If you’re looking for the best lead-free leaders for your carp fishing then you’ve come to the right place.
Our tackle editor Marc Coulson has collected a range of the best-selling leadless leaders and put each one under the microscope for this group review.
They’re all the rage these days, but what makes lead-free leaders so special, aren’t they simply leadcore without the lead wire through the middle?
No. They are, in fact, a far more supple alternative to leadcore with a flatter profile, although that softness comes at a price as they are not as heavy.
However, they hug the lakebed’s contours and lie like no leadcore ever could, which is why more and more carp anglers are making them their leader of choice...
SOLAR TACKLE UNLEADED
RRP: £13.99 | www.solartackle.co.uk
This comes in 40lb and a whopping 80lb version – the latter undoubtedly geared towards big, snaggy foreign waters like Rainbow.
I was really impressed with the 40lb leader, which is perfect for the UK and had the roundest profile that I found very easy to splice.
There are two colours, namely Sediment Black and Khaki Camo, the second of which was surprisingly versatile when dropped into varying margins, which you may not initially think when seeing it on the spool.
RRP: £13.99-£16.99 | www.foxint.com
Available in 30lb, 45lb and 60lb versions, each is extremely supple but it’s the heaviest Submerge that stood out.
Because it’s thicker it’s therefore heavier, yet maintains the supple nature of its thinner counterparts.
The other advantage of the thicker material is that it is comfortably the easiest to splice in this breaking strain. Available in Gravelly Brown and Weedy Green on 10m spools.
PB PRODUCTS SILKRAY
RRP: £12.99 | www.pbproductsuk.co.uk
It’s all about broken lines with Silkray, with a mottled finish throughout each of the three colour options.
It’s extremely supple and a nice diameter, but it’s not the heaviest out of my selection.
This needn’t be a disadvantage though, especially when fishing over weedy and choddy bottoms as it will settle perfectly against even slight resistance.
Available in gravel, silt and weed versions on 10m spools.
RRP: £12.99 | www.nashtackle.co.uk
Remarkably heavy for its thin diameter, Cling-On made it to the bottom very quickly in my tank tests.
Despite that, it remains extremely supple and sat nicely over my deliberate obstacles.
The noticeably flat profile and tight weave did make it one of the trickier leaders to splice in the 40lb, but not to the point where it’s a problem.
Gravel/Clay, Silt and Weed versions in 40lb (10m) and 60lb (7m).
RRP: £13.99 | www.prologicfishing.com
One of the thickest of the seven leaders, both in the 40lb and 50lb versions, it also boasts a very flat profile which makes splicing take a little longer.
However, the sinking qualities are excellent, neither too fast or slow, and I really like the mottled finish which, despite only coming in one ‘camo brown’ colour, blends in over lots of different lakebed types.
10m (40lb) and 7m (50lb) spools both cost the same, which is odd.
AVID CARP PINDOWN
RRP: £10.99 | www.avidcarp.com
A little thicker than most of the others in a similar breaking strain, Pindown is pretty easy to splice, supple and what I would term medium weight.
Several others sank more quickly, but as I’ve mentioned already this isn’t necessarily always an advantage.
The 45lb version is a good all rounder, while the 60lb is very thick and suited to more severe conditions.
Available in weed/silt and gravel/clay two-tone versions, on 10m (45lb) or 7m (65lb) spools.
GARDNER CAMFLEX LEADFREE
RRP: £10.99 | www.gardnertackle.co.uk
Camflex was one of the first leader materials of its type and despite now having so much competition is still one of the better examples.
It’s not among the heaviest of these seven but retains a supple nature on the bottom, maybe due to it being the lightest breaking strain of them all at 35lb.
The flecked finish in Weedy Green and Muddy Silt (both 10m) versions is versatile and aids the camo properties of this impressive leader.
Our top three leadcore alternatives
If you aren’t swayed by the lead-free revolution, then here are Marc’s picks of the best leadcore leaders
RRP: £15.99 (25m) | www.korda.co.uk
Korda doesn’t get too much wrong and Kable is no exception.
Easy to splice, relatively supple and available in two colours, each with a subtle dual-shade finish, there’s little wonder that this is one of the most popular out there.
RRP: £15.99 (25m) | www.esp-carpgear.com
ESP’s has long been one of the most popular and was used by most of the top anglers in carp fishing prior to their sponsors producing their own versions.
Now only used by the likes of Terry Hearn… and thousands of others!
THINKING ANGLERS LEADCORE
RRP: £12.99 (20m) | www.thinkinganglers.co.uk
One of the finest wires in any leadcore keeps the diameter low and makes this one of the most supple around.
Two versions, green and brown, come on 20m spools along with a free splicing needle in each pack.