How Do You Tie a Leader to a Main Fishing Line?

Tying a leader to a main fishing line is an important part of any angler’s fishing setup. A leader is a length of line that connects the end of your main fishing line to your terminal tackle, such as the hook, swivel, or lure.

The leader helps keep your line from being damaged by rubbing against abrasive surfaces and it also helps to disguise your main line from wary fish. Learning how to tie a leader to a main line can help you become a more successful angler.

The most common way to tie a leader to a main fishing line is with an improved clinch knot. To do this, start by taking the end of the leader and the end of the main fishing line and overlapping them for about 6 inches.

Take one of the ends and pass it through the loop created by the overlap 5 times and then pass it back through the loop again. Now pull on both ends until you have tightened up all 5 wraps around the looped section.

Next, moisten both ends with saliva or water and pull on them firmly until you have tied an improved clinch knot in place. Make sure that you have pulled on all 5 wraps tightly so that there are no gaps between them and that they are close together. Finally cut off any excess length from both ends with scissors or nail clippers.


Tying a leader to your main fishing line can be done quickly and easily using an improved clinch knot. This knot will keep your terminal tackle firmly attached while also protecting your mainline from abrasion damage or being seen by wary fish. With some practice, tying an improved clinch knot will become second nature and you’ll be able to quickly rig up for any type of fishing.

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Lindsay Collins