Line and Leaders for Redfish

Fortunately, the choices of line and leader are fairly simple when it comes to redfish. These fish often occupy murky waters, using a sense of smell as a key predatory mechanism, so purely invisible line is not as necessary as other species living in clear water. Another thing about redfish – their lack of teeth – means they won’t bite through your monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders, resulting in a lost fish or expensive lure.

Redfish caught on fluorocarbon leader.

There are many different options of fishing line available. Here are the most common types of lines, and their pros and cons associated with redfishing.

Monofilament Line for Redfish Fishing

Of all the fishing lines available, simple monofilament is an excellent choice for redfish. Monofilament line is not only the least expensive, but also has some benefits when it comes to fighting big fish in shallow water. Monofilament has the slowest sink rate of all the fishing line types, and is therefore recommended when using top-water lures. Another benefit of using monofilament for redfish is that because the waters are often murky, you don’t need to spend a fortune on full spools of fluorocarbon to catch a good fish.

Using Fluorocarbon for Redfish Fishing

Despite the argument for monofilament above, there are always times when fluorocarbon line will have its benefits over monofilament. Although redfish often inhabit murky waters, their range of salinities and temperatures are extremely wide, and can be found just about anywhere. So in places where the water is actually clear, such as the inlets, calm beaches, and inshore lagoons in south Florida, the nearly invisible fluorocarbon line will be beneficial for getting more bites. In addition, fluorocarbon line has a faster sink rate, and is the better choice if using soft baits, jigs or mid-water lures.

Braided Line

Braided line is highly recommended by some anglers when fishing near structures in murky water. The reason for this is that braided line does not stretch, and so will allow you to pull a fish out from those structures before he breaks you off. Braided line does have a slower sink rate than fluorocarbon, and so can also be used for top-water lures.

Braided line for catching redfish.

Wire Leaders

There is essentially no reason to use a wire leader for redfish, as they lack any teeth able to damage a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. However, if it is the only thing in your tackle box, it will not hurt to use one if fishing in one of the murkier areas for redfish.

Final Notes about Redfish Lines and Leaders

The size of the line and leader depends on the general sportiness of your intended catch. Many anglers fishing for food may use the heaviest line possible to avoid losing the fish, while the more sporty anglers may use the lightest line possible for the fun of it. Whichever you choose, remember to use the appropriate line for the job: monofilament for top-water, and braided or fluorocarbon for deep and mid-water lures.

The Online Fisherman

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