Best leader for Spanish mackerel?

N2naclh20N2naclh20 Posts: 282 Deckhand
I'm looking to for a good leader to use for SM this winter. What's my best bet for these toothy fish?
There is no greater passion than that of a fisherman.
Avatar photo: Grandparents and my Dad at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter 1923.


  • Fly ByFly By Posts: 30 Greenhorn
    I use 30# fluoro for the larger Spanish.
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  • idlerickidlerick Posts: 229 Deckhand
    Obviously the heavier it is the better it will hold up, and macs aren't notoriously leader-shy. But when I catch macs it's while I'm trout or pompano fishing, and I never had time to change leaders or the school would be gone.
    I've had good success using Clousers tied on long shank hooks, like the Mustad 34011 (4XL) type. Tie the eyes in about mid-shank and tie a normal Clouser from there back. The extra shank up front seems to afford enough margin that they don't get their teeth on the leader at all.
    I also use Ultra Hair a lot on these flies. It doesn't have the best action, but the colors are more translucent and it holds up a lot better than bucktail when macs chew on it.
  • N2naclh20N2naclh20 Posts: 282 Deckhand
    Thanks, great idea with long shank...used to use them when fishing for them with glass minnows.
    There is no greater passion than that of a fisherman.
    Avatar photo: Grandparents and my Dad at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter 1923.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,332 Captain
    As noted above I don't change my leader setup for macks (unless we're in really big ones....) so mostly with the Poor Boy setup we use (a heavy butt section with a surgeon's loop in the bitter end spliced to a bit longer straight 20lb fluoro leader, loop to loop... mono butt is four feet or a bit longer with fluoro Poor Boy is at four and a half or five feet long...) we usually get cut off before we get down to business using longer shanked clousers or something similar (we also have great success in the rivers draining the Gulf coast of the 'Glades with simple poppers...).

    I figure that macks or bluefish are the perfect time to use up older already chewed flies... and we always get a lot more hits without even the lightest wire leader...
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  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,324 Captain
    The macks I target are over 5lbs, and they absolutely will not hit #2 wire. 30lb flouro, as stated above is light enough to keep smaller flies tracking straight, while providing a bit of protection. I was getting into macks that were 25"-31" up until a few weeks ago. It's a good time to find monster macks in the gulf side outside Marathon this time of year. You will lose flies on 30lb, but you'll have steady action.
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 222 Deckhand
    If you are chumming 2 or even 3 works fine. Crushed em on clousers and poppers with #3 wire 2 weeks ago where ole Dirty was fishing. If its real clear I go to 40 flouro. I use small flies, #4 Ch/white. I tried tyable a couple of years back but it frayed right away
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