How to Use a Lead Core Fishing Line

How to Use a Lead Core Fishing Line
Lead core fishing line is a heavy weight line designed to get lures down deep into the water where fish may be suspended or feeding. Featuring a braided nylon cover, lead core line has a small diameter lead center that runs the length of the line. Commonly used in larger lakes and rivers, lead core lines are typically marked in different colors in 10 yard increments. The different colors help an angler determine how deep a lure is simply by the line color. Rigging lead core line requires a few special considerations.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 7 foot medium heavy rod with matched reel
  • Lead core fishing line (27 pound test)
  • Monofilament fishing line (30 pound test)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Lure
  • Boat
Step 1
Attach 30 pound monofilament fishing line to your bait cast reel with an arbor knot. Feed the line through the line guide and around the spool of the reel so that 6 to 7 inches of line extends past the spool. Tie an overhand knot with the free end so that the loop goes around the main line. Tie a second overhand knot with the free end only. Trim the excess line from the free end and pull the knots down tightly against the spool.
Step 2
Apply tension to the line in front of the reel and turn the reel handle to wind line onto the spool. Place at least 80 to 100 yards of monofilament on the reel as backing for the lead core line. Cut the monofilament line from the filler spool with sharp scissors.
Step 3
String the lead core line down the length of the rod and attach it to the monofilament line on the reel spool with a uni to uni knot. Break off several inches of the lead core and slide it out of the braided covering. This will help with tying the knot.
Step 4
Overlap the monofilament and lead core line for 6 to 7 inches. Hold the lines securely in the middle where they overlap. Turn the end of the monofilament line back toward the middle to form a loop. Wrap the free end of the monofilament line around the doubled line and through the loop four times. Pull the free end to snug the monofilament down around the lead core.
Step 5
Repeat the process with the lead core. Turn the free end of the lead core back to form a loop and make four turns with the free end around the doubled line and through the loop. Pull the loop tight around the monofilament line. Pull both lines to lock the knots against each other.
Step 6
Spool at least 100 yards of lead core line onto the reel and attach a leader to the end of the lead core with a uni to uni knot. The length of the leader will depend on the type of fish as well as personal preference.
Step 7
Attach a lure such as a deep diving crank and cast the lure out behind the boat. Begin moving the boat forward very slowly at no more than 1 mile per hour. Allow the lure to run down to its designed depth. Keep track of the depth by watching the colors spool from the reel. Typically, a lure will go down 4 feet for every 10 feet of colored line.
Step 8
Engage the spool of the reel when the lure has reached the desired depth. Continue trolling back and forth across areas where fish may be holding or feeding.

Tips & Warnings

Trim line to within 1/8 inch of the knot with sharp scissors.
Use a Palomar knot to attach a lure to the leader. Form a loop in the line 5 to 6 inches from the free end. Feed the loop through the eye of the lure and tie an overhand knot with the loop and doubled line. Pull the loop through and around the lure. Moisten the knot and pull tight against the eye.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.