Fabricating custom leaders/tippets

RAVC

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I have been looking into this because it does make more sense to me than continuing to purchase manufactured tapered tippets. I have already found a lot of information regarding this subject matter in my search and I copy/paste url's for references I identify to retain them. It is always nice to have a library. I am posting this here because I could find no better forum for this topic but please relocate my thread if it is deemed best. Second, this is an excellent forum and I want to solicit the experienced opinion of members. The majority of fishing I have been doing is for trout. I recently added steelhead and coho to this. King salmon begin next fall.
 

VaFisherman

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I tie my own leaders because I have found that factory tapered leaders have butts that are too thick for good dry fly presentation to picky trout. Store bought leaders are designed to be all around leaders and most people fish the same leader with dries, streamers, single nymph rigs, double nymph rigs, lots of weight, indicators, etc. and the manufactures of these leaders must make there products work fairly well with all of those duties but preform none of them exceptionally well. By tying your own you can tailor the leader to the style of fishing you are doing.
 

jayr

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I started building my own leaders after I saw how bad the store bought leaders were as far as coil memory and kinking on me. Not to mention how expensive they were.

I went and bought several spools of Maxima Chameleon and this will last me for years not to mention I can build them to suit me and my targeted river/fly type.
 

sweetandsalt

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RAVC, Scroll down to Coldwater Articles where there are a few extensive discussions about customizing leader set ups. VaF, Note that butt diameter is a key function of energy transfer from cast line to leader to tippet especially relevant in dry fly presentation. Too thin/soft will result in uncontrollable leader collapse.
 

RAVC

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Thanks everyone! Your responses will change my course of action! I will begin reviewing the Coldwater Articles forum this evening.
 

VaFisherman

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RAVC, Scroll down to Coldwater Articles where there are a few extensive discussions about customizing leader set ups. VaF, Note that butt diameter is a key function of energy transfer from cast line to leader to tippet especially relevant in dry fly presentation. Too thin/soft will result in uncontrollable leader collapse.
SnS,

I don't have a problem at all with my leaders collapsing when casting. Now if you consider a #8 hopper a dry fly then yes, and .019 or .017 leader butt would have some trouble. You do not need a .023" butt, which is what a lot of factory leaders actually measure even though advertised as .021, to throw a #16 or smaller dry fly on a 9ft 5x leader. Why would anyone use the same leader on a 3 weight rod casting #22 trico's that they use on a 6 weight rod throwing #12 drake's. I tailor the butt diameter to the flies I am fishing. Factoy leaders are generic.
 

LOC

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I have been looking into this because it does make more sense to me than continuing to purchase manufactured tapered tippets. I have already found a lot of information regarding this subject matter in my search and I copy/paste url's for references I identify to retain them. It is always nice to have a library. I am posting this here because I could find no better forum for this topic but please relocate my thread if it is deemed best. Second, this is an excellent forum and I want to solicit the experienced opinion of members. The majority of fishing I have been doing is for trout. I recently added steelhead and coho to this. King salmon begin next fall.
One thing to keep in mind when the talk turns technical is how does this apply to you, your skill level and the variables that are in play with your waters and fish you are targeting. I custom make my own leaders but would have no problem fishing a commercially made one. It's pretty simple to tweak a commercial leader if you think it's holding you back.... I agree the main reason to stay away from them is the price.
 

Bigfly

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I agree with LOC on not having a problem sporting a fresh factory leader. My clients get a freshy leader so we have a higher success rate.
When you fish a long time, you can see trends. Fish loss is often a wind knot, or other leader issue. I watch this like a hawk.
Here, fish of any size could appear at any time, so a nick or a bruise, or poor knot could cost us a fish. I like them to not question an old leader.
Clients often search for a reason for failure other than their play......And, I wouldn't want tie up 3 leaders every time I'm working.
That would be time consuming, and the more knots you tie in a leader, the higher likelyhood one may may fail. Even after tying a million.....
A 9-10ft 3-4x is my base. I hand straighten them and have zero issues of kinking.
Not saying I run them stock though....I adjust tippet to the style of presentation (super small flies), and I often extend the butt with 30lb maxima for nymphing and dry fly. I can be found using a 15 to 18 foot leader for fish with a clear awareness of fly lines. Not sold in stores as they say.
A factory leader can be a good place for beginners to start, but can be a useful to reduce the failure rate when fishing higher end as well.


