There is a big debate amongst GT anglers regarding the length of the leader to be used. Many are of the opinion that the leader should be at-least one and half of the rod length whereas many other believe that the best practice is to keep the leader knot outside the guide and thus a small leader!
There are many locations world over where targeting GTs from shallow waters and barnacle covered rock is a nightmare and using a long leader gives the angler a bit more flexibility and so using a longer leader is a good choice but this has got a catch. Casting heavy lures involves lot of energy and the knot connecting the leader and the main line create impact on the guides of the rod. There is always a fear of the impact knocking out or damaging the guides and this fear has advocated the theory of keeping the knot outside the guides. The Popping rods are costly affairs and who wants a broken guide during a hard planned trip which has made a considerable dent on once pocket!
The Popping knots, like the sport, have evolved over a period of time and many ways and methods have been adapted to suite the dynamics of GT Popping. From Mid Knot, GT Knot, FG Knot to improve FG Knot, the list is very long. These are some very advanced knots, tested and approved by word class anglers but even the best of these knots can create an impact on the guides, especially when a person is not expert in casting heavy lures. It is not easy to cast from a rocking boat, keeping a long leader hanging from the tip of your rod!
Then there is the dynamics of abrasion resistance and stretch. PE lines have very good strength for minimal diameter but then do not have any stretch and also have very poor abrasion resistance. Considering the above the ideal leader should be long enough to give the angler a fair chance of tackling a GT in adverse conditions, should have appropriate stretch to counter the incredible forces generated by casting heavy lures or the hit of a big fish and the knot connecting the leader to the main line should have a profile which does not knock the guides while casting.
Many leader materials available in the market have excellent first two characteristics of abrasion resistance and stretch but till date no knot is perfect enough in term of profile which will pass through the guides without creating an impact. The most advance knot, the modified FG Knot is also prone to hit the guide. Even if the knot is not damaging the guides, the sudden change in the speed due to this knock can create bird-nest. Who would want to sit and untangle an impossible bird-nest while big fish are hammering a shoal of bait fish in front of him!
Many experiments and test have demonstrated that using a twisted leader gives the angler a distinct advantage in adverse conditions. Almost all modern leader used by GT anglers are twisted leader, even for a small part of the complete length. The use of long twisted leader is not very common but finds application amongst many anglers. The problem of connecting heavy twisted leader with the main line with suitable profile is the biggest hindrance. Many an ingenious method were designed and tested by enterprising community of GT anglers and the search for the perfect leader is still on. Here is a method which comes close to Ideal leader as here we are using a twisted leader, as long as one wants with a knot profile which does not create any knock on the guides and is strong enough to withstand the punishment of GT fishing. The method has passed with flying colours when put to FIRST HUNDRED CAST test. It has also passed the strength test under non scientific conditions and we intend to put it to the ultimate test of catching few GTs using this method.
Few of the initial success from places which were considered impossible!!
Here is the Method Describing the joining of twisted leader with the main line
- Make a twisted leader using your choice of line and length. We have used 100 Lb non stretched mono and have kept the length of twisted leader 10 feet.
- Tie a Bimini Twist Loop of 6~8 inch on your main line.
- The connection is between the loop on the main and the loop end of the leader.
- You will need either a splicing needle used for making loops in lead core leaders or you can make your own by bending double the end of a safety pin.
- Pull the main line loop through the end loop of your leader using splicing needle as shown in the diagram below.
- Re pass it through the second loop from the opposite direction as shown in the diagram below.
- Repeat the same operation four more time.
- Pass the other end of the leader through the loop of main line as shown in the diagram below and pull it straight.
- Wet the complete section using your saliva or some other lubricant and slowly but firmly pull the leader and the main line till the knot is locked. What you will get is a very fine profile knot which is wrapped on the both strands of the leader and is locked on the leader by end loop. Below is the picture of the Knot.
- On the other end of the leader one can connect the swill by either crimping or by using any knot of his choice. One can also create two perfect loops at both end by keeping the two end unequal while twisting the leader and re twisting the extra line double for a feet or two and then crimping the free lines on the main leader. Your final leader from the business end will look like the picture below.
Please try this knot and don’t forget to give your feedback to us.