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Old 10-30-2013, 04:49 PM
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Default Grease your leaders/Tippet?

Was watching a video on YouTube this morning and a guy was fishing dries and only used floatant on the fly. I have for years greased my tippets and leaders all the way up. How many of you just use floatant on the fly only? If so why?

Craig
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

99% of my fishing is dry......often technical fish on 6x, sometimes 7x. I always have a mono leader for larger flies my 4x or 5x will be mono also.....but for anything sz 16 to sz 24 .....which really is the majority of my fishing my standard tippet is 6x Fluoro by RIO (though i'm dying to try trouthunter's 6.5x fluoro).......I never grease my leader but rather DEGREASE it using snake river mud by loon.....i don't want my tippet on top of the water but sunken if that makes sense.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

I'm with Walter. Straight leaders that sink for drys. Floating leaders for nymphs.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

Never grease your tippet.
A floating tippet shows in the surface tension like an arrow pointing to your fly.
You might as well hang a sign on it saying "I'm a fraud !".
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

Instances where I have greased sections of a leader.

Stillwater and glides where I wanted to hang a very light ( mosquito larva ) emerger below the surface sans an indicator. Typically I’ll grease the leader from the butt to about fourteen to eighteen inches from the fly. This was a very common practice before indicators showed up in every size and shape on the walls of fly shops.

Almost every time I use an indicator set a foot or more down from the butt section of the leader / line connection. Mono absorbs water, it starts to sink, which lends itself to the tip of the fly line sinking prematurely, which screws up the ability to make exacting mends to the indicator. Thus, I lightly grease the above water section of the mono leaders butt section, to counteract that effect.

If I’m trying to keep a damp near the surface on a swing, I’ll grease the leader to the mid point to help add loft to the swing.

Yes, when I fish a dry for trout, I normally will only dress the fly. But if the butt section starts sinking and causes drag, it’ll get lightly dressed.

Best, TT
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:36 AM
 
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter1023 View Post
99% of my fishing is dry......often technical fish on 6x, sometimes 7x. I always have a mono leader for larger flies my 4x or 5x will be mono also.....but for anything sz 16 to sz 24 .....which really is the majority of my fishing my standard tippet is 6x Fluoro by RIO (though i'm dying to try trouthunter's 6.5x fluoro).......I never grease my leader but rather DEGREASE it using snake river mud by loon.....i don't want my tippet on top of the water but sunken if that makes sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
I'm with Walter. Straight leaders that sink for drys. Floating leaders for nymphs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Never grease your tippet.
A floating tippet shows in the surface tension like an arrow pointing to your fly.
You might as well hang a sign on it saying "I'm a fraud !".
Yes, yes, yes!!!



Whether to grease or degrease depends on how you are fishing (dry vs sunken fly) and the water surface type. Degreasing removes the sheen and helps the leader sink. So if you are fishing over spooky fish in calm water, degreasing the leader makes the leader less visible.

When the leader floats, it displaces water and depresses the water surface. This tilts the water surface slightly and this tilt allows the impression of the leader to be seen even though it may be outside the window. It is seen as a difference in refraction of light through the tilted surface that is different than the rest of the flat calm water. If the leader is sunk, the leader can be seen directly but that is why fluorocarbon is used and the sheen removed.

Not only do the leaders depress the surface and the fish can see this surface depression, but this depression can be seen on the bottom of the stream especially in flat technical water.

The tilted meniscus refracts the light at an angle and just like a prism refracts light to form points of light, the leader causes points of light on the stream bottom.

If the water surface is choppy, it doesn't matter. Degreasing is not needed when fishing on the surface. Choppy water has constantly changing water surface angles and the leader impression is there but cannot be detected.

Then why grease a leader? I grease a leader when fishing the greased leader technique explained below.

Greased Leader Tactic

To catch a fish, you need to present the fly at the level that the fish is feeding. This is rule #1. If the fly is not at the level of the fish, everything else you do from a drag free drift and natural imitation does not matter.

The greased leader allows you to accurately place the fly at the exact level you want when the fish are feeding just under the film. Greasing the leader allows you to choose how much of the leader sinks, and that allows it to choose the level of the fly.

The second rule is that if you cannot detect the strike, you will miss fish. The more sensitive the the detection is to a subtle strike, the more strikes and the faster you will detect them. The greased leader allows you to do that.

A greased leader is more detectable by the fish than a sunken leader BUT rule 1 and 2 trump the fact that a less detectable leader cannot help you if you cannot put the fly to the fish at the level you need to catch the fish. So when the fish are feeding in the film or just under the film, and you need to place that fly at a perfect level, consider the greased leader. NOTE that I do NOT grease the leader all the way to the fly so the leader near the fly is SUNKEN.

