line.
If the leader line is too long, it will create excess drag on your lure or bait. This will slow down how fast it travels through the water and may cause it to not reach the fish. It can also be more difficult to control how far your bait casts with a longer leader line.
What is the ideal length for a leader for inshore saltwater fishing?
For inshore saltwater fishing, a good leader length is 20-26 inches. This will provide the right amount of weight to cast your lure or bait to the desired distance while also resisting becoming tangled.
The most critical factors to consider when choosing the right leader line material are how much tension it can withstand before breaking, how well it resists wear and tear caused by contact with rocks, logs, coral, or other abrasive surfaces. Fluorocarbon is an excellent choice if stealth is your goal because you won’t be able to see it in water like monofilament lines. Braided lines are great for fishing heavy cover, but they don’t resist abrasion as well as mono-filaments do.
For more info about how long leader line should be, check out this video from Mad River Outfitters below:
For guidance on choosing a fishing line, check out the pages below: