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Old 02-25-2013, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

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Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
The difference between 20 and 30 for example is way more than .002". In fact I would flat out disregard that. Seriously, to build the 15' leaders I use for two hand rods following that rule would be about what? 40 pieces of line? Even if you could find the right lines to fill that in which I doubt.
Dan
That step-down of 2/100" is what is recommended for all trout leaders.
I don't remember ever seeing one different.
For my saltwater leader I make my steps more dramatic than yours.
40#-25#-16# is my usual, but you're not trying to gracefully turn over size 14 or 24 flies
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

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Originally Posted by il_wi_fishing View Post
i just made my own tapered leader for the very first time yesterday!

i was super impressed with myself and my wife turns to me and says, "your just tying two pieces of line together right? i don't see why thats too hard"

what a buzz kill...

i did very gradual steps down based upon the materials i had, went like this

2 foot of 20# mono
2 foot of 14# mono
2 foot of 8# flouro
2 feet of 4# flouro

does this seem kosher?
My wife thinks I'm nuts too when I read about and practice tying knots.

I got into tying leaders last winter and found that like most things regarding fly fishing, there are a lot of different approaches, theories, and "rules." And as many people who swear by "their" formula. Which is great, because all that means is that there are many different ways to get to the same end, a leader that works for different situations. You'll just have to find what is best for you.

You can make leaders as intricate as you can imagine. I've seen formulas with three or four 6" steps in the taper! Yikes. The simplest formula there is, that is still very effective (and easily modified) is Gary Borger's Uni-body leader design. It always consists of 4' butt (.020 Maxima) and 1' taper (.013), then to the tippet. Of course the butt can be shortened to 3' if the situation calls for it. Check it out, personally I like it. After going through very complex formulas, it is nice to come back to something very simple yet perfectly effective.

Gary Borger Blog Archive Uni-Body to Harvey Style Leader

---------- Post added at 12:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:32 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Dan
That step-down of 2/100" is what is recommended for all trout leaders.
I don't remember ever seeing one different.
For my saltwater leader I make my steps more dramatic than yours.
40#-25#-16# is my usual, but you're not trying to gracefully turn over size 14 or 24 flies
Borger claims that the .002" step down rule stems from the days of gut leader, in which "hinging" was the concern.
===========================
In the olde dayes, if one reduced the diameter of the gut sections by more than .002″, hinging would occur. That is, the thinner section would collapse back onto the thicker section. Not so with nylon. One can reduce the diameter of each subsequent section of nylon in a leader by 35% and not get hinging. That means you can connect .020″ mono directly to .013″ mono and not have a hinging problem. Now a leader can go from .020″ to .013″ to .010″ to .008. Fast and efficient. Oops, the standard Blood Knot can’t make the jumps.
===========================

Gary Borger Blog Archive 5/7 Blood Knot
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

My hand-tied leader formula works like this:

Take a 9-12' section of 4 pound test (Maxima in green is our favorite)

Put a kreh loop knot in one end.

Connect this to the loop connection on your fly line.

Uni knot (leave as loop for streamer/wets) to fly.

That's it. Extremely easy and works great. Too long? Cut it. Easy. Keep hanging up on bottom? Cut it. No worries about cutting back sections of the leader and ruining your taper. No knots for bluegill to pick at .

I think Ian Colin James got this one right. I've been using level leaders for bass/sunfish for a while now (with 8 pound test) and tried it with brook trout last weekend and loved it -- caught fish just fine. Even when using dry flies. Got one on a royal wulff and another on a yellow sally. Then more on nymphs. I honestly couldn't see any advantage to using a tapered leader whatsoever. The only thing I can *sort of detect is that the tapered leader is a little more soft when the fly flips over on the cast. I don't fish anywhere where this would matter. Honestly, even with moving water I can't see how it would matter. Maybe glass-smooth, very clear water? Maybe I'm so used to casting a level leader now I automatically compensate for it and no longer like a tapered? Who knows.

I wouldn't discourage a tapered leader -- and I have tied many with the 20 >> 12 >> 8 >> 4 formula and they work fine. I just don't think I have any need to use the damn things and it sure is nice to only have to carry a couple of spools of 4-8 pound test around.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

Well I'm glad for you that you do not have the need for tapered leaders, turbine, but their advantages are well understood by trout fisherman.

