Bitten off by Salmon

 I've had a couple of bite offs in the last week, and was wondering how to prevent them.


The most recent was a salmon, I almost had him landed after a good fight (including a couple of jumps, it was a good fat fish) and bang the line goes limp and I reel in a broken leader.


The leader was 60 lb Black Magic leader, snelled to some 3/0, 5/0 and 4/0 circle hooks.  In both bite offs, the leader was bitten off right at the snell knot, so after it's gone through the eye of the hook and starting to make its way into the wraps.


How do I prevent this?  I tried using 40 lb plastic coated wire, but don't seem to get the same hookup rate as I get when using the more supple 60 lb leader.  I'm not sure if this is flurocarbon, it just says "Tough trace" on the packet.


Should I use 100 lb leader?  Should I use dyneema, mono, or something instead?  Appreciate your thoughts.

Daryn's picture

Posts: 102

Date Joined: 01/05/12

60lb is more than enough, I

Wed, 2018-03-21 14:38

60lb is more than enough, I suspect your line is crossing at the eye and cutting into itself. 


Or your hooks are cheap and have some sharp edges....

Posts: 56

Date Joined: 31/08/17

Here's how I'm doing it, I

Wed, 2018-03-21 14:55

Here's how I'm doing it, I don't think that the hooks have any sharp edges, I've found them to be good hooks.

Faulkner Family's picture

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Date Joined: 11/03/08

 i would think its the hook .

Wed, 2018-03-21 15:06

 i would think its the hook . where it loops around to the shaft there is quite often a sharp bit. 

question for you is are the hooks your using got a loop that goes straight or bent. if the straight eye ones the bust off will happen a fair bit. use the ones that have the bent eye. 

just seen the pic. you may have too wraps which i found cuts into the line . i only do 5 wraps and they hold well


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Daryn's picture

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Date Joined: 01/05/12

Not breaking where I thought

Wed, 2018-03-21 15:02

Not breaking where I thought you meant - maybe a bad batch of line?


I've used 20lb black magic leader for Salmon and never had issues. I do change it when it gets rough though. You may also have had a salmon on each hook if you are using 2?


Don't complicate things with Salmon - they will seriously eat anything in a frenzy - maybe try gangs and a mulie instead.

Posts: 56

Date Joined: 31/08/17

 This was a fresh snelled

Wed, 2018-03-21 15:15

 This was a fresh snelled setup, made last night, second mulie I threw today, so I think the line would still be good.


The three hooks are only a couple of cm apart, they all go through the mulie.  


Does anyone use dyneema for this sort of thing?

grantarctic1's picture

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Date Joined: 03/03/11

I have found

Wed, 2018-03-21 15:15

 I have found the "tough trace " fails sometimes with a snelled rig . I dont like to use fluro this way either.

I use Supple Black magic 30lb for Salmon and rarely have a problem. Sometimes we go too hard on the fish and if they jump you can get line pop at the weekest point.

That being where the line is squeezed or put under preasure from the wraps of the snell on the hook shaft . 

Auslobster's picture

Posts: 1881

Date Joined: 03/05/08

Im sorry mate...

Wed, 2018-03-21 20:40

 ...but it is absolutely, positively, impossible to be "bitten off" by a salmon. They have virtually NO teeth or even any sharp edges. Don't know why you're coming unstuck, but if it is indeed salmon that you're hooking, you're not being bitten off.

Posts: 479

Date Joined: 21/05/12

 absolutely true what

Wed, 2018-03-21 21:04

 absolutely true what auslobster says! salmon cant bite u off

seen em cut line with a gill plate tho

m8 when u pull the knots up 

do u wet the line - if not thats a start

i have had some real bad luck with some leaders that just wouldnt hold a snell

i got some cheapish mono -and never had an issue

salmon aint fussy 

by all means use a snell but a gang is quicker

i use single hooks for em, lately even cicle hooks with bait, however i mostly throw lures at em

Pete F's picture

Posts: 60

Date Joined: 07/01/18

Same had issues with

Thu, 2018-03-22 10:11

Same had issues with flourocarbon leaders and some knots, especialy blood droppers. I switched to a clear mono and never looked back. 

I had problems with bite offs this year from big tailor and shark, found a way to use a short length of wire between the snelled hooks. I can fish a whole session now on the one set of snelled hooks bag out on Tailor and it is still good to go for Mulloway latter.

