Size of leader can refer to tippet size or leader length. But most of the time "size" when in reference to a leader means the "X" size of the tippet.Is there anyway to know what size leader and tippet I currently have tied on to my outfit - and what is a good way to keep track of what I tie on in the future?
NO, NO, NO!!!does that mean if I have a 5wt rod I want a 5x Leader?
Cool, I want one, where’d you get it?Learning the importance of this relationship has gone a long way in improving my casting/presentation immensely. I carry a little water proof card - one side it has a hook chart, for matching the hatch size. The back side has a chart of tippet sizes/test/fly size etc.
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Good write up Silver; one more question and let’s see if I am totally messed up - a tapered Leader has the Tippet built into it; therefore, a 5x Tapered Leader would finish out with 5x Tippet. If I am adding additional Tippet as a sacrificial end, why would I need to add on 6x - how does it know it’s not all one 5x Tapered Leader?
One additional comment on what bevanwj has written on adding a thinner tippet than the one which came with the leader.Yes a standard 9' 5X tapered leader has the tippet built into it. So a 5X tapered leader will end with a 5X tippet. That 5X end can vary in length depending upon the brand of the leader. There is variation in brands. During the course of a days fishing it will gradually get shorter as a result of changing flies. keep an eye on it by using your rod to measure it's length. 9' rod = 9' leader. If you find your leader has reduced to say 8' add another 12" of 5X tippet to bring it back to 9'.
If you want to lengthen your leader say to 10' either use a longer bit of 5X to lengthen it or drop down to 6X if you are changing to a smaller fly. The key is to never tie a heavier piece of tippet to lighter tippet. In other words don't tie a 4X end bit on to a leader that ends in 5X.