02-10-2011, 10:37 AM
Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?
George Harvey on leaders
Over the years I have improved my leader design. Originally, my basic leader was made of stiff nylon. Now I make all of my leaders from the softest leader material I can purchase. My basic leader is smaller in size than all commercial leaders I have checked.
I tie my basic leaders in the following sizes .015", .013", .011", and .009". Each section is approximately 18" to 19" long. I attach this basic leader to my line using a nail knot and use it for all my leaders. To this basic leader, I add 3X, 4X, and 5X in lengths appropriate for the fly I am using to get a slack-leader cast.
The fly’s air resistance determines the length of the terminal tippet. You cannot use one construction for all fly sizes because the less air resistance of the fly you are using, the longer the tippet must be.
The following is how I add to the basic leader. If I am going to 4X, I add 15" of 3X to the basic leader, then 36" of 4X.
When I go to 5X, I add 15" of 4X to the 3X, then 36" of 5X.
After I have the leader built, I tie on the fly and make a short cast. If the leader piles up, I cut off a short section and try again. When you have it right you will get a good slack-leader cast.
Leaders made from soft nylon provide a better drag-free float than one with a stiff nylon base. You can also use heavier terminal tippets, which allow you to put more pressure on the trout and land and release them quicker.
Those who must use 6X, 7X, and 8X tippets to get trout to take play the fish much too long, which results in the death of many trout. Personally, I now catch all trout on nothing smaller than 4X or 5X tippets. I only use 5X on the smallest flies because I cannot get 4X through the eye of the hook. When fishing the Green Drake and other large flies, I use 2X and 3X tippets.
I recently took three women, with whom I have worked for 21/2 years teaching them to tie flies, build leaders, and make a slack-leader cast, out fishing during the Green Drake hatch on private water. I had them tie their leaders with 2X tippets. Can you believe it? They caught over 60 trout, and a third of them were over 20" long.
This leader design is the most important part of our fishing equipment. I use an 81/2-foot rod built for a 5-weight line when using this leader.
The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart