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Old 08-28-2015, 03:38 PM
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Cool tying leaders - what to do with what I have

I am using a 9ft-6wt rod with a DT6F line
I may purchase a WF6F line
There are no fly shops in my area - mostly bass fishermen here
I ordered Cabela's brand tippet material in 0X - 4X - 6X so that I can tie my own leaders
I will be starting primarily with a deer hair mouse for large mouth (black) bass and smaller floating poppers & deer hair baits for bass, crappie and bream
1.) How long should each piece of the different materials be?
2.) The book I ordered says to tie the butt section of leader to the fly line with a tube/nail knot - is there a better knot for this
3.) what knot should I use for connecting the different sizes of tippet material together?
4.) What kind of knot do I use in the leader butt section to tie a loop whenever the fly line comes with a loop already in it
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Just offering some basics to get you started, hopefully the experts will chime in soon.

The heaviest you have is 0x which is .011". for a six weight you will want something around .022 or heavier for the butt section of your leaders and then some intermediate sizes to step down (I like Maxima Chameleon). So you are going to need additional diameters. Alternatively you could buy pre-made 7.5' 0x leaders and then use the material you have for the tippet section. The 4x and 6x tippet is too light for the flies you described. I would use the 0x and add some 2x to your arsenal for the poppers.

1. Tons of leader formulas online but 60-20-20 is a good basis. So for an example to make the math easy- 10 leader> 6' butt section (ex. 18".022; 18" .020; 18" .017; 18" .015), 2' transition (ex. 1'.013; 1' .011) and 2' 2x tippet section. This is just an example I made up for illustration and easy math, there are lots of real formulas out there.

2. I like needle knots as opposed to nail knots, they go through the guides better but nail knots are fine. Coat them with a little UV knotsense or similar so the end of your fly line doesn't absorb water and sink.

3. Blood knots are most common

4. Can't help there, I cut the loops off and use the needle knot.
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Most hand tied leaders for trout use .021" diameter material for the butt section.
That's about twice the diameter of 0X, so your not quite there yet if you want to tie your own.
I buy spools of all the "odd" diameter material (.021", .019",.017", .015", .013",), and then all the "X"s
You never want to drop down more than 2/100" dia at a time for trout leader

You use blood knots to connect them and there's a number of charts on-line with the different leader formulas
You should nail knot a short piece of mono that has the same flexibility as your fly line to the line tip and tie a perfection loop in the end... if needed
Then you can tie a matching perfection loop in the butt of leader for a loop2loop connection
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Last edited by Rip Tide; 08-28-2015 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Check out this site:
Animated Knots by Grog | How to Tie Knots | Fishing, Boating, Climbing, Scouting, Search and Rescue, Household, Decorative, Rope Care,

And start buying 'main line' spools for spin rods.
200yds of seaguar fluorocarbon 12lb. line = $20
30yds of seaguar 0x fluoro= $15 (or $100 for 200 yds)
The above are nearly identical in strength and diameter, and are most likely made at the same factory from the exact same materials. You can refill your old tippet spools from the larger 'bulk' spools.

I'm sure someone will chime in explaining the difference between the two, but for my money, the 12lb line works great.

PS pick up some leech flies for the bass. black, maroon, or olive

I use 40lb. butt to 20lb. tip around here in saltwater (oysters and opaque water). For bass you could go 40-20-12 or something similar.
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Last edited by tbblom; 08-28-2015 at 09:44 PM. Reason: mo stuff
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

The nail knot, tied with an appropriate size piece of metal tube, and the blood knot are two of the most important knots in constructing hand tied leaders. Much practice is necessary to master them, but it is worth the time and effort to be able to tie them fast and well. The tag ends of the blood knot must be in perfect position when the knot is completed. Otherwise, it may fail. When a fish breaks off, it is usually a failed knot rather than a break in the belly of a leader section or tippet. Always check the knot strength at each leader section before each fishing session as they may become brittle and weaken over time. This video shows the proper angle of the tag ends of a completed blood knot.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q06QKib1AEQ If they do not come off that way, retie until they do.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Silver has a great formula that came from Gary Borger. I can't remeber what he calls the leader Silver always shares. Here's what I remember.

For a 6 wt, start with about a 4 foot butt section of 25lb Maxima Chameleon. I tie a perfection loop and go loop to loop at the fly line end. The balance of the knots are all like Rip said, blood knots.

Found the article... Read this: Gary Borger Blog Archive Uni-Body to Harvey Style Leader

The next step is about a foot of 12lb. At the end of this is a great spot to tie on a tippet ring. This will prevent you from using up this section of your leader.

After the tippet ring, you can use whatever you want in the way of tippet material. A longer section and a sorter section that leads to the fly. What you do hee depends on what type of fly you are fishing. I suggest you read the article.

The two butt sections are best tied with Maxima Chameleon or Clear. Maxima Fishing Line

If Silver responds, take his word over mine. He's the guy that taught me.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Just my .02 cents but, save for small-spooky trout this leader bit is over killed.

The 'Old Rule of the Thumb' for DIY leaders was "60-20-20." so just figure out how long a leader you want and section same accordingly. Regardless of how that breaks down the butt section should be 'stiff leader' if you can get your hands on the stuff (McCoy).'Limp' is not a good thing. If possible the 'butt' material should have the same diameter as the end of the fly line.

End game is the butt section is - really/only - there to transmit the fly line energy into the rest of the leader. So what sized leader material (I've given up on the 'x' bit years ago) do I use? Second rule of the thumb is the center section will be (about) 1/2 the test of the butt section and the tippet half of that with the 60-20-20.

Moving water:

Circling back to 'how long;' people have a tendency to over kill on this question. A leader for moving water can, and should, be fairly short and sweet, 9-10 feet is quite enough to your first fly. If you can use (legally) more than one fly add a 2-2.5' of the tippet test and attach the second fly to that.

The 'how' has two schools of thought as to where to attach that bit. One is from the eye of the hook (the way I do it) or tied off at the bend of the first hook (not my preference). "You'se pays your money and takes your pick."

Still water:

I'm 'wobbly' on still water fishing (only two places in my area and you need a boat for one) so take this with a large grain of salt. Here you need a longer leader but 12' is probably (wiser folks than me will probably correct this) 'enough.'

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Old 08-28-2015, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Good info so far. If you want to build leaders you need a lot more material heavier than 0x.

This might be more than you asked for, but it's a great thread about leaders. Read it, but don't let it intimidate you. Making leaders is fun, and doesn't have to be quite so involved, depending on what you want. Start with simple formulas and use them first, then if you can tell what it doesn't do for you, change it.

Good luck man, it is fun building leaders.

Leader Selection
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

Here's a great thread that discusses leader building in detail. You can add to the post or ask questions. There is just already some very good information there from when I asked the same questions you are now asking.

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...-question.html

And another:

Hand tied leaders: materials question
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: tying leaders - what to do with what I have

I recently read that I shouldn't use Stren Easy Cast for butt material as it will not transmit energy to the rest of the leader.

Has anyone else heard this?

Randy
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