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Which is the best shark leader?:
Stainless wire or stainless cable?

Single strand stainless wire can kink and break. Someone said that a shark can bite through the multi strand stainless cable. A couple of years ago I heard a captain on the radio who said he just had a 400lb stainless cable leader bitten in two. He sounded sincere.

In the past have used wind on cable leader w/ a #16 single strand stainless wire between hook and swivel.
 

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for what its worth, i had a Mako chew through 600lb cable once - 175lb - not a huge fish. The fish got hooked and barely fought as it made a big loop and swam right past the transom. I had a gaff shot and took it...the next 45 minutes was basically hand-to-hand combat between me and the fish, with several scary second with my hand getting tangled in the gaff rope (i use a straight gaff with rope instead of a flyer.) When it was all over, i noticed the 600lb cable had broken and was all frayed to hell. While my moves that day were admittedly stupid, i did learn that these fish can chew through cable. I now use heavy guage single strand 5ft long attached to 600lb wind-on steel cable. I do know one guy who lost a truly huge mako because it bit through his singlestrand (not kinked). These fish are crazy. At some point, luck plays its part. Single strand can kink and break, cable can get frayed one strand at a time and break. This is the challenge.
 

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Danm

I fish stictly cable - 275 lb. test. My shark rigs are six feet long, single hook rigs. I fish stand-up rods and I use a 10-12 foot, 300-pound test monofilament wind-on leader system as well to which I attach my shark rig with a ball bearing snap swivel. This system allows us to crank the shark right to the boat without the need to grab the leader. I've taken some big sharks on this set-up including threshers up to 450-500 pounds in mako-only tournaments. We know they were that big because when we streched them along side my buddy's center console prior to release we measured them at 8 to 8 1/2 feet FL. The NMFS chart states that's a thresher of that weight.

Anyway, I personally have never had a shark chew through cable but I know guys who have had gut hooked sharks do it. One thing you need to be careful of with cable is be sure to check your crimps and offshore loops frequently for corrosion. Using copper crimps such as those with a Nicopress tool with cable causes electrolisys (spelling may be wrong) which will corrode cable leaders after only one season causing them to fail.
 

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I use 400 lb cable,never had a problem althoughI've heard the same about chewing through.This year I'm gonna try the combo rig.
 

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I've had them work through cable. I do a heavy mono wind on and a few feet of single strand. Properly wrapped I have never had a problem with single strand...
 

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I only use single strand and never had any problems but am thinking of going with the single strand to mono setup. I can't imagine not rigging new gear every year, why save a few pennies and take the chance?
 

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I like to use a combo off 400lb cable to a swivel with 6' of singles strand, too much single starand 1 kink and your done...too much cable and your done too..
 

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I caught a 235 Mako on a solid wire leader, and glad I did. When we cleaned it, it had a cable leader w/hook and a mono leader w/hook inside. This fish had the hearts going on a couple of fishermen before I had the thrill of the day.
Wire for me.
 

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Dan,
Had a huge mako chew through our 400lb. test cable last year at the Misty Blue (we've saved it for when we tell the story.) Fish made some fantastic leaps, fought the sucker for probably 40 minutes. It came up to the surface after about 35 minutes, had it's head almost completely out of the water shaking back and forth and chomping on the cable until it finally parted (not cleanly - kind of jagged.) It was truly an awesome, VERY sobering sight.
On the other hand we've also lost makos at the boat in the past while using singlestrand wire , mostly operator error. Kink on some part of the undercarriage and, "poof."
 

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It is not really a matter of the fish "chewing" through the cable as much as it is the cable being broken a strand at a time. If the cable happens to get caught between a pair of teeth is will be sawed back and forth in that notch. The thing about cable just as in industry with slings and lifting wire, as the individual strands are broken the cable is weakened as a whole. And SNAP! Single strand wire of the same breaking strength is much less likely to be sawed through and so maintains its integrity. Then there is always the possibility of a kink forming and that will weaken the wire.

The double wire set up eliminates much of this. A length of stranded wire attached to a BIG barrel or snap swivel and to that is attached a length of single strand wire with the hook at the business end. The stranded is well away from the business end of the shark and the single srand is short enough to make kinking less likely.
 

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Danm - check out my article in the March/April issue of the The Big Game Journal that discusses shark leader options. Most quality makos are lost at the boat and the article provides insight on leaders as well as proper ways to land or release a mako.
 

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Originally posted by stondoof:. I do know one guy who lost a truly huge mako because it bit through his singlestrand (not kinked). These fish are crazy. At some point, luck plays its part. Single strand can kink and break, cable can get frayed one strand at a time and break. This is the challenge. [/QB]
Joe now you know one! I lost a 800 lb Mako last fall overnighter in the Baltimore I hand fed him a tuna head and set the hook after a 2 hour battle we had him up to the boat but could not get a gaff in him and he (actually she)sounded almost dumping a 50 wide with 80# line we settled into a tug of war... then it happened the tip popped up and it was all over the Mako bit thru #16 wire about 10" up from the hook! I used 275# stranded wind on and then 6' of #16 wire and thought it was bullet proof...NOT!
 

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Ok, there are no silver bullets. But what strand of cable is most resistant to the bite: 1x19, 7x7, or 7x19?
 
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