Nice post DRM..and thanks for the pic.
The BIGGEST reason I suggest at LEAST a small wire leader is that in MANY waters containing pike / muskie / pickerel...there can be a chance to "tie into a good one"
What a LOT of folks don't understand about the pike family is that they can be VERY picky at times. In frozen waters / winter time early spring they sometimes survive eating dead fish off the bottom...similar to catfish.
Many folks around the world fish for the pike "family" with dead bait.
Your comment about "slow roll" is ironic...as I have caught them by letting a spoon settle to the bottom for a minute or so. Once I engage the reel...then gently "lift" the lure off the bottom...MANY times I get a strike.