What type of flies are you casting with this 12' 4# level leader? And what type of water? Can you place the fly on a paper plate 30' away from where you are standing? Inside a hula-hoop at 45'? If so, then more power to ya man!
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

I like to fish with rods that other people wouldn't waste their time with. Antiquated reels. Factory second lines.
But I don't cheap out on my leaders.
Your leader is your contact with the fish. The only thing that's as important is having a sharp hook.

I do use a straight mono leader for poppers, and a 3 section leader in the salt is fine. But with dry fly fishing the most important aspect is the presentation and a drag free drift. And that's only going to happen with a well designed leader.




.
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Last edited by Rip Tide; 02-25-2013 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

i just want my line to turn over better and i think this will help, plus i can save my self a few pennies in the long run
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

I've always stuck to George Harvey's formulas, they may seem complicated but you really shouldn't need to tie to many of them, just work with the last couple of tippets.


This should work fine
.Diameter Nylon
.017' Hard 10"
.015" Hard 20"
.013" Hard 20"
.009" Hard 12"
.008" Soft 12"
.007" Soft 18"
.005 Soft 22-30"
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

Hey, whatever floats your boat -- I realize this opinion is in the minority. I tossed Ian in there because he's a very well-respected trout fisherman and fly tier and he advocates a level 4 pound mono leader between 10-20 feet!! Obviously, we are all the "random guy on the internet" and I get that.

I actually just read an article by Lefty advocating that people increase the length of their tippet to make the cast "more crappy", meaning that it would NOT unroll completely and would allow more "slop" to pile on the water to extend the drag-free drift.

So, you can theoretically use a fairly crappy level leader and get a better drift than you can with a purchased tapered one if you don't know what you're doing. Lol. Rip - I know you are wise and know what you're doing -- I'm just messing around.

So, it's all just a collection of opinions. I don't think there a dark, conspiracy to get trout fisherman to purchase 4 dollar leaders or anything. Casting small trout dries is so much easier than heavy lead flies it's not even funny. I catch fish just fine - possibly better if you consider that my entire leader is incredibly thin without the heavy butt section on there.

Quote:
Well I'm glad for you that you do not have the need for tapered leaders, turbine, but their advantages are well understood by trout fisherman.
Sure, but fly fisherman also believe a lot of weird things -- like the need to use 4-5x leaders/tippet to fly fish for BASS or SUNFISH when it's not only unnecessary, but possibly unwise. They also call "bobbers" "indicators"...? creeps me out man. A collection of opinions from fly fishermen means almost nothing to me. I'd rather try things for myself.

Just an option to toss out -- try it, you might like it. If not I owe you a Guinness.

Yeah, the above Harvey formula -- I tried that too when I started in this. No way in hell am I going to bother tying that many strips of line together just to cast to fish!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

Quote:
No way in hell am I going to bother tying that many strips of line together just to cast to fish!
I guess I'm crazy, I actually enjoy tying leaders, and watching those dry flies float down ever so gently.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: hand tied leaders

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Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
I actually just read an article by Lefty advocating that people increase the length of their tippet to make the cast "more crappy", meaning that it would NOT unroll completely and would allow more "slop" to pile on the water to extend the drag-free drift.
I'm not trying to cause a ruckus here, these are all just opinions.

BUT ... In my favorite fishing scenario there is a pod of large rainbows casually but steadily sipping mayflies from the surface or right in the film. Noses and heads, sometimes shoulders rolling. The fly is a #16 PMD or maybe an #18 or god help me trico spinners in #20 and I'm casting either straight across the current or down and across over the current to the opposite seam. This cast has to be anywhere from 25 to 45 feet, the fly has to rest on the water somewhere between 8 and 2 feet from the feeding fish, in it's lane, before drag takes it away. A crappy "pile cast" isn't going to cut it. The leader has to turn over smoothly at the line to leader junction and then have enough energy to straighten at least 7 feet or more (depending on the overall length) of the leader. Some slack on the last 2 or 3 feet of the tippet is a good thing, yes indeed. But no way can I cast a 10' length of 5X tippet that is directly connected to my 4 wt line, at least not with any accuracy.

Maybe Lefty can. Heck, maybe you can too, but for the rest of us - in this type of fishing situation - you need a tapered leader.

The link I posted earlier for Gary Borger's Unibody can be made with 3 transitions, it is his simplified take on the Harvey, which imparts slack in the tippet. I assume this is what Lefty is referring to when he says "crappier cast."
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