Thread: Leader Lengths
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Look up "leader" on the search function and you'll hit a million threads identical to this one.

I'm an "outlier" but I use nothing but fairly long, level leaders of 4, 6 and 8 pound monofilament for everything I target. I don't have any issues with turn-over or presentation and I catch plenty of fish. I don't use fluoro b/c I don't care.

If you fish trout in moving water, my take is that a tapered leader matters even less...since the supposed negative of a level leader is the "harsh, conspicuous *splash*" of your level leader smashing into the water and spooking fish. I've never found this to be the case, and if it were I would advise your to work on your forward cast instead of your leader. I use a 9-12' section of 4 pound test -- there's nothing easier and it casts fine.

I agree with Rip that for warmwater you often won't need a long leader. A 6' leader works great, but I often use 9' leader.

I see no benefit to using a tapered leader of any kind, and definitely wouldn't with a sink tip or full sink line. "Taper tiers" really get irritated when you say this though -- and will usually respond with something like "Uh, whatever Turbine -- you can use your crappy level lines but all the books from the famous dudes say to tie this 60-20-20, biblical formula....so, obviously your advice is far inferior to my own because mine meshes with these books from Barnes and Noble and therefore is better!".

Actually, I feel the heavier line used for the butt section, if anything, makes the leader more visible to the fish....though this probably doesn't make much difference.

This is not the typical advice though, so try whatever you like. Certainly tying a lot of your own tapered leaders will hone your knot tying skills .

Oh, and hand-tied leaders, though useless in my experience, are really good for catching green algae/diatoms in each individual "knot" and making your leader more apparent to the fish. Bluegill sometimes bite them too, which is a lot of fun.

Last edited by turbineblade; 03-04-2013 at 03:50 PM.
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