Introduction: DIY Cheap Fishing Leaders

About: Hey, my name is Jon. I am sixteen years old and live in Whitewater, Wisconsin. I like to hunt, fish, bike, kayak, and just about everything else outdoors!
"Leaders, what are leaders?" Leaders usually are 9-15 inches long,  and are used for fishing for toothy fish like Northern Pike, Muskies, Spanish Mackerel and a variety of other fish to prevent them from cutting through the line. But as with most things its better quality and cheaper if you do it yourself.  So today I am going to show you two different ways to make leaders for freshwater, and light salt water use.  

Step 1: Leader #1- What You'll Need


       1.      One foot of wire between
                 20 and 50 pound test.
       2.      A snap and a swivel or a

       3.     Two sleeves the size to
                match your wire diameter.

       4.      A wire cutter.

       5.      A crimping tool, or a very 
                strong pliers.

note: I always have had trouble picking the right size snap to swivel when making leaders.  Then it hit me, why don't I just buy snap- swivels, remove the snap from the swivel and voila, perfect factory match.  But the only thing is that the end of the snap that's connected to the swivel is crimped down shut.  So all you have to do is take a very small regular screw driver and open it up, un-snap that side, slide the snap swivel out, re snap it, and fold it back with a needle nose pliers.     


Step 2: Leader #1- Assembly

So first what I like to do is unroll a little wire, maybe a foot or two depending on how long you want your leader to be and slide one of your crimps down it.  Now take the loose end of the wire and put it through your swivel and back into the crimp the opposite way as you put it through the first time. Then tighten it up like in the picture above and use your crimping tool to crimp it.  Now it is time to decide how long you want your leader, then cut the wire off at approximately that length.  Next do the same thing to the other side and presto, a custom fishing leader that costs 27¢, and in addition it only costs 22¢ to repair the wire if a fish dents or frays it!

Step 3: Leader #2- What You'll Need

Now leader two is different than leader one because leader one uses wire and crimps where leader two uses braided fishing line. Now there're pro's and con's to each leader for instance wire leaders are more tooth-resistant than braid leaders, but braid leaders are 19¢ cheaper ( a piece) and it only costs to replace the braid which you won't have to do very often.  Another nice thing about braid is its very supple, meaning it's easy to work with, and if a pike bites it it won't crease like wire leaders do.  Now for what you'll need.
  1. One foot of 65lb test or higher power pro or similar braided fishing line.
  2. A nail clippers or something to cut the power pro.
  3. A snap and a swivel or a snap swivel.  (If you choose a snap swivel you will need a regular screw driver and a needle nose pliers.)   

Step 4: Leader #2- Assembley

First you are going to get your swivel and tie it to a 15 inch piece of braid for about a 12 inch leader, using the knot below or another knot if you so choose. If you are using a snap-swivel separate the snap and the swivel like shown in leader #1. Then snip off the tag end and tie the snap on the other end, snip off the extra and BOOM you're DONE.