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  1. #1

    Default Leader recommendation for 15-20lb Mi river Salmon

    Hello everyone, I'll be going after my first salmon in 35 years or so. I'll be fishing the Betsie River in Northern Michigan, and I wasn't sure what leader to use for such a quest. I've got some Mirage 9ft 10lb leaders, but a buddy said he had on 12lb and was breaking off fish FROM the same river I'll be fishing next weekend. Would 16lb be to much, and what are the downsides to a bigger leader?

    I'm going fishin for salmon!


  2. Default Re: Leader recommendation for 15-20lb Mi river Salmon

    A lot will depend on what stretch of water you're on. I have not fished the Betsie, but on the Big Manistee there are stretches of slower water where I land fish with 10 or 12 pound leaders, and stretches where I land maybe 10 percent on the same leader, fishing from shore and can't put the brakes on them.

    The only disadvantage to heavier leaders is spooking fish if the water is clear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Leader recommendation for 15-20lb Mi river Salmon

    It's been years since I fished for Salmon here in Northern California. I don't know if the techniques are the same between my region and yours.

    The norm was to used 12 pound test Maxima Ultragreen for dead drifting and 15 pound test Maxima for swinging.

    As 2PawsRiver mentioned, heavier leaders can spook fish in clearer water. In that case, use a quality fluorocarbon leader. I'm partial to Seaguar fluro leader and tippet material due to better knot strength, abrasion resistance, and invisibility.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    London, England

    Default Re: Leader recommendation for 15-20lb Mi river Salmon

    This is not a question of fish but of fly. The heavier the fly the stiffer the leader needs to be to 'turn it over'. For a heavy brass tube I would think nothing of using 25lb but for a light Size 12 double for example I may go down to 12lb (but never below this for salmon). The norm for me is between 15 and 17lb clear fluorocarbon. I personally never use coloured mono. There is absolutely no reason for going too light!

    Hope this helps


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: Leader recommendation for 15-20lb Mi river Salmon

    Kevin, you got good advice from Two and Mosca; but you need to make your decision on where you're fishing. If you are able to chase fish when they make one of their power runs you can go with lighter. I personally would start with the 12# and go up from there if needed. If you can't chase them the lighter leader may save you from being spooled.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Leader recommendation for 15-20lb Mi river Salmon

    hey guys, thanks for the info. I'll be able to chase them & the guide says I'll be in the boat on a few holes too. So I'll take a few options with me, including the lighter 12lb.

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