Musky/Bass Combo Leader?

Mike22

Active Member
#1
I am lucky enough to live near a couple of the musky lakes in WA. I plan on spending some time on them this summer, knowing full well of the strong odds against ever hooking into one. The secondary target will be LMB at these lakes, which I am very happy to catch, so I am hoping to create a rig that would fish well for both musky and LMB.

My main question is if bass can see a wire leader. I've heard of guys having success using heavy fluoro for musky leaders, but I would hate to break one off if I ever ending up hooking one in the first place. Therefore, I plan on using some wire in my rig as long as it doesn't ruin my chances for bass. After some reading, I see that titanium leaders have a lower profile than steel, indicating that it could be less spooky.

Any help out there? Does anyone even check the warm water forum between October and March? Lol
 
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#2
Both my biggest largemouth (~#8) AND smallmouth (~#6) have been bycatch while muskie fishing with wire leaders. I had a low but still non-trivial number of biteoffs when I still used fluoro -- which convinced me it wasn't worth it. Heck, those A-rigs that half the gear guys around here are throwing are usually constructed of heavy solid stainless wire, and they are stupid effective -- even on some of our super clear highland reservoirs.
 

Mike22

Active Member
#4
Any recommendations on titanium vs. steel? I was thinking of just picking up one of these:
s-l1601.jpg

tapered-leader-rio-pike-muski-clear_5.jpg

(20lb steel)
 
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#5
It has been experience that at least small mouth often care a great deal about leaders. I've seen hot BWCA smallmouyh bites stop completely when I added steel to my leader because of losing flies to northerns. Not always but often enough that I would try to avoid these leaders when fishing for bass.
 

MattB

Active Member
#6
Titanium has practically an infinite life span in comparison to wire. You can make wire leaders for much cheaper than rio, go to michaels or wherever and buy .024 or .019 inch 49 strand wire. There is nothing different between it and rio.

I would honestly suggest 100lb fluoro for musky. I use 80 for pike and the lack of visibility of it versus wire is significant.
 
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Mike22

Active Member
#7
You can make wire leaders for much cheaper than rio, go to michaels or wherever and buy .048 or .019 inch 49 strand wire.
I have also seen 12" sections of steel wire in the conventional fishing tackle aisle. Barrel swivel on one end, quick snap on the other, $1.19 per each. I was thinking I could tie on the butt end of a tapered leader, or some straight maxima, to the barrel swivel with a palomar knot. Could this do the trick? From what I have seen, the tigers in this lake aren't monsters, just toothy.
 
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MattB

Active Member
#8
I have also seen 12" sections of steel wire in the conventional fishing tackle aisle. Barrel swivel on one end, quick snap on the other, $1.19 per each. I was thinking I could tie on the butt end of a tapered leader, or some straight maxima, to the barrel swivel with a palomar knot. Could this do the trick? From what I have seen, the tigers in this lake aren't monsters, just toothy.
Hardware like barrel swivels will act sorta like split shot and will constantly be trying to dive your fly down. I use loop to loop connections when using fluoro leaders with wire, never had a failure.
 

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