This was a favored technique initially to fish small nymphs and pupa in and under the film. Now that emergers have been developed it is used to fish early stage emergers as well. If you saw a head and shoulders rise of a fish feeding just under the film, this was the technique that was used.

This was in the era before strike indicators and the dry dropper technique was developed. It is still one of the the best techniques, I believe, to detect strikes just under or in the film. The end of a floating leader is extremely sensitive to even the most subtle of takes.

It is also a great technique to fish to fish in shallow water near the bank using a sunken ant or a sunken spinner. There is no splash of a heavy fly or of an indicator. The cast is not affected by a bulky dry fly or an indicator. Accuracy with slack line casts and the drift is optimized, because there is just the fly and the leader. Even subtle strikes are detected because the leader is the indicator.

Sometime it helps to be an old fart that has seen and fished the old ways before indicators and the dry dropper.

Here are a few more ideas on when and how to use this technique:

Midge Fishing in Paradise | MidCurrent

"In the greased leader technique, the angler dresses the leader with a paste fly floatant (thick silicone pastes work best), down to within a few inches of the fly. This controls the depth of the fly’s drift, and the angler watches the point where the tippet passes through the surface film for indications of a strike. While this removes the bulk of an indicator from the leader—allowing better accuracy and a more subtle presentation of the fly—it also offers much less buoyancy and is much harder to see. This approach works best on very slow currents, and on lakes and ponds when there is minimal wind, as the greased leader will sink in faster or choppy water. It also works well when the light is low, as the greased leader shows up in flat light as a dark line on the surface film of the water. The greased leader technique is perhaps the best method for suspending a pupa pattern just under the surface. In stillwater situations, where the numbers of suspended pupae may be astronomical, a very slow draw of the fly may make it more visible to the fish, and make it easier for the angler to detect a subtle strike….

The greased leader approach and sight fishing are the best methods to imitate a midge pupa as it rises to the surface. The cast is made several feet above the fish, allowed to sink to the fish’s level, and then as the fly nears the fish, the angler stops the drift and uses a lift of the rod to move the fly toward the surface. If the fish are taking these ascending pupae, the upward movement will usually trigger a strike."
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

I do a clinic with my clients...
Take a leader that is new, and lay it in shallow(8") of water with a light colored bottom.
Look at the bottom and you will see a HUGE shadow.
5x looks like a shoe lace......My mantra is, "if I can see my leader.....they can too."
That's why the Brits use Fullers earth (for a hundred years or so...), and we use Snake river mud.
Both are wetting agents to make the leader break through the meniscus.
After mudding, mono (less dence than water) floats on the under-side of the "ceiling" and casts no shadow..
Flouro is more dense than water, so it sinks, and that's why we use flouro for nymphing..
Using flouro for dry fly can pull small dries down, or move your double dries closer together.
Flouro stuck in the surface film still casts a shadow.
The best part of "mudding your leader" is you can fish higher tippet wt to spooky fish.
I call it the secret sauce......
Greasing is done as described by silver.....
Softer water, and emergers/soft hackel use is deadly.
Mostly, just grease the fly.

Jim

Last edited by Bigfly; 10-31-2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

I like both the fly line and leader well up on top but the tippet I like to be below so it doesn't dimple the surface in the fishes window or create a shadow that might streak across in front of the fish on the stream bottom. My tippet is normally 20 to 30 in.

The floating line and leader makes for easy pick-ups to re-position the cast for a new float when fishing the dry fly and also helps locate the smaller flies as I can follow the line and leader butt if I lost sight of the fly.

I don't fish an indicator when nymphing and rely on the leader as a "tell", watching where the leader dips below the surface for a stall or twitch to alert a take.

I use spit or bank mud to sink the tippet and Albolene for grease flotant. I haven't fished fluorocarbon tippet, which I understand sinks well, and prolly won't because the 30 m tippet spool costs more than I paid for my fly line, lol.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

I use rio suppleflex for dries,and to everybody including walter1023 the trouthunter tippets are the absolute BEST.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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Default Re: Grease your leaders/Tippet?

Here are portions of several posts I have made on other BB's on the use of "fuller's earth" and degreasers.

Begin prior posts:

Two obvious and well discussed issues affecting tippet visibility are tippet diameter and the refractive index of nylon mono vs fluorocarbon. Those have been well discussed. They are the main factors affecting visibility, but they are not the only issues that can determine whether a fish notices the leader or not.

