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Thread: Leader formulas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Fayetteville NC

    Default Leader formulas

    I have recently started tying my own leaders, love the way they turn over compared to the knotless tapered leaders I was using.

    Anybody have any favorite formulas for a 9' dry fly leader, 4x or 5x tippet. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Leader formulas

    This site has all the leader formulas you could desire:

    LeaderCalc | Custom knotted leader formula calculator| Global FlyFisher


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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Fayetteville NC

    Default Re: Leader formulas

    Thanks, that has enough to keep me busy for a while!!

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  6. Default Re: Leader formulas

    Please... leader in three pieces, no more.
    It is enought y more easy.

    Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk

  7. #5

    Default Re: Leader formulas

    Quote Originally Posted by c web View Post
    I have recently started tying my own leaders, love the way they turn over compared to the knotless tapered leaders I was using.

    Anybody have any favorite formulas for a 9' dry fly leader, 4x or 5x tippet. Thanks
    Use a Borger Unibody leader.

    Borger Unibody Leader

    For a 9 ft leader the butt is 5 feet long (including the perfection loop) Maxima Chameleon (brown color) 0.020" (25 lb test) and a 1 ft long transition section of 0.013 (12 lb test) for a base leader length of 6 feet. Then add a 3 ft long supple tippet section and you have a Uni-body George Harvey style dry fly leader. For longer leaders, lengthen the .020" Maxima Chameleon.

    The transition section ends in a tippet ring and we will use a 3mm ring for the 4-6 wt rods. The 3 ft of 4X or 5X tippet is tied to the tippet ring for a 9 ft 4X or 5X leader.

    The tippet ring allows you to change the tippet length and diameter easily without shortening the 1 foot long transition section. You can eliminate the tippet ring and tie the tippet directly to the transition but you will lose the ability to quickly change the leader for nymphing vs dry fly fishing as explained below.

    For nymphing, Gary uses the following formula. Butt section is 4 ft long and transition is 1 ft long for base of 4 feet. There are two tippet sections. The top tippet section is 4 feet long. The tippet diameter depends on the nymph size. Use 0X for size 2-8, 1X for size 10-14 and 2X for size 16 and smaller.

    Tie a 2 mm tippet ring to the end of the upper tippet section and then tie a second 12" section of tippet to this tippet ring. For the diameter of this lower tippet section, divide the hook size by 3. So for a size 16 fly you would use 16/3 = 5X tippet. Place your spit shot above this tippet ring. You can also place a dropper with a second fly on this tippet ring if you want to use dropper rather than tying a second nymph in-line with the first.

    You can convert from a nymphing to a George Harvey dry fly leader by changing the terminal tippet design between dry fly and nymphing set up. I keep the various nymphing sections with the second tippet ring coiled and held with a bread wrapper wire tie in separate small zip lock bags. I do the same with the various dry fly tippet sections.

    Each front end of the tippets have a perfection loops so I can swap them out with a loop to tippet ring connection. With this system I can quickly to go from a nymphing rig with the proper tippet size to a dry fly rig with the proper tippet size and back again.

    You will notice that the 9 foot leader has a 5 ft butt section and Gary's nymphing leader has a 4 ft butt section. I use the 5 ft butt section leader for both dry fly fishing and nymphing. I find the 5 ft works fine for nymphing, and I want a longer leader for my dry flies so I have less change of spooking the fish.

    You vary the length of the leader by varying the length of the butt section. by varying the butt section from 5 feet to 11 feet, all with a 1 ft transitions, you have the makings of 9-15 ft leaders. Make these up and carry them in separate zip lock bags and you can make up leaders on the stream bank by just adding tippet .
    Last edited by silver creek; 10-04-2017 at 05:32 PM.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Fayetteville NC

    Default Re: Leader formulas

    Wow, doesn't get much easier than that. I will tie some up tonight!!!

  10. Default Re: Leader formulas

    Most here would agree that tying your own leaders is with out a doubt heading in the right direction. The leader recipe is where you might find great difference of opinion; and all recommendations that you see here are likely good for given water and conditions of the day. That being said, one has to consider his or her own fishing situation at hand. When fishing for trout feeding on the surface, imho, the leader is the most crucial component in the fly fisherís arsenal. Sure, many fish have been taken on a leader of a single piece of straight monofilament. It happens all the time when I fish my spinning rod. However, when trout are pressured and stung by many fly fishers with more and more fly patterns representing a single fly species or bug, the fish get smart. The flies we offer still may appeal to the smart fish but if it floats in front of them like a sandwich tied to a rope, itís game over.
    The George Harvey leader has been my go to when fishing surface flies size 10 to 26 with great success. It allows the fly to drift for great distances free of drag. When the wind is blowing in your face or blowing in any direction for that matter, however, staying with the Harvey leader might cause one to question oneís sanity.
    Having the right leader means being flexible and determination to change with conditions. Learn all you can about leaders and what makes them work. Back when, leader and fly patterns were held as top secret information. Today, however, nothing is held as confidential. If you have a modern phone or computer, information is at your finger tips.
    For starters, I highly recommend Lefty Kreh, George Harvey, and Charles Ritz leader formulas. These leaders are time tested and proven to catch fish. Experiment. It's part of the enjoyment of fishing.

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