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Old 04-08-2009, 07:29 PM
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Default Leader question

Ok..So I know that a tapered leader is tapered from the butt section to the end, and a normal leader...is...well..normal, but what are the situational advantages of one over the other?
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Leader question

You'd pretty much always want to use a tapered leader (with just a couple of exceptions). The tapered leader will lay out your fly at the end of a cast by transferring energy from the fly line thru the heavy butt section.

If you were to use a size 18 dry fly for instance, you'd need a pretty thin diameter line just to get through the eye of the hook, probably 6X or so. If you were to use a 9' length of untapered 6X, the fly would land in a heap in a tangle of 9' of 6X leader right at the end of your fly line. Instead, if you used a tapered leader with a heavy butt section tapered to 6x the fly will land 8-9 feet away from the fly line.

For fishing with dry flies, wets, nymphs and streamers, bass poppers etc with a floating line you'd want to use a tapered leader, at least if you're fly casting. (Some styles of "shortline" nymphing like Czech nymphing use straight untapered leaders, but there you're not really fly casting, just lobbing heavily weighted flies and steering them with your long rod through runs.)

The only exception is streamer fishing with a sinking or sinktip line, where a tapered leader isn't much of an advantage. In that case the object is to get the fly deep, so you'd want a short leader ( a long leader will let the fly ride above the sinking fly line defeating the purpose). Generally the "tippet" used is fairly heavy anyway so it will help to layout the fly, but the presentation on the cast isn't as important because the sinking fly line will straighten the leader anyway.

Hope this helps.

mark
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Leader question

The only other time a level leader can be used is when bream fishing. A friend of mine in MO never uses taperd leaders for this, he says why spend the money on it when they arent spooky like trout and he never uses more then 4-5 foot of leader and usally dosnet make long cast. You can buy a small spool of trilene 4lb line for what you can buy a taperd leader for. And he usally keeps up with me on catching the gill's( I use taperd for all my fishing).
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