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I know this may spark off some controversy/debate but its an attempt to show my thinking in making leadcore slightly safer to use :)


This is just for use for Helicopter/Rotary Rigs, incorporating leaders.


Firstly we come to the personal decision of whether its better to dump the lead, leaving the hooklink and leader tethered to the fish, or, using the weight of the lead to pull the leader free of the hooklink, just leaving the fish with the hook link to get rid of.I favour the latter, to my thinking, surely the quicker a fish can get rid of the leader the better.

With this in mind I set about trying to create a safe a leader as possible, but this presented its own problems.

A lot of the kits available now don't work as effectively as you think. Shrink and Silicone Tube aren't fixed and can both be slid up the leader with the bead connected. Yes we are told to moisten the bead before its slid into place but don't forget the leadcore/leader also soaks up moisture making it more slippery.

One of the best kits out there is the Korda kit, because the bead is split, it has a much better chance of slipping off, freeing the hooklink, but the kit can still slip up the leader.


Which has lead me to trying to create something that doesn't slip at all, leaving the bead as the only movable point.This is where I came up with this idea, tying a 4 turn barrel knot using the leadcore/leader itself. 





This can not move, which puts all of the pressure on to the bead. After tying the knot I shrink a piece of heat shrink tube over the top to facilitate the bead coming off.




The lead inner has been stripped out of this bottom section of leadcore to the top of the knot.


This is the presentation in its entirety




All I can say, before you comment, try it, and try the lead theory I have mentioned, try getting rid of the leader without the lead, then try getting rid of the leader with the lead and you'll see how much better it is.

To my thinking, the fish being able to get rid of the entire leader has to be better than towing it around.

Another point to make, these beads have a taper, with the larger hole facing away from the lead. This helps the bead to slip over the knot connecting the mainline. 

I have also found, the heavier the lead the better, and instead of using a ring swivel which has been problematic I would suggest using a big eye swivel, with the larger eye pushed over the leader.Plus I have adopted using barbless hooks with this particular presentation, on a just in case basis and my mainline is strong, 18lb to be exact.


The main reason for using Leadcore lately is because of its stiffness, Leadcore does not follow all of the contours of the lake bed as once believed, this is due to the Lead Inner, which is specifically why I am using leadcore.Other softer, lead free versions do follow the contours, and my pool is littered with very sharp debris.

The leadcore predominantly lies on top of the debris without coming into contact with many of the razor sharp edges where a softer more supple leader would drape over these edges.I would like to make it clear, that leadcore wasn't my first choice, but it is the better of two evils in my situation.It goes without saying that you should check the condition of your leader and mainline before each cast and make sure everything works just how it should.

Accidents happen, crack off's, loosing fish during the fight, but to my thinking, I have made this presentation as safe as possible, using the lead to pull the leader free.


As you see a lot of thought and testing has gone into this rig and I know it may spark off some debate, but I feel perfectly justified in my decision for using it.    

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That lead will knock the hell out of the fish, clonking around its head, helisafe for me, no leadcore, its just been banned on our lake.

Surely if a standard rig is used the lead will be the same distance as any other rig presentation, be it bolt or running?

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Surely if a standard rig is used the lead will be the same distance as any other rig presentation, be it bolt or running?

 The lead on these two set ups is suspended between you and the fish on a tight line. 


On heli set ups its just hanging from the hook link swivel, which can knock the fish much more aggressively.


One thing i found when i played about with chods a few years back was that the lead can snag all too easy if the length between bottom bead and lead is more than 3 to 4 inches.

I did as you have Gary, with knotting the leader to stop it slipping, but after 45 minutes trying to free the lead with a fish on ,as the lead had wedged in a fork of an under water branch, I felt it better to have the bead slip then cushion on a 2 inch length of tubing coming off the lead.

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When I fish a heli lead arrangement, be that a chod or hinged stiff rig etc, I have no bottom stop. The rig can just slide down the the lead and sit against it. There is less movement from the lead this way than on a lead clip.

When fishing the chod rig, I use a slide off bead at the bottom.


The idea is that the bead will keep the rig a ways up the lead core on the cast and then come off when playing the fish so that the lead is tight to the rig with, as you rightfully point out, minimum movement.

Edited by dalthegooner
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I would say it's okay, if you added a lead release system. Obviously there's no adjustment, but if your using it for the same purpose every time then that's okay . I've used the Fox submerge in 45lb instead of lead core for over 12 months now. It's robust in the abrasion resistance department , and follows the contours of the lake bed nicely. I would have no quarms reverting back to lead core. Leadcore is as safe as the angler is sitting by the rods using it. In this I mean using it responsibly with proven safety systems and not using it in a snag fishing situation or long range casting where a crack off could occur.

