Viking Lars | Saturday, 9 December 2017

Yes, it's tying-pike-leader-day today. And yes, that means the Rügen-trip next week is ON and I'm really looking to it, hopefully catching a few big ones, fishing with Bernd and just getting away for a few days.

However, I am low on pike leaders and I promised to tie some for my friend, Morten, whom I'm travlling with as well. But that's really no big deal as I have a simple recipe that has worked for years. Well, to slightly different ones acutally, so since I have the gear out, I might as well go over them here.

You can see the different materials I use in the PoD.

I use two different wires - the Knot2Kinky titanium wire and a coated steel(?) wire, depending on whether or not I need/use a snap for the fly or not. Why the difference? Well, the Knot2Kinky is "knottable" as it says on the pack, and so it is, but it's not very easy to tie on new flies with cold, wet hands, so when I use/fish titanium, I always use a snap.

So why don't you use a snap all the time then? Well, it's hard to get it through a tube, and I fish a lot of tube flies for pike as well. So for tubes, I use a softer, coated steel(?) wire to tie onto the hook. I've used many different steel wire over the years, and honestly, most are quite good. They all tend to curl up more or less at some point, and they almost all certainly do if you hit a snag.

The Vision-wire in the PoD I haven't tried before, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it comes as thin as it does, and since Bernd says wire diameter can make a difference in Rügen, I got both 15 and 20lbs. Titanium almost never curls.

If you go online, you can find many different, some overly complicated, recipes for pike leaders, but mine's quite simple. What ever you do, don't ever use crimps on your leaders - especially with titanium. Crimps causes the titanium to break right under the crimp and some point.

The basic leader simply consists of heavy mono (0,60mm and 0,50mm) - roughly 60/40 lengths. I tie a Perfectiion Loop in the heavy end to attach to the line. For titanium, I tie a Vision Leader Ring (20kg) to the mono, and to this I tie the titanium using a two-turn Blood Knot (more on that). This has worked well for me. I does give a little bit of a hinge between the mono and the titanium, but I can live with it.

In the fly end I tie a snap, using the same two-turn Blood Knot, and that makes it easy to change flies.

When tying knots in Knot2Kinky, don't expect them to slide perfectly together as they do in mono. Basically, the knot will look as if it's not been tightened properly, but I've yet to have one open on me. On the leaders I'll tie today, I'll give the knots a drop of UV-resin, both to strengthen it a little more, but more to cover the diabolically sharp tag end that you *will* impale yourself on a some point :-).

The basiv leader is the same for the coated steel(?) wire, but here I just use Perfection Loops all the way to attach thing. In the business end, I simply use a Rapala Knot to tie on the fly, or if fishing tubes, a simple Blood Knot.

I do tie different versions. Short and long(er) total length, and I'll try and tie some (for pike) quite long ones using a shorhter-than-normal thin wire trace (titanium as well as coated steel) and see if that can make a difference if the pike are picky. The titanium/steel part never comes under 15cm though, and prerefeably never under 20. Pike can swallow even big flies without problems, and you alsoi have to take into account that fact that the leader might come across the jaws during the fight, and big pike have borad heads.

All for today! Have a great weekend!