For years I bought my leadcore leaders ready spliced with lead clips attached in packs of three for convenience and for some reason shrugged off how to make them myself. After a while I wanted to have different swivels or quick change swivels on them and even got fed up with that big o ring on the end that I cut off every time.
What more pleasure I thought of catching a fish with not only a rig I tied myself but a leader made by my hands too.
I didn’t realise how easy it was and I regret not getting off my arse sooner and giving it a bash!
All you need is a splicing needle or any thin needle with a latch, your choice of swivel or QC swivel as I favour at the moment for ease of quick rig changes, two rig pullers and of course some leadcore.
I’m using Korda Kable as its good value for money, very reliable, easy to use and comes in 25 meter spools at 50lb breaking strain.
For the price of a pack of three leaders off the rails you can make 25 at the same length for three times the price. Makes sense, right?
Simply cut your leadcore to your desired length. I usually go for around 1 meter.
Grab one end with your finger and thumb and push the coating down away from the core, bunching it up leaving about four inches (10cm) of the core protruding. Then cut or snap off the core and allow the braid to un-bunch and straighten out. (don’t pull the core out as this will limit the amount on the other end)
Now find where the core finishes by bending the braid until you feel the end of the core (this should be 4 inches long)
At the point where the core ends, insert the hook of your needle with the latch open and slide it down the hollow braided coating then allowing the needle to splice out half way to the end, like shown.
Now, thread on your swivel, I’m using a QC swivel here.
Using the hook of the needle, grab the very end of the braid, close the latch and pull the needle back through the spliced hole whilst still attached to the end and through the hollow. (Try not to twist the needle as this is how I’ve snapped several whilst practising!)
It can be easier to bunch the braid around the needle to help it pass through, making the hollow diameter a little larger.
Now your needle should be back through the very first hole you made where the core ended. Open the latch and remove the needle and push your finger and thumb down away from your swivel, making the coating un-bunch and smoothen out, this will help make a strong friction join and this will also help hide the braided end inside the join making it look neat, like so.
Using a puller tool, pull on the swivel and tension the leader to make the splice set.
You can add a drop of glue to the spliced section for added strength/confidence/security if you feel the need to.
In the other end of your leader just follow the steps again but don’t add a swivel and just make a loop to attach to your mainline. I find it easier to strip back a little bit more of the core in order to get a good sized loop of about 5-8mm in diameter. Now use a puller tool at both ends and pull tight to check the strength.
I hope this helps and gives you the pleasure and pride in your own angling craftsmanship and hopefully saving you a few quid too!
Thanks for reading,
Tight lines (and leaders!)