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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 12-16-2013, 04:10 PM
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Default Twisted leaders for bonefish?

Quick question: I used to use "twisted" leaders a lot for trout back in Oregon, which works very similar to using furled leaders (though they are far, far easier to tie). I am curious if people use these for bonefish?

I currently live on a fairly remote island in the Caribbean with no flyshops of any kind, so I'd like to be able to just tie my own simple leaders. I preferred the twisted leaders for trout as they only have one or two knots, are quick to tie and tend to want to straigten out like a furled leader, even if they have been looped up in a pouch for weeks. They are nice and stiff, and seem like they'd be good in longer lengths. I just figure I could twist them out of 20lb flouro and I'd be in business. I could tie a couple dozen leaders for the cost of just a few tapered leaders.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

I've never heard of them being used….I would think they would be far more visible….my 8-9wt leaders are pretty easy to tie….48" 40lb, 24" 30lb, 18" 20lb, and 18" 15lb……perfection loop at one end…..blood knot all the way down…then I'll add floro to the end one the water as the situation dictates….I can tie one in less than 5min….I usually stock up while watching tv….not to hard, and way cheaper than buying anything!
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

Do you use mono or flouro for the body of the leader? I spent probably far too long reading about bonefish leaders last night, and I'll probably just tie my own the normal way.

I actually found a few forums threads and articles about using twisted leaders for Tarpon and Snook, and any other fish that need a shock tippet. Twisted leaders will stretch an extra like 10-20% compared to straight mono, but would definitely by more visible. Maybe I'll tinker with them when fishing for snook... apparently we have a huge population of them that nobody fishes for.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

I tie my bonefish leaders completely out of RIO fluorocarbon using a long heavy butt (4' 50#) a steep mid section and a 4' tippet (fly size dependent but usually 15lb.) I don't want much stretch in my leader as, especially on a longer cast, I want as direct a connection to the fly as possible. However, Dan at Big Sky Leaders in Montana uses his braided butt, built down with blood knotted fluoro bonefishing and Bluesky Leaders makes an all nylon monofilament Furled leader with fluoro tippet for bonefishing too. I too like braided and furled trout fishing but, maybe I am being too conservative, I am very happy with my blood knotted, aggressively tapered 12 to 14' flats leaders.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

Twisted leaders (not furled) actually got their start in the salt by salt water fly anglers. That's probably the best answer to your question. I use twisted mono leaders for all of my fishing applications - dries, nymphs, spring creeks, stillwater - all of them.

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Old 12-20-2013, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

Quote:
Any thoughts?
If bones are commonplace there and not pressured daily, why not try it? If they spook the fish, then go back to single strand tied leaders. They are easy to tie and cheap as well.

The only reason I ever use extruded tapered leaders instead of tied ones anyhow is because the knots pick up the very thin bay grass we have here. In sandy or hard-bottom areas that's not an issue.

Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

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Originally Posted by oregonism View Post
Do you use mono or flouro for the body of the leader? I spent probably far too long reading about bonefish leaders last night, and I'll probably just tie my own the normal way.

I actually found a few forums threads and articles about using twisted leaders for Tarpon and Snook, and any other fish that need a shock tippet. Twisted leaders will stretch an extra like 10-20% compared to straight mono, but would definitely by more visible. Maybe I'll tinker with them when fishing for snook... apparently we have a huge population of them that nobody fishes for.
I use mono for everything but the tippet and shock tippet if I'm using one (not for bonefish though)
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

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Originally Posted by wjc View Post
If bones are commonplace there and not pressured daily, why not try it? If they spook the fish, then go back to single strand tied leaders. They are easy to tie and cheap as well.

The only reason I ever use extruded tapered leaders instead of tied ones anyhow is because the knots pick up the very thin bay grass we have here. In sandy or hard-bottom areas that's not an issue.

Good luck.
Most of the flats here are turtle grass, so that's definitely a concern. Have you tried loon "knot sense"? I think it's basically a UV curing glue that smooths over your knots.

There is basically no fishing pressure here, as there are about 4-6 other flyfisherman on the island. I will definitely experiment and see how spooky they are... I saw a big school on one flat that I was standing about 7ft from and they didn't even notice me and just went right ahead tailing. Didn't have a fly rod handy unfortunately. One of the other fisherman has told me he only fishes 8lb tippet as they are spooky, but I'm not so sure.

I was watching a youtube video on Deneki about tying up pretty simple leaders... went from 30lb mono down to 12lb mono using Rio "hard alloy", with an 18lb seaguar grandmax flouro tippet. The logic behind it was reasonable, so I might start there (tapering progressively down, .003 inches per section, including tippet). My last and only experience bonefishing in the Bahamas, breaking off usually always happened at the tippet-fly knot. Having that point be stronger seems logical, while also having the shock-absorption of mono.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

No, I haven't used knot sense for that. I did buy some once, and even bought a little UV flashlight for it, used it once, then promptly lost the glue somewhere and never remember to buy another one.

Turtle grass isn't so bad. The bay grass is very fine grass that's less than 1/10th the width of turtle grass and is a real nuisance. I haven't even fished for bones but 3 good tides since the big freeze killed most of them a couple years ago. There hadn't been any for at least a dozen years prior to the freeze on the flats where I live, and none showed up at a great spot 45 minutes ride west on 3 consecutive good tides after the freeze, so I just quit fishing for them. Reds are now in many of the places where bones used to feed.

Anyhow, I used Rio Permit tapered leaders which are 9 or ten feet tapering to 20 lb test, then I'd add 5 or 6 feet of 12lb fluoro tippet so I only had one knot.

I think the most common ways to spook bones, at least here, (the only place I've ever fished for them) when wade fishing are lining an unseen fish while casting to another one, and casting vertically when they are too close to do it safely - which is anywhere within easy casting range on downtown fish.

They are hyper sensitive to shadows and movement above the waterline, so long shadows when the sun is low is also something to be aware of. Once spooked, even if they don't freak out, chasing them is fruitless.

I have moved up in tippet strength over the years, not down. But then, I started fishing for them later and later in the day as fishing pressure on them has increased. I no longer even bother to start fishing until the guides have all left for the day, because they began changing their habits and not coming into really shallow water tailing until the sun was very low. So to fish under a high sun required a poled skiff to see them.

You will probably be fishing an area like the Keys of the 80's and before, but the sensitivity to motion above the waterline is inbred in the species I think. Probably caused primarily by ancient predators like osprey.

Even one sandpiper will spook a school of them - but unlike a human spook, it's just temporary, like how a sudden noise will cause us to jump, and those fish are still catchable if you can get far enough in front of them and wait for them to come to you (if they do). A human spook, forget it, they are on the lookout for you and will be constantly aware of your location if you are wading.

One of these days, I may get to a remote area and re-live the heyday. Sounds like you are there. I'd really like to hear your take after you get a year's time fishing for them.

Best of luck - they are a great sport fish.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Twisted leaders for bonefish?

Thanks for all the info. I will certainly do a write up after I've had a chance to actually fish over some of these bones for a while. It sounds like I will need some sort of watercraft to get to the very best flats, but so far I know of a few spots that never see anglers and I've seen tailing fish at. I'm just excited to finally get out.
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