Product Review: Huskie Muskie Leaders

Product Review:  Huskie Muskie Leaders
Date: 11/1/16
Product type: Leaders
Manufacturer: Huskie Musky Leaders
Reviewer: Alex Meletis

Huskie Muskie Leaders is wholly owned by Bill Fuller, and is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

As a member of Muskies Canada, Bill is a firm believer of catch and release.  The way we handle muskies and the equipment we use are important in ensuring live releases.  As a result, He had come to realize that good strong leaders are as essential as a good landing net and the proper tools for releasing a fish once caught.  We pay good money for our lures and do not leave them on an underwater obstruction, or heaven forbid in the mouth of a Muskie, because the weak link was a leader.

About ten years ago He was unable to find any quality leaders in the Ottawa area.  As a result He began researching and experimenting with different materials and leader building methods.  Most of the really good information He found was on various salt water sites, written by those who were fishing for game much larger than muskies  His general conclusion was, that if these materials and building methods could stand up to battles with some of the largest fish to be found in the sea, they would stand up to the rigors of fighting and landing muskies.

Bill started with trolling leaders using hard mono but after He discovered the ANDE fluorocarbon, He never went back.  He learned that crimping, done properly, was every bit as strong as knots if not stronger, but more importantly, it would provide strong loops more consistently than knots, especially with this thickness of fluorocarbon material.  He also learned the importance of loop protectors and how they really reduce the strain on loops.  From there He expanded his building to  single strand stainless steel.  Over a period of several years, of building, testing, giving leaders away to friends for second opinions and receiving lots of good advice in return, some of them convinced him to make them available commercially.

The methods and materials that go into Huskie Muskie Leaders are not unique.  They have been adapted from a variety of sources and in turn my designs have been copied by others.

Bill and Exist to Fish Canada believe is that Huskie Muskie Leaders have incorporated the best of materials with a melding of the best methodologies to produce the most Muskie friendly leaders on the market today.  We invite you to visit or contact one of his dealers to see for yourself  to see how good they really are.

 

Image result for huskie muskie leaders

 

Whenever you get two or more Muskie addicts together, you will get two or more opinions about anything to do with our sport.  The use of leaders is no exception.  We have knots vs crimps, stainless steel vs titanium, snaps vs split rings and on and on and on.  The intent of this page is to provide a basic primer on leaders, their use, and the materials used to make them.  The contents are based on extensive research, the experience of those who have been using Huskie Muskie Leaders for a number of years now.

First of all, is there one leader that will do it all?  Not really.  That said, some people do get away with it and for those that are using only one or two rod and reel combinations, it simply isn’t convenient to be constantly changing leaders and compromises need to be reached.  For example, the Huskie Muskie  fluorocarbon casting leader can be use for jerkbaits but is not as good as a single strand stainless steel leader. Where possible, and if your equipment allows, application specific leaders should be used to get the most out of your lures.

Why Leaders?

There are several reasons we use leaders.  Perhaps the major reason is to prevent line from being cut by a Muskie’s teeth or by underwater obstructions such as rocks.  Although the tensile strength of modern fishing line may be as high as the leader material we are be using, it is not very abrasion resistant and under strain can easily be cut by an edge that is even moderately sharp.  Therefore we need something between the line and the lure where all the abuse is going to be absorbed.  Leaders are made of materials that are much more abrasion resistant than line and will stand up to more contact with sharp objects.

The second reason for using leaders is to present the lure in the most natural way possible.  This is especially true with the use of fluorocarbon leaders.  The refraction index of fluorocarbon is virtually the same as water making it almost invisible under water.  Therefore it separates the lure from line and makes it appear to be swimming free.  The clearer the water, the more important this factor is.

The third reason is specific to the use of guide type jerk baits and walk-the-dog type top-waters.  In this application the leader pushes the line away from the bait to prevent fouling.  The resistance of the leader through the water will also tend to make it move in the opposite direction of the movement of the lure so that on the next jerk, the lure will move back across in its zig-zag path back to the boat.  Although this is possible with a more flexible leader, the stiff single strand leader will exaggerate the action.

The last, and one of the most important reasons, deals primarily with trolling.  Shortly after a muskie strikes and before the rod is out of the holder, muskies in their initial effort to free themselves, will often roll in the line.  If you are using one of the newer spectra fibre braided lines, wire line or even a long wire leader, this rolling action can cause serious cuts to the body of the Muskie.  To prevent this from happening, a thicker, softer, high tensile strength hard monofilament or fluorocarbon leader should be used.  For this reason, my fluorocarbon leaders are constructed with a heavier 150 pound strength and corresponding thickness.

