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Old 01-17-2010, 05:05 PM
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Default Length of leader and tippet

Hello Everyone,
I need just a little help in selecting the correct length leader and tippet for my Fly Rods. If ther is a rule of thumb or a chart that would also be great.

I have a 8 ft 6 in 5 wt and a 9 ft 9 wt.

I have been using 7-1/2 ft tippets for each and I dont really remember what length leader. I have been FFing for about 2 years and have had some success but, I probably should learn what I doing to be correct. I have just switched from using the conventional nail knot connection to a welded loop-loop connection.

Regards, Boser
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

I always do the leader/tippet at least as long as the rod. I tie my own. 9' in three foot pieces most of the time.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Hi boser,

Your leader selection should be based on how you are fishing and sometimes what you are fishing for. You say you are using a 7'6" tippet and I think that may the the length of your leader. The tippet is part of the leader.

Tapered leaders are built with a butt section that fastens to your fly line. Usually the leader butt has a loop on it. Then the leader tapers down the length of the leader and at the end you fasten the fly to the tippet. The tippet is usually 20/25 inches in length and is part of the tapered leader.

The common size of a tapered leader is 7'6", 9', 12' and longer. You can buy commercial tapered leaders at any place that sells Fly Fishing equipment. So lets say we have a 9' leader with a loop on the butt. You loop the butt to the end of the fly line and your fly on the other end which is the tippet. The tippet end of the leader comes in different diameters represented by the "X" size. So your tippet could be 4X, 5X or any of many different sizes. The higher the X number, the smaller the tippet is in diameter. You have to size your tippet size to match the size of the fly you are using. So if you were fishing a very small fly with a 7X and you wanted to start using a much bigger streamer you would have to use a larger tippet diameter to accommodate the larger fly.

As you use up your tippet by tying on or changing flies you will find your tippet is getting shorter and shorter. So you take additional tippet material from a tippet spool and tie it to the end of the shorten leader returning it to its normal length.

When subsurface fishing you can use shorter leaders especially with streamers. Using a leader the length of the rod is a good rule but in some circumstances the leader can be much shorter or much longer.

Boser, you may know all of this but questions about leaders and tippets come up frequently and I am sure others out there may benefit from the information.

Frank
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Frank, I might have known some of the info you have shared but you certainly opened my eyes...as I said. I have tied loops on both my fly rods so I can use the loop to loop methos instead of fumbling with that nail knot. It just seems much easier (and stronger).

I'm going to try a furled leader on the fly line and then add my leader/tippet. I already do add tippet material as you suggest. I picked up some 3x and 4x tippets at Cabelas on closeout the other day but they are only 4 ft long. I'll find a use for them possibly fishing some wet flys...please dont hesitate to straighten me out on my thinking. I need all the help I can get.

Thanks a bunch, Boser

---------- Post added at 07:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:06 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
I always do the leader/tippet at least as long as the rod. I tie my own. 9' in three foot pieces most of the time.
DD, what type of knots do you use to join those sections?

Regards, Boser
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

I use blood knots. They are 100 % strength knots. Just make sure you wet them before you tighten them. I was using a perfection loop on the rod end, but some experimenting with a friend of mine has me doubting how well they work. They are in the big end though so..? Alot of people use complicated leader formulas, but three 3' foot pieces turn over well. When I do 15' leaders for spey casting I do 54", 54", 36" and 36". It comes out to 15'. I also cut the line pieces 2 1/2" longer (each end) than I want it to turn out, for the knot and tag end. Occasionally I need a bite tippet that won't work with a blood knot. Like 8 lb. to 30lb., so I do a bimini twist in the 8 lb. Cut the loop and furl the two ends. Tie an overhand knot in the end so it will stay furled till you finish it. Then albright knot the furled end to the bigger bite tippet. The furled bimini acts like a shock absorber and keeps smaller test tippets from snapping as easy. like when I was using an 8 lb. test tippet with my 15' spey rod in a spot with a lot of rocks using clousers. If I just used straight 8 pound test tippet, and hooked a rock, I usually lost the fly just trying to cast the line past the snag. With the furled bimini I got nearly all of them back. That's as complicated as I get. Or need.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Boser

The easyest way of finding the "x" size that you need is to divide the hook size by 4 so a #20 would need a 5x tippet and you can go a bit either side of this if the fly is too big the line wont turn over and every cast will collapse and tangle in a heap (not cool) and you can tie a smaller tippet to your leader so if your using a 3x and need too go smaller just add some 4x (good tippet spools have test wieght and "x" size more attention should be paid to the x size because the new materials can varry about 1lb for an X size) the length (of the leader) is not as important while you lengthin it with a smaller piece each time and only tie 3' or so on

