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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These questions have to do with leaders. I read the article on leaders that was posted on this forum but i found it was hard to understand. For my leaders as of now i have just used straight 4# maxima and have found it to be sufficient. I want know how tapered leaders help and do i need all those formulas to make my own or can i simply have a 3 ft section of 20# to a 5ft section of 10# and then however long of a tippet necessary?? I guess im also wondering what you guys use as leaders??
 
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One to three foot sections of leader depending on how long a leader you want; works for me. There are some complicated formulas out there and it can get confusing. Keep it simple, you need to start with stiff mono to turn the fly over and limp mono on the other end for delicate delivery. Too stiff at the tip and the fly slaps the water. To soft at the butt; the leader doesn't turn the fly over and the leader doesn't straigthen out properly

For lenghts go 3 to 6 ft for wet fly & 9 to 12 ft for dry.
 

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On the topic of leaders, I would like to know what the flourocarbon equivalents are to mono? What is the best brand to use? Also, I I expect to catch 4-5 lb. trout on 5 wt. rod what lb. test should I be using?
Thanks, Ortho
 

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High expectations there ortho :D , I use a 5 wt rod and have caught fish up to 5 lbs on just a straight 4 lb maxima leader. I wont go higher than 6 lb unless I'm fishing giant sedges in dense lilly pads for big fish, then I go to 8 lb later in the day when the light starts to fade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
newsman said:
One to three foot sections of leader depending on how long a leader you want; works for me. There are some complicated formulas out there and it can get confusing. Keep it simple, you need to start with stiff mono to turn the fly over and limp mono on the other end for delicate delivery. Too stiff at the tip and the fly slaps the water. To soft at the butt; the leader doesn't turn the fly over and the leader doesn't straigthen out properly

For lenghts go 3 to 6 ft for wet fly & 9 to 12 ft for dry.
What lb test would you recommend to make stiff butt section?? What would be a good general leader for 9 or so feet? Would you use a 2 ft section of 20# to a 3 ft section of 10# to a 4 ft 4# tippet? I have no idea how to go about making my own tapered leaders and i dont want to buy them so i appreciate any help.


fisher4life
 
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You are right on the money 20lb to 15lb to 10lb to 8lb to 5lb to 2lb, two feet of each would give you a twelve foot leader. Figure out how long you want your leader to be and the weight of tippet, then ajust the lenght of each section accordingly.
 

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Is this type of tapered leader required for all fly fishing? Is this what needs to be tied in advance? How do you store leaders to have quick access? .Ortho
 
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Hey fish now you are trying to make things to complicated. I carry a spool of 20lb, 15lb, 10lb, 8lb, 5lb, 4lb, & 2lb in a pocket of my fly fishing vest and tie my leaders as needed. You might want to learn who to us a "Fast Tie" nail knot tool and carry it with you. Tie your leader to your fly line with a nail knot and then use surgeon's knots to attach each additional section. It's not hard I teach my students to do this in the last part of their first class, most master it in 15 min.
 
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One more thing I don't recomend pretying your leaders. If you have had any experince with those factory tappers, then you know what I am talking about when I say, IF YOU CAN OPEN THOSE DAM THINGS UP EVERY TIME WITHOUT HAVING A MASS OF KNOTS, YOU DESERVE AN ACADEMY AWARD!
 

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This is what I personally do and what I've found from my own personal experience over the years. I am in no way advocating what I do over what other people do.

First of all, I love the commercially available tapered leaders for when I need a leader for presentation or for turning over long lengths of tippet. They're easy to unwind from the package if you always start from the butt end and carefully unwind it until it's no longer wound around the coils.

For any sinking lines that I use, where presentation is of no consequence, I simply use a short 2-3' section of 20# Maxima Ultra Green, and then double surgeon knot my choice of tippet to it. The short butt section of heavy mono provides adequate energy transfer to turn over your tippet and fly, allows you to change tippet a bunch of times before having to re-tie, and is much much more economical than using tapered leaders all the time.

For sink-tips and aggressive sinking lines, where I want my fly to stay near the depth that my flyline is at, the total length of my butt and tippet can be as short as 4'. For clear intermediate sinking lines used during a damselfly migration, I might use a butt/tippet combination that is around 6-8'. Bottom line is that the tippet diamter is more important to match the clarity of the water, the spookiness of the fish, and the size of the fly and fish when fishing a sinking line than the nice turnover presentation afforded by tapered leaders.

I even fish spring creeks with this short butt/tippet combination when fishing nymphs on a sinking line...and these wary fish usually scatter at the sight of 3x flurocarbon. Just food for thought.
 

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The night before heading out, I pretie the leaders I will likely be using. I carefully wind them up from the tippet end to the butt. I then put a small piece of artists tape (similar to masking, but with less adhesive) around the coil and place it in a labelled leader wallet. When I take them out I carefully unroll from the butt end. I also tie in a loop on the butt before coilling the leader. I use the leadercalc program. The leaders are more complex to tie, but I find the performance when presenting dry flies to be worth the effort. I agree with newsman re commercial taperred leadres. I never use them. I have found that I will get many tangles while casting with commercial tapers. Probably poor form on my part, but I feel no need to change form, as I never have that trouble with hand-tied leaders. I also coat all knots with Knot Sense before storing my leaders. For wet flies I will usually only bother with a 2 or 3 step leader, as I find there is less need to turn overt the fly as nicely when it is going to be fished subsurface. This is all a personal preference, and not necessarily a recommendation to anyone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Stone,

I just want to know if i understand your setup because it sounds simple and thats what i like!
So you just use a two section leader consisting of a short heavy butt and then tippet. So for example if you were to fish chironies and 15 feet, you would use the butt of 3 feet and then a 12 foot tippet? How often do you replace the 20# butt section? Do you use the same setup for dry flies or is it better to add another section between the butt and tippet? One more thing, how does a blood knot compare to a surgons knot??


Thanks for ALL of your advice guys!!
It is all super helpful

fisher4life
 

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Hi F4L:

No, I don't use just a short butt section and long tippet for fishing chironamids. I think if you look at my previous post again, the few occassions that I DO use a regular tapered leader is for dryfly presentations, and for situations that call for turning over long sections of tippet, such as when chironamid fishing with a dry line.

I only use the short butt to tippet method when using sinking lines and when presentation is not important. Using a short leader also allows your fly to stay closer to the depth that your flyline is working. And a side benefit from it is the cost savings of not having to buy tapered leaders, or bother with complicated hand tied leaders for sinking lines.

I don't use the Blood Knot because I find it cumbersome and hard to tie with cold wet fingers. I also haven't been all that impressed with its knot strength in the past. The Double Surgeon's knot is easy and quick to tie, and offers great knot strength. Most people whom I've fished with use a double surgeon's knot to join together two sections of line that are not of equal diameter.

Good luck.

Stone
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just out of curiosity, does anyone use furled leaders? What are their pros and cons? they look to complicatied to make but they seem to be the best leader around.

fisher4life
 

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fisher4life said:
Just out of curiosity, does anyone use furled leaders? What are their pros and cons? they look to complicatied to make but they seem to be the best leader around.

fisher4life
Furled leaders are great, just a pain in the but to make........

I was taught this neat trick by a good friend of mine - its called the Singaporean leader - simple to make and works better than most furled leaders I have ever used.

Here's how its done..



Give it a go - and let us know what you think

For Coho I use 10 lb mono - its doubled and stepped so it works great.


All the best
 
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