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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Sure thing, random guy on the internet who uses trout leaders for bass!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

OK kids....let's all play nice
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2013, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Here's Lefty's take on leaders in case anyone is interested. Though I don't always agree with him or any other popular opinion just for the sake of its popularity, I think we'd agree that his take has at least some value.

How to Choose Fly Fishing Leaders & Tippets - by Lefty Kreh
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2013, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Oh Boy......

I don't need Lefty's advice, but will listen to what he has to say. Here's what he says about fishing for bass in streams and lakes:
When fishing for largemouth or smallmouth bass in a lake or stream where the water is clear, you are using flies with hooks ranging in size from 8 to 2/0. A leader with an 8- or 10-pound tippet is fine.

A huge fly for me is one tied on a #6 4X long streamer hook. Most of the time, I'm using a Clouser tied on a #10 stinger hook, or a #10 or #8 Wooly Bugger. I also tend to use a 3X tippet when fishing for trout as well as bass, but only when I'm fishing streamers and nymphs. Why? Abrasion again. There are exceptions, however, like using a wooly bugger where I just know snags are going to take a lot of flies. I've used 3X tippet in these spots, and had to apply so much pressure to the break the fly loose, the point is hopelessly bent backwards. I just use 4X in that case, and snap the leader more easily. I tie my own flies, so I'm out a dime for the hook, and a few cents for materials (unless a bead was used ).

Knotted vs. Knotless.
When I decided to start tying my own leaders, I asked Jack Mickievicz (local legend in Southeast Pennsylvania, and co-inventor of the Renzetti vise) about the merits. He took a knotted leader and began casting it with his hand. It unfurled perfectly, and he had me try it. He then took a knotless leader, and asked me to try doing the same. Knotted* just works better.

Length:
Don't go any longer than you have to, or any shorter than needed. It's already been pointed out in this thread that bass aren't leader shy (although they can be angler shy. I fish a couple trout streams that have large native fish, and you had better crawl up to the edge, and land your line and leader lightly if you want them to even consider looking. That's where I use a 9 foot plus leader, and 5X/6X tippet because I'm using small flies. These streams are fished heavily, and smaller flies just work better. The trout have seen most everything, but smaller flies work often enough to make the trip worth it.

*EDIT: I typed "knotless just works better." I meant KNOTTED.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2013, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Once again thanks for all the information! Much appreciated and a few of you asked if I was new to fly fishing and my response to that is yes, I'm very new to it! I've fly fished at my cabin for blue gill and bass but liked stated, they aren't very leader shy. I'll be going after some warm water species but a lot of my time off the bat with be targeting trout in the CO rivers. I plan to learn to tie my own leaders once I get a better understanding and experience with everything for now I will try a few different things and give them a try. The rule of thumb of starting with a leader the same size as your fly rod (9', 7.5') is a great tip.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Quote:
Length:
Don't go any longer than you have to, or any shorter than needed. It's already been pointed out in this thread that bass aren't leader shy (although they can be angler shy.
Sure -- I'd also add "don't go lighter than is necessary for the fish, conditions and equipment used."

Obviously you're having no problems with your method, so no one can argue.

I just object to being called an idiot (basically -- though not by you) for suggesting that someone use 8-12 pound tippet for bass whenever it's common practice and works fine. It sounds stupid to even print it honestly.....

I may experiment with some hand-tied tapered leaders again now that I've gone so long with only level leaders. Why not?....Dan convinced me to learn to tie blood knots better, so I may put it to good use.

I'm not using 3x though, that's too light for my taste .
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

'Bass fishing isn't trout fishing'

So true. I'm sure you could do just fine on bass with 40lb test mono. They just aren't scared of leaders. It's too easy over-complicate bass fishing. I've used ,,at times in my life,,some pretty heavy guns to pull'em outta them weeds. Didn't seem to make one bit of difference if it was 4lb test or 20 lb test on bass.

Lot's of bass are caught routinely by Muskie fishermen,,on HUGE lures,,and mega heavy line. A bass that will hit a lure bigger than he is,,ain't likely to be put off one little bit by a mono string.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

I'd agree with not going any lighter than needed 100%. The OP is interested in fishing for bass, so that's certainly on target. Having said that, I need to drag out this picture from April 7, 2009 (sorry Ard ):

Click the image to open in full size.

I was fishing for stocked trout using a 9'5wt Z-Axis, a 9' 4X leader, and a #10Wooly Bugger. That bass made several runs (I'm much more of a smallmouth guy, but this LMB wasn't rolling over easily). It's the largest LMB I've ever caught, and not what I was expecting that day.

Two Big Mouths (you can see the small Wooly Bugger in the bass's mouth):
Click the image to open in full size.

I should say that I've lost a considerable amount of weight since that day. Also, if you're fishing a light leader, and hook a monster, stay calm and get the job done. It's definitely possible, but I would have used a heavier leader if I were targeting bass that day.

P.S. Don't even ask why I'm holding that little trout net. The bass wouldn't fit, but I was too excited to put it back on my vest.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Very nice bass! To tell the truth, the biggest bass I've caught on a fly is rather small, but my wife took a really nice smallmouth last summer .

I have caught a couple of nice catfish and a nile tilapia of about 4 pounds...if you can believe that.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Leader Lengths

Super bass there ! I've not caught one that large on a fly rod. I bet that was a super fight!
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