How to splice leadless leaders

Unlike leadcore leaders, which have a stiff lead insert running inside them, the latest generation of lead-free leaders are almost as heavy but far more supple, allowing them to hug the lakebed more closely.

These leaders should not be knotted, they must be spliced to create a loop on which to tie your mainline or attach swivels. Here's how...

1) Take a splicing needle (one with a latch on it). Open the latch and insert the hooked end of the needle through the fibres of the leader and into its hollow core.

2) Push the needle into the core of the leader until the tag end (hanging limp to the right of this photo) is about half a centimetre LONGER than the length of leader covering the needle.

3) Push the tip of the needle back out through the leader material. The tag end must remain longer than the length of leader covering the needle.

4) Tag the very tip of the tag end and place it in the crooked end of the needle before closing the gate on top of it. If you attaching a swivel you would thread that on to the tag end before this step.

5) Gently and carefully reverse the needle out of the leadcore. You will take the tag end, trapped in the gate of the needle, back through the hole created by the needle.

6) Once the needle comes out of the hole it originally went in, open the gate and release the tag end. The weave of the material will not allow the tag to pull back through, thus creating a secure loop. Trim the tag end and, if you really want, dab the remnants of the tag with superglue, though we really don't think it's necessary.