Jim
 
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the norseman

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This is a Great Thread. I keep coming back to it and re-reading it, because
I have always made by own Leaders since I started, 30 years ago.

I have learned so much here, thank you all.

I have one question though on these new Fly Lines with Welded Loops.

I have looked up/researched a lot of info on tying the
Leader to Welded Loop, but what do you do?

I have an idea what I want to do, I would just like to see what other
ideas are out there.

Thank you in advance for your replies.

New Leader project below, new SA 5wt line.

WIN_20201202_11_05_29_Pro.jpg
 

VaFisherman

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On 6wt dry fly line and smaller I cut the welded loop off and needle nail knot my leader butt to the line. On 7wt and larger I do not trust the needle nail knot on larger fish so I keep the welded loop but re-enforce it with two nail knots of 12# mono then tie a perfection loop in my leader butt and loop to loop the leader to the line.
 

trev

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I just cut the welded loop off and pretend it's real fly line. It's an aggravation, but not big of one. If I wanted to use that loop it just requires a loop in the leader butt that can interlock with it, my choice then would be a surgeons loop but the store bought leaders come with a perfection loop and that is easy to tie too.
 

the norseman

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I've been reading up on these Welded Loops and there are just so many ways to
tie on the Leader.

Just read a very interesting and informative Blog by Gary Borger; 5/7 Blood Knot.

I have several ideas what Knot I might use, but curious what others are using.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts.

DSC00288.JPG
 

old timer

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I used to tie my leaders until I tried a furled leader and never touched a mono leader again. It was easy in my case because I just fish dry flies and the furled leader is perfect for that. For those who do lots of different methods of fly fishing the tied mono leader is good but you still need to straighten the blasted thing before fishing.
 

ShenandoahBrookie

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Why is it that you want to start tying your own leaders? Is it because you are going through too many commercial tapered leaders, or is it because the leaders you are currently using no longer suit your fishing style? If it’s the former, there are ways to extend the life of a leader, such as using tippet rings or small loop knots, or changing the way you rig your indicator (if you use an indicator). I used to be perfectly happy with commercial tapered leaders, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they no longer perform the way I want them to. Now I’m also experimenting with tying my own leaders. I’ve had some successes and I’ve had some failures, and I’m really enjoying all the experimentation. One thing I’ve found is that I like a different leader for each stream I fish. That complicates things. So now I’m trying to whittle it down to an easily adaptable, streamlined system, and that’s a process that’s going to take a while for me. However, my fishing is improving because I’m developing a more acute awareness of what is happening with my leader and line. I guess my point is hand tied leaders are neither better nor worse than store bought leaders. Whatever works for you is best. And what works for you probably won’t work for me, and vise versa. The analysis and problem solving is half the fun for me. And for that reason alone, I’d encourage you to at least try tying your own leaders. But it’s hard to give you too much advice without knowing what sort of water you are fishing and how you want to fish it.
 

the norseman

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Well, I decided to use the Albright Knot to tie the Leader to the Welded Loop.
It turned out nice and trim, with very strong connection.

I then built my Leader/Tippet; .017 (05x) down to .005 (6x) out to roughly 9ft.
Afterwards, out of curiosity, I searched the Web, and found an Online Leader
Calculator with all kinds of 9' Leader builds. I am to try one of them the next
time I make a Leader.

What I have is good enough for what I fish and "A Creek Runs Through It" here in Town.

Thank you for reading my Posts

Below, my Leader Making Kit.
WIN_20200830_10_29_33_Pro.jpg
 

the norseman

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trev - thank you so much! The info you posted for me was really helpful.

I studied each Site, between chores, off and on through out the day.

Harvey Style was really a interesting read. He makes his Leader basically
like I do. Also interesting was his take on Long Leaders killing Trout.

50 Leaders - the Chart was amazing.

In all, I got some great ideas for tying Leaders in the future.

Thank you.
DSC00536.JPG
 

the norseman

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Thank you so much again. Great information there.

I did try the Borger 5/7 with my Knot Tool. Just know which is
the small tippet material side, take that strand and wind
several more times. Worked good.

Thanks again.
DSC00866.JPG
 
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