Wire Or Mono Leaders

I’m running out of kayak fishing dilemmas, which is a really good thing I suppose but one that continues to haunt me – more so lately than ever before – is the on-going question of whether or not to use a wire or thick mono leader.

In the past 2 years I’ve had lures bitten off more than in the previous 25 years (or so), most of them from sharks obviously but no doubt quite a few from mackerel… the kind you really want to keep. A well prepared good quality wire trace is more likely to result in a landed catch I suspect but theory goes that when using wire trace, less bites will occur – especially when it comes to mackerel apparently. And I’m not about to argue – my findings go right along with that. I haven’t caught a lot of mackerel when using wire leaders. I have, however, caught a lot of sharks and many of these would have otherwise bitten through otherwise. That said, a few of those toothies have even managed to grind through wire trace as well (pictured).

So, I either use wire leaders in hope of losing less lures, or run with a mono leader and hope for the best every time a fish strikes… which, according to theory, is likely to happen more often. When one is using more expensive lures that are more painful-to-the-pocket to lose, it’s easy to understand why the dilemma arises. I’ve recently taken to using a thick 80lb mono leader on one line and a wire trace on the other, looking to see if I can detect much difference in hook up rate. I don’t expect to gain any conclusive evidence from this experiment for some time, however, because to do so would mean using the same lures on both rods. And right now I’m also running another experiement, trolling Rapala Magnum X-Raps next to Magnum Countdowns, so until that experiment has wrapped up it has potential to interfere with the results of the leader experiment.

In between now and when I can start making more accurate comparisons, I’m interested in hearing other peoples opinion on this. Do you prefer wire? if so, why, and which kind? Do you prefer a thick mono or FC leader, and if so, which weight do you recommend to stand up to the likes of a big ‘ol barrie? What say you?

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