How to Make a Deep-Drop Leader

Expert tips for making an easy-to-manage deep-drop leader for grouper, snapper and tilefish.

October 27, 2020
Barrelfish caught on a deep-drop rig
Barrelfish, like this one, can be caught from deep Gulf of Mexico waters. Doug Olander

Deep-drop fishing for species such as longtail bass, queen snapper, snowy grouper, tilefish, wreckfish and vermillion snapper requires a boatload of specialized gear, including leaders with multiple hooks that resist twists and tangles when fishing waters as deep as 1,200 feet or more. Veteran saltwater angler Angelo DePaola of Orange Beach, Alabama, regularly fishes such depths in the Gulf of Mexico. In this video, DePaola shares his technique for creating 6-foot-long, five-hook leaders that resist tangles and have proven effective in catching big groupers, snapper and tiles.

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Here’s DePaola’s list of the materials you’ll need to build your own deep-drop leaders based on his video tutorial.

  • 400-pound-test monofilament leader material
  • 200-pound-test monofilament leader material
  • Appropriately sized crimps for the leader material
  • Appropriately sized crimping tool
  • Line cutters
  • Circle hooks, 7/0 to 9/0 (five)
  • 2/0 swivel sleeves (five)
  • Glow beads (five)
  • 2/0 barrel swivel (one)
  • 2/0 barrel swivel with snap (one)
  • Tape measure
  • Sharpie permanent marker pen

Credit: Angelo DePaola

Veteran deepwater angler Angelo DePaola of Orange Beach, Alabama, shares his tips on creating an easy deep-drop leader.


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