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  1. #1

    Default tying your leader

    How many tie there own leaders? I have noticed that there are some places where I need a customs leader. Do you just use tippet material? Is there a certian formula to know where to tie in the next size? What knot do you use to connect the lines?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: tying your leader

    I have tied a few, but not many. Buying spools of all those different diameter materials got expensive in a hurry. Where I needed a custom leader, I found that judiciously trimming a tapered leader in gradual stages worked better than tying my own, and cost me about three bucks in the end.

    If you're determined to tie your own, go to your favorite search engine and look up "Leadercalc." What you will find is an Excel spreadsheet that tells you what diameter material you need to use, and lengths of each, for a given fly type. You can experiment with some of those formulas and see which ones work for you.

    Some of that material may be labeled as leader material, while others are labeled as tippet, but I don't think it matters much. It's the diameter that matters in the formula.

    When tying leaders, I used blood knots at each junction until I learned how to tie two uni-knots back to back. It was so much easier after that, and I didn't need a knot tool to do it. In the end, it's your call, but I prefer the uni-knot method.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wakefield, Quebec.
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    151

    Default Re: tying your leader

    You can purchase material by th spool or in kits that include material for the butt, taper and tippets from places like Orvis(expensive) or Cabela's ( cheaper). My favorite was Maxima Chameleon for butt and taper sections and whatever I had on hand for tippet, I used the blood knot for the butt/taper and surgeons knot for tippet. I rarely build leaders anymore since I learned to make furled leaders. Hope this helps.

    Marc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: tying your leader

    Hi KRD,

    Here are a couple of kits that will make tying your own leaders easier. Years ago I use to tie my own leaders Today the knotless leaders are so good that I use them.

    Frank

    Umpqua Leader Kit


    Frog Hair Kit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: tying your leader

    I've been tying my own leaders for the past 6-7 years. The initial cost is
    around $45, but most of that material last quite some time. The spools that
    need replacing most are 50lb, and then 4X/5X. The rest of the sizes are used
    in lengths of only 17"-6" (with some extra for making the knots). So in terms
    of cost, tying is cheaper IMO.

    Performance: I firmly believe that my 7.5' and 9' leaders turn over better
    than knotless leaders. Some people say that the knots snag a lot of gunk,
    but that hasn't been a problem on the water I fish.

  6. Default Re: tying your leader

    I use one of these and it is great for joining the different pieces of leader together:

    Dennison Blood Knot Tier at BEARSDEN.COM

    Here's a good link with some formulas for making your own leaders:

    Fly Fishing Leaders

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,605

    Default Re: tying your leader

    Like glassroddr, I use the 'hard mono' Maxima Chameleon for the leader and a limper material for the tippet.
    In the salt I use Climax or Trilene XT.
    I also have one of those Dennison leader tools.....but after 20 plus years of tying my own leaders, I tie my blood knots faster by hand

    Tying leaders is just about my least favorite fly fishing 'chore'. But I fish a lot of different waters and use many different leader configurations
    Building my own is easier and cheaper than stocking up on a number of different 'store bought' ones. Plus I believe that understanding proper leader construction not only helps your casting, but your over all presentation as well.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: tying your leader

    Hi to all,

    Making your own leaders is interesting and gives you something to do in the off season. I think there are very few people who make their own leaders are using a superior leader to a manufactured one. The currant knotless leaders are very good and much more convenient.

    When tying your own leader most people will be better off not using a hard or stiff leader material in the butt or body. That may have been true in the past but not today. All leader material should be from the same manufacture and the same material. The exception is using Fluor for a tippet.

    There are so many specialty knotless leaders available today. In years past you had to make leaders to meet your requirements. That is just not true today. If your leader is not laying out correctly it is usually due to the selection of the leader or the tippet. If your tippet is laying out straight with no "S" curves then you are using too heavy or too short of a tippet. If the tippet is collapsing you are using too light or too long of a tippet. Both of these problems can be corrected with the correct leader and tippet combination. In many cases adjusting the tippet is all that is required.

    Here is what I do with my knotless leaders. If I am using a 9' 5X leader I cut approximately 20" off of the tippet end of the leader. This will usually remove the tippet from the leader. I use a Mike-Rite gauge to determine where the tippet ends on the leader. I tie a loop in the end of the leader. Now if I want to use a 4X, 5X or 6X tippet I loop it onto the leader. If you carry a leader wallet you can make up tippets at home with a loop in one end. I don't bother as tying a loop on a piece of tippet material and adding it to the leader takes very little time. I have used this method for many years thanks to Lefty Kreh.

    Some saltwater leaders for big fish do require special configurations. But if you are not using a Bimini Twist set up, commercial leaders will also work here.

    Frank

    Mike-Rite Leader Gauge


    Fishpond Tippet/Leader Gauge

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  10. Default Re: tying your leader

    <<When tying leaders, I used blood knots at each junction until I learned how to tie two uni-knots back to back. It was so much easier after that, and I didn't need a knot tool to do it. In the end, it's your call, but I prefer the uni-knot method.[/QUOTE]

    I'd like to hear more about this two uni-knots back to back. Can you explain how to do this?
    Thanks for your help,
    BigNick

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: tying your leader

    Hi Frank,
    I have to admit that I started tying my own leaders because of the cheap
    extruded leaders that had failed me in the past. During the past year, I
    have used newer (and more expensive) knotless leaders, and they work
    much better than the old Scientific Anglers leaders I had. My decision to
    try the more recent knotless leaders was the result of Lefty Kreh's comments
    in an article about saltwater leaders. After a detailed discussion of saltwater
    formulas and materials, Lefty simply said, "I just use the new knotless leaders
    of trout now."

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