Leader construction as it relates to the line and cast

Capra

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Recently I was trying to cast flies that seemed too heavy for the line weight. It was a 9 weight rod in heavy wind with a shrimp fly with large lead eyes.

My leader was 5' of 50 lb fluro, 4' of 40 lb fluro, 18" of 25 lb Fluro, 12" of 20 lb Fluro, to 16 Lb Fluro tippett. All of the material was Seaguar Blue except the tippett which was rio fluro flex.

After thinking about it I wonder if my break down wasn't in the leader. Had I beefed up the leader starting with say a 60 LB Butt and carried that stiffness all the way to about 10' then used the last 2-3 ft to get down to my tippet would the fly line and leader support the heavy fly untill contact with the water OR is it still a cast related problem???
 

Capra

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Is the line turning over, problem fly falling short of turn over ?
Exactly ! the line looked good hitting the water but it is like the power just vaporized and the fly landed early with a decent splash.
 

thomasw

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Two things:

1. try a leader ratio of 70/20/10 butt/mid/tippet

2. do you need the leader to be that length... a shorter leader would turn over more readliy. You could up the stiffness of your butt... Not sure what kind of presentation you require though...

hope this helps
 

Capra

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Two things:

1. try a leader ratio of 70/20/10 butt/mid/tippet

2. do you need the leader to be that length... a shorter leader would turn over more readliy. You could up the stiffness of your butt... Not sure what kind of presentation you require though...

hope this helps
I was fishing for Permit in MX. It is tough to say but the general consensus seems to be about 12' for perm.

Honestly I am thinking that breaking conventional wisdom and going to a clear sinking tip line with MED lead eyes, or Tungsten equivlent makes more sense than trying to push such a heavy fly.. I dont think going up to a 10 weight would have helped much but maybe.......
 

thomasw

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.... I dont think going up to a 10 weight would have helped much but maybe.......
Hehe, I wasn't referring to the stiffness of your rod's butt section... I was referring to the leader butt section stiffness... that can make a difference in turn over. Hope that helps.
 

sevenweight

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Rather than going heavier and heavier with your current leader material, which is by its nature too limp for the leader butt, try switching to a different material for the leader right up to the tippet. Then use the fluorocarbon you prefer as your tippet. Using something close to thomasw's formula, I'd go with 6' of "Rio Hard Mono Tippet" material in 30 lb (this is way fatter and stiffer than 40# or 50# Seagar), 3' of 20# and 1.5' of 16#. Then use an SA Micro Swivel (25# is plenty but you can use the 40 also) to connect your fluorocarbon tippet.
 

trev

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Stiffness is way more important than pound test in leader construction, 30#test X-material might be stiffer than 60# y-material.
I think usually when I have leader fail to turn over that the problem is in the mid/taper either being too long or made of too limp of material.
Although I've never fished for permit; I'd probably use hard nylon right down to the tippet and shorten all the taper steps to ~12" or less, making the butt longer, if extra length is needed.
 

original cormorant

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Seaguar seem determined to confuse by having products with different names in different markets. imho seaguar ace hard is siffer than rio mono.

Maybe as you suggest the fly was too heavy for the line, tho I suspect not.

There's more than one way to fix a problem. You say a heavy wind, were you casting directly into the wind? How did the guide position the boat ? Did you get out of the boat and wade perhaps from a better direction? What did the guide say about the problem? The guide is not just a taxi driver he was in a far better position to fix the problem than any one on here.
 

pnc

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As was said, I would go with a shorter leader. To help with turn over. Mmm . . . might also try a greater difference between butt and first mid section. Like 50 to 30 lb. Or 60 to 40 lb.!
 

original cormorant

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I did not catch that there was a guide, but, yeah he should know.
The OP didn't say but it would be exceptional to be fishing permit in Mexico without a guide (normally 2), even though there are diy opportunities.

About 20 years ago I read the Randall Kaufmann bonefish book and the lesson I took from that book was you are paying the guide; use his expertise and if he's not delivering tell him. That book gave me the confidence to speak up and it's advice that has given me better fishing.
 

sweetandsalt

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Did your leader turn over positively with lighter flies or with the wind at your back? If so I am inclined to suspect your tippet. RIO is smaller in diameter per rated # test and on the flexible side too. I like it fine but suspect a hinge in your 20# to 16# tippet. 20# RIO Flouro tippet might have solved your issue but beware any hinge in leader assembly from the butt to fly line joining on down. We ahve a fine Flats Leader sticky under Saltwater ongoing and naturally line to rod match up can be an issue as well. For larger heavier crabs I do go with a 10-weight but always ahve a #9 rigged for smaller crabs or big shrimp too. One of my favorite permit guide questions when approaching sighted fish is: "9-weight or 10-weight?"
 

Capra

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Did your leader turn over positively with lighter flies or with the wind at your back? If so I am inclined to suspect your tippet. RIO is smaller in diameter per rated # test and on the flexible side too. I like it fine but suspect a hinge in your 20# to 16# tippet. 20# RIO Flouro tippet might have solved your issue but beware any hinge in leader assembly from the butt to fly line joining on down. We ahve a fine Flats Leader sticky under Saltwater ongoing and naturally line to rod match up can be an issue as well. For larger heavier crabs I do go with a 10-weight but always ahve a #9 rigged for smaller crabs or big shrimp too. One of my favorite permit guide questions when approaching sighted fish is: "9-weight or 10-weight?"
Exactly ! This is what I experienced. The hinge happened at the 16 rio. I will go back and read the sticky
 

irideaduck

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Ex Exactly ! the line looked good hitting the water but it is like the power just vaporized and the fly landed early with a decent splash.
The way this response was written, it's as if the line hit the water first ... which makes me think his casting target is too short/far for the amount of line and the target needs to be out further. In my experience, casting to a target too short/far results in the leader not unfolding and a pile.
 
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