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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2013, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

For me I have found a 7.5 will work at the state parks here in MO and typically down south I will have a 9 footer if not longer. I am now using furled leaders which is my new love since they lay so nicely compared to the stuff I was making before haha and screw the pre made taper leaders those things SUCK!


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Last edited by stuie675; 03-05-2013 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

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Originally Posted by troutnut4 View Post
runningfish, we have to be careful with our comments here, this post might turn into another "Abel Nippers" thread. I think we are all suffering from cabin fever. Come on April. (our season opens in a few weeks).
LOL!!! I had a feeling that the "leather thingy" term is starting to be pretty disturbing to use.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Wow, thanks for all the information fellas! I will keep experimenting with the leaders and now I have a better understanding of when to use longer and shorter leaders so that's greatly helpful! I bought a few Rio tapered leaders as well as a couple Orvis ones, and the Orvis ones were very coily near the butt section. I work out the coils in the taper and tippet portion but I guess I'll just have to keep working on the butt section until it straightens out (wow - poor wording but it's too early for me to fix it haha).
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

I've used the same piece of old rubber inner tube since the 1970's to strighten leaders. It still works as good as ever.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

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Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
If you think that a level leader alone will lead to wind knots, I'd ask to see an explanation of this.
Hey TB...I fish level leaders with streamers and under a bobbicator often and seldom have issues, BUT not when trying to present a dry. The taper helps me get energy all the way to my bug and without it I find the occasional and infamous wind knot. I think you're half right. :-)

Interesting no one equates rod length with leader length at all?

-Mike
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post

Interesting no one equates rod length with leader length at all?

-Mike
I hesitated to post with all the differing opinions. My rule of thumb is to start with a leader about the length of the fly rod. MY basic leader is a 9 ft 5x and then I modify it if needed.

A long leader to rod length ratio can force you to bring the leader/fly line junction into the guides, and this runs the risk of a break off when you bring the fish to hand when using light tippets. I have used 15 to 16 foot leaders when fishing Hebgen Lake for gulpers with a 9 foot rod since those fish can be very spooky and leader shy.

When landing one of those fish, you need to bring the leader/fly line knot into the guides to land the fish. To keep the knot from catching on the guides, I flip the rod over so that my fly reel is facing toward the sky and then the knot runs along the fly rod spine and not along the guides.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
My rule of thumb is to start with a leader about the length of the fly rod
That's what I was thinking, Silver...thx for chiming.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Interesting no one equates rod length with leader length at all?

-Mike
I pretty much make all my leaders the length of my rod. The only time I don't go the length of my rod is when I want to get deeper without a sink tip. Then I go longer. Even the furled leaders Joni made me are designed to be the length of the rods they are for, with the tippet added.

For me 99.9% of the time, 9 ft. rod, 9 ft. leader. 15' rod, 15' leader. I don't use shorter leaders for fish that are not line shy because they are not the only fish around. I don't mind an accidental catch. I don't use level leaders for stripping or swinging because the fish that takes your fly can be right where your fly lands. If you have to pick up 10 feet of slack to set a hook on it, that fly better still taste good from the last fish that took it or you will be setting the hook on empty water.

I've heard all the arguements "Oh you don't need to do this or you don't need to do that" but it's a friggin leader that takes all of two minutes to make. I just make them all so they turn over and at least as long as the rod. Every time for every fish everywhere I use them.

No slack to pick up. No missed line shy accidental fish, no regrets. Accidental fish can be your most memorable fish of the year. Remember that thread and mine? Accidental, on a hand tied 9' tapered leader fishing for Smallies. Note the popper in it's mouth.
Click the image to open in full size.

Not to pick on the "oh for blah blah fish you only need a 3' level leader" guys, but am I the only guy who gets really nice accidental fish? If I am, maybe there's the answer.

Oh, and I never Provo bounce three ounces of lead and pretend I'm fly fishing.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Interesting no one equates rod length with leader length at all? -Mike
Page 1, Post #3
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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
For trout fishing the general rule of thumb is to use a leader approximately the length of your rod.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnbassfisher View Post
From talking to a few people I know that leader lengths and preferences depend on what you're throwing and where you're throwing it but for a newbie it can be a little overwhelming. It looks like the common lengths are 7.5", 9", and 12" when are these lengths preferred for you experienced anglers? I know a lot of experienced fly fisherman will tie their own leaders and not buy the tapered ones but until I learn a lot more I figured the tapered route was much better for starters. If you could share with me a little knowledge on what lengths you prefer and in what situations, that would help me out immensely!
Note: I didn't read every response to your question, so there is a good chance someone has already said this: KISS it (Keep It Simple, Stupid). This is a lesson that took me a little while to figure out when I was just starting out. Hopefully you can avoid my mistakes on this issue.

I take it from your post you are pretty new to FF in general. If that's the case, do yourself a favor. Do not overthink this aspect of flyfishing right now. Fly fishing is about 'tinkering,' and you will get there, but at the beginning you need to have a base line, somewhere to start. However, the basic rule I eventually learned was this: go as heavy and short as you can get away with, given the circumstances and of course the behavior of the fish.

If I were you, I'd start with a 7.5 ft. taper mono leader (assuming trout fishing here, either still/ or moving water, with a 8.5 ft. or a 9 ft. rod), and tie on about 2 ft. of mono tippet. Probably a good starting place would be a 3x leader and 4x tippet. Here's my reasoning: 3x leader is really easy to cast, and it's harder to tail loop, pile cast, etc. with a 3x leader. Also, the heavier leader will be less affected by wind. And finally, if you catch a decent fish and you aren't great at playing a fish on flyfishing gear yet, the heavier leader and tippet will help you land that chunk, instead of breaking him off and ruining your day.

This basic set up will be just fine about 80% of the time. You use longer/lighter leader/tippet combos to affect the presentation of your fly. In short, long, light leader/tippets drop the fly more softly. The downside: they are harder to cast for distance and accuracy, not to mention are less forgiving of casting mistakes. As you get better at casting you can go to 4x, then 5x, and so on.

Note: Of course, you'll get wind knots and have to cut the tippet off a few times a day at first. When you get down to about 6 ft. of leader, change it out for a new one. BUT do NOT throw away the used one. Save it in a plastic baggie or whatever, and in a cool dark place when you get home. These things will come in handy later.

Hope that helps.

Peace.
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