When feeder fishing with braided main lines I always use a shock leader made from a strong and abrasion resistant nylon. This is around twice the length of the rod, which puts a couple of turns of the leader onto the reel when I am casting, enough to take the strain of the cast. The diameter of the leader depends upon the peg I am fishing. Normally, a 0.21mm / 8lb leader is about right, but I will step up to 0.23mm in snaggy swims, or drop to 0.19mm when fishing for bream and smaller fish, especially if extra distance is required. The key thing is that the leader should be abrasion resistant to help avoid tackle losses as the line rubs across the river bed and on unseen obstacles. 

At the business end of the leader I use a simple set-up that is designed to be flexible and tangle-free. 

  1. Start off by threading a Rig Stop onto the leader, followed by a Quick Change Swivel. 
  2. Now add two Rig Stops and move the whole lot about 60cm up the leader line, to give us room to work on the end.
  3. Thread on a Feeder Connector Swivel to the short end of the leader and fold the line over with the swivel at the bottom of the folded line.
  4. Make a twizzled boom about 12cm long in the doubled-over line and fix this in place with an over-hand knot. This boom should be just longer than the feeder, to act as a mini-boom, reducing tangles and protecting the line from the feeder.
  5. Position the stops just above the twizzled boom. If during your session you want to try a longer hooklength then you can quickly slide the stops up the line to adjust the position over the feeder.
  6. The upper Rig Stop can be positioned either tight to the Connector Swivel to give a semi-fixed bolt rig, or moved up the leader to enable the feeder to be free running.
  7. Tie the leader to the main line braid and attach your hooklength to the Feeder Connector Swivel. 

Give this simple shock leader a go, it is very versatile and particularly useful when fishing powerful rivers, such as the Trent or Severn, helping to protect your fine braided main line.

Tom Noton

Braided main lines are great for bite detection, but use a mono shock leader to protect the line on the cast and from abrasion against rocks on the bottom.

My shock leader is easy to tie and very adjustable for different conditions.

Use a quality, high abrasion mono for your shock leader.

A quality river Trent bream caught casting a feeder three-quarters of the way across the river using one of my shock leader rigs.