Originally Posted by mikel
Interesting no one equates rod length with leader length at all?
I hesitated to post with all the differing opinions. My rule of thumb is to start with a leader about the length of the fly rod. MY basic leader is a 9 ft 5x and then I modify it if needed.
A long leader to rod length ratio can force you to bring the leader/fly line junction into the guides, and this runs the risk of a break off when you bring the fish to hand when using light tippets. I have used 15 to 16 foot leaders when fishing Hebgen Lake for gulpers with a 9 foot rod since those fish can be very spooky and leader shy.
When landing one of those fish, you need to bring the leader/fly line knot into the guides to land the fish. To keep the knot from catching on the guides, I flip the rod over so that my fly reel is facing toward the sky and then the knot runs along the fly rod spine and not along the guides.