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October 26, 2001

Loop-to-Loop Shock Leader

I knew I had to find a better way to rig my shock leaders.

As a fishing guide in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, I target bluefish and other inshore species that prey on baitfish among the rocks. Baitcasting reels, 12-pound monofilament and minnow plugs work especially well here. However, the line-to-leader connection takes a lot of abuse as it passes through the line guides during repeated casting and retrieving.
Watching yet another "prematurely released" bluefish swim away with my lure after the Albright knot gave out, I knew I had to find a better way to rig my shock leaders. Now I double a 9-foot length of 30-pound mono and twist it together (working from the loop toward the tag ends) to form 4 1/2 feet of leader. A simple overhand knot at the end keeps twists from unraveling. I then tie a Bimini twist to form a short loop in the main line and attach the leader with a loop-to-loop connection. A uni-knot holds a snap at the end of the double-line leader, making quick lure changes possible.
This double-line leader also helps when controlling fish at boatside, because it's less slippery than a single strand of heavy mono and doesn't cut your hands.
Capt. Antonio "Tuba" Amaral
Ilhabela, Brazil