 

If you are just starting out or have been fishing for muskies and Northern Pike as well as taking a trip down south or live on oceanic waters where leaders are mandatory for the fish you are pursuing I highly recommend Huskie Musky Leaders. For years there is always one discussion that arises when talking to fellow anglers and that is choices in leaders and what do you use.

 

 

 

Huskie Musky Leaders
Type Muskie/Pike leaders
Length varies
Material Fluorocarbon and steel
Origin Ottawa, Ontario
MSRP

 

Huskie Muskie stainless steel jerk bait leaders are constructed of Malin stainless wire, an industry leader.  The leader material is purchased directly from the factory, precut, unlike many other brands where the material is purchased in coils and then subjected to addition weakening stresses in the process of trying to straighten it out.

the new glide bait leader, which is essentially the jerk bait leader with out the swivel and snap.  We still use the same wire and shrink wrap the wraps to reduce weed fouling.  To use the glide bait leader, tie the line directly to end of the leader and attach the lure using a split ring.  For safety, do not use the same split ring for all of your glide baits.  The attaching and removal processes will weaken the split ring.  Instead, attach a separate split ring to each lure.

These leaders feature 180 lb Single Strand Malin Stainless Steel Wire, #5 Stringease Stay-lok Snap, and 143 lb ball bearing swivel.

Jerk-Bait

 

We also take the time to shrink wrap the wire wraps to reduce weed fouling.   The snap is also shrink wrapped to ensure alignment of the snap and leader which is essential for the proper side to side action of glide type jerk baits walk the dog top waters.

Shrinked-Wrapped Shrink-Wrapped-Jerk

 

Huskie Musky Leaders is a local to Ontario Company based in the Ottawa area that focuses solely on making leaders. Meticulously hand assembled and crimped using the highest grade components, these leaders are at the top of the industry and come highly recommended. Heading to Pro Tackle here in Belleville Ontario, in search for my first Muskie set up years ago I discovered Huskie Muskie Leaders which were highly recommend by store owner and avid Muskie fisherman and guide Stacy Ash. After experiencing multiple attacks and seeing the durability of Bill Fuller’s Huskie Musky Leaders I have never looked back.

 

Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 4 9 10

 

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Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon Leaders

All of Huskie Muskies fluorocarbon leaders are made from 150 lb ANDE Fluorocarbon Leader Material.  Although not well branded as a freshwater line, ANDE is well known in the saltwater community, has always stood up under every conceivable fishing condition and situation and holds over 1,300 IGFA World Records. Many of these records represent outstanding catches throughout the history of IGFA. All Fluorocarbons are not equal. ANDE is 100% Fluorocarbon with all the properties you expect from Fluorocarbon Leader material, strong abrasion resistance, low stretch, doesn’t absorb water, sinks quickly and is totally invisible under water.

Fluorocarbon leaders are constructed to provide a loop which is the strongest in the industry.  For this thickness of fluorocarbon, experience has shown that crimps provide the strongest connection.   Single crimps are used on the casting leaders and doubles on the trolling leaders.  We start by melting the end of the fluorocarbon to form a ball which in itself makes it nearly impossible to pull the leader end though the crimp even before the crimp is squeezed.  A plastic coated steel spring loop protector is used to prevent the snap or swivel from chaffing against the fluorocarbon in the loop, thereby greatly increasing the life of the leader.  Concern has been expressed by some that the colored loop protector might turn off a Muskie but this has certainly not been a problem, if anything the loop protectors mimic the small bait fish that are being chased by a larger fish represented by the lure.

Another area of concern that needs to be dispelled is the use of crimps.  No doubt you have all heard various Muskie enthusiasts say “I don’t trust crimps”.  They have all probably had an experience with a poorly crimped leader or more commonly, used a leader that was too thin for crimping and where a knot would be superior.  Personally, I would not use a crimp on any fluorocarbon material under 130 pound test.  Huskie Muskie leaders are all made with 150 pound test and the crimps provide a superior connection than a knot.  Crimped leaders are the leaders of choice for salt water applications for fish species that are quite a bit bigger and fight harder than muskies.  Enough said.

Crimped-End2

Unweighted Trolling Leaders

Unweighted Trolling Leaders come in two lengths, the standard 3 foot and the 6 foot St Lawrence Special.  Both feature the Ande Fluorocarbon Material, #6 Stringease Stay-lok Snap, 175 lb ball bearing swivel, Coil Spring Loop Protectors and are double crimped for added strength.  Many of our customers report being able to get an entire season from one leader if care is taken to change out the snap when it shows signs of weakness.

