When it comes to Fly-Fishing, having the right leader is a key essential in your setup. Often underestimated and highly overlooked, it can literally make or break your day out on the water. When fishing for Muskie or Pike with a fly rod. Why use something less quality while you can have all the benefits of titanium, and the flex of mono? The answer is simple; Use 49 Strand Shark Leader cable! Ever since I started promoting this material 2 years ago, the demand has grown. More and more people fell in love with this awesome stuff, and for a good reason. It is simply the best you’ll ever be able to get!
Fishing any style of Esox fly, there are always two things which are important. Weight and flex. Being able to use a light leader will dramatically increase the action of your fly. A leader with flex will give you the best action it can get. Over the years, I’ve written a ton of articles about just any type of wire, and every one has it’s pro and cons. However, when I stumbled upon the American Fishing Wire material, I could immediately see the possibilities. There aren’t many leaders on the market that will still be straight after heavy use throughout the season, and where the 175lb version is used to fish artificial baits, the 90lb excels in Fly-Fishing.
Some sort of trend occurred where fly anglers would only use thin leaders, or worse, fluorocarbon. Using these type of leaders would increase your catching rate because the leader shouldn’t appear in the sight of an Esox targeting your fly. Well before any fish has seen your leader, it has already seen the glimpse of your fly’s hook, so why bother? The 90lb version of the Shark Leader cable, as also shown in the cover photo, is probably the greatest fly leader bite wire material you can find anywhere today. I always like to make a leader roughly about 15” (40cm) in size, so there’s enough room to turn over if a hooked fish happens to flip the fly in its mouth. You can either choose to tie the mono leader directly onto your bite leader, but I’d like to go the hardcore way and put a ball bearing swivel on the end. The 65lb Brass bearing swivels from Cox & Rawle are exceptional for this, and besides the fact being light, they’re also super strong!
”A great example of a super high-quality leader. Notice the small Cox & Rawle swivels, perfect for the job”
Keep in mind, that the wire leader can and will make or break your day. It’s the key essential part where it all comes down to when fighting fish, and what keeps your fly attached to your main leader and fly line. Another high overlooked feature is the snap. These days, there’s this trend of using so-called EZ clips or Fastach. Many people use them and I don’t really understand why. Sure, a quick change of the fly can save precious fishing time, but do you really think a split second can make the difference? Why would you settle for less if you can also use Staylocks? The clips mentioned above have been throughout tested by the strength and they all failed the test. Bending out if too much force is applied, or worse, the loop eye which the hook of the fly should be on, becoming spacious and an easy way out. Not something that I would recommend going fly-fishing for any kind of predatory fish. By using a quality Staylock, like a size 4 from Mustad pictured below, it will give your fly a tremendous amount of freedom to move around increasing the action but more importantly, will never ever open, even when you are fighting the biggest fish. And that’s a certainty no other snap on the market can guarantee you. You owe it to the fish to use only The best!
”The best snap ever created in the history of mankind, the Mustad Staylock snap”
If you happen to be new to the sport, and just starting out fishing with the fly, you have probably noticed there are a lot of different views of people when it comes to using bite proof leaders, and if I was in that position just starting out, I didn’t have a clue where to go. I personally think we should educate anglers to only use The best materials money can buy and don’t settle for less. Not only will using fewer quality materials eventually be responsible for the loss of fish, but at the same time when this happens, will ruin your day on the water, and get you a bad experience, and that would be a waste. For new people reading numbers such as 90lb, 200lb, 65lb, things may seem heavy, but they’re not. Don’t use something like 30lb. Do so if you are only fishing for small fish if you want to go big, gear up. Equipment failure doesn’t have to be an option, if you choose to do so, the wear and tear will eventually take it’s toll when you don’t want it to happen…
Once you settle for a high-quality leader you will give yourself a tremendous amount of joy. The joy of knowing that whatever you fish will stay on, that the fish will stay on. Using a high-quality leader like the 49-Strand Shark Leader Cable from AFW will give you a great experience. Why Shark Leader material and nothing else? Simple, it stays straight and will keep its flex. Often when a Shark is hooked, they twirl violently, and members of the Esox family are known to do the same thing, so this will be a great solution for all the problems you’ve ever had. This kind of leader material is super flexible, durable, strong, invisible due to the camo coating, thin, rust free, and cheap. You don’t find all of these elements in many other leaders right? Do yourself and the fish a favor, and go for the best. Use American Fishing Wire!
”Safely back into her element, thanks to using a high-quality fly-fishing leader”