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How Much Leader Line Should I Tie on to my Main Spool of Line?

As I mentioned in one of my prior articles, a general rule of thumb is to have a leader line which is about twice the length of your fishing rod. Besides being easy to remember, let’s talk about the advantages of using this “formula”.


If I have a 6 foot fishing rod, then I should tie on about a 12 foot leader line. One of the reasons for this is so that when you reel in your line, the knot will end up right at the base of your spool (i.e. not on your spool). Ideally, you want the knot to end up between the spool & the first eye on your fishing rod.

If you have a very long leader line, the knot will end up being wrapped up with your main spool of line & it could cause your line to get “hung up” in there while casting.

Contrary, if you use a short leader line – say about 1 foot – it would be too short… the fish will still see your main line. Thus, another advantage to using a leader line which is twice the length of your fishing rod is that it will not allow the fish to be spooked by your main line, which will get you more strikes!


Another advantage is more of convenience. With a longer leader line, should it get nicked or frayed, you can cut off the nicked/frayed line & still have enough of a leader line to keep fishing. Thus you spend less time tying & more time fishing - great for the casual angler & essential for the tournament angler.

Light Line

Many times, anglers will use a heavy pound test line as their main fishing line & then tie on a lighter pound test line as their leader. A common combination is to have a main spool of 10 pound monofilament line, followed by a 4 pound fluorocarbon leader line.

The lighter 4 pound fluorocarbon leader line will be virtually invisible to fish & will thus attract more strikes from fish. However, if you were to have too long of a leader line, then you would lose the advantage of having a stronger main line…too short of a leader line & you will end up spooking the fish as they will see your main line.

In summary, leader lines are very important when it comes to catching more fish & attracting more strikes. Thus, the length of your leader line is a key factor for success!

Until next time, good luck & good fishin’!

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