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Old 10-30-2007, 08:35 PM
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Default Make Your Own Leader

I bought a book called "Better Fly Fishing" which I am in the middle of reading. One of the points it makes is the leader being the least thought of but yet most important part of a fly-fishing rig. In the book they suggest learning to build your own leaders as opposed to buying knotless leaders. It points out that "most" fly fishermen fish a leader long beyond it's useful life primarilly because of the expense of replacing the prefab knotless leaders. Apparently they suggest that you can buy enough material to build 50 leaders yourself for the same price it would cost to buy 5 or 6 prefab knotless leaders, and the performance would be better with the leaders you build.

Does anyone on here build their own leaders or does everyone suck up the $4 apiece and fish em till their a birds nest?
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I wanna build my own also but need a blood knot tool or something. all those knots seem hard. would love to be able to tie alot of your own for cheap!
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I am pretty sufficient at tying blood knots as thats what I use to connect tippet to the end of the leader. Here's a decent description of how to tie it. They use heavy guage cord so you can see the details.

Blood Knot
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

You are correct.

It is much more $$ friendly to tie your own leaders. I personally
have only ever purchased a tapered leader once. I enjoy tying
up my own. You will need to learn several knots depending on
what species you are targeting. There are many, many good
websites to review when it comes to tying knots. Simply go to
Google & type fishing knots.

Tie One On
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I've been told that for tying together leader material that varies in diameter by more than, say, one "X", a Double Surgeons Knot should be used in preference to a Blood Knot, as it has superior breaking strength. As a bonus, I think it's easier to tie also. However, I'm not sure that it lies straighter than a Blood Knot connection, which does lie very straight.

I'm a big fan of the Scientific Anglers L2L Reconnect (Line to Leader quick-connect) leaders, and have found that their use can be prolonged indefinitely by the simple expedient of taking whatever butt section is left attached to the connector and constructing a hand-tied leader from it.

Question: Does anyone have a preference for fluorocarbon leaders/tippit material over the more conventional mono? I've heard both plusses (more supple & less visible) and minuses (less abrasion resistant & dificult to knot with some other leader/tippit material)?
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I spun some leaners with fuorocarbon 6x tippet material and had about 10 dollars in each one. It took about 1/3 of a 30 dollar spool to make one.. I went back to buying tapered leaders as they were cheaper. However the larger leaders I made handled the larger bass fly very well.. ML
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

can you just use regular fishing line in different strengths to make the leaders? what brands of line do you guys mostly use to make leaders? the cost of each? I don't wanna make no 30 dollar leader either lol. I just got this dennison vise leader making thing that ties blood knots off ebay. I am sick of paying 4 bux for one leader. I wanna be able to make alot more for my money. I will be generally fishing bass and gills and steelhead. plus it would be nice to make it to my own lengths
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I don't tie my own leaders for the simple reason of time. I buy tapered leaders and reconstruct as needed. When you started with 6x, compare the diameter of what is left of a tapered leader, if it looks more than one size different, add a short section of 5x then the 6x tippet.
I use a triple surgons knot. Use the knot you are most comfortable tying. If you are better/faster at a blood knot then use that. The more time it takes you to tie a knot, is more time you're not fishing.
As for floro, I use it always. I don't buy floro leaders because of the expense. The pieces I add as needed are floro however. The only time I buy a floro tapered leader is for lake fishing with full sinking lines.
Everyone who responds will probabaly use a different brand, I prefer Frog Hair. It has very good knot strength, and has lots of strech so helps take some of the shock away when fighting a fish. But this is just my personal choice.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I was just gonna construct some leaders before we go out. we use a triple surgeons knot for tying tippet to the leader.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own Leader

I have never bought a leader but i strictly saltwater fish where a soft presentation is not really needed. Do not use regular fishing line it is way to soft and won't turn heavy flys over very well, use a hard mono leader material or flourocarbon. Most hard mono's are less dense and float, flourocarbon sinks. My formula for salt water leader is 4' of 30lbs 2' of 20lb and 1' of 12lb with a loop on the end for easy fly changes, then i use 1' of 20lb shock leader between the loop and the fly sometimes i use 40lb shocker if the blues are around. If you want the leader to float use mono , and flouro to sink. I use blood knots and they get easy to tie after you do a few.
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