Musky America Magazine

Why Should You Use A Leader? With very few exceptions, Muskie anglers use solid wire steel leaders. We have had a few questions from Anglers new to Muskie fishing wondering why it is so important to use leaders. In a word, the answer is teeth . As most of you have read in printed periodicals and books, you should always use a solid-wire-steel-leaders when you fish for our Musky friend. With the advent of Spectra line, some anglers are foregoing leaders. Leaders can be bought over the counter in all sizes with and without swivels and with a variety of snaps. There is nothing worse than to be in some remote location fishing for Musky only to discover that you are short on leaders or that the leaders that you have are not quite what the conditions dictate. Muskie are equipped with a formidable set of teeth. They have teeth along their lower jaw and in rows just under the gum of their lower jaw. As you can see from the photo, they also have hundreds of teeth on the roof of their mouth. They also have small teeth on their tongue as well as teeth in their gullet. The Muskie uses these teeth to capture its prey and hold it while he turns the prey animal around in his mouth so that he can consume the prey headfirst. As you might suspect, these teeth are very sharp. Muskie have been known to cut through line with their teeth as easily as does a sharp fillet knife. You can get an idea of just how sharp these teeth are from the highly magnified photo of a single tooth shown here. The teeth are somewhat conical; however, they have very sharp edges that are very similar to a very sharp fillet knife. A fillet knife will cut through most any fishing line with very little effort. Picture you fishing line tied directly to your lure and your lure well lodged in the mouth of a Musky It doesn't take much thrashing from the Muskie before your line becomes frayed and even cleanly cut. The leader gives you some insurance from being "bit off" but it will not ensure that you will never get your line sliced by the teeth of a Muskie.