A steel leader is a must for pike fishing, because the more than 700 teeth make short work of any braided line, but also of any normal monofilament line. How to make your own steel leader is shown in these instructions.
Types of Steel Leader Material
There are two important types of steel leaders, or 4 if you take it exactly. The 1×7 steel leader and the 7×7 steel. Both are coated and uncoated.
My recommendation are 7×7 wrapped leaders. The sheathing makes the leader a little stiffer but at the same time more gentle on the fish. Otherwise the leader rubs and cuts the pike during the fight and can cause injuries.
To make the leader still soft enough I prefer to use 7×7 steel in most cases, because the 49 threads are much softer than a 1×7 which is quite stiff by itself.
When fishing with poppers or plugs and jerks a stiffer leader can contribute to better bait presentation and movement as well as less rollovers during the cast. A steel spinning rod serves the same purpose and is of course also pike safe.
Important: A kinked steel leader should be replaced as soon as possible, because the load capacity is then greatly minimized.
Steel leader for bait fish
A steel leader for fishing with bait fish is made fast and easy with the right utensils and is quickly explained here in the photo series (further down in the article). We recommend triplets sizes 4 to 8 as long as they are stable and sharp. A steel leader for fishing with bait fish for pike should be at least 50 cm rather 60 cm long.
Here’s what you need: pliers with sleeves, scissors to cut the wire, sleeves, hooks (single or triple hooks) and last but not least the steel leader
Making a steel leader yourself in 5 steps
Here is an instruction in pictures on how to make a steel leader yourself in 5 steps
This article will show you how to bait the fish correctly.
Steel leaders for spin fishing
Steel leaders for spin fishing do not have to be that long. 30 cm is sufficient, because the pike is hooked in the front or in the middle of the mouth rather than in the back of the mouth. You can also use a swivel as a connection to the main line, which is pulled up and looped tight in exactly the same way as a hook.
Storing steel leaders
There are several ways to prevent your steel leaders from buckling and thus becoming unusable and to protect the triplets well. I usually simply wrap my leaders for bait fish assemblies around pipe insulation. The leaders for spin fishing simply come in a small zip lock bag.