How To Tie The Leader Knot
“How do I tie a basic shore fishing leader knot?” is one of the most common questions that former World Champion caster Neil Mackellow is asked. Follow Neil’s simple step-by-step instructions and it is a question that you’ll never need to ask again.
The ability to join the main fishing line from the reel to suitable heavier strength and considerably thicker leader material is a key requirement for anyone going shore fishing. I would go as far as to say that if you can’t be bothered to learn a simple, and, more importantly, ‘safe’ leader knot then you should not be casting from the beach, or anywhere else for that matter.
Knots need not be complicated but they must be secure and able to withstand whatever stresses we intend to subject them to. Take the shockleader knot for example, it must, in the first instance, be able to withstand the rigors of what could be some powerful casting, but it must also be fit to cope with other fishing strains.
The term ‘shockleader’ is in fact a slightly misleading one, and I prefer the more universally inclusive term ‘leader’ because it is not just casting duress that the appropriate length of heavier mono tied to your mainline has to contend with. Rocks, shingle, sucking mud and even sand put strain on knots and damage line by way of snagging and simple abrasive contact. Any knot is a potential weak spot; therefore it is vital to tie all knots with a little care.
The old rule of thumb that dictates 10lb of breaking strain in the leader for every ounce of lead being used to cast is a very loose one (especially if you work in grams), but it is not a bad guide to be going on with. So for our purposes if we are casting with 6ozs/170gs of lead then we should be tying on a leader of not less than 60lb breaking strain. It is important to note however, that modern mono fishing lines are becoming progressively thinner in diameter, so we need to keep a sense of perspective and be aware that leader material diameters do vary quite dramatically across the huge choice of available brands and products.
For our purposes here, I am working with a now very standard 0.35mm, 18lb main reel line, and 0.70mm, 60lb Greased Weasel Shock Leader. What follows is the quick and reliable Grinner and Half Hitch leader knot connection. And look out for more quick knotting guides coming soon.