What’s the Difference Between Fishing Line and Leader?

Fishing line and leader are two of the most important elements of a successful fishing trip. While they have some similarities, they are two distinct components that serve different purposes. Knowing the difference between these two types of fishing line can help anglers make the right choices for their specific needs.

Fishing Line is the main connection between an angler and their catch. It is usually made from nylon monofilament, braided multifilament, or fluorocarbon material.

Fishing line is typically thicker than leader, and comes in different test weights that correspond to the type of fish being Targeted. The test weight determines how much weight the line can withstand before breaking, so it’s important to choose a line that’s strong enough for the species being pursued.

Leader is a thin section of fishing line that connects the main fishing line to a hook or lure. Leader is usually made from monofilament, fluorocarbon, or wire material.

The diameter of leader material is much smaller than that of fishing line, making it less visible in the water and less likely to spook wary fish. The length of leader also differs depending on what type of fishing technique an angler is using.


Fishing line and leader may seem similar at first glance but they actually serve different purposes while out on the water. Fishing line provides strength and visibility while leader provides stealth and sensitivity when Targeting finicky fish. Understanding these differences can help anglers select the best materials for their next fishing adventure.

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Michael Allen