Sunday Classic / The Pop Off Shark Leader

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Does This Make Anyone Else Nervous? Photo Louis Cahill

Does This Make Anyone Else Nervous? Photo Louis Cahill

Maybe it’s the kid in me but I can’t resist tossing a fly at a hungry shark. I make no excuses for it. If sharks weren’t cool, Shark Week wouldn’t be the hottest thing on The Discovery Channel. They’re big, they’re mean, they’re strong, they’re toothy and they’re just plain cool.

The problem is, as much fun as they are to hook and fight, landing them can get a little, well… bitey. On several occasions I’ve brought sharks to the boat and seen them come out of the water and clamp down on the gunwale, shaking violently. They have no sense of humor.

My buddy Michael White shares my fondness for sharking and he showed me a great trick for an easy long distance release. When you tie your shark leader use 6 feet of 50 lb fluorocarbon for the butt. Tie a loop in one end and blood knot a piece of 20 lb fluorocarbon 16″ long to the other. Then, use an Albright knot to attach 30″ of 100 lb wire leader. If you’re after seriously big shark use single strand and attach your fly with a hay wire twist.

Fight your fish hard. As long as there is any bend in your rod it’s almost impossible to put 20 pounds of pressure on a fish. Whitie riffs on ’em and the leader holds. When you get your fish to the boat and feel confident that you have won the fight, or just had enough, point the rod at the fish, grab the reel and pull. The 20 lb fluorocarbon will break at the wire. It’s works amazingly well.

The shark will deal with the fly in short order and it and the wire will rust away. You won’t hurt the fish or leave a bunch of leader material in the water. All it cost you is a few feet of wire and floro and you get to keep all of your fingers. What a deal!

This is the kind of mischief we get into on the G&G Bonefish School!

Watch the video. You wont believe how well it works!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline 
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3 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / The Pop Off Shark Leader

  1. Thank you for sharing the article, it’s really hard to fight sharks, but you did. I like this piece The shark will deal with the fly in short order, and the wire will rust away

  2. Awesome tip! I always have a rod set up for sharks and from now on it will be set up as you described!

  3. I use a tube fly on a 30-inch piece of single-strand wire….attaching a 10/0 stainless, barbless octopus hook with a haywire twist. A 24-inch ARC Dehooker easily slides the hook out….leaving the shark demoralized….but no hook or wire hanging out of its mouth.

    The fly slides up the wire during the fight…leaving it undamaged.

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