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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    N W Arkansas

    Default Tapered mono leaders

    Fished lots of years. Furled leaders as well as mono leaders. I'm really becoming a fan again of the tapered mono leaders. not sure why but for all around fishing dry nymph and streamer I just think I like the turnover better . what do you guys think.
    R Reese

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    I think that every leader system has it's pro's & con's. I've used furled, tapered, knotted tapered, and straight sections with no taper & they've all done the job, once I got everything dialed in for the rod/line weight & flies I was using. Not all do a good job with all flies & techniques. I never did a lot of dry fly fishing, and when I have, a tapered mono type leader was all that I used, so can't really make a comparison. All the other leader types worked well for subsurface fishing, and they all turned over flies well, as long as the entire system was appropriate for the rod/line weight & flies I was using.

    I struggled at one time with understanding leaders/tippets, many years ago when I was getting started. Eventually I learned enough to know it's not as difficult of a subject as it's often made to be, and quite easy to implement. The entire system has to work together with the rod/line weight & flies, and there's no single combination of leader construction & tippet selection that works with all flies, plus there's always more than one way to get the same results.

    As long as what you use works well, and both turns over the flies you use, and you're catching fish, that's all that matters.

    There have been many discussions about leader & tippets, and some get very technical ( Silver Creek always adds a lot of both technical input and common sense to such discussions) but it simply boils down to what works.

    My biggest problem was trying to make what I was using fit all of the fishing I was doing, and it should be the other way around! Leader & tippet have to fit everything else. So start with the flies being used, then the rod & line weight. For example, for size 20 dry flies with a 5 wt rod, you'll likely want a different leader & tippet, perhaps longer & finer, than if you're fishing size 8 streamers or even heavily weighted size 12 nymphs. It's really as simple as that, but the entire system may need refinement.

    I use some tapered mono leaders now primarily for targeting panfish, and have also been tying my own leaders for awhile using Yozuri Hybrid line for the heavier rods & larger fish I may target. It's worked well for me for that purpose, but may not be ideal for dry fly fishing.

    You have to use what works for you.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    I'm right with you on the tapered leader thing. Over the years I've given hand tied, furled, braided, poly leaders, and tapered mono leaders a try. There are pluses and minuses to every type, but for my day to day trout fishing I've gone back to tapered mono, for me it's the best solution in the majority of situations. I still use hand tied leaders in the salt and poly leaders for steelhead, but for pretty much everything else it's tapered mono.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    I guess I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I can't find a situation that I fish that a furled leader doesn't do better than a mono tapered leader. Especially when the wind comes up. Or when I need a truly delicate presentation. Or when I need to turn over a big bushy fly like a mouse. I can't say if furled leaders are better when fishing bobbers or any of the euro-style nymphing techniques though. Maybe mono leaders have distinct advantages over furled in those situations.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Los Angeles

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    I fish tapered mono leaders. I like furled ones but they tend to get pretty twisted up on me. I'm not sure if it is because of all the odd casts I make, or my flies are crooked, or what, but they generally end up a tangled mess after a short period of time. Does anyone have a solution to this?
    My best vacation is your worst nightmare. After all, it's only really fun if it is at least Type 2 fun.

  9. #6

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    The only problem I have is getting hold of big butt leaders, by big butt I mean with a fast taper, most are too slim in the butt for the size of point I want or too thick at the point with the thickness of butt I want. I prefer those, especially for fishing into a headwind. At the moment I knot a intermediate section between the leader and the 1/1.5 mm leader ring before adding the tippet but I don't like that extra knot, which always seems oversize to my eye.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    For my normal fishing, I tie up my own from cheapo Zebco mono from wally world. Whites, crappie, bluegill,cats, bass, gar, etc....They don't care and I match them to my line size. For bones I get the tapered leaders and tie on tippet as necessary. I made a jig to do furled leaders and the few that I made work pretty well. Trout and river/stream fishing is not my thing, but they seem more complex.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Tapered mono leaders

    Fly Fishing Leader Selection – SweetandSalt

    I have been fishing 6' braided butt leaders followed by a 9' plus hand tied mono leader for technical presentation dry fly leaders for many years. This year i experimented with Cortlands new monofilament leaders with good results. They are 9' long and i add a 3 to 5 ft 5 and 6x tippet to their 4x tippet. One big key to any leader in this type of presentation is a good transfer of energy from fly line to tippet which provides a good turn over. I cut off the loops on these leaders and the fly line and use a nail knot. On the first attempt I used a little too much of the nylon leaders butt and missed the mark. On the second leader, I nailed it making a perfect parabolic curve. I attached a link to sweetandsalt's essay on this subject. He posted it somewhere on this forum among many other leader threads here. I may eventually use the Cortland leaders almost exclusively, if they continue to impress me, as the braids are getting pricy.

    For my long steelhead dry fly fishing and stillwater fishing I use tapered mono leaders after building my own for many years, but still adding tippet sections. i may go back to tying my own some day when I'm not so lazy...


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