Taking Wraps On Leaders

I will get mad and sad and teary-eyed tomorrow, just like I did on the 9/11 we all remember!

I just got done writing a column for Marlin magazine about when to use what circle hook. Friends of mine have missed out on literally hundreds of thousands of dollars because they broke or straightened out hooks on fairly light line. Look in the next issue of Marlin for my take on a recent trend and how not to lose the money if you are lucky enough to get hooked up to the right fish (not the Wright fish). I never did find the one I (we) wanted, but was pretty sure we could have caught it and put it in the boat — and made tons of money, if we got paid in English currency!

On another note, I am amazed by how many times I get e-mails — from all over the place: Africa, Australia, Florida, California — asking if they should take wraps on leaders. Charles Perry and I give Marlin University seminars on this all the time! The answer is Of course you should!

However, in the last two months, in two separate magazines about recreational angling, a couple of writers wrote not to take wraps. I’m acquainted with both of them, and as far as I can tell, neither of them has ever worked a day on a real charter boat, but both consider themselves experts. They claim that taking a wrap can cause the leader, wire or mono to get caught or jammed up on your hand. Didn’t either of these dumbos ever pay attention to how a spinning reel works? I know they both use them all the time. I see their pictures in magazines, and sometimes they make instructional videos.

With a spinning reel, the line is wound on in one direction and spins smoothly off in the other direction when the bail is released. The exact same thing happens when you learn how to take wraps and let them go. It is one of the very first skills a new deckhand has to learn — first from instruction and then by practice.

It is possible to get caught in any supple line, wire, rope or strap if you are careless or do not know how to handle it. You should never step into any kind of line, rope or leader lying in loops or coils on the deck. The only way to handle leader well is to always take wraps, even if just for practice.

I kind of hope to get a reply from the expert fishermen who wrote the stories, after they look closely at how a spinning reel works — without jamming (unless the line is badly twisted to start with).

Good fishing,

Peter B.