Is a shock leader really necessary?

Hi all, Im just asking this question as my last 2 sessions Ive encountered a fair few snags and lost some rigs. As I prefer to fish with a pulley paternoster rig off the beach most times, when I get snagged if the line breaks its generally past where my shock leader was tied on (I use 20lb mainline and 50lb monoleader as the shock leader). The problem with the rig is that its all connected as one to the shock leader, so I cant use a 'rotten bottom' on the weight side using lighter line as if that breaks the whole rig is lost, and on the hook side (say if that gets snagged) I dont really want to use any lighter line for fear of bite offs. I understand the principles and why a shock leader is used but Im just wondering what any of you guys have to say about it and whether you have any preferences (to be honest its just a pain in the arse tieing a new one on after each session!). All opinions welcome, cheers

opsrey's picture

Posts: 1199

Date Joined: 05/10/07

Don't fear bite offs....

Mon, 2013-01-28 20:17

 Just my approach. Don't got so heavy on the shock leader, down size to 30lb and see if you get bite offs. Then If you do get a bite off, not bust off, rethink the situation and make adjustments if you think it's warranted.


perhaps you need to change the way your line is retrieved, or the sinkers you use so you have less snaging.


Also, check your last 50m of line. Beach fishing is very hard on line and damage is common. Learn and use the platted double or easier joining knot the Albright which will provide stronger joins.

Perhaps other lines of improvement will follow this post. Good luck, and tight lines.

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8132

Date Joined: 24/07/07

Never used one

Mon, 2013-01-28 21:18

I have never a shock leader or double and do not have any idea on how to tie one, not that I'm thinking of learning.

Just tied the paternoster rig top swivel straight to the main line. The rig usually consists of 40lb main to the sinker and the same for the droppers.

The heaviest line that I've used on a rod off the beach is 30lb mono and that has allowed me to land heaps of fish that triple the breaking strain and sharks to over a hundred lbs with a catch ratio well in my favour.


The only time this changes is when I know there is a possibility of snags and so will reduce the sinker trace down to around 15lb because I would rather lose a sinker than the whole rig.


Off a boat its the same thing, paternoster rig straight on to the main line, usually between 40-80lb braid or trolling, main line straight to the swivel on the end of metre long wire or 100lb mono trace. Rarely use a gaff to land fish, just grab the top of thr trace and lift it in, with a double header, same way except you also grab where the bottom dropper joins to share the load.

Brickie33's picture

Posts: 34

Date Joined: 04/04/12

Thanks for the info guys, I

Wed, 2013-01-30 19:55

Thanks for the info guys, I think the main problem is the pulley rig that I prefer to use, as its all connected, cant have the weight attached to a low breaking strain line as when it goes, the rig goes. The simplest solution for me is just to change to a different paternoster style rig, and have a lot lighter line on the weight as its independent to the rest of the rig. I fished that way when I used to live in the UK and to be honest didnt have many problems with it, just used a 5lb line to the weight and any snags just gave it a good tug and got my rig back minus the weight. I think the reason I prefer the pulley rig is that I tend to use impact clips when casting and as its a pulley, when Im hooked up to the impact clip (which is attached to the weight) with the treble on my gang, it pulls everything together and keeps it all streamlined which I believe does aid in both casting distance and accuracy a fair bit. I might go back to a regular paternoster though depending on how tommorow nights session goes!

cuthbad's picture

Posts: 1266

Date Joined: 22/04/09

how about a very short piece

Thu, 2013-01-31 06:01

how about a very short piece of lighter line between imp clip and sinker?

Pulley rig would still work and not come apart if you lose the sinker. Have fished that way myself occasionally but it was alot of work getting a short enough piece of line between imp clip and sinker so it didnt affect casting. Then they changed the design of the imp clips and I stopped using them anyway... but thats another story

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 16320

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 as far as shock leader goes,

Thu, 2013-01-31 20:07

 as far as shock leader goes, imo it not only takes the shock away from the braid on the strike , it also protects the braid a bit from rubbing against reefs and rocky bottoms. mono is more scuff resistant than braided line.


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Brickie33's picture

Posts: 34

Date Joined: 04/04/12

 Thanks for all the replies

Sun, 2013-02-03 14:05

 Thanks for all the replies guys, cuthbad I think I'll give your idea a go, cheers mate!