I use a 9' 6wt with a 9' leader and 3-4' of tippet (I use this in small streams and rivers with clear water). Im lazy and only tie my own tappered leader if I have too I agree with Dan the blood knot works best for joining the tippet. I cant remember the last time a blood knot let go on me

Chris
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Like Dan, I tie my own leaders. My formulas are based on the the size of the fly the leader will be expected to turn over. The basic leader starts with 60% butt, a 20% mid section, and a 20% tippet, then I adjust from there. A leader for turning over extra large salty flies may have a 70/10/20% formula but with only 3 sections, while a dry fly leader will have a shorter butt and a longer mid section with as many as 8 or 10 stepdowns. Some only 6" long.

Dan, I understand using the bimini or another doubled line knot to tie the Albright for the shocker, but you lost me when you said " cut the loop and furl the ends"
What I would do would be to tie the Albright with the loop intact, then cut the remainder of the loop off after the knot was completed. What do you do differently?

I know this all has nothing to do with boser's question
Sorry
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Quote:
Originally Posted by boser View Post
I picked up some 3x and 4x tippets at Cabelas on closeout the other day but they are only 4 ft long. I'll find a use for them possibly fishing some wet flys...please dont hesitate to straighten me out on my thinking. I need all the help I can get.

[COLOR="Silver"]
Hi Boser,

You still have me confused. Tippets don't come in 4ft lengths. Tippets are integral to the leader or come in spools of 25/30yds. I think you bought 4' leaders. Remember that the tippet is part of your leader. A leader has three basic parts. The butt that fastens to the fly line, the belly or mid-section of the leader and the tippet. The tippet is the last 20 to 30 inches of a commercial leader. Now you can use a level leader where all of the leader is the same size and has no butt, mid-section or tippet. It is just a level leader. When you tie your own leaders you can make the sections of a leader any length or configuration that you want.

So I would be interested in knowing what is wrote on the package that your 4' leaders/tippets came in.

Frank
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
Hi Boser,

You still have me confused. Tippets don't come in 4ft lengths. Tippets are integral to the leader or come in spools of 25/30yds. I think you bought 4' leaders. Remember that the tippet is part of your leader. A leader has three basic parts. The butt that fastens to the fly line, the belly or mid-section of the leader and the tippet. The tippet is the last 20 to 30 inches of a commercial leader. Now you can use a level leader where all of the leader is the same size and has no butt, mid-section or tippet. It is just a level leader. When you tie your own leaders you can make the sections of a leader any length or configuration that you want.

So I would be interested in knowing what is wrote on the package that your 4' leaders/tippets came in.

Frank
Frank, You are correct, they are tapered leaders...I think I am finally getting my thought process straight, thanks to you guys on this forum. Some very good info. I've also been researching the furled leader and why I may want to start using them. I need all the help I can get laying that dry fly gently on the water. I really like the idea of using a tippet ring on the furled leader so when I have to change a leader, I wont accidently clip the furled leader...I probably already mentioned this but, I have both my rods outfitted with a loop now. I used the thread bobbin idea that you posted on the loop thread. It was a big help.
To all the fine gents that posted some really great info to my thread, I thank you!

Best Regards, Boser

---------- Post added at 12:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:00 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisinselwynNZ View Post
Boser

The easyest way of finding the "x" size that you need is to divide the hook size by 4 so a #20 would need a 5x tippet and you can go a bit either side of this if the fly is too big the line wont turn over and every cast will collapse and tangle in a heap (not cool) and you can tie a smaller tippet to your leader so if your using a 3x and need too go smaller just add some 4x (good tippet spools have test wieght and "x" size more attention should be paid to the x size because the new materials can varry about 1lb for an X size) the length (of the leader) is not as important while you lengthin it with a smaller piece each time and only tie 3' or so on

I use a 9' 6wt with a 9' leader and 3-4' of tippet (I use this in small streams and rivers with clear water). Im lazy and only tie my own tappered leader if I have too I agree with Dan the blood knot works best for joining the tippet. I cant remember the last time a blood knot let go on me

Chris
Chris, Thanks, exactly the kind of info I was looking for...

Regards, Boser
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Length of leader and tippet

Hi boser,

Thanks for these good questions. This type of questions helps lots of people who may have the same question but don't ask. So keep them coming. We all had to learn.

Frank
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