Make Leaders Vanish!

I absolutely won’t tie a leader with anything other than Vanish. When fluorocarbon first came out, I tried it, liked it, and for the past three or four years, it’s my leader for every walleye tactic. I figure my bites have increased by a two to one ratio, and those extra bites in the Cass Lake PWT Super Pro paid $20,000 for second place. The tactics I used for that tournament, running spinners and live bait rigs, are highly effective when fishing lakes or reservoirs from spring right through the fall.

Total Solutions Technique

Whether fishing in a natural lake or a reservoir, my two top go-to tactics are most often going to be running spinners on bottom bouncers (when fish are active and scattered on structure) or the old-stand-by slip-sinker live bait rigging (when fish are in a more neutral mood and holding tighter to structure). In cases such as the one I found on Cass Lake in this particular tournament, I found I could cover water with the spinner set-up to catch the active fish, then when I found a concentration of fish, I’d slow down and work them over with the rigginig presentation. It’s a 1-2 punch combination that can be deadly on walleyes all across the country.

For spinner snells, I use exclusively 15-pound test Fluorocarbon. It’s so durable, that a few nicks in the leader don’t seem to weaken the line significantly. I use a standard Trilene knot when connecting to the swivel. For live bait rigging, I use 10-pound Fluorocarbon for a more stealthy approach. Fluorocarbon is ideal for leaders, not only because it’s tough, but it’s also virtually invisible under water; in other words, the fish can’t see it!

Total Solutions Equipment

While there are several good Fluorocarbon lines on the market, I prefer Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Leader Material in 15-pound test for spinners and 10-pound test for rigging.  I use Vanish all seasons of the year, from ice-out to freeze-up.  I have used it on lakes and reservoirs throughout the country and Canada.  I have never had any concern about Vanish holding, and my fishing proves that it never lets me down. Sometimes, I can straighten hooks on spinner rigs or live bait rigs and I get everything back from a snag.  It has never failed me.

For my main line, I use 10 or 12-pound test Stren MagnaThin when rigging.  With spinners, I use 12-pound MagnaThin.  In real snaggy situations, I switch to 14-pound FireLine.  I use a Palomar knot to tie the FireLine to the swivel, but standard Trilene knots for the MagnaThin.

Berkley® Vanish® Leader Material

Stren MagnaThin

Berkley® FireLine®


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