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The following angling rules have been formulated by the International Game Fish Association to promote ethical and sporting angling practices, to establish uniform regulations for the compilation of world game fish records, and to provide basic angling guidelines for use in fishing tournaments and any other group angling activities

The word “angling” is defined as catching or attempting to catch fish with a rod, reel, line, and hook as outlined in the international angling rules. There are some aspects of angling that cannot be controlled through rule making, however. Angling regulations cannot insure an outstanding performance from each fish, and world records cannot indicate the amount of difficulty in catching the fish. Captures in which the fish has not fought or has not had a chance to fight do not reflect credit on the fisherman, and only the angler can properly evaluate the degree of achievement in establishing the record.
Only fish caught in accordance with IGFA international angling rules, and within the intent of these rules, will be considered for world records. Following are the rules for freshwater and saltwater fishing.
RULES FOR FISHING IN FRESH AND SALT WATER
(Also see Rules for Fly fishing)

Equipment Regulations

A. LINE
  1. Monofilament, multifilament, and lead core multifilament lines may be used. For line classes, see World Record Requirements.
  2. Wire lines are prohibited.

B. LINE BACKING

  1. Backing not attached to the fishing line is permissible with no restrictions as to size or material.
  2. If the fishing line is attached to the backing, the catch shall be classified under the heavier of the two lines. The backing may not exceed the 130 lb (60 kg) line class and must be of a type of line approved for use in these angling rules.

C. DOUBLE LINE

The use of a double line is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications:

  1. A double line must consist of the actual line used to catch the fish.
  2. Double lines are measured from the start of the knot, braid, roll or splice making the double to the farthermost end of the knot, splice, snap, swivel or other device used for securing the trace, leader, lure or hook to the double line.
  • Saltwater species: In all line classes up to and including 20 lb (10 kg), the double line shall be limited to 15 feet (4.57 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters).
  • The double line on all classes of tackle over 20 lb (10kg) shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
  • Freshwater species: The double line on all classes of tackle shall not exceed 6 feet (1.82 meters). The combined length of the double line and the leader shall not exceed 10 feet (3.04 meters).Now here are the IGFA regulations that are of most interest to us in the area of leader construction.

D. LEADER

The use of a leader is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications: The length of the leader is the overall length including any lure, hook arrangement or other device. The leader must be connected to the line with a snap, knot, splice, swivel or other device. Holding devices are prohibited. There are no regulations regarding the material or strength of the leader.

  • Saltwater species: In all line classes up to and including 20 lb (10 kg), the leader shall be limited to 15 feet (4.57 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters).
  • The leader on all classes of tackle over 20 lb (10 kg) shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall be limited to 40 feet (12.19 meters).
  • Freshwater species: The leader on all classes of tackle shall be limited to 6 feet (1.82 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 10 feet (3.04 meters).
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