part one

Pike on the Fly Gear Set Up

Bite Guards & Leaders

Part 1: Bite Guards & Leaders

The single most common question I get from people when they hear about fly fishing for pike is always "well don't you need a steel leader for that? How do their teeth not cut through the leader?"  That's a fair question and so now that we have high muddy rivers and its peak season for pike and walleye we're going to take this opportunity to address how to get setup for Pike and even Walleye on the Fly.

The first thing you'll need to start chasing pike is some sort of bite guard to protect against their numerous rows of teeth. Bite guards can be made from Steel, titanium, or flourocarbon and can be added to the end of any stiffer leader.  Let's look at the pros and cons of each of the different type of bite guards.

Bite Guard

There are 3 options we recommend for those sharp toothed critters!

Option 1: Steel

Pros:

  • Low memory and resistant to kinking
  • Tieable and easy to work with
  • More affordable than many alternatives

Cons:

  • Can kink after multiple fish

Rio Powerflex Wire Bite Tippet

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Stainless Steel Black Nylon Coated Wire

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Option 2: Titanium Wire

Pros:

  • Very low memory and resistant to kinking or coiling
  • Extremely strong and thin


Cons:

  • Hard to tie with (best to use crimps to make your leader)
  • More expensive than steel

1x7 Nickel Titanium Wire

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Option 3: Fluorocarbon

Pros:

  • Lowest visibility for line shy or spooky fish
  • Tieable (use a figure 8 knot to the fly and albright knot to your leader)


Cons:

  • Very large pike have still been known to cut through even #100 fluoro if the leader is under tension and hits a tooth at the wrong angle.  This is typically only an issue with the largest pike, although those are usually the ones you'd least want to lose.

Frog Hair Fluorocarbon Tippet

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Rio Fluoroflex Saltwater Tippet

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Leaders

You've got 6 options to help you turnover big flies for big fish!

Option 1: Orvis Predator Polyleader with Titanium Wire
  • Very low memory and resistant to kinking or coiling
  • Extremely strong and thin
  • Comes with snap for quick fly changes
  • Intermediate Polyleader is stiff and turns over the biggest flies extremely effectively


Cons:

  • Intermediate Polyleader sinks so isn't ideal for smaller topwater patterns, but still works just fine for larger poppers, mice or frog patterns
Option 2: Scientific Anglers Absolute Predator Esox Leader
  • Proven, bombproof design for toothy predators such as pike or muskie
  • Hand Tied in the USA
  • Features abrasion-resistant 40LB fluorocarbon section
  • Premium 1×7 nickel titanium wire section is super straight, ultra kink-resistant, and 100% corrosion proof
  • Stay-Lok snap closure that won’t open while fighting fish


Specs:
48” 40LB fluorocarbon
15” 35LB 1×7 nickle titanium
Size 3 Stay-Lok Snap

Option 3: Scientific Anglers Absolute Predator Toothy Fish Leader
  • 8’ tapered leader aids in smooth turnover of larger flies
  • Abrasion-resistant leader material holds up to harsh conditions
  • Premium 1×7 nickel titanium wire section is super straight, ultra kink-resistant, and 100% corrosion proof
  • Stay-Lok snap closure that won’t open while fighting fish

Specs:
8’ 20LB tapered leader
15” 35LB single-strand titanium
Size 2 Stay-Lok Snap

 8’ 20LB tapered leader
15” 55LB single-strand titanium
Size 3 Stay-Lok Snap

Option 4: Scientific Anglers Absolute Predator Figure 8 
  • Designed specifically for finishing muskie retrieves with boat-side figure 8s to convert more follows
  • Hand-tied in the USA
  • Premium 40lb 7×7 stainless steel; 100% corrosion proof
  • Stay-Lok™ snap closure that won’t open while fighting fish

Specs:
30” 50LB fluorocarbon
15” 40LB single-strand 7×7 Stainless Steel
Size 3 Stay-Lok Snap

Option 5: Scientific Angler Predator Wire Leaders
  • 7.5’ tapered leader aids in smooth turnover of larger flies
  • Abrasion-resistant leader material holds up to harsh conditions
  • 15” section of tooth-resistant 1×7 stainless steel wire
  • Black nylon coated for low visibility
  • Heavy-duty black single-barrel sleeves for secure attachment of flies

Specs:
7.5’ 20LB tapered leader
15” 20LB black-coated 1×7 stainless steel

7.5’ 20LB tapered leader
15” 45LB black-coated 1×7 stainless steel

Option 6: Scientific Anglers Absolute Predator Toothy Fish Stealth
  • 8’ tapered leader aids in smooth turnover of larger flies
  • Abrasion-resistant leader material holds up to harsh conditions
  • Premium 15” section of 80LB fluorocarbon for ultra-low visibility
  • Stay-Lok snap closure that won’t open while fighting fish

Specs:
8’ 20LB tapered leader
15” 80LB fluorocarbon
Size 3 Stay-Lok Snap

Scientific Anglers Absolute Predator Esox Leader Scientific Anglers - Amplitude Smooth Titan Long Fly Line Thomas and Thomas Exocett Predator Fly Rod Thomas and Thomas Exocett SS Fly Rod Echo BRAVO Reel

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Pike on the Fly Collection

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