Belize Permit/Bonefish Leaders - knots and weeds?

durangobrad

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I started hand tying some leaders for the flats of Belize. Ive heard this area is particularly weedy and grassy. Im looking at all of these knots in the leader and thinking that they are just an invitation to grab and hold on to weeds and grass?

I was thinking of buying some of the tapered bonefish/ permit leaders and then just adding one short piece of stiffer but section to fit my needs and one piece of flouro tippet. This would reduce the total knots in my leader to just two.
 

sweetandsalt

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I have fished Belize, more for permit than their juvenile bonefish but, yes, there can be thick turtle grass bottoms. Maybe I didn't explain it thoroughly enough in the bottom of the initial post of the adjacent thread about flats leader construction but I lightly coat the blood and ligature knots with a low viscosity UV curing coating to smooth their interface with potential grass. Depending on where you fish in Belize, far worse than grass can be mini live branch coral along reef flats...I refuse to walk on live coral and forbid my guide from taking me to such a place and it is problematic to fish on top of the environmental aspect.
 

duker

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Where in Belize will you be fishing? I've been to Turneffe Flats three times, and while there are definitely some weedy and grassy flats there I never found any that fouled my leaders or resulted in plant material hanging off them such that it either affected my casting or presentation. That said, as you suggested, I used store-bought tapered saltwater mono leaders and tied on a few feet of fluoro tippet with a Uni knot. I'm just too lazy to hand-tie my own tapered leaders (I know, I know).

As sweetandsalt suggested, one real issue fishing Belize is the coral, whether live or dead. Like him, I don't like walking on it and tried to avoid it whenever possible. The environmental issue is the biggest one, but that stuff will cut through your leader like a knife through butter and can turn your expensive fly line into a ragged mess.

You'll love Belize. Beautiful country, great people, fantastic fishing. I'm looking out my office window at -34C winter right now, and wish I was relaxing at Turneffe with a Belikin and a plate of conch fritters with Marie Sharp's hot sauce.

Scott
 

denver1911

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Heading there tomorrow. I have flouro tapered leaders in 9’ 12 through 20lb test. Plan to add tippet as appropriate. It’s always worked for me. That said, I’ve fished Ambergris a number of times and never felt like I was fishing in such a weedy area that I would have to worry. YMMV. My advice: use the knot sense, but take some of both and see what works.
 

sweetandsalt

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Denver, Loon has their Knot Sense but it is too viscus and bulgy. They offer a lower viscosity similar UV product marketed for tying and it is the better choice in my opinion. Turneff Atoll has many grassy flats but so do the FL Keys and my hand built leaders even without coated knots have never been a problem...and they turn over so much better than extruded ones.

Have a great trip and eat a fryjack for me.
 

piratkey

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I have fished lot of time the grassy flats at low tide on the Ambergris caye east side, for me, the best still a hand tied nylon leader with unweighted flies.
 

sweetandsalt

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Maybe this point is a bit over fussy but is it a good idea to shine UV light on leaders?
cormorant, For one thing my salt leaders are built from butt to tippet of Fluorocarbon which is more resistant to UV than Nylon. Even so, I am curing the resin with the UV light for 20 seconds or so. I tighten my Blood Knots under considerable pressure prior to trimming the tags so there is no slippage allowing me to trim the tags pretty flush to begin with. The thin UV resin faring is a luxury finish I dispense with in the field. I tend to favor longer casts to bonefish so as not to get too close to them and I like long leaders with 4' of tippet which must turn over positively so my hand tapered ones with steeply tapered mid sections with long butt and long tippet are worth the effort rather than relying on extruded ones. Plus I tie them at home as part of trip preparation which I enjoy.
 

sweetandsalt

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If it is an existing rigged reel I just check the leader and likely knot on a new tippet. A new line gets a newly built leader. I take one spare leader ready to go and a striped down leader building kit. How many flies...?
 
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