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Old 08-08-2008, 07:55 PM
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Default Leaders for big bass flys?

Hello everyone!!

I am new to this forum and new to fly fishing (started in May). I have had good success casting with flys for small mouths and trout, but throwing larger flys and poppers for Large Mouth bass has been a nightmare.

My rods are a Sage Largemouth and a Winston Vapor 8 wt w/9wt bass line.

I have tried several leader lengths in 0X & 1X but no combination seems to get the fly out there and turn over.

Again with lighter flys I don't seem to have any problems.

Suggestions Please.

Steve
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Leaders for big bass flys?

They are pretty wind resistant, and will take a little thicker tippet to straighten them out than you'd figure based on hook size, where normally hook size divided by 3 = __X tippet.

Assuming you're coming to a hard stop on the forward cast, to transfer energy down the line and leader and it's still collapsing on you, the easiest thing to try would be to cut it back a bit. If you're using a nine foot 0x try cutting it back to 8' and so on. Basically you want a long stiff butt and short flexible tippet.................. on your leader.

Rio makes a tapered knotless 6' leader and Frog hair a 7' one for bass poppers if yo want to try those. You could try one of those, or a SW
'bonefish" leader (used for turning over weighted flies) with something like 10 or 12 lb tippet if you still have trouble. Or if you "roll your own" here's a link to a leader construction chart:

http://www.flyfisherman.com/skills/50formulas.pdf

Hopefully other folks with more bass water will weigh in too.

peregrines
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:18 AM
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Re: Leaders for big bass flys?

Hi Stobey welcome,I have fished for Large Mouth quit a lot with top water poppers and they sure are wind resistance,I use a Bone Fish leader from Cabelas,the tippet is 12# the butt is about 25# they are 9ft,you can cut 24 inches off the butt and add 2ft of 40 or 50 # butt and tie to your line with a nail knot,don't use a loop set up it causes a hinge effect and the popper wont turn over,you can also cut 24 inches from the tippet and then add a 12 inch Flor 12#tippet that would give you an 8ft leader,they may have those in 7ft leaders I am not sure,that would even be better,check Cabalas web site to see if they offer a 7ft leader,the deal is short leaders with stiff butt ends and at least 10 to 12# short tippets.

have a good and safe day.

Wayne Valley Fire Service,Valley Springs Calif.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Leaders for big bass flies?

For a leader that turns over bulky, air resistant flies you can go two ways.
A very short leader, or a leader with a heavy butt.
For hair bugs and larger poppers, I like a straight piece of 15# mono no longer than 6' if I can get away with it.
For a longer leader you want something with approximately 60to 70% butt, 20 to 10% mid-section, and 20% tippet
You can build these out of good hard mono like Climax, Maxima, or even Trilene Big Game.
For an 8' leader for an 8wt line start with 4' (or more) of 30# test, then blood knot on 2' (or less) of 25# test, then add 2' of tippet of 12-15#.
For 9wt lines and up, try 40#, 30# 15#

This is one very simple formula that can be modified anyway you like keeping in mind the 60%/20%/20% (or 70%/10%20%) rule
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Leaders for big bass flys?

Thanks guys for the help.

I'll give them a try this weekend

Steve
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Leaders for big bass flys?

I have the same problem and went with the short, stiff leader- trouble is---I keep reading about guys casting big bass flies on long leaders and(no pun intended) it's sort of BUGGING me.
So, let's remember a leader is part of an overall system, what about rod flex. I thought a 9' 8wt rod with a fairly stiff or tip flex would "punch out" those big wind resistant flies but I was reading the other day that a slower cast with a more flexible rod is the ticket- that's new too me and it would mean you might need a slightly different bass rod from a salt water or steel head rod. So, in addition to the leader issue, what about rod flex- does it play a role? I'd like to hear from anyone would has owned various flex rods as far as how their experience is with them.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Leaders for big bass flys?

My favorite rod for throwing hairbugs is my Orvis Golden Eagle 8wt., a fiberglass rod that flexes right down to the grip.
The medium action, open loop swings the air resistant flies out better than a fast action, closed loop can
I don't take it out that often though, it weighs in at 7.5 oz and it's a bit heavy to falsecast all day.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Leaders for big bass flys?

Well that's why I asked about the flex. I always thought you needed a stiff rod but I just finished reading Bass Bug Fishing by William G. Tapply and his advice was a softer flex and slower action/bigger loop that sort of pulls the fly along. That was new to me, hence my question and whether flex was just as critical as the leader in casting big bugs.
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