Trolling1

Casting Leaders

Casting Leaders combine the strength and durability of the fluorocarbon with enough flexibility to be used for casting bucktails and spinner baits, yet is stiff enough for walking the dog with jerk baits and top waters.  This is the best leader for throwing those heavy Bull Dawgs.  A great dual purpose leader which feature 1 foot of Ande Fluorocarbon Material, #5 Stringease Stay-lok Snap, 143 lb ball bearing swivel, and Coil Spring Loop Protectors.  Recently, some of our dealers have requested lengths of 14 and 18 inches.  Special orders of this nature are never turned down.

 

Having confidence and not worrying about your terminal tackle is one of the key factors in being successful while in pursuit of these toothy critters. Nothing hurts an angler more than losing a fish of a life time due to terminal tackle failing. Huskie Musky leaders come in a variety of selections such as Fluorocarbon and stainless steel in different lengths for different applications.

 

 

Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
9 10 9 10 25 9.5

 

The fluorocarbon material used is 150lb ANDE a salt water grade material that is tough as hell and made to take the abuse of larger teeth barring fish. Husky Musky Leaders cater to their customers by providing a 3ft and 6ft fluorocarbon leader for trolling purposes paired with a 175lb barrel swivel and a heavy duty #6 Stringease Stay Loc snap suitable for all sizes of trolling baits which come in handy during the fall season. The casting version of this leader comes in a 12 inch version and can also be found in the 14-18 inch length if desired and come equipped with a 143lb barrel swivel and #5 Stay Loc snap. The stainless steel jerk bait leaders feature 180lb single strain main stainless steel wire paired with a #5 Stringease stay loc snap and a 143lb ball bearing swivel ideal for your walk the dog surface baits and all other jerk baits.

  Consistency(1-5) Range of sizes (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 5 10 10 10

 

 

 

 

(Huskie Musky Leaders) Collective Final Rating
Construction/Quality   10
Performance   10
Price   9
Features   10
Design (Ergonomics)   9
Application   10
Total Score  9.75
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = MUST HAVE  

 

These leaders helps enhance the action of your lure and adding confidence to the angler while fishing for toothy critters. As the fall fishing is underway I highly recommend these leaders to all anglers who pursue Muskie, Northern Pike and all fish where a bite guard is needed.

 

Retailers

Huskie Muskie Dealers:

Pro Tackle Muskie Shop:  http://www.protacklemuskyshop.com/
43B Putman Industrial Road, Belleville, Ont
Gerry’s Bait and Tackle – https://www.facebook.com/GerrysBaitNTackle/
3363 Lakefield Road, Lakefield, Ontario
Dixie Tackle Shop  www.dixietackleshop.com
51 St Catharine Street, St Thomas, Ont
Natural Sports – www.naturalsports.com
1572 Victoria St N, Kitchener, Ont
Paddletales Tackle – www.paddletales.com
510 St Lawrence St, Winchester, Ont
Dufferin Outdoor Supply  http://dufferinoutdoorsupply.org/
328 Broadway, Orangeville ON
Temple Bay Lodge  http://www.templebay.com/
302 Temple Road, Eagle River, ON
LOTW Sports Headquarters – https://www.facebook.com/lotwsports/
702 Lakeview Drive, Kenora, Ontario
Bobby’s Sports Shop – https://www.facebook.com/BobbysSportShopLtd/
175 Vermillion Bay,Vermillion Bay, Ontario
Bill’s Bait and Tackle – http://www.billsbaitandtackle.net/
858 Upper James St. Hamilton, Ontario
Fishing World  https://www.fishingworld.ca/
2411 Barton E, Hamilton, Ontario
Northshore Musky Baits – https://www.facebook.com/Northshoremuskybaits/
Webbwood, Ontario
Lambeth Rod and Tackle – 2404 Main. Lambeth, Ont.
2404 Main, Lambeth, ON
Easthill Outdoors  http://easthilloutdoors.com/
4131 Highway 35/115 Orono, Ontario
Angling Sports London  http://www.anglingsports.ca/
681 Highbury Avenue NorthLondon, Ontario
Wing’s Live Bait and Tackle  http://www.wingslivebaitandtackle.ca/
413 Lyndhurst Rd, Lyndhurst, Ontario

 

Exist To Fish Canada Author Alex Meletis

Exist To Fish Canada Author Alex Meletis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Wilson- Lead Writer/Editor

Jamie Wilson- Lead Writer/Editor

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