Do You Need A Leader Line For Lures? (Enhanced Lure Presentation)

There are many situations in which your main line might be enough while fishing, even with lures attached. However, in order to make your lure appear more natural while also improving your line’s performance in the water, it can help to attach a separate leader line to the main line.

You usually need a leader line for lures in order to achieve efficient results while fishing. These leader lines can prove to be quite useful when you need to deal with factors like depth, visibility, abrasion, shock absorption and breaks in the line.

Do You Need A Leader Line For Lures?
A cannibal shad lure attached to a wire line. This setup is used for pike fishing.

A leader line can help you out in numerous ways, some of which you can go through below so that you can then make your decision.

Advantages of Using a Leader Line for Your Lures

Below you can find some advantages of using a leader line for your lures:

1. Distance and Depth

Leader lines are those that you can attach between your main line and the lure.

This can allow you to lengthen the overall size of the fishing line, which can be particularly useful if you want to achieve a longer distance.

Additionally, you can also manage to achieve a greater depth if you use a leader line, especially if your main line tends to float too much on the surface of the water.

This can allow you to focus on the fish that live deeper down in the water body.

If the lure is present on the leader line instead of the main line, this can also make the lure behave like natural food or fish in the water, making the fish trust the bait more easily.

READ: How Long Should A Leader Line Be?

2. Visibility

A huge disadvantage when it comes to several main fishing lines is the fact that it tends to be quite thick and bright, making them easily visible in the water.

Although this can sometimes be useful for you for the purpose of tracking, it can do more harm than good, since the fish can also view it easily.

This will lead to a potential catch swimming away from the lure, resulting in poor results.

By using a leader line, you can reduce this kind of visibility for the fish since the leader line will look nearly transparent in the water, making the lure seem like it is naturally floating.

Sometimes you have to use a wire leader line (pike fishing for example) and then you will sacrifice the visibility.

Wire Leader Line
Wire Leader Lines – I usually use this type of leader for pike fishing

3. Abrasion

More often than not, you might have to deal with water bodies that have debris and obstacles in the way.

These can include rocks, pebbles, corals, docks or other such materials that might be present in the water.

The more your line comes into contact with these, the more friction it is likely to create.

This can end up reducing the overall strength of the fishing line and can lead to quick cuts or a shorter lifespan.

You can reduce this kind of low efficiency by buying a strong leader line that can manage well even against such abrasion.

This can also let you make easy replacements without having to tamper with the main line.

4. Shock Absorption

Whenever fish tend to bite into the lure or bait at the end of the line, it can result in a strong tug from their end, which can also increase the overall shock level that you feel.

As a result, the amount of effort you might have to exert can increase.

By attaching a leader line between the lure and the main line, it can become easier for the line to absorb some of the shock before it makes its way to your body.

Fluorocarbon can stretch a little and absorb the shock, while braided line won’t stretch.

Braided line with a fluorocarbon leader line
Braided line with a fluorocarbon leader line

Due to this, the ease of reeling the catch in will increase.

A crucial advantage of this kind of shock absorption ability is that you can maintain your own stability and safety, especially if you happen to be on a boat.

5. Line Twists

Reeling your catch in using only a main line can make it difficult for you to manage, especially since this can increase the risk of the line twisting and knotting all over the place.

You can control this using a leader line since you can install it on your fishing rod with the help of a swivel.

You can then comfortably reel the line back with the catch intact on the lure.

6. Snags or Breaks

There are many fish out there that tend to have particularly sharp or long teeth.

If your line happens to get caught in their teeth, this can end up cutting the main line entirely, making it expensive for you to make replacements and repairs.

Although this can still occur with a leader line, the chances can reduce, since the line is usually sturdier than the main fishing line.

It is also much longer and easily replaceable.

What Type of Leader Line Should You Use for Lures?

Now that it is clear that leader lines can be effective and beneficial, the next step involves actually finding the right kind of leader line for your lures.

Usually, monofilament and fluorocarbon lines are used as leader lines due to the flexibility and strength they can provide.

From these, fluorocarbon is the best possible option you can choose, no matter what your main line is made from.

Can You Use Fluorocarbon Line As A Leader
Fluorocarbon can be used as leader lines. 

This is because fluorocarbon offers the least level of visibility as compared to other lines, not to mention that it is dense enough to sink properly in the water.

This can trick the fish into catching the bait or lure, which will end up looking much more natural in the water.

The strength can also let the line survive friction and scrapings from other objects and obstacles in the water.

For your main line make sure you opt out for colors that can merge well with the water so that you can manage to trick the fish easily.

If you want to tie your lure to your line use the Uni Knot. Check the video below:


While it is not absolutely necessary to use a leader line for lures, it can certainly let you step up your fishing game due to the length, invisibility and strength that it can equip your main line with.

If you feel like this might help you out, you can try out different kinds of leader lines to confirm which one works best for you, although fluorocarbon can be an ideal choice.

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

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