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Old 08-20-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Leader Options for Technical Dry Fly Presentations

There is little doubt that long leaders with long, 5' tippets are a critical contributor to success fishing for large, wild, sophisticated trout in environments like the upper Delaware. Exercising maximum control over such leaders inspires my continuous experimentation with leader design and materials.

In addition to seamless energy transfer, the point of connection between line and leader must be smooth and bulk-free enough to be brought into the tip-top and guides in order to bring a big fish to net. One of the many advantages of the braided butt is the ability to Zap-a-Gap splice the tip of the line into the hollow core of the leader. Similarly, the Delaware River Club employs the Al Caucci devised insertion of the monofilament butt into the core of the fly line infused with super glue for an equally streamlined juncture. Some loop-to-loop glob inside the snakes could be a bad thing when a big brown gives a violent head shake when he sees your net. I prefer to net a fish in at least knee deep water where it is less freaked out than when taken into bankside shallows.

Click the image to open in full size.
Caucci Leader Splice by Bart Larmouth at the Delaware River Club

Though I employ fluorocarbon material almost exclusively in the salt, I favor more supple and stretchyer nylon monofilament trout fishing. I build down in .002 increments to 3X then go in .001 increments to the desired tippet diameter using 6 or 7 turn blood knots. Where I to experiment with a fine fluoro to mono tippet, due to the propensity for fluro to bite into the softer, water absorbent mono, I would use a twin 6-turn Ligiture Knot as I do in saltwater applications.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Leader Options for Technical Dry Fly Presentations

It has been two months since I began writing about this idea with little follow up. However, I am now in contact with two furled leader makers including our fellow Forum member and furled leader expert, Cutthroat Furled Leaders. It is my goal to establish a line-to-leader rating methodology that will enable the correct mating of furled leaders, or any design variation of leader, to a given size fly line. It is my hope that, properly deigned, a leader can function as a continuation of the diminishing taper of the tip of a fly line without any hinging or interruption of energy flow. Being of a physically different material, the leader butt match-up must be a function of relative mass and stiffness to archive this energy transfer. I plan on having further data to report on very soon.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Leader Options for Technical Dry Fly Presentations

good stuff sweetnsalt,
how do you feel about versi/poly-leaders, or other polymer based leader/tippet material? I have found that poly-leaders not only turn over weighted flies better, but also provide better energy transfer when using dry flies, at least in my experience.

I imagine welding polymer material to the end of a fly line would provide the most efficient turnover. What are your thoughts?
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Leader Options for Technical Dry Fly Presentations

Good question. Poly leaders introduced by polymer fly line maker, Airflo, are monofilament covered with a tapered coating of clear polymer. They come in various densities from floating to sinking and have gotten remarkably little coverage in this Forum. They affix to the fly line via a loop-to-loop assembly and have proven somewhat popular among Spey casters as a method of adjusting a swung fly's attitude relative to the surface.

I have experimented with the floating version both on a 5-weight trout outfit and a #9 bonefish rig going full-on Airflo Tropic Ridge with matching Poly leader. The Achilles Heel of polymer leaders is their mass. They perform well with very positive turn over and low memory interference but their mass kicks perceptibly during turnover...it feels almost but not quite like casting a fly line with no leader on it at all.

The taper of the fly line and its power transference into the leader involves a smoothly calibrated diminution of energy as diameter and mass decrease yielding the ultimate wafting down of your dry fly to delicately and naturally alight upon the current's surface. This is the fundamental theme of this tread. An abrupt obstacle to energy transference, like hinging, precludes control of the tippet and fly while too aggressive, un-damped energy prevents delicacy of presentation.

While clever for intermediate and sunk applications where delicacy is a non-issue, Poly leasers fail to equal other lower mass designs for compound dry fly presentations.
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