How to Tie a Shock Leader for Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is a sport near-and-dear to the hearts of angling enthusiasts that live by the ocean. If you’re looking to get into surf fishing, though, you’ll need to learn how to tie a shock leader before you can begin casting.

What is a shock leader?

A shock leader is a heavy-duty fishing line extension that you can add on to your main fishing line. It’s most commonly used in surf fishing and beach fishing, when anglers try to cast long distances.

The main purpose of a shock leader is to add stability to the fishing line and ensure that the line doesn’t snap when you’re casting. It allows for you to attempt power casts without risking injury or harm to you or those around you.

When to use a shock leader?

Shock leaders aren’t always necessary when fishing by the sea.

Most often, a shock leader should be used when using a monofilament line, especially when you’re using a light test to be able to cast further out.

Using a shock leader provides added stability to your line, making sure that it doesn’t snap as you pull back to throw your line. As a general rule of thumb, you should consider tying on a shock leader if you’re using a mono line that’s less than 10 lb test.

Read more about when a shock leader is appropriate for use here.

My #1 Recommended Shock Leader

Varivas Shock Leader Fluorocarbon is my personal recommendation for anglers looking to get started with surf fishing.

It’s sturdy and durable, and I’ve never had any issues or complaints with it. Additionally, the flurocarbon material it’s made out of is more sensitive and lighter than mono lines.

It’s fairly light, but provides enough resilience to handle most casts and most fish. If you’re fishing for game larger than 15 pounds, however, I’d recommend Varivas’s products for bigger fish.

How to Tie a Shock Leader for Surf Fishing

Much like learning how to attach a bobber, tying a shock leader is a skill that you’ll only need to learn once. Follow these steps to learn how:

  1. Make an overhand loop with the shock leader line.
  2. Pass the braided fishing line through the shock leader. Pass enough line through to be able to make several loops.
  3. Wrap the fishing line around the shock leader loop 8-10 times.
  4. Pinch the end of the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.
  5. Loop the fishing line back around to the start at least 4 times.
  6. Pass the fishing line out through the shock leader loop.
  7. Wet the shock leader with some water or saliva.
  8. Ensure that there are no large loops and pull both ends of the knot.
  9. Cut out excess shock leader line and fishing line.

Watch a video guide here from Sussex Angling:

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