I put a post on the rigs forum earlier about it. This is a pic from then, since then I have adapted it to use a short legth of lumo tube above the hooks to cover the wire and it has been working very well.






 Cheers Treky

Posts: 56

Date Joined: 31/08/17

 This was absolutely,

Fri, 2018-03-23 09:48

 This was absolutely, positively, a salmon.  We locked eyes when he jumped out of the water, about 5 metres away from me.  Big fat salmon.  No question.


I rang a mate and he said the same thing about them not being able to bite you off... but clearly there's an issue somewhere.  Perhaps it's the line, perhaps it's the knot I was using.  I'll change both and see what happens.


I appreciate the reply, thanks for posting 

davmor's picture

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Date Joined: 29/11/11

 As already stated, use

Thu, 2018-03-22 06:19

 As already stated, use gangs.

Simon5.7's picture

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Date Joined: 26/12/17

 Assume you're talking

Thu, 2018-03-22 09:06

 Assume you're talking Australian Salmon that are starting on their northern spawning run ?

if they're not taking lures I switch to mulies and use a single circle hook either tied as a snell or blood knot. I find that gangs make a mess of the fish and significantly reduces their survival rate as we pretty much are catch and release with them

Must say never had the line break / get bitten through and have caught hundreds over the years

maybe it's jus a bad batch of line ?

Posts: 380

Date Joined: 23/04/14

Multiple hooks not really needed

Thu, 2018-03-22 10:19

 I don't think you need multiple hooks for baits.  Caught plenty on live and dead baits with a single large circle hook. Even my lures I replace the trebles with singles. 

Then again, I mainly fish 2kg and 3kg for salmon, so not really stressing the terminal tackle, but I have landed fish after being wrapped around reef sections.




Fishn n Ridin's picture

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Date Joined: 21/09/17

Could you try "boring out" a

Sat, 2018-03-24 10:11

Could you try "boring out" a lumo bead with a skewer or something similar, then sliding the lumo bead over the top of your snell? Red ones would probably end up almost invisible underwater anyway but fish seem to like the green too.

Bing's picture

Posts: 145

Date Joined: 13/02/11


Sat, 2018-03-24 19:54

Seems odd for you to be losing salmon on such heavy gear.

Have you loaded a few rigs up after tying to see if they are breaking at lower then expected tension? 

Posts: 56

Date Joined: 31/08/17

Sliding float rig

Sat, 2018-03-24 23:33

 Based on the advice here, especially the helpful photos Pete F posted, here's my latest.



Sliding float rig, 100 lb leader, home made 3D printed float, sinker, attached to 40 lb nylon coated multistrand wire, snelled 6/0 and 4/0 circles, with rubber band to keep the bait on the hooks.  Load tested to as much as I can pull with the mono wrapped around my hand (10 kg at least?)  The sliding float idea has worked really well in the past, the float stays with the bait while casting, then when it hits the water the sinker pulls the mono through the float and the bait descends to the right depth.  The area I fish is quite rocky, normal dropper rigs simply don't work due to getting snagged all the time.  I've tuned the size of the float through trial and error to give enough buoyancy to set the hooks properly, and still give a good indication when something has taken it.  The bright orange paint really helps when the float is a long way away in whitewash, it stands out on the surface and it's obvious when it's getting pulled under the surface.




If this breaks then I'll have to take up knitting or something.

Pete F's picture

Posts: 60

Date Joined: 07/01/18

Looks good, I have found with

Sun, 2018-03-25 08:20

Looks good, I have found with 50lb wire after a good session the working of the wire between the snells at the attachment to the top hook can just fall off. This happened twice after landing Tailor it just fell of with the hook at my feet. You need a good wire that will flex without weakening.

I switched to 80lb wire and no problems with some long sessions and lots of fish including some big stuff and long fights. Using the heavey wire I tie short to the hook so as to not put anything off 3-4cm and not been bitten off yet. 


 Cheers Treky

Posts: 204

Date Joined: 02/01/12

 100lb leader and wire trace

Sun, 2018-03-25 08:39

 100lb leader and wire trace to catch salmon?

try using a stick of TNT 

Posts: 56

Date Joined: 31/08/17

 Thanks to all for your

Tue, 2018-03-27 15:37


Thanks to all for your advice, I've got the rig sorted now.  The combination of 60 lb Sunline flurocarbon leader and Gamakatsu 6/0 hooks had no problems landing this guy.  The hoodoo is broken!  YEW!!!