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  1. #1

    Default Lead vs. lead free

    At the shop today I noticed both lead wire and lead free wire. I have always used the lead version, but picked up the lead free stuff today. The lead free stuff seems lighter, maybe even by half? I plan on using it with tungsten bead/cone heads to make up for the weight difference.

    Has anyone been using the lead free wire and have you noticed a difference?

    Thanks
    Randy
    ďFishing for me, as funny as it sounds, is sorta my brand of praying almost. Iím never closer to my spirituality than when Iím in the act of fishing.Ē - JT Van Zandt

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    I still use lead and I see no real reason to change.

    The concern with lead in fishing is mainly in the shallow parts of lakes where diving birds, can eat lead shot OR can eat fish that have eaten lead shot. The bird at greatest risk are loons that dive and eat fish. But loon populations in my state of Wisconsin continue to grow.



    The second concern are eagles and osprey that can eat a fish that has eaten lead split shot. The great majority of these are due to bait fishers that place a sinker right next to the hook and the fish swallows the hook, bait and sinker. Again bald eagle populations in Wisconsin are growing and most deaths are due to cars hitting eagle feeding on dead animals next to highways and eating bullet lead from gut piles left by hunters. Eagles are so populous in Wisconsin now that they are being crowded out from nesting and feeding on water to nesting and feeding on road kill.

    I have yet to see a loon feeding on a river. I suppose an eagle could grab a trout that happens to have swallowed a nymph that has lead wire, but how likely is that? How likely is it for you to have fish swallow a nymph and then have that fish taken and eaten by an eagle and have that eagle eat the fly while feeding on the fish? D*mned rare, I would think.

    The largest killer of eagles are cars.

    "DNR staff and volunteers recovered all sick, injured, or dead eagles in 2011. The leading cause of death was collision with a vehicle. Most vehicle collisions occurred when eagles were scavenging car-killed deer."

    http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabi...ospreysurv.pdf

    Following the same "ban the lead crowd" logic to save eagles by banning lead, lets ban cars instead. They are the greatest killer of eagles. You like eagles? Try walking to Montana.

    Sorry about the rant, but the banning lead in tying flies is idiotic to the extreme.
    Regards,

    Silver



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

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    banning lead in tying flies is idiotic to the extreme.
    +1. You just got my vote for post of the day.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    Quote Originally Posted by trout champ View Post
    At the shop today I noticed both lead wire and lead free wire. I have always used the lead version, but picked up the lead free stuff today. The lead free stuff seems lighter, maybe even by half? I plan on using it with tungsten bead/cone heads to make up for the weight difference.

    Has anyone been using the lead free wire and have you noticed a difference?

    Thanks
    Randy
    From what I've heard in fly tying videos the lead free stuff has about 60% the density of lead. So you'll need a little less than half more of turns.
    "...all snobbery is defensive..and as important as fishing seems, the most important thing about it is, it's just fishing."

    -- John Gierach

    Art: http://www.gravenfish.com

    My TU:
    http://massanuttentu.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    Did you know that some folks think we shouldn't use brass beads for flies because they contain lead?

    "To enhance the machinability of brass, lead is often added in concentrations of around 2%. Since lead has a lower melting point than the other constituents of the brass, it tends to migrate towards the grain boundaries in the form of globules as it cools from casting. The pattern the globules form on the surface of the brass increases the available lead surface area which in turn affects the degree of leaching. In addition, cutting operations can smear the lead globules over the surface. These effects can lead to significant lead leaching from brasses of comparatively low lead content.[8]"

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass"]Brass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    How about that? Pretty soon they will want to exhume Louis Armstrong and test him for the lead he got from his trumpet.

    There has to be a point at which this becomes ridiculous and we have passed over it.
    Last edited by silver creek; 04-19-2013 at 10:23 AM.
    Regards,

    Silver



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

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  7. #6

    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    I am with Silver on the use of lead wire for adding weight...it goes down to 0.10 and the lead free alternative does not come in that size...If regs. require lead free - go with this stuff:

    Tungsten Thread | Spirit River

    PT/TB
    Daughter to Father, " How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

    http://planettrout.wordpress.com/

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  9. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    contents deleted
    Last edited by flytire; 05-07-2013 at 05:14 AM.
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

    Norm

    http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/

  10. #8

    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    Quote Originally Posted by flytire View Post
    i probably use a half dozen flies per year that contains a few wraps of lead but reports wont stop me from using it.

    ---------- Post added at 08:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:39 AM ----------



    i think you meant .010 or ten thousandths of an inch. .10 is quite large
    I stand corrected !

    PT/TB
    Daughter to Father, " How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

    http://planettrout.wordpress.com/

  11. #9

    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunfly View Post
    From what I've heard in fly tying videos the lead free stuff has about 60% the density of lead. So you'll need a little less than half more of turns.
    From what I've read, it is cheaper and just as effective to use copper wire as it is to use the lead free wire.

    Lead has a specific gravity of 11.342 and copper's is 8.89.

    Take 60% of lead's specific gravity and you get a specific gravity of 6.8 (0.6 x 11.342). That is less than copper at 8.89. So if you can use copper wire, it is denser than the lead free wire.
    Regards,

    Silver



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

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  13. #10
    Join Date
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    Ben Lomond, CA.
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    Default Re: Lead vs. lead free

    With every square inch of the planet being contaminated by lead due to our use of leaded fuel up until 1986 when the final ban date came to be which left us with pregnant women being warned not to eat some fish species along with warnings for the rest of us, how can we use lead any longer in good conscious.

    Yes I have a bunch of lead weights, twist-onís, shot, 2 pounders, slinkies and there not in use any longer, Iíve gone to iron when I can, I also appreciate Silver Creeks mention on the use of copper wire.

    Lead does contaminate the streams that we use; we should think about it and be careful and respectful as we always do.

    Rick

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