Hey Capt. Chris Myers here and one of the questions I get asked a lot by my viewers is, “how long of a leader do I use and do I reel that leader up into the rod guides?” So, most of the time, the longest leader I use is the one I have on here now, it’s about two feet long.
By the end of the day, if I am cutting and retying lures, cutting and retying lures, it might be half this length. What I don’t ever do is put a three or four foot leader on that so I have to reel it all the way down into my rod.
Sometimes, so right about there, if you can see, that I have the leader knot right here, her’s the tip of the rod that gives me just about the right combination of speed, accuracy, distance. I can make super long casts not having to reel this line up into the tip.
If I get more line outside the tip, so I see a lot of people leave at least twice that much outside the tip, this may be good for making a big long wind-up and throwing a bomb as far as you can go. It’s extremely ineffective for casting to mid and short range targets accurately.
I can also reel it up super short like this if I want to skip it up underneath docks and trees. If I am doing that I’m probably going to add a shorter leader. One thing I need to consider is the size of the tip of this rod and right now I’m using 10 lb braid and 20 lb leader, it fits inside this rod.
If I’m going fishing for snook and small tarpon where I have to beef this up to 30 and 40 pound leader that knot probably is not gonna fit through there very well, or if it does there is a good chance I might bust that insert of my tip out.
So, one of two things. Either you can adder bigger tips on your rods which I have done for some of my rods, or you need to shorten the leader up where, maybe, you’re only using a leader this long. I still seem to get just as many bites with a short leader.
The reason I start out with a two foot leader is so that I have room to cut and tie, cut and tie throughout the day and I don’t have to constantly tie new leaders on I’m just tying new lures one. But, what I don’t want to do is have that line go up and down every guide all day long that knot of that leader rubbing on my guides.
Could it wear it off, could it break it off, possibly. Is it going to? I don’t know, I don’t take that chance and it also slows down my cast. so, get yourself no more than two feet. That’s all you’re going to need.
Make yourself nice accurate casts without having that knot rub on your guides and you’ll find it will be much easier, much smoother casting.