The Final 15ft (Demystifying the saltwater leader)

pnc

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Wow never heard of 3' leaders. Guessing that direct to fