Best Catfish Leaders 101 How To Make and Use Them

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There are several purposes to use a fishing leader while fishing for a species. And that probably varies for different anglers, some use leaders for some reason while others use it for other. While may not be a straight answer to purpose of using leader on fishing line. But is a list of reasons why most of fishermen use them at the end of their lines. Same ways catfish are one of the largest game and fish species. So a lot of anglers would probably like to use catfish leaders at their lines for many reasons.

Some of the most common reasons of using a leader on your fishing line are the following.

Protection: While there might not be other bigger fish than catfish in most of the lakes. However sometimes smaller fish lines need protection. In most cases protection from fish teeth is becomes very necessary. Many fish have large sharp teeth and after a bite they can be easily threat to the fishing line. It is the first reason why fishing leaders are used especially leaders for catfish.

Line visibility: Line visibility is another good reason for the usage of catfish leaders or other fish leaders. Basically in order to catch a fish your line should be not to appear or invisible for the fish. It is because some fish are line shy while some may run away from the line. To disappear the line anglers use a short invisible line as their leader.

To present bait: To present the bait in a good way to a fish you need to reach it to the bottom. Since main line can’t have a sinker people make use of a catfish fishing leader to present the bait.

What are catfish leaders?

A catfish leader is a piece of a line other than main fishing line that is tied to the edge of main line. In different times it works for different purposes, like sometimes if the fish is line shy then the purpose is to hide the line from the fish. The leader can be made of a wire or another stronger and transparent fishing line.

To disappear the line most of people use fluorocarbon lines. While to secure the line from breaking free anglers use a wire or a braided line to make the leader for catfish fishing.

For smaller catfish many people save their time and effort and get some premade catfish leaders. They are also effective for an average catfish fishing spot. But if you are fishing in an exceptional big catfish spot you might need to make your own leaders. To learn how to make them read this article till end or jump directly to the last section.

Benefits of using it

As many of you already know that after a bite catfish fight a lot. They don’t present themselves easily to angler or at the other side of line holding the rod. Usually there is great battle between the rod holder and the fish. Cats try so much to break free themselves or at least stay in the water. During this battle there is a good chance of breaking the line if the force increases from either sides.

It has happened a lot to anglers with less experience while they can not figure out what to do when the fight is heavy. And the fish finally break free, and it is the worst thing that could happen when you get a big fish. It makes clear that the usage of catfish leaders is crucial either for large or small cats at any spot.

As we mentioned before you can either make your own leaders for the very large fish or get some premade for ordinary size fish to save time and effort. First we will talk about what are the best types of premade catfish fishing leaders that you can get. And then in the final section of the post we will share the method how to make your own catfish leaders.

The Best catfish leaders

As you are the angler and you want to have some leaders. Its important for you to have a clear goal why you want to use the leader. Because there are different types of catfish leaders for different purposes. The one will not be so effective for other situation so be sure you already know what do you need.

Here are the two different situations you may run into.

A: You don’t believe in your fishing line and you don’t want to lose a fish that has bitten. You want to secure the fish and get it to your safe hands. You will need wire leaders for that to secure the catches you get at your lure or biat.

B: You want to disappear the line you are using and present your bait in effective way to the fish to bite. For that you would need a transparent or a super thin line leader to hide it from the fish site.

Wire leaders

Wire leaders are the ones anglers would like to use in rocky rivers or lakes. Or at times where they think their main line could break and let the fish go away. Here are some of the best wire leaders for all kind of catfish in any situation.

  • Scotank leaders: These are great wire leaders that perform very well in rocky places where your line can get stuck. Its stainless steel makes it even more long lasting and well performer. There are several size option in these leaders you can get up to 100 pound test or even more heavy. There are multiple bait or lure connecting places you can add easily by a snap swivel. The end of the wire is sinker which helps it sink to the bottom of the water body. The length of leader is 70 cm almost 29 inches.
  • Facikono catfish leaders: These are also wire made super high strength up to 128 pound test. The length of the leader line is more than 19 inches slightly less than 20 inches. These have worked perfect for many years for countless anglers. Super reliable material even for the biggest cats at the river or the lake. Having snap swivels at the ends of the line, super easy to connect.

Invisible catfish leaders

Invisible leaders are pretty much from the same line you might use in your reel. However they are larger pound test and the main goal is to disappear the line near the hook or bait. Sometimes it has single line with snap swivels at both ends while sometimes it has a three way swivel to connect another bait or a sinker.

As these are usually made for smaller fish size you will find them a lot smaller pound test than the wire leaders.

As for catfish the bait is presented at the bottom it might be necessary to have a sinker. But most of the times the weight of the bait is enough to gradually sink the line to the bottom. Here are a few great premade catfish leaders that works perfect in most situations.

  • LUROASD fluorocarbon: LUROAD makes incredible quality fluorocarbon leaders for catfish. They work for larger than average fish but they also have smaller pound test as well. The main purpose of LUROAD leaders for catfish anglers is to disappear the line for average size catfish. That is the reason the material of these lines is fluorocarbon which is has no color. It disappears in water quite easily and works great for live bait and lures.
  • There are several other types of fluorocarbon line leaders that you can use. Depending upon your need you can increase the weight of them or decrease it.

Keep in mind that fluorocarbon leaders are pretty easy to make yourself. You just need to have your own equipment and assemble your self made fluorocarbon catfish leaders. Some anglers even prefer to have their own made thing, that last longer and cost much lower. Following we will share the method how to make them yourself and what equipment do you need.

Making catfish leaders

Its very easy and simple to assemble, of course we will explain it in detail for better understanding but I promise it would not take you more than 2 minutes to make a single piece. But before we begin the process of assembling them we will share what elements you need to make them.

Things you need:

  • Crimping sleeves: You can use loop cramping sleeves for both types of leaders.
  • Fluorocarbon line: 18 to 24 inches fluorocarbon lines 40 to 70 pound test a few pieces. The number will depend upon how many pieces you want to make.
  • Wire: 80 to 100 pound test wire a few pieces for wire leader to be strong enough to hold all that weight.
  • Circle hook: These are of course required for both cases wire and fluorocarbon.
  • Swivels: It is really up to you if you want to use snap swivels or barrel swivels but the barrel are much stronger.
  • Sinker: As you are already using bait it should be enough to sink but you are using light thing you can use 4 to 6 ounce sinkers too.
  • Crimping pliers: You are going to need the crimping pliers to during the process to crimp the sleeves with wires.

Here is our post about all catfish tackle you should read about.

After getting all these elements you need to use its time to gather all of these things and make the catfish leaders.

Assembling a fluorocarbon leader

Follow the steps to make fluorocarbon leaders for catfish.

  1. Grab a crimping sleeve and thread your line through one side of it.
  2. Thread the line through your swivel in this case the barrel swivel and thread back the line through the other side of the sleeve. This will form a loop and the swivel will remain inside the loop. The loop should not be very tight and it should have a little bit of action.
  3. Crimp both sides of the sleeve very gently by crimping pliers and be careful not to break it. Just crush the lines inside it by crimping pliers.
  4. Take another sleeve and thread the other end of the line through one side of the sleeve. Then thread it though your circle hooks you have got.
  5. Again crush the line by using the crimping pliers and let the hook remain in the loop.
  6. Check the strength of both sleeves by pulling from both ends at the same time. Further tighten the sleeves by crimping pliers if needed.

Your catfish fishing leader is ready, just repeat the process to make further more.

Note: You can add the sinker if you want it to sink faster. Just thread the sinker and keep it away from the hook side by knot in the middle of line. The sinker should be as away as possible from hook so the knot should be more at the swivel side. And then complete the process by adding the hook to the other end of the line.

Same process for making the wire leaders just replace the fluorocarbon line by the wire.

Here is a great catfish fishing spot for you.

Here are few catfish fishing tips to improve your fishing.