Have you been using wire leaders that are just not up for the job of handling big northern pike? Have you had bite offs, kinked leaders, and problems with wire abrasion and corrosion? Well, so have I! And as I got tired of all that, I did some serious research and testing in order to find the very best wire leaders for northern pike.
When it comes to pike wire leaders, your best choice is a leader that is made of single or multi-strand titanium.
Titanium wire leaders are extremely strong, smooth, and flexible, allowing for an optimal bait and lure presentation. They also kink far less than conventional steel leaders.
When it comes to breaking strength, you should be using wires that have a 25-30lb test. For lure fishing, your wire leader should have a length of 10-15”, while for fishing with live or dead bait, the length should be between 15 and 20”.
Here are my top 5 wire leaders for northern pike.
Bass Pro Shops XPS Titanium 7-Strand Leader
This first leader is made of titanium of the highest quality and as perfect as can be when it comes to ready-tied pike wire leaders for lure fishing with medium to large-sized lures and a medium retrieve speed.
To many anglers, not having to tie their own leaders is a much welcome luxury that saves a lot of time on the bank that can be spent fishing instead.
Many ready-tied leaders are of really bad quality and often break, pull apart or corrode (trust me, I have had plenty of those). This is why a lot of anglers shy away from them, which is understandable!
However, Bass Pro Shops’ very own titanium leader is nothing like that! It’s really well crafted and has a smart design to it.
When I first used this leader, I was especially impressed by the super bond technology that was applied to the crimps. As they are merged with both the wire material and the swivels, they sit perfectly balanced and secure; no more too tight or too loose when it comes to leader crimps. Really awesome and smart technology!
Here are a few more important specs about this leader:
|Lengths||9”, 12”, or 18”|
Terminator Titanium Multi-Strand Leader
Leader number two is the Terminator Titanium Multi-Strand, which is another great ready-tied titanium wire to use when lure fishing for northern pike.
This leader is best suited for big lures and a slow to medium retrieve speed.
It has an unbelievable smoothness and flexibility to it, which reminds of that of a monofilament line. Even the thicker diameters are extremely flexible and just won’t kink!
In fact, this leader’s kink resistance is probably the best one on the entire American market! It takes the concept of the kink-free wire to an entirely new level, which is great news, as you won’t have to replace it with a new leader after just a couple of bites. It’s really long-lasting!
Another great feature of the Terminator titanium leader is its high-quality Rosco ball bearing, which does a very fine job preventing mainline twists.
It’s also got a super strong Coastlok snap that will hold any lure size and weight securely and manages even the wildest of pike fights, so that you can fish and with full confidence and control!
Knot 2 Kinky Nickel-Titanium Leader Wire
This nickel-titanium leader is still fairly new on the market but has already managed to convince thousands of pike fishermen.
This is the material you will want to purchase if you want to make your own lure or live/dead bait leaders!
The combination nickel-titanium seems to be the perfect one in terms of flexibility and personally, I have never seen such a wire material before.
The Knot 2 Kinky even has some stretch to it, which helps it recover from really hard bites and violent fights. This, coupled with the fact that it basically cannot kink, makes it a really economically sustainable and long-lasting DIY pike leader.
Pro Tip: While this leader material can be knotted, it really isn’t that easy to do! I have found the knotless knot to work very well instead! You can also use crimps in order to attach your hooks and/or swivels to the leader!
This leader sells for a little over $10, which is a really decent price, considering you’ll get 15 feet of wire!
Malin PFC Trolling Soft Wire
This soft wire leader material is an awesome choice for trolling. Not only is it extremely smooth and flexible, but the high-density Soft Monel variant also sinks very fast, which can be of huge help when trying to keep your trolling lures or trolled baitfish at the intended depth.
Other convincing features of the Malin Trolling Wire include:
- great corrosion and abrasion resistance
- kinks less than conventional leader materials
- can be straightened when bent
- does not curl if pulled at a sharp angle
However, the best thing about this leader is its price. 600 feet of 30lb test sells for less than $30, which is absolutely phenomenal if you ask me.
And a length like that probably means that you won’t have to buy any more trolling leaders for the rest of your life!
VMC Titanium 7-Strand Leader
This last multi-strand titanium leader is most suited for smaller lures and a fast retrieve speed.
When fishing with smaller lures that you reel in faster, a shorter leader length will often suffice, as the pike won’t manage to engulf the entire bait and possibly threaten the mainline with its sharp teeth.
This leader has a length of 6” or 12” and a 30lb test, making it the perfect leader for small to medium-sized northern pike. But thanks to its breaking strength, it’ll also manage to handle really big pike.
Besides being super flexible and virtually kink-free, it is also equipped with highly-reliable and well-fitting premium HEX crimps on both ends, a very strong ball-bearing swivel, and an easy-to-open and secure snap swivel.
All in all, a smooth and, underwater, barely noticeable leader for pike fishing with smaller lures.