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Old 11-15-2009, 11:46 PM
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Default leaders and tippet material

I have just started fly fishing and I have some quesitons regarding leaders and tippets. I already know which size leader and tippet I need for the fish I am after, my question deals with how long leaders last.

I only have one leader at the moment so I would like to get some tippet material... would it be wise to pick up some other leaders, or should I be ok untill that leader takes a poop on me?

I am also a little mixed up as to where the leader ends, and where the tippet begins...

also, which brand should I buy? I am on a college budget so the cheaper the better
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

Quote:
Originally Posted by smog7 View Post
I have just started fly fishing and I have some quesitons regarding leaders and tippets. I already know which size leader and tippet I need for the fish I am after, my question deals with how long leaders last.

I only have one leader at the moment so I would like to get some tippet material... would it be wise to pick up some other leaders, or should I be ok untill that leader takes a poop on me?
Yes it would be wise to have extras. You can have a leader that gets so beat up, that it's faster to change it rather than to keep repairing it. Nowadays, you can buy three packs.

If you are going to buy some tippet spools, buy the size that matches the tippet end of the leader, one size thicker, and one size smaller. That way you can choose to repair a broken section or extend your leader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smog7 View Post
I am also a little mixed up as to where the leader ends, and where the tippet begins...
The skinny end is the tippet end. Tippet material is tied there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smog7 View Post
also, which brand should I buy? I am on a college budget so the cheaper the better
The prices for the major brands (Umpqua, Scientific Anglers, and Rio) are about the same for monofilament leaders and tippets. I use Umpqua, but I am confident with the other brands. The going rate for a single leader is $4.00. The going rate for a three pack of leaders is $10.00. The going rate for a spool of tippet material is $4.00.

MP
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

Like Mosca said, pick up extra. A leader will need replacement when you fishing, so you wouldn't want to cut a trip short because you don't have extra. And once you have some knots, the leader is about shot. Unless the knots are towards the skinny end and you can trim them off and add tippet. I'm using Scientific Anglers that I got on sale, and haven't had any problems. I'm cheap, so pick up extras as you find them on sale. They'll last long enough if you keep them away from extreme heat and sunlight. Same goes with tippet.

I've also heard arguments between mono and floro, but I haven't seen proof positive that fish can see the line. I've caught fish on both. So go with mono, since it's cheaper.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

The knot-less tapered leaders are an extruded or drawn mono product if I remember correctly. The sure fire way to know where the actual tippet begins to swell into the next size (from .08 to .11 for instance) is to have a micrometer and to establish the relative thickness of the length of the leader from end to end.

The easiest remedy for a leader that is growing short is to take note of the length when you put it (the leader) on, 7', 9', etc, and tie on about 16" of new material matching the diameter and strength of the original tip prior to the factory tippet being all gone.

Did that make sense?

Sounds like you better practice your blood knot tying. I always liked the Dai Riki Velvet leaders if I went with pre made.

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Old 11-16-2009, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

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Originally Posted by smog7 View Post
I am also a little mixed up as to where the leader ends, and where the tippet begins...
If you take a close look at your leader it tapers from very thick down to fine. The fine section toward the tip is the tippet. Hopefully you kept your package but if not when you pick more up take a look at the back. If I remember correctly there is usually a breakdown of how the leader is tapered including lengths and diameter of the tippet. You can use this to judge when it is time to add more. For instance you may have a 9ft 5x leader with 2ft of tippet. Based on this knowledge you can take a fairly good guess as to when your getting to your middle section and need to add tippet. Another more expensive way is to get a leader gauge that will show you when your getting into your to your mid section as well as help with rebuilding leaders if you get into that. I think they're about 20 bucks.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

What weight rod and what fish are you targeting?
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

thanks for all the replies everyone.

i'm using a 9 foot 6 weight rod and reel setup.

i'm going to be going after trout, panfish, and small to medium sized largemouth bass

my setup came with a pre made 9 foot 5x leader

I know which end goes to what on the leader, what I am still somewhat mixed up with is when to add tippet material, and how much to add.

I am guessing that with time my leader will become shorter with the constant clipping of flies.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

Smog, the short and simple is that you add tippet when the tippet section of the leader is almost out. If you don't have the original package the leader came it then you will have to guess its exact lenght. Probobly about two ft. should do fine. When you get to that point or 6in before add another 1.5-2 ft of 5x tippet. You can google tons of pages on building your own leader that give explanations on how tapered leaders work and formulas for repairing them as well as adjusting aspects such as tippet lenght to get a better cast. I would highly reccommend checking afew of them out. this one may be a bit too complex initially but shows for different lenght and tippet size how to build a leader from scratch. If you look at the numbers the thicker diameter sections called the but then it tapers down in size through the middle section ending up at the tippet. On a tapered leader like yours you will quickly run through that tippet section that was built into the original and need to replace it with an equal amount and diameter material i.e. 5x tippet. http://www.hookhack.com/handtiedleaders.html. Hope that helps. If your fishing for all of those fish you will definately want to try and learn much more about leaders and how they perform for the various types of fishing you want to do.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

Hi Smog,

If you are serious about your leaders and tippets you need a gauge to measure the tippet size. Especially if you are tying your own leaders. I use the Mike Rite and it is very well made. I have used mine for years. It is one of those tools every vest should have. I have used a Machinist Micrometer but you have to be much more careful to get an accurate reading.

When you use a Mike Rite you lay the tippet or mono over the slot in the tool, the one it lays into is the correct size of the material. You want a tight fit but not so tight that you have to force the mono into the tool. This way you will always know where the tippet ends and the front taper of the leader begins.

Another thing you can do is determine the tippet/leader transition point and tie a loop on the tippet. Now you can loop your tippet on and the leader will last much longer. Here is how I do it.

1. I take a new tapered leader and determine the tippet/leader transition point using the Mike Rite.

2. I cut off all but about 6" of the tippet. So I now have a leader with a 6" tippet measured from the tippet/leader transition point.

3. I tie a Perfection Loop or Non-Slip Mono Loop in the end of the 6" tippet.

4. I take 20 inches of tippet material and tie a Perfection Loop or Non-Slip Mono Loop in one end.

5. I Loop the tippet to the leader and you are ready to fish. You can now tell when the tippet is getting short and if it is time to replace the tippet.

Frank

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Old 11-17-2009, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: leaders and tippet material

Just go with Furled leaders. No guessing, gauging, as little, or as much, AND the best part, you can use 6X, 5X, 4X and maybe even a 3X on the same leader.
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