The Quick-Change Looped Leadcore Leader Set-Up
And other leadcore tips...
Having used ESP Leadcore as my leader material of choice for a very long time, I’ve tended to pick-up or stumble upon a few tricks to get the best out of it over the years. Leadcore ticks all the boxes for me as a leader: it’s super strong, tough and abrasion resistant, sinks heavily and blends in nicely. Dave Ellyatt
Give it a stretch…
After constructing a new leader and attaching the lead, I stand on the lead and tension the leadcore to stretch it out. I usually use leaders of between 5 and 6ft long and by cutting the leadcore at around 5ft and stretching it tends to add another six-inches or so to the length. This not only makes it go slightly thinner but also makes it feel fractionally supplier.
Fluff it up…
Before forming a spliced loop, remove the section of wire then tap the end of the hollow section with your finger tip to separate the fibres and form a soft fluffy bit at the end. When you trap this in the gate of the splicing needle the soft, separated fibres are much easier to pull back through the hollow section and form the splice. No more broken splicing needles!
Before casting out a dry leader, lower it into the margins to give it a good soak. Then retrieve it and run it between your fingers along the length of the leader. This not only darkens up the leadcore nicely so it blends in better with the lakebed, but it also squeezes out any air trapped in the fibres meaning that it won’t be lying on the bottom covered in air bubbles.
The Quick-Change Looped Leader
I really like this edge, something shown to me by Oxford Carp Baits’ Joe Forrester a few years ago. It entails splicing a two- or three-inch long loop in the end of the leadcore leader. This very simple trick means you can change the lead arrangement on the leader quickly and easily without having to cut anything or re-splice. So you could change from a helicopter rig with the lead on the end of the leader, to a lead clip, or and in-line lead. Or if you want to change from say a conventional heli rig set-up to a Choddy with a Chod Rig Sleeve you just simply unhitch the loop and swap the components over.
Here’s how to construct it:
1. Remove eight-inches of lead wire from the leadcore.
2. Form a splice by inserting the splicing needle at the start of the hollow section then back through after about 30mm.
3. Then trap the fluffed up tag end (see ‘Fluff It Up’ tip) in the gate of the needle and ease it back through the hollow section to form the splice.
4. You should be left with a loop of around two- to three-inches long. The loop can be made longer or shorter - it all depends on how big a lead you intend to use.
5. To construct a conventional helicopter rig set-up, thread on a section of 0.5mm silicone tube, with the help of the splicing needle. If
I’m fishing over a reasonably firm bottom I locate this just at the top of the splice.
6. Then thread on a 5mm rubber bead and locate it on the section of silicone tube - this is the top stop.
7. Now thread on your hooklink swivel. I use a Quick Change Heli-Clip.
8. Then thread on another 5mm rubber bead.
9. I use a cut down ESP Streamliner Sleeve to cover the lead loop - thread this on next. The 5mm bead plugs nicely onto the pointed taper of the sleeve.
10. Now half-hitch the lead (I remove the lead swivel) onto the leadcore loop.
11. Then push the Streamliner Sleeve over the lead loop and plug the 5mm bead on top of the sleeve. The last thing to do is attach the hooklink.
12. This system is neat and tidy and very convenient and it means that I rarely need to change my leaders.