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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

To what silver said, I'll add that if you're fishing for large fish alone with lighter tippet then you want to be sure you can net the fish without getting the knot into the top guides. If you can grab the leader without breaking off that's great but if you can't then a really long leader can make tough to net a fish alone.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
Ouch! Here I always thought Canucks were in good standing as fly fishermen.
I used to busy myself with buying tapered leaders and such. At the end of the day the cost and time fiddleing with leaders and tippets and knots and time, I just said to heck with it and used tippet material as my leader. I am not casting long distances and have found the switch has had no deleterious effects on catching, so party on.
Maybe I am dumbing it down too much I don't know. But intuitively speaking, one long, single, knotless length of 4lb test makes for a nice seamless clear presentation of the fly, IMHO. How blasphemous is this?
Here's the deal.... If you found something that is working for you, I say roll with it and who cares if it is "technically" correct or not? So many people over complicate things by taking everything down to the gnat's ass, and they still can't make a decent cast. It's just fishing eh. If you're having success, and what you're doing is working for you, more power to you. I'm going to give it a try this afternoon.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

50 or 60' is probably too long.......I like to use as short a leader as will work and catch fish. ........I generally use a furaled leader and a 2 or 3' tippet. I sometimes use a 20 to 50# butt of 3 or 4' and a tippet of what ever I need for the situation. I also have not problem using a straight leader. Whatever works and is easy and catches fish. Oh, and cheap

---------- Post added at 11:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:43 AM ----------

50 or 60' is probably too long.......I like to use as short a leader as will work and catch fish. ........I generally use a furaled leader and a 2 or 3' tippet. I sometimes use a 20 to 50# butt of 3 or 4' and a tippet of what ever I need for the situation. I also have not problem using a straight leader. Whatever works and is easy and catches fish. Oh, and cheap.. I try to never use over a 7 to 9' leader/tippet combo.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

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Originally Posted by troutnut4 View Post
As for labradorguy's immigration issue, maybe he used "tumbleweed" as his previous address when filling out the application. In Canada, we take just about anyone!
I noticed that when I was in Vancouver.... I was actually somewhat insulted at the rejection. I had figured being educated, employed, and self-sufficient was a good thing... Not so it would seem. I guess your government wants everyone to be dependent upon them just like ours does. God help us all.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

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Originally Posted by labradorguy View Post
Here's the deal.... If you found something that is working for you, I say roll with it and who cares if it is "technically" correct or not? So many people over complicate things by taking everything down to the gnat's ass, and they still can't make a decent cast. It's just fishing eh. If you're having success, and what you're doing is working for you, more power to you. I'm going to give it a try this afternoon.
Cool, I suppose all tthe technicality down to the gnats ass may be necessary in some cases. If fish are hard to reach or conditions are super sensitive or if the fish are well educated. Many things go into the recipe for success. I guess the fish in our waters are less picky and less educated. Although would like to hit some 4 or 6 pounders someday. Maybe they'll need a more discerning technical approach.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
The correct answer is when you cannot control the leader during a cast.
Okay! Sort of the answer I thought I would get. Actually, "It depends" seem to be the consensus, for the most part. And I think a large part of my problem is that I should go in the backyard and practice more--much more.

That said, I still think it was way too long. I think the leader/tippet combination was probably more than a foot longer than my rod. I am not good enough to cast all that stuff. And it is probably the reason I was having a hard time getting to the fish I did manage to catch.

Thanks, guys!!


ray
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

With a longer leader you will also need to keep your back cast up higher so it doesn't get into trees or whatever. Better yet just roll cast if your getting caught in your back cast if your a good roll caster you can just use that cast all day. Why not you won't be wasting time false casting and tangeling up your rig.

Fredaevans- On still waters and large spring creeks sometimes a 9' leader with 4'-5' of tippet to really stay away from wary trout can make a difference at times. These are gin clear rivers and lakes where that extra few feet make a difference. I might not always lay the cast out perfectly but stripping in the slack will straighten it all if even necessary. I have even used longer leaders.

Take care
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
A rule of thumb for is to start with a leader about the length of the fly rod. Modify the leader on stream as conditions change. I have used leaders up to 15 feet long on a 9 ft 5 wt fly rod for dry fly fishing and as short as 2 feet for streamer fishing on a sinking line.
Excellent point!

I also like the comment from labradorguy about not over-thinking it (My problem, usually), and if something is working for you, roll with it.

Good thread and lots of good comments.

spm
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

I adopted the philosophy long ago of using the shortest I can get away with. Lefty Kreh advised the same in one of his demonstrations to a club in which I was a member many years ago. He pretty much said what Silver Creek said, and "about rod length" is a good general rule of thumb for length, but he went on to say that there can be reasons to go longer or shorter as the need dictates. He used the example of the line splashing on the water when dry fly fishing being one reason that a longer leader/tippet combination might be necessary to get the fly further away from that line splash, or even the shadow that might be cast by the line. But, he continued that with a big popper, such as for bass or Bluefish that same line splash may or may not be an issue. All depends on the situation.

Since I rarely use dry flies, seldom have I used a leader & tippet combination over 10' in length, and probably more so closer to 8'.

However, the leader also has to compliment the rod & line & fly. The heavier you go with line or fly, or the bulkier with fly, the heavier the leader needs to be in many situations. This becomes especially important with big, weighted flies. A single strand of 4lb may be fine with a size 16 dry fly & a 2, 3 or 4 wt (or 5 or 6 wt in some cases), but not likely the ideal leader for a size 2 streamer or popper & a 7 or 8 wt line.

I use tapered leaders primarily, but with subsurface or sometimes big, bulky surface flies, may go to a shorter, single strand, but heavy like 20lb test. In this case momentum is often what carries the fly, so the leader is not really "turning over" the fly. I still want it stout enough to handle the fly without hinging.

The length, & sizing is about control. I know I've been guilty of over thinking leaders & tippets in the past too because it's a subject I also found confusing, but once I realized what Lefty had said about "shortest to do the job", it became very simple & less confusing.
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post
Okay! Sort of the answer I thought I would get. Actually, "It depends" seem to be the consensus, for the most part. And I think a large part of my problem is that I should go in the backyard and practice more--much more.

That said, I still think it was way too long. I think the leader/tippet combination was probably more than a foot longer than my rod. I am not good enough to cast all that stuff. And it is probably the reason I was having a hard time getting to the fish I did manage to catch.

Thanks, guys!!


ray

Judging by this thread; you need more time on the water, where it matters. Go forth and FISH!!!!

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