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Thread: Do you tie your own leaders?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chicago IL (Western Suburbs)
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    Default Do you tie your own leaders?

    So, I was wondering how many of you tie your own leaders? I am thinking about putting one of the Umpqua leader tying kits on my Christmas list. Do you find that making your own leaders gives you an advantage over buying them aside from the obvious cost savings?

    Thanks!

    -Forrest

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    I tie my own. But just started messing with furled leaders(not tied by me)and I'm really liking them for some situations.
    ...some men go to church and think of fishing while other men go fishing and feel closer to God

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Des Moines IA
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    109

    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    I tie some of my own leaders and some I buy. I too have been using some furled thread leaders and the jury is still out on those. I like them for dry fly fishing but not when nymphing.

    After you purchase all of the various spools, or a kit, for tying your own, I am not sure if you really save any money. And I am not certain that the leaders I tie, are any better, or worse than manufactured leaders.

    I watched a video a week or so ago about taking a leader straight out of the package and cutting it back and then tying a tippet ring at that point and then attaching the tippet to the ring. Basically the same concept as a furled leader in that all you do is change tippet.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    I tie my own leaders. One advantage is that you know where your taper is and where your tippet should go -- so when you replace your tippet, you're putting it in the right place. I also find an advantage to having some knots in the leader for placing strike indicators, etc.

    If you really get into it, you can try out different tapers and different leader materials to get the performance you want. But you can keep it simple if you want.
    "Sometimes the least important thing about fishing is fishing." --Roderick Haig-Brown

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    quiet corner, ct
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    I've tied all my own leaders for over 20 years.
    I think that there's a definite advantage similar to the understanding you achieve about flies after you've become proficient at tying your own.
    A well balanced leader practically casts itself and that's not something that you can get out of a package. Extruded leaders just cannot be made with the same precision.
    Hand tied leaders can be formulated to any length that your line can turn over and to match any condition.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Hiawatha, IA
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    Tie my own as well, lets me play around with size and lengths. Once you find a good step down ratio it helps knowing how your flies will react with it.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Carson City, NV
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    115

    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    Funny I have been reading about this because I am interested in tying my own. I figure that $30 in leader material plus the Tippet material I already have (combo pack from Cabelas for $15 that was 3x,4x,5x,6x) will end up saving me money in the end. And lately with me nymphing I am find that the dang Thingamabobbers will inevitably slide down and cause issues so the knot can help in that situation.

    Anyone have a good site or book for leader formulas? I know the standard 60/20/20 but wondering should I start with something as high as 30# for the but section, or would 20# be fine? I guess it all depends on the fishing you do, which for me is river fishing for trout and I really doubt I will ever get anything more than a couple #s...

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    I guy in a fly shop turned me on to a 40-40-20 formula and I've tied the 60-20-20 profile leaders as well. The thing that helped me the most is an article by Gary Borger in The Flyfisher about 30 years ago. Probably can't find that article, but other stuff from Gary on the subject is probably available on line.

    The biggest thing I learned from Gary in the original article I read is the concept of using a 10" connector of heavy mono you nail knot to your fly line. Then you blood knot the leader butt to this connector. You avoid the hinge effect with this set up. The 10" connector acts as a bridge between your fly line and leader, and you get a more solid connection than you will when using a loop. You also will have less mass at the end of your fly line with a nail knot than with most loops. If you use the "knotless nail knot" that Gary developed, it's not too hard to tie the connector to the tip of the fly line.
    "Sometimes the least important thing about fishing is fishing." --Roderick Haig-Brown

  11. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    If you buy a leader tie kit it will come with a set of formulas
    I still use the ones that came with my original set of Orvis SuperStrong
    This list of Orvis formulas isn't even close to the number that came with my kit
    Leader Specifications Courtesy of the Orvis Company
    If you fish dry flies regularly, you'll also want to read up on the modified George Harvey leader... or anything to do with George Harvey for that matter !
    GEORGE HARVEY
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Carson City, NV
    Posts
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    Default Re: Do you tie your own leaders?

    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?

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