Gardner Vigilante Abrasion Leader

Fortunately, I’ve not been fishing any waters where I need a leader for a good few years now. However, last year I started doing quite a bit on some pools that are about as snaggy as they come! The pools were formed a long time ago as trout waters, so I don’t think they envisaged twenty or so years later people would be fishing with legers to angle for some of the big carp which have found their way into them over time.

On my first proper venture up to the pools last year, I was delighted to find a good number of carp patrolling around the edges of some overhanging vegetation on one of the small pools. A straight through mono line down to the clip was carefully offered down to them, and within ten minutes it was away!

The fish dug in hard and ploughed away from the spot down the margin and under an overgrown bush which came right out over the water. As is did so, it cut me off like a hot knife through butter. I was gutted – that was the first time I’d lost a hooklink in years. All aspects of the rig were constructed with safety in mind, so I was confident the fish would be able to shed the hook quickly; however, you never like to lose them like that.

To cut a long story short, I had no leader material with me, and so re-rigged the same way again but choose a spot in open water. Less than an hour later the same thing happened again… at which point I packed up my stuff - not to return until I was fully equipped to do so!

I won’t lie, on a water I fished many years ago I used to swear by Quicksilver leader material, and so got online and ordered some the same day. However, when it came I have to say I was not overly impressed. It now had a smooth coating on it and I just did not like the feel of it or how things bedded down. I fished with it once, before stripping it off and binning it!

It was at that point that I came across the Vigilante from Gardner. It looked just the ticket, so I got some on order. When it arrived I was not disappointed and immediately got it rigged up to see how it felt. Although it has got a coating on it, it’s a special Slickwax coating to reduce friction, and it’s only the smallest amount, so it still feels like a proper Dyneema braid, remaining extremely supple, so as to sit nicely on the lakebed - exactly how I like it. 

Gardner Vigilante Abrasion Leader

The other thing which particularly appeals to me is the colour, a kind of low-viz dark brown, which melts away on every bottom I’ve fished it over, and, as a result, it’s picked me up a good number of fish. Re-rigged with the Vigilante, I’ve fished the snaggy pools with ease, and have not lost a hooked fish since I started using it – testament indeed to its capability.

As is usually the case, a friend fishing the same water soon had some of me, and now his friend is on it, too, and it’s been giving sterling service to all of us ever since!

Highly recommended.

Available in: 25lb, 35lb and 45lb breaking strains, priced at around £6.25. More at:

Julian Grattidge
January 2013