The North American Fly Fishing Forum


Go Back   The North American Fly Fishing Forum > General Fly Fishing Discussion > The Fly Cast

The Fly Cast Discuss fly casting with the expert, ask for help, learn to cast farther, increase your accuracy, troubleshoot your cast.

Like Tree34Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 08:19 AM
busbus's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 360
busbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to beholdbusbus is a splendid one to behold
Default How long is too long for a leader?

On my last "vacation" day, I was able to carve out about four hours early Friday morning to go fishing. I quickly packed up my gear and decided to use the old reel my son bought me for Christmas. I got to the lake and the sun was barely nosing its way over the horizon. The ducks and geese were noisily splashing and a rooster was starting to signal a new day is beginning.

It was going to be a good day...or so I thought!

As I was setting everything up, I was looking for a leader. OH NO!!! Where is one?! I could have sworn I put one in!! Darn it! There! There, in the vest! Yahoo!!

It wasn't the greatest leader. I was a furled monofilament leader somebody gave me when I first started fly fishing. I used it a lot when I was practicing on the lawn. It was wrapped around swing sets and trees and bushes and itself (a lot). I used it with my nine-foot five weight and it did me well. I never used it on the water as it was a little beat up.

Even though it was a little, ahem, tired, I had little choice but to use it. Problem was I was using my seven-foot four weight. I never gave it much thought until I was done setting things up and getting ready to start fishing.

It seemed wrong, somehow. Way too long. I thought, "Ahh, it will work just fine." I don't think it did. I was having a horrible time casting. It seemed difficult to lift the fly off the water. I usually lose flies to the vegetation but nothing like yesterday! I was twisted around stuff all morning. I rarely got a good cast. And it was really hard to get to the fish I did catch.

One thing it has taught me is that I really need to learn how to set the hook with my line hand instead of lifting the rod. That long leader made it extremely hard to set a hook by using the rod.

So my question is this: When is a leader too long? What is a good length for a leader? I am sure it is based upon rod length after yesterday. Or, probably more true, it is more based upon the situation and the fisherman.

Also, should I have maybe made it up by making a rather short tippet? Or should the tippet be longer than normal?

Or is it all just me?


Thanks,
ray
__________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” –Henry David Thoreau
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 08:26 AM
noreaster's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Posts: 823
noreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nice
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

I too use a 7 foot 4 wt. I met an accomplished nationally ranked fly fisherman one day on a large stream I fish. We shared patterns and talked shop. He said he never uses tapered or furled leaders just a piece of 4 or 6 lb test. He talked about how the added weight of the taper was not needed.
I have since given up on tapered or furled leaders and opt for aa piece of 4 lb test. I too have had the leader too long. It usually doesn't lay out straight or gets tangled in bush upon presentation.
I now use a leader that is about a foot or foot and half longer than the rod length. A bit shorter in tighter areas.
busbus likes this.
__________________
"Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fisherman saying

Last edited by noreaster; 06-14-2014 at 09:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 09:01 AM
james w 3 3's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 238
james w 3 3 is a jewel in the roughjames w 3 3 is a jewel in the roughjames w 3 3 is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

I feel the leader is perhaps the most important element in my fishing, to the degree that I'll modify the leader just as often as I change the fly when things aren't working.

Tapered fluoro, tapered mono, furled thread, tippet size and length, all elements of the equation that changes day to day, or hour to hour.

There's no easy answer!

You just have to carry with you multiple options and solve the immediate puzzle.
fredaevans and ts47 like this.
__________________
I take much greater pleasure in admiring the works of nature than those of man.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 09:14 AM
labradorguy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: MO, MT, BC, Keys
Posts: 551
labradorguy has a spectacular aura aboutlabradorguy has a spectacular aura aboutlabradorguy has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
I too use a 7 foot 4 wt. I met an accomplished nationally ranked fly fisherman one day on a large stream I fish. We shared patterns and talked shop. He said he never uses tapered or furled leaders just a piece of 4 or 6 lb test. He talked about how the added weight of the taper was not needed.
Yeah, but he's nationally ranked.... in Canada.

