TERMINAL LEADERS, THE LAST LINK.

Since last season, my selection of gear has become more and more orientated towards pike fishing. In order to respect such a noble fighter you must shorten the fight as much as possible and also minimize the risk of a fish breaking-off and swimming away with a couple of trebles in its mouth. Il order to do so there are only two solutions: using sufficiently powerful rod and reel combos and also rigging specific terminal leaders.

A selection of rods for pike fishing.

No need to go over the entire catalogue, here are 3 rods that will enable you to fish for pike everywhere and anywhere. The YURAI S 210-H, 10-35g test rod, which is great for all-round light lure applications and the YURAI C 195-XH+ and IRON-T C 240-XXH rods for heavier applications with jerk baits, swim baits and big soft lures.

Reel wise, the new GUNKI THG 2000 and the BC 2000 HG HIS for light lures and the BCR 400 HD and the new GUNKI BC 4000 XHD for heavy to extra heavy lures. These rods and reel have all the necessary power to shorten the fight and yet have just what it takes in give so that a fish will not brake-off on the first brake screaming rush.

Reels for chucking big lures.

It's quite easy to choose the correct combo, but things tend to get a bit more complicated when it comes to the choice of braid, discretion leader and shock leader and how to associate them.

Over time and long hours of testing, I have found that you get the best results by following this simple rule. Each time I change the type of line / leader, I multiply its diameter by 2.

When using lures that vibrate a lot, and after having tried nylon, just fluorocarbon and braid I have switched back to 0,30 mm PEZON ET MICHEL CAMOUFLAGE nylon to which I tie on a short 0,60 mm (rule of "2"). This light yet teeth resistant association is great when using crank baits like the DOGORA 65F or the GIGAN series.

Ideal to give the DOGORA enough freedom to vibrate like mad.

For heavier applications I use a braid, a discretion leader and a shock leader. The braid will range from 0,25 to 0,28 mm, to which I tie on If I'm using lighter lures then I'll choose the 0,20 mm COLOR BRAID, a 0,41 mm section of ICE FLUROCARBONE and end with a 0,80 mm HARD MONO shock leader.

Braid, Fluorocarbon and HARD MONO, all that you need for your leaders.

If I'm fishing for perch with 7 to 9 cm lures and it's likely that there will be pike in the area, in that case I'll choose the 0,12 to 0,15 mm COLOR BRAID, a 0,29 mm section of ICE FLUROCARBONE and end with a 0,60 mm HARD MONO shock leader.

I really love the HARD MONO PEZON ET MICHEL as it is hyper resistant to abrasion and therefore to pike's teeth. It is slightly less invisible than 100% pure fluorocarbon, has no memory and remarkable flexibility, giving lures extra swimming freedom, better rig articulation and easier to tie knots.

The PEZON ET MICHEL HARD MONO, flexible and without memory even in 1 mm diameter.

After having tried countless different knots, I now only use the FG knot to link braid to discretion leader and an Albright knot to tie the shock leader to the discretion leader.

FLUOROCARBONE ICE 0,53 mm and Hard Mono 1 mm, linked with an Albright knot.

I cannot say that there is just one perfect rig, the ultimate knot, the ideal combination of diameters or length of sections, you have to experiment to find what suits you best. The most important thing is that you must have 100% trust in what you use in able to catch the pike of your dreams! I hope that this advice will help next time you're out fishing. One last tip, if ever your leader is damaged though abrasion or after a hard fight, change it!

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Alex