In most cases, your leader line should not be stronger than your main line. This is particularly true for leader lines that are made from thicker or denser material already. By ensuring that the leader line is weaker than the main line, you can maintain a more natural appearance in the water after casting the line.
Your leader line should ideally be weaker or lighter as compared to your main line to ensure lower visibility in the water while also maintaining accuracy. There are, however, some cases in which you might need a stronger leader line, such as when you have to deal with plenty of friction and abrasion.
Even then, however, if you feel the need for a stronger leader line, you should go ahead with it and see how it works for you.
It might take a bit of experimentation and trial and error to get the strength right.
You can also use stronger leader lines in some situations and weaker ones in others.
Things to Consider When You Pick Your Lines
If you want to figure out whether or not your leader line should be stronger than your main line, you should keep the following considerations in mind:
1. Fishing Location
Where exactly do you plan on fishing? If the fishing location is quite smooth and clear, it might be better for you to keep the leader line lighter than the main line.
This can be a good way for you to maintain precision while fishing, not to mention that the process can become more efficient too.
On the other hand, if you find yourself at a lake or creek where the current and surroundings are harsh, you should use a stronger leader line so that it can survive the friction and scraping.
You should keep both lighter and stronger leader lines around you so that you can maintain some flexibility, especially if you are unfamiliar with the location.
2. Targeted Fish
There are several fish that are larger while also having sharper and stronger teeth.
If your leader line and bait come into contact with such fish, you should ensure that the line is strong enough to avoid these fish from tearing the line apart.
In this kind of situation, your leader line should be stronger than the main line.
However, if you know that your fish targets are smaller and do not usually bite too hard on the line, it can be a better idea to keep your leader line weaker.
3. Line Thickness
The thicker your leader line, the more visible it will be underwater.
Even though there are many cases in which this kind of strength can benefit you, it can also make it easier for the fish to escape if they recognize the line that the bait might be attached to.
For this reason, leader lines are usually weaker than main lines since they can reduce the levels of visibility for the fish so that they can take the bait conveniently.
More thickness and strength can also imply a bit more effort on your part.
4. Types of Baits Used
Baits tend to behave and move in different ways in the water.
Larger and heavier baits have higher chances of floating on the water instead of sinking sufficiently in the water.
If you also use a stronger leader line here, chances are that the bait will continue floating on the water while also moving around in sudden and jerky movements.
A good idea here is to pair your strong baits with lighter leader lines so that you can manage to lower them properly inside the water for the fish to notice.
This can also help maintain the movements of the bait in the water so that its nature is not too overt for the fish.
5. Type of Lines
Whether or not your leader line should be stronger than your main line can also depend on the type or material of the fishing line. Take a look at these below.
Monofilament lines can pair well with lighter leader lines.
This can help the line and bait sink in the water so that the fish can be more willing to come closer to it.
However, if you are fishing in rough regions, you should make use of stronger leader lines.
This can also allow the line to withstand some wear and tear in the water, especially if there are rocks and other debris around.
B. Braided Lines
Braided fishing lines work well with lighter or weaker leader lines.
They are quite flexible and stretch quite a bit too, although they are more likely to float on the water than sink to the required depths.
By combining the main lines and weaker leader lines, you can also reduce the overall visibility of the leader line in the water, especially since braided lines are quite prominent and easy to spot, even by fish.
This can end up making the fish go the other way without catching your bait.
C. Fluorocarbon Lines
Fluorocarbon lines can work well with either lighter and stronger leader lines.
On a general basis, however, lightness can be key to seeing better results, as this can enhance the invisibility levels of the main line.
Just like monofilament, however, you might need to use stronger leader lines if you happen to be fishing in a harsh location where there are too many rocks and debris.
Moreover, fluorocarbon is quite dense on its own, making it sink easily in the water.
Thus, pairing it with a light leader line can ensure that the bait does not sink more than necessary.
In most cases, leader lines should be weaker than the main line to reduce the visibility in the water.
This can allow you to catch fish in a simpler manner, although this can be risky if you are worried about snags and cuts.
Thus, if you want to fish in a rough place, try using stronger leader lines.
The best way to figure this out is to try out both options and see what works better.
Also if you want learn how to tie your leader line to the main one check the improved Albright knot (this is the one I use every time):
Tight lines, bend rods and may all your fishes come true!