Korda have it covered in the safety department with their no trace system and the Heli Safe lead release . Costs a fair bit but what price do you put on the safety of the fish.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gaz, I like the thinking behind this and as I'll be moving onto a very weedy water next season that "Asks" for leadcore (I know!) I will have to come up with some rig arrangements I am happy to use.


My std will surely be a drop off inline, but I'm really not happy to drop a lead and leave leadcore behind, because as you say the lead makes it easier for the fish to shed the leadcore and lead in one. With the weed problems though, I will probably need to lose the lead to get fish to the bank!


As for the comments about the lead banging around the fish's head on a heli type setup, I agree, and I would fish this rig with a short length of mono from the quick clip to the lead. This would have the added benefit of minimising fish losses/hook pulls.


The other drawback I can see for this particular rig as it is pictured is, that the top bead position is now fixed, so if you want to fish the hooklink further up the leader you have to change it all, but my weak link option above actually solves that too.


Not being critical Gaz, just giving an opinion.

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I don't take anything as a criticism, we all have our own belief's, derived from our own experiences, experiments and thoughts :)


All good then. And the suggestions I have made are as you say from experience and use.


I tied up a mock of it on the weekend actually, and I like it! A couple of tweaks for my own preference and it's a winner, thank you!

Edited by mooseman
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A very simple way to tie, firstly make sure your line is strong,


Tie an overhand loop, make sure its big enough to pass through the lead ring and over the lead.




Then just add a big eye swivel, shrink tube and bead.





The good thing about these rigs, is you can take off the hooklink and lead and attach a spod or spomb, should you need to put any bait out, and the swivel is now running up and down two pieces of line instead of one, making it more durable :)

Edited by Gazlaaar
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That's another really nice simple rig solution Gaz, you have obviously put some thought into these rigs to keep them clutter free. My style too. I'll be tying that up while I'm fishing at the weekend.


My "Version" that I mocked up of your leadcore rig is exactly the same as yours, but with the lead on a 6" length of line below the quick clip so that it hangs under the fish during the fight.

This lessens the chance of hookpulls from the lead being so close to the carps mouth, plus means less chance of it banging around it's head. This mono boom can then quickly be shortened/lengthened to effectively change the bottom "Stop" of the hooklink swivel, if that makes sense.

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You can both of these rigs drop off style, the advantage being, that the lead only comes off if, it itself gets caught up, not on every take.

As stated though, I wouldn't do this using a leader, but the naked version would be fine, as if it did snap, the break will almost certainly be at the back of the knot.

I do believe in simplifying things, theres a lot of unnecessary items out, that just aren't needed. :)

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  • 6 months later...

I picked up this abomination last trip: a shop bought preformed leadcore leader, with the lead clip tight over the hooklink join, but it is the leadcore leader itself that worries me.


I had retrieved it from a tree, all tangled up, just above water level.

I have no problem with the rig itself, although the plastic hookbait was still held in place by a bait stop, which if it had landed and tangled in the water, would have been fishing continuously and permanently until the hook rusted away, potentially leading to tethered fish




Please, please if you use leadcore, don't use it in snags or weedy waters, it is lethal.


Personal choice, please, don't use it at all.

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Should of took a picture of a rig Androooo dragged in up Horseshoe the other week.


Was a length of braid probably 6-8 ft long to an unleaded leader of around a metre ,inline lead that was never going to drop off , all connected to mono mainline! Horseshoe has a no leader rule this guy was using two !!

Edited by chillfactor
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I fish helis a lot.


In my opinion the lead release system for heli setups is the most dangerous item of tackle in recent years, dressed up as a safety system. It is only useful in helping to get rid of the lead while playing the fish, but as some have said, if the rig slips down to the lead when the line to the hook is tight the lead is unlikely to snag up anyway and won't give the fish a black eye! In the event of a crack off or a line break, the best situation if you ask me is that the lead snags up leaving the fish to swim away from it, off the leader, and only left with the rig to deal with. If the lead is gone the line/leader could well snag up as it's likely the long side, and the fish would be totally tethered as what's left of the lead release system would stop the fish freeing itself.


This is one of the few items of tackle available that even when used correctly is still dangerous if you ask me. There are very few items of tackle available that are dangerous by design, although very many ways of setting them up that are dangerous, including leadcore, lead clips, leaders, even swivels and quick release clips! All of which are perfectly good useable items of tackle. All of which can create a death rig if used incorrectly.

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