Leader degreasers are used to minimize several other factors.

First is the shiny coating or sheen of the surface of leaders and tippets. The bentonite clay in degreasers removes the sheen.

Secondly, the manufacturing process can leave a thin oily or waxy coating on leaders and tippets. The detergent in leader degreasers (didn't you wonder why they were called degreasers) removes this residual coating that can prevent the fresh leader from sinking.

Thirdly, the surface tension of water can float a leader that has had been "degreased". Surface tension can float a needle so it has no problem floating a tippet. To destroy the surface tension that supports the leader, a surfactant is needed. Detergents are a surfactants so the detergent does double duty.

Finally, a compound is added that prevents the degreaser from drying out.

Bigfly mentioned Gerkes Xink for sinking flies and leaders. It is a surfactant but it is not a degreaser or sheen remover.

For those of you that use Xink, there is a cheap substitute just like there is for Gink. Xink is a wetting agent and you can substitute Kodak Photo-Flo which is a photographic wetting agent. The active agent in Photo-Flo is ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is the active agent in automotive antifreeze. So automotive antifreeze can be used in the place of Gerkes Xink.


-------


The presumption is that if a tippet is floating outside the trout's window it cannot be seen.

That is actually not true if by "seen' we mean "detected". Any object that floats on water does so by depressing the water's surface. When the water's surface is depressed, the water surface along the object is at an angle.

We all know that when light crosses the air water barrier it is bent. This bending of light is called refraction. When the water surface itself is bent, the light that it refracts is at a different angle that the light refracted from the rest of the water surface. This differentially refracted light causes a disturbance in the water surface that can be detected whether it is in or outside of the trout's window. It can be likened to a twinkle of light.

Take a look at the photo below of 3 identical tippets treated in 3 different ways. The tippet on the left that has been wiped clean, the middle one degreased and the right one treated with a floatant. If seeing is believing, which tippet is most easily seen?

Click the image to open in full size.


The photo above shows direct visualization of the tippet. What it does not show is the effect of refraction on the bottom of the stream. When refracted light hits the stream bottom, bright flickers of light are cast on the stream bottom. This spooks trout that are heavily fished over in clear slow moving water. During bright days you might as will toss a rock into the water. The fish immediately stop feeding.

Like many strategies in fishing degreasing, is NOT a yes or no proposition. In some situations, it may make little difference but in some situations it is makes a huge difference in determining success or failure.





-------

How to Make Your Own Degreaser and Mud


For those who have never used or are not familiar with a degreaser, this is an introduction.

Commercial degreasers are commonly called "mud", such as Loon Snake River Mud or "tippet degreaser" such as Airflow Tippet Degreaser.

Degreasers do three things. First they contain a cleaner (detergent) that removes any oils or residual chemicals that are on the surface of commercial tippets. These oils prevent the leader from sinking. Secondly, they contain a sinkant or
(detergent) that destroys the surface tension of water molecules so the leader sinks immediately. Thirdly they contain fuller's earth compound that dulls the leader to remove the shiny surface so that the leader surface is less reflective. And finally, they contain a substance (glycerin) that keeps the degreaser from drying out.

If you look at the formula you may think that the only thing you have in your house is the detergent. However, you may already have a substitute for fuller's earth which is a special kind of bentonite clay. Bentonite is a clay material that anyone who visits Wyoming for fishing has probably walked on. It is a common material in
and commercial bags of clay oil absorbent. So if you have clay cat litter or oil absorbent for your garage, you have the major ingredient for making your own degreaser.

Glycerin is used in commercial leader degreaser to keep it from drying out. If you don't have glycerin, you can get some at a drug store. It is used as an anti-constipation agent. However, it is not absolutely needed.

I make my own degreaser by crushing the clay to get the finest particles and then mix in Dawn or another dishwashing detergent to get a paste. I happen to have glycerin and so I also use it but you don't have to. I store the degreaser in a 35 mm film canister and rub it on the section of leader you want to sink.

Degreasers are different from sinkants such as Gerke's Xink. These are liquids surfactants that you put on flies that you want to sink. They are commonly used on the marabou of wooly buggers so that they sink and absorb water from the very first cast. Another use is for small flies like midge pupa so they will sink faster. You can make your own sinkant as well.

KodakPhoto Flo, a wetting agent used in photo processing, is used by fly fishers to sink flies. The main ingredient in Photo Flow is ethylene glycol, which is also in antifreeze. Ethylene glycol disrupts the hydrogen bonding of water that creates the
surface film that supports flies. That is how ethylene glycol prevents water from freezing. So try some antifreeze as a wetting agent.
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