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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2013, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

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Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
Thanks Rip Tide, now I just need to understand how to read the formula. If I am looking at the chart I am basing the top number (4x) on what I plan to use for my final tippet correct?
Yeah, the bold number at the top of the column is the size of the terminal tippet.
The next number down is the first section of the butt end. It's length and material diameter..... you always go by diameter......and so on
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

What flies are you tying your leader for? You leader needs to suit what you'll be doing -- if you intend to fish nymphs with a fair amount of weight at a good depth for example, tying a tapered leader is pointless -- the larger diameter mono butt section resists sinking and you're better off without it. Rim Chung, most Czech nymphers, most European/French/etc/ nymphers advocate level lines because they sink better and put you deeper, more quickly and therefore put your flies in front of more fish in a given run.

For dry flies -- sure, a tapered leader will fish better.

So it depends on what you're doing. There isn't a magic leader for all fishing conditions. I tie tapered leaders, and level leaders and everything in between

Rip and I frequently disagree on this -- but I respect his opinion and he's taught me a LOT from my time on this forum. So try his for sure -- but don't feel like you can't experiment with leaders.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

I buy a furled leader butt (3 or 4 ft) and then tie the rest of the leader. I usually use 2 feet of 2x, 1.5 feet of 3x, 1.5 fewet of 4x, and then whatever tippet is appropriate for the flies and conditions.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

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Originally Posted by throssing View Post
I buy a furled leader butt (3 or 4 ft) and then tie the rest of the leader. I usually use 2 feet of 2x, 1.5 feet of 3x, 1.5 fewet of 4x, and then whatever tippet is appropriate for the flies and conditions.
I'm pretty happy with my current leaders, but I'd love to try a furled some time. Can you use furled leaders effectively for subsurface?

Sorry -- not intending to totally hijack the thread.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

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Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
What flies are you tying your leader for? You leader needs to suit what you'll be doing -- if you intend to fish nymphs with a fair amount of weight at a good depth for example, tying a tapered leader is pointless -- the larger diameter mono butt section resists sinking and you're better off without it. Rim Chung, most Czech nymphers, most European/French/etc/ nymphers advocate level lines because they sink better and put you deeper, more quickly and therefore put your flies in front of more fish in a given run.

For dry flies -- sure, a tapered leader will fish better.

So it depends on what you're doing. There isn't a magic leader for all fishing conditions. I tie tapered leaders, and level leaders and everything in between

Rip and I frequently disagree on this -- but I respect his opinion and he's taught me a LOT from my time on this forum. So try his for sure -- but don't feel like you can't experiment with leaders.
Your leader is your most important piece of fly fishing equipment. It's your connection to the fly and hopefully the fish.
The leader is more important to your success than the reel, the line or even the rod that you choose to use.
They don't always need to be complicated compound leaders. I use a straight mono leader for fishing poppers... always...
However, if for some reason you get it into your head that a simple leader is just as good as a well balanced tapered leader, well you're just not going to do as well.
It's as simple as that.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

See now I am doing a bit of both, nymphing and dry fly. Currently I am nymphing the Truckee because that is what is close but during the summer there is a nice reservoir near me they I like to dry fly. So for me, the leader being as versatile as possible is best.

Oh an I have not fished anything smaller than a #16 fly.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

Some people nymph with a tapered leader just by extending the tippet and adding a lot of weight. Or....maybe not quite so much weight -- it just depends on how deep and fast your water is.

There are many ways to do it -- most of the modern, hard-core nymph fisherman are NOT using tapered leaders. (Check out Ian Colin James, Rim Chung, and do a search for "Czech Nymphing Techniques" and you'll be hard pressed to find someone recommending that you use a tapered leader). That doesn't mean you can't experiment. But thinner leaders sink faster than thicker ones -- it's just simple fact.

You might find it easier to just do the first method on a tapered leader if you intend to dry fly fish and nymph on the same piece of water.

You'll figure out what you like and what works for you --
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
I'm pretty happy with my current leaders, but I'd love to try a furled some time. Can you use furled leaders effectively for subsurface?

Sorry -- not intending to totally hijack the thread.

I have used furled leaders for nymphing on my last three excursions and have caught rainbows, kings and cohos using them. I am really happy with the ones I have used and intend to keep using them. I haven't gotten a knot in one yet...lol!
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

I use only Furled Leaders and yes, I tie all of them………

Being in the business, I am often sent hand tied leaders from guys across the country. Some of the tapers have been very nice. But I always find myself reaching back for a furled leader. While fishing from a float tube this year, I tried using some Tapered leaders we carry, but after dealing with some tangles and not casting as well I would like, I switched back to a furled lake leader (with long tippet) and had a great Stillwater day. We offer many different types of furled leaders:
Ultimate Dry Fly Leaders
Hi-Vis Nymphing Leaders (built in strike indicator, easy to cast) we now offer glow in the dark (Hi-Vis)
Dry fly with small indicator woven into tippet end. (better tracking leader with very small flies)
We offer dredger Leaders (short 36” long) for sinking lines. We have many guides chasing steel using these leaders. If not treated to float, the thread leaders sink extremely fast and hug the bottom…
Big Bug Leaders for throwing heavy / wind resistant flies. (Bass/Pike/Steel-head/etc.)
Furled Leaders are not for everyone, but I will say that we have many converts. We often receive emails / calls from guys that previously only used their hand tied leaders to now using only our furled leaders. As others have mentioned, a Thread furled leader with stepped tippet section (example. 4x-5x-6x) creates an absolutely amazing leader for dry fly fishing.
What ever leader type you decide to use, tie it on and get there and fish. Life is too short not to be fishing.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

I hesitate to get into this too elaborately as I am in the process of doing research for the "Technical Leader" thread down in Tackle. However, I will jump in with support for Rip Tide's comment that the leader is a crucial component of presentation. Learning to build your own leaders is a fly fishing fundamental skill. Whether presenting a dry fly, tossing lead or powering a bass bug, your leader should be tailored to your purpose. Even if you fish a furled or braided butt leader, you will optimally be building down from the tip end of that section in a tapered progression. Packaged extruded leaders may be OK for certain applications but they are the poorest at turn over or accuracy of any option.

One fundamental I will add to this thread is the prerequisite for uninterrupted transfer of energy from your cast line into the butt of the leader. This is achieved by matching the mass of the fly line's tip to an appropriate mass/stiffness of the butt of the leader and is applicable regardless of the leaders design or material. A simple trial and error test, the "Parabolic Test" is performed to confirm a probable smooth energy transfer by grasping the line and leader butt equal distance from their joining point approximately 4" to either side and bending the assembly into an inverted "U". A symmetrical parabola should be formed indicating there will be a smooth transfer of energy. If the leader is too thin or too soft at this juncture (whether it is looped, nail knotted or whatever) it will hinge and fail to transmit your casting energy into the leader and ultimately the tippet causing the leader to uncontrollably collapse making precise placement of your fly impossible. An argument is sometimes suggested that, "I want my leader to collapse so as to have current absorbing coils to help make a dead drift". Dead drift is indeed desirable and with a correctly matched leader there are numerous effective techniques to add controlled curves to your leader and tippet to forestall drag. Here is an image of several line to leader match-ups which does not include a furled leader but there will be much more about this subject in the Tackle section latter. Suffice it to say for now that both Furled and Braided leaders offer an absence of coiling memory endemic in monofilament leader designs which give them a big advantage especially in dry fly presentations but they too must be correctly matched to the line.

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