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Wire Leaders for Toothy Fish

Wire Leaders for Toothy Fish

Regardless of how you fish or what you fish for, at some point you will need to use Wire Leaders for Toothy Fish. Bluefish, mackerel, barracuda, and sharks all require wire leader use. Or, you could donate lots of hooks, lures, or flies to the fish in question.

For a long time, leader wire came in two flavors, single strand and plastic coated cable. Single strand users used a haywire twist to attach the terminal tackle to the wire leader. At the other end they had a choice of again using a haywire twist to attach a swivel, or using an Albright special to attach the fishing line, usually monofilament.

Single strand’s advantages are that it’s inexpensive and relatively thin. It kinks though, and breaks where those kinks form. If, like me, you don’t use it very often, making a decent haywire twist is slow and hard to do. Making those twists well takes practice.

Cable doesn’t kink. But it needs sleeves and a crimping tool in order to make the connections. This type of leader lacks elegance.

Additionally, cable is more visible than monofilament or single strand wire, fish teeth or abrasion can shred the nylon coating, and saltwater can get inside the nylon coating and cause corrosion over a period of time. Cable is still the choice for most big game fishing, though.

A few years back a new type of plastic coated wire leader cable appeared on the market, sold under the names of Surflon¬† and Tyger Wire. They were the first stainless steel knottable wire leaders for toothy fish. You can tie this stuff using the same knots you use with nylon or fluorocarbon. It’s a wonderful product for someone who doesn’t need wire very often. Needless to say, it was more expensive than other products available at the time it was introduced.

I carried Tyger Wire around for years without using it. On a recent trip to the Florida Keys we went fishing for cero mackerel. My having that wire was the only reason we caught any fish.

Wire Leaders for toothy fish

The teeth on this critter demand the use of wire.

Recently, a new wire leader product has appeared, made from titanium alloy. This new leader wire stretches and recovers to set hooks and prevent bite-offs. You can tie titanium wire to hooks and line using the Clinch and Albright Knots. Two manufacturers of this product are knot2kinky¬†and American Fishing Wire. It sounds great! Of course it costs more. I haven’t used this product yet, but I am looking forward to doing so.

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.


  1. Roger Cook says:

    John, I use the titanium wire. Tie a 4 turn clinch knot, don’t improve, and leave a short tag. The knot won’t tighten but it will hold.

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