Just kidding Brother. I work in Canada and my best friends are in BC. I even tried to immigrate there after the last election. No dice. I was told that I don't quite qualify as a political refugee yet.
timd, fredaevans, ts47 and 1 others like this.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 09:28 AM
noreaster's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Posts: 823
noreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nice
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by labradorguy View Post
Yeah, but he's nationally ranked.... in Canada.

Just kidding Brother. I work in Canada and my best friends are in BC. I even tried to immigrate there after the last election. No dice. I was told that I don't quite qualify as a political refugee yet.
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?
labradorguy likes this.
__________________
"Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fisherman saying
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 10:01 AM
troutnut4's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: N.S., CANADA
Posts: 769
troutnut4 is a name known to alltroutnut4 is a name known to alltroutnut4 is a name known to alltroutnut4 is a name known to alltroutnut4 is a name known to alltroutnut4 is a name known to all
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
one long, single, knotless length of 4lb test makes for a nice seamless clear presentation of the fly
I guess that you will never know unless you try it. I will give it a go, can't hurt my cast. I have been using Cutthroat furled leaders as of late and love them. Just add a short piece of tippet. 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!
noreaster and labradorguy like this.
__________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 10:18 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,995
silver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

The correct answer is when you cannot control the leader during a cast.

It varies with the rod, with the fly, with the tippet diameter and length, and even with the casting conditions. For example, casting with the wind you can cast a longer leader than casting against the wind. When casting a dry fly DOWNSTREAM and "feeding" the fly to the trout with a parachute cast, a longer leader can be used that when casting upstream.

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.
__________________
Regards,

Silver



"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 10:20 AM
noreaster's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Posts: 823
noreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nicenoreaster is just really nice
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by troutnut4 View Post
I guess that you will never know unless you try it. I will give it a go, can't hurt my cast. I have been using Cutthroat furled leaders as of late and love them. Just add a short piece of tippet. 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 am sure one piece tippet leaders may have their shortcomings, like with distance, in current, or in wind casting, but what I may have lost doesn't seem to outweigh the performance and results I have had since I threw away the tapered leaders. Plus its easier cheaper and more efficient to carry just tippet material for leaders, saves time and get me more fishing in. it may be better for brassy head weighted flies as this was what the fly fisherman guy was using the time I spoke with him. He seemed to push simplicity over muddledness.
__________________
"Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fisherman saying
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 10:40 AM
fredaevans's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Posts: 5,597
fredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond reputefredaevans has a reputation beyond repute
Question Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Interesting to read the 'take' on leaders for trout fishing. For bigger fish (Steelhead/Pacific Salmon) I've found that 9 foot is all that's needed. If a two fly set up that might move to 11.

Beyond that? = A waste of time and effort?

fae
__________________
"“Reputation is what the world thinks a man is; character is what he really is.”
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2014, 10:49 AM
james w 3 3's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 238
james w 3 3 is a jewel in the roughjames w 3 3 is a jewel in the roughjames w 3 3 is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: How long is too long for a leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
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?
Not at all!
Really, in using a 5' furled thread leader with a 5' tippet I'm doing exactly the same thing. I see this leader as just a very, very flexible end piece of my fly line, and the tippet (anywhere from 4'-7' and 4X-6X depending) is the leader.
If that's blasphemous so be it!
When I need the ultimate in presentation that's where I am.
noreaster and busbus like this.
__________________
I take much greater pleasure in admiring the works of nature than those of man.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ford : F-350 Lariat Crew Cab Long Bed 4WD 2007 F350 Lariat Crew Cab Long Bed 4X4 Ebay USA 4wd vehicles for sale 0 12-11-2012 06:40 PM
Mustad signature fly tying hooks r72 size 14 (long nymph 2x heavy, 2x long) Ebay USA Fly Tying Equipment 0 05-12-2012 03:20 PM
Fly Fishing Line WF Weight Forward F Floating X Long Running Line Long Casting Ebay USA Lines 0 04-27-2012 12:21 AM
Extra Long Peacock Herl. NOS. Up to 12" Long. Fly Tying, Feathers. Ebay USA Fly Tying Equipment 0 10-16-2011 01:00 PM
Long Leader on Int Sink Line in surf floorabove Saltwater Fly Fishing 7 10-08-2011 06:12 PM













All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.