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Thread: leader myth??

  1. #1
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    Default leader myth??

    i was recently informed, or misinformed, about a standard leader length to rod length ratio.
    it was very simple- rod length + 1 foot equals a proper leader length.
    seems to me like a decent ratio.
    anyone,


    casey


    ARFE

  2. #2
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    Bro,
    This question has tortured me in the past. I've been fishing since before flourcarbon. Flourcarbon changes everything. After years, this is what I've come up with and it seems to work pretty well.
    1. Flouro sinks. Drys should be fished on mono just becus it floats longer. That doesn't mean flouro doesn't work. Mono just works better for keeping your fly up.
    2. It's the diameter that is important not the test.
    3. You need to be able to transfer the line power into turn the fly over. A good rule of thumb is hook size divide by 4. So an 8 fly is fished on 2x. That will turn a moderately weighted nymph w/ ease.
    4. You can get by with a smaller diameter is your fly has less wind drag. However, presentation is the most important factor.
    5. I use the 3,' 3',3' rule kinda for stealth. I graduate evenly up from the tippet. More or less. With a surgeons knot connection. 3', 3' for some conditions. 2', 2' for others. It depends what ur doing.
    6. Most important. You have to be able to get ur fly to the fish so they can bite it and it needs to act like food.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    I'm not really sure there's a standard anything anymore! I think leader length probably has more to do with the targeted species and the style of pursuit than anything. Frinstance, I'll use a long, fine leader for dryfly troutin', and a short, stout one for smallies, with the same 9 fer 5. .02$ milt.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    I think this rule makes sense, and should add practicality in casting and landing fish.

    Ever tried to turn over a hopper and/or land a fish while fishing a 9' leader with a 7' rod? Both are frustrating.

    Cut that leader back to 8' and you'll be much better off.
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    I think that is good starting place but there are certainly exceptions. I personally build my leaders out of Maxima where I can have a longer and stiffer butt and mid sections then loop to loop a fluorocarbon tippet at the business end. This generally gives me a leader that nears 11 to 13 ft in length that casts beautifully.

  6. #6
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    Wink Re: leader myth??

    Quote Originally Posted by russellb View Post
    I think that is good starting place but there are certainly exceptions. I personally build my leaders out of Maxima where I can have a longer and stiffer butt and mid sections then loop to loop a fluorocarbon tippet at the business end. This generally gives me a leader that nears 11 to 13 ft in length that casts beautifully.
    I totally agree. You gotta pay more attention if you need and leader 13'. (Length divided by 4?) I've got no clue about furled leaders. They are cool looking though. Maxima use to be the only thing we use to fish w/ that was really stiff enough and wasn't as thick as rope. It's still a great product. I was just thinking about the agrivating learning curve of leader building. Now 15lb flourcarbon is as small as 8lb us to be. The weight/wind resistance of a fly hasn't changed. To be honest, I'm still confused about the whole thing. I just want to cast well and not spook fish.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    I just want to cast well and not spook fish.
    This statement is the bottom line when it comes to leaders! Those "rules" are not really rules at all, just generalizations, and are in most cases a good starting place.

    As Milt said, there are no standards, technology has changed everything. Advances in both rod materials & line materials allow casting that could not be achieved many years ago. Today's leader materials can be had in many degree's of stiffness, and diameter, and diameter to strength ratio's are much better today that they used to be.

    However, as these guys have said, what leader you use will depend on a few variables. The fly, how wind resistant it is, how heavy it is, it's type (wet/nymph, dry, popper, streamer, etc.) the target species, and the rod/line wt combination you're using. Plus, to some extent the weather conditions too.

    I've used the rod length to leader length + 1 ft ratio quite a bit. It works fine with smaller size flies, (14 to 8) what most folks use for trout or panfish, as long as the leader is sized properly for the line wt. However, to cast some flies well, and get the fly to land where the tippet is extended properly this ratio may have to be adjusted, either slightly shorter, or longer. For example, add barbell eyes, beads or cones to a fly, the weight is significantly changed, so a shorter leader/tippet combination may work better. Sometimes even shorter than the rod length.

    Generally, the heavier the fly, the shorter the leader, and often the heavier the tippet needs to be. Of course, most leaders will cast a range of flies well, it's when you attempt to change flies & go from one extreme to another that usually creates issues. For example going from a size 16 dry fly to a size 10 bead head nymph, the leader that turns over the dry fly well, may not do so for the heavier nymph.

    When selecting your leader, you should use the shortest one that will properly turn over the fly you select, and not spook the fish. Long leaders, over 10 ft, are sometimes necessary, but the longer a leader is the more difficult it is to control on the water, especially in moving water. For example, if your using a 12 or 13 ft leader & catching fish, that's great, but if you can do the same in the same conditions with a 9 ft leader, then the 9 ft would be a better choice. Some folks have success with long leaders, but they're usually only necessary in special situations.

    caseywise, if you start with a leader length using that ratio, it will work. Just keep in mind that adjustment may be necessary for the variables I mentioned!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  8. Default Re: leader myth??

    It all depends on the type of water and fish your fishing for. In fast moving pocket water I can dry fly fish with a 9' leader for trout......when I'm on the Upper West Branch Delaware River casting dries on slow moving water whose surface looks like smooth glass.....my leader length is double that.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter1023 View Post
    It all depends on the type of water and fish your fishing for. In fast moving pocket water I can dry fly fish with a 9' leader for trout......when I'm on the Upper West Branch Delaware River casting dries on slow moving water whose surface looks like smooth glass.....my leader length is double that.
    Totally agree with Walter...depends on the type of water you're fishinga very long leader + tippet will make the difference on larger streams and spooky fish.My friend Batistou uses a 18' leader+tippet, we were on a pool where dace were feeding yesterday...I left my rod on the bank and we used his in turn...I saw the difference

  10. #10
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    Default Re: leader myth??

    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
    caseywise, if you start with a leader length using that ratio, it will work. Just keep in mind that adjustment may be necessary for the variables I mentioned!
    that is kind of what i was thinking.
    thanks jim and everyone else.

    casey


    ARFE

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