Along with many others I use a leadcore leader for most of my fishing. I like the way it sits on the lake bed, protects the Carp’s flank against line and helps to prevent tangles. I go to great pains to ensure that my set up is as safe as I can make it and I consider it, when set up correctly, as safe as the alternatives.
One of the disadvantages with the material is its poor knot strength. A needle knot is fine for attaching to the main line but at the business end a spliced loop is far stronger than any knot. I’ve been testing a new leadcore for G-Force and part of those tests involves comparing its properties with those that are already established on the market. I haven’t tested all of them by any stretch, but all those that I looked at don’t have a great deal of knot strength. Whichever brand it is, leadcore simply isn’t made to be knotted and should be spliced – after all that’s why they come supplied with a splicing needle.
I’ve been using the same set up with my leaders for years now and not only is it strong and reliable but allows me to change my set up without cutting anything and without having to use a quick link or similar. My angling revolves around simplicity and this trick really simplifies things. The only thing that I do differently is that I make my spliced loop much bigger than most do. As long as it’s big enough for your heaviest and bulkiest lead to pass through you’ll be able to change rigs easily as well as swap your end tackle between leadclip, helicopter / chod, inline and running without cutting or re-knotting anything. With each of these set ups, latch and splicing needles will be handy for pulling the leader through beads etc.
Most anglers cut off their leaders to change their set up. Once a new one is tied on, six inches or more of line is lost after which any line markers will be six inches out of place. Do that a few times and you aren’t fishing that accurately any more. Splicing large loops in the business end of my leader saves time as the leadcore stays in place. I’ve no need to re-tie the leader on or move any line markers. The size of the loop allows me to put on a fresh rig with a hook bait, or even a narrow PVA mesh bag, already attached so I am able reap the benefits of a quick-change system without using additional quick release swivels or links. To me these are another potential weakness and, as far as I’m concerned, not really suited to targeting big Carp.
Leadclip Set Up
The leadcore is passed through the tail rubber, through the clip and then the hook link swivel is attached to the leader in “loop to loop” fashion. To dismantle simply remove the hook link and slide off the components.
Helicopter / Chod Set Up
Thread your top bead, ring swivel (on the hook link), bottom bead and rig sleeve onto the leader, using a splicing needle. Pass the end of the leader through the lead swivel then pass the lead through the large loop in the leadcore (swapping to a larger or smaller lead is done the same way). Pull down the sleeve and position your beads.
Inline Set Up
Pass the leader through the lead and soft insert. “Loop to loop” the hook link on and it’s all ready to go.
The leadcore is passed through the running rig eye, through a large bead and “loop to looped” onto the hook link swivel.
Other Set Ups
The large looped leader works just as well with a drop off inline or shocker rig. The same principle can be applied to the more recent lead free leaders that can also be spliced.
The large looped leader is strong, reliable and simple so, if you tie your own leadcore leaders and want to remove some of the hassle from changing rigs it could be for you.