Do Wire Leaders Scare Fish?

There’s nothing better than heading out on the boat at sunrise, sunset, or even mid-day, taking in the stunning beauty of the water, casting your line, and reeling in a big catch.

Snapper, grouper, tarpon, barracuda, bluefish, king mackerel, or even shark; whatever type of fish you’re aiming to catch, you want to set yourself up for success, and that, of course, means you need to have the right equipment.

Just like any other type of leader, there’s a possibility that wire leaders could frighten fish, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly problematic. That’s because a lot of leaders that are made of wire material are covered with a coating or they’re made in a dark, low visibility colors, which allows them to blend into the environment.

Do Wire Leaders Scare Fish


Do Wire Leaders Scare Fish Away?

As such, most wire leaders don’t seem to frighten fish away. In fact, we’d venture to guess that if you tried using both wire and fluorocarbon leaders, the experience and results would be pretty similar.

The type of line and hook you’re using is imperative, but there’s another piece of equipment that’s just as essential and that you certainly don’t want to overlook: the leader.

Leaders are made in a wide variety of materials and you want to make sure that you’re using the right one.

Some leader materials, such as fluorocarbon, are thinner and thinner and more translucent, qualities that seem to be ideal for a leader, but in reality, they’re ineffective.

Why? Well, because the problem is these materials can be too thin, and if you’re fishing for species that have a toothy bite, well, they’ll be able to chomp right through it.

Clearly, if that happens, you aren’t going to have any luck.

Do You Need A Leader Line For Lures?
A wire leader attached to a shad lure. I mainly use these rig for pike fishing.

To avoid the aforementioned situation, a lot of anglers opt for leaders that are made of thicker, more durable materials, like wire.

If you’re thinking about using a wire leader, however, you may have heard that these leaders can potentially scare fish away.

If that’s the case, switching to it isn’t going to make much sense because no matter how durable the material may be, if it’s scaring the fish away, the leader will be useless.

When to Use a Wire Leader?

Pike Spoon Lures
Pike Spoon Lures. For pike fishing it’s a must to have a wire leader.

If you’re aiming to catch predator fresh- or saltwater species of fish, using a wire leader could certainly be beneficial.

Why? Well, because they’re stronger and more durable, and as such, they can reduce the risk of bite-offs.

Plus, wire leaders also allow for deeper hook settings that will keep the fish on the line.

A wire leader would also be beneficial to use if you’re fishing with certain types of lures, such as spoon lures, as wire tends to cut through the water better, which gives the lure the action it’s supposed to have.

READ: Can Fish See Braided Line? (What Colors To Use)

Types of Wire Leaders

There are several different types of wire leaders.

The most popular options include single strand, multi-strand (aka: sevenstrand), and Knotable (aka: nylon-coated sevenstrand).

Each type has its pros and cons and should be used in different settings.

Let’s take a look:

1. Single Strand Wire Leaders

The single strand was the first type of wire leader.

It’s usually made of stainless steel, though there are other kinds of materials.

If scaring the fish is a concern, single strand is the type of wire leader you’re going to want to use.

Due to its thinness, it’s less noticeable; plus, since it’s a single wire, it’s less likely to snag.

Also, single strand wire leaders are pretty easy to use.

While there are definite benefits to using a single strand wire leader, there are some downsides.

The biggest issue is kinking, which can weaken the wire, which means that you’ll need a wire straightener.

Though this type of wire leader is easy to use, if it’s kinked and you need a straightener, well, it isn’t going to be as easy because you might end up having to straighten it out after each bit.

2. Multi-Strand Wire Leaders

High Carbon Steel Wire 7x7 strands
7×7 strands high carbon steel wire used for wire leaders

Multi-strand wire leaders were created as a solution to the kinking problem that single strand wire leaders tend to have.

Multi-strand is still flexible, yet it won’t kink, which is super-important if you’re trying to catch larger fish, which tend to bite or twist around.

Multi-strand also comes is also available in a variety of strand counts.

This is a great option if you want a leader that’s durable, but you don’t want to deal with kinking, nor do you want to spend the additional money on titanium.

3. Titanium Wire Leader

If you’re looking for a wire leader that’s super-durable and won’t kink, then titanium is definitely a great choice.

There is a caveat, though: it’s costly. The price of most brands of titanium is 7 to 10 times higher than single strand and multi-strand wire leaders.

The additional cost would be worth your while if you’re looking for a wire leader that won’t kink, won’t corrode, and is super-durable.

In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, titanium wire leaders have a smaller diameter.

As such, the visibility is low, so they’re less likely to scare fish away.

Additionally, titanium leaders tend to have a bit of stretch; in fact, some manufacturers state that their brands stretch about 10 percent.

The majority of titanium wire leaders are made of nickel titanium, which makes for fast rigging when using Albright or clinch knots.

Of course, the most important benefit of titanium is that fish can’t bite through it, which means that bite-off won’t be an issue.

Plus, because it’s so strong, despite the thinness and flexibility, titanium wire leaders can support heavy weight fish.

I usually like to make my own wire leaders. You only need a high quality wire, crimp sleeves, swivels, snaps, loop protector and crimping pliers.

Materials and tools to make wire leaders
Materials and tools to make your own wire leaders

Summing It Up

If you’re trying to target either fresh or saltwater predatory fish that have sharp teeth, using a wire leader would certainly be worth your while.

They’re highly durable and there’s less risk of bite-off, and no, they usually don’t scare off fish.

Tight lines, bend rods and may all your fishes come true!

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