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Old 04-20-2007, 12:26 PM
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Default Leader Question

I was chatting with a sales person at Bass Pro last night about what materials to choose for making Woolly Buggers and Clousers for our local largemouth and panfish. When he saw me pick up a couple leaders he told me not to bother. With the flies I am using and the fish I am targeting, I don't need a tapered leader. Just use 4lb mono with my 6x rod (anything heavier will risk breaking the tip of the rod). I understand the purpose of the tapered leaders but it seems like a reasonable suggestion. I also am a stickler for using fresh line and this would make it convenient to replace the leader everytime I go out.

1) I am curious what you guys think.

2) Replacing the leader eats up a small bit of fly line. I am using forward weighted line. Do you need to be concerned with the amount of line lost over time?

3) What knot would best be suited for joining the smaller 4lb mono to the fly line?
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

The next time you go to Bass Pro, please talk to someone else. The point of using a tapered leader is to get the butt end of the leader where it connects to the fly line to be of nearly equal stiffness as the fly line. If not, as the stiffer fly line is rolling over on the cast it will create a hinge and the loop will not roll over correctly.

There are two possible problems this can cause: One- The hinging effect WILL bring the fly closer to the line it is moving past, and this increases the chances of tangling. Two- That same hinging effect means that power from the cast rolling over greatly diminishes, and could keep the fly from turning over completely. (to be honest, with a weighted wooly bugger this second effect probably won't come into play, becuase the inertia of the weighted fly will help it finish its flight. If you were fishing poppers or bulky floating flies, it can definitely come into play though.)

If you want to get around those two potential problems, you could make your own leaders with 3 sizes of mono. For a 6wt rod, I would use 4' of 25 lb, 1.5' of 15 lb, and use 8 lb for your tippet, 2-3'. Yes, I meant to say 8 lb. A 6wt rod that is broken by tippet over 4 lbs is a sad stick. You could possibly break a 6wt with 10 lb, but you would have to know exactly how to abuse it to make this happen.

I would recommend using the loop-to-loop method for joining your leader to your line. Loop-to-Loop Connection Use a short piece of that 25 lb line and make a loop that will stay permanently in place on your fly line, so that you are not having to cut off fly line each time you change leaders. This is the ideal knot to join that section to your fly line: Fly Fishing Info Center - Nail Knot - Leader to Fly Line
This is the ideal knot for making the loop: Fly Fishing Info Center - Perfection Loop
But this one will work just fine also: Fly Fishing Info Center - Surgeon's End Loop Knot but try to keep it small. (dime to raisin sized)
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

Hi Krash,

Cliff has pretty well covered your question. If you keep tying to your fly line each time you go out, you will be buying a new fly line before long. Follow Cliff's suggestion and add a short section (6") of 25lb stiff mono to your fly line with a Perfection loop in the end. Now you can add your leader to the loop and not have to use up your fly line.
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

Agree with Cliff to put some kind of a loop in the line itself weither it be a small piece of Mono, the woven loops or just make a loop in the line itself, by folding the line over and securing it with tying thread.

I am going to say, that when I fish a larger weighted fly, I DO NOT always use a tapered leader.
I will use straight 8lb, or 6lb, or 4lb even 2lb Flouro in about 4' to 6' length (longer if I need the fly to go deeper)
I am not worried about how the fly is going to hit the water like when using a dry.
A tapered leader is going to present the fly nicer, but it isn't always a factor.
Plus leaders can get a little on the costy side, even making your own.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

I agree with all the posts above, but offer an additional tip. I attach about 12-18" of red monofilament (Amnesia?) to the fly line with a needle nail knot, and then tie the leader material to the Amnesia. Use a weight of Amnesia that has about the same stiffness as the end of the fly line. I usually use a blood knot for the Amnesia to leader connection (they're not really that hard to tie). I personally don't like loop-to-loop connections because they more prone to hanging up in the guides.

This technique serves 2 purposes: first, you don't shorten the tip of your fly line each time you tie on a new leader; and second, the red mono is very visibile in the water and works nicely as an indicator.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

Great feedback! I appreciate all of the input. Looking forward to trying some of this.

What he meant is what Joni stated: "I am not worried about how the fly is going to hit the water like when using a dry. A tapered leader is going to present the fly nicer, but it isn't always a factor."

I'm still a newb and my wife wants to learn. I think a couple feet of heavy mono with 6 feet of 4lb mono would get the job done with the heavier wet flies I'm using as we learn. I am trying to focus less on the equipment and more on the fishing

I completely agree that a proper leader will catch more fish.
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Leader Question

What about keeping the first 4' of a used leader?

I am using a 7.5' leader now. When it becomes worn, I am going to cut the last few feet off and add 4' of 4 or 6 lb mono.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

Krash, that's exactly what you should do, although you might want to replace the skinny end of your leader a little sooner. The skinny part of a leader is basically tippet, and you can replace the tippet with level tippet you can buy on a 30yd spool for $4-$5. By doing this, you should be able to get 10 times the life out of one tapered leader for about $8-$10, much cheaper than 10 $4-$5 leaders.
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

These are the tips that you don't get at the local mega mart. I think I know why I trashed my first leader within minmutes of trying my new rod - I was using a 9' leader with 3' of additional tippet. I tried a 7.5' leader with only 1-2' of tippet on my last outting. Caught dozens of fish and the leader is like new.

I'm getting close to where I need to be for my particular gear and target fish. Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Leader Question

I use furled leaders made out of 6/0 tying thread. They turn over real well and all you have to replace is the tippet at the end.
As for Bass Pro they are just getting into the fly fishing industry and they don't know beans as far as I am concerned about fly fishing.
But this is just my 2 cents.
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