How to Make a Fishing Leader

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A leader is a stronger section of monofilament or wire that protects the fishing line from damage. Sometimes a leader may also be used to reduce the visibility of the fishing line. Leaders can range from 3 inches to 10 or more feet in length, depending on the species targeted and the fishing conditions. Monofilament leaders are normally used, except for toothy fish where a wire leader may be called for. All fishermen should know how to rig leaders.

Items you will need

  • Fishing rod, reel

  • Monofilament leader

  • Wire leader

  • Barrel swivels

  • Pliers with side cutters

How to Make a Fishing Leader

Decide if you need a wire or monofilament leader. Use the side cutters to cut the leader to the required length. Make sure that you add 8-10 inches to each end for tying the knots.

Take one of the barrel swivels and, using a uni-knot, tie the swivel to the fishing line. Trim the excess length from the knot. The monofilament can also be tied directly to the fishing line using 2 uni-knots.

If using the wire leader, attach the wire to the barrel swivel using a haywire twist. For the monofilament leader, use another uni-knot to attach the leader to the barrel swivel.

Take the fishing lure or hook and and tie them to the leader. Use another Haywire Twist for the wire leader, or a uni-knot for the monofilament leader.

Now go and catch the big one, without worrying about the line breaking.


  • Always wear safety glasses when working with wire leaders.


  • Tying your leader directly to the fishing line allows you to reel the leader through the rod tip and eyelets, making the lure easier to cast.
  • Be careful not to kink the wire leader when attaching the leader to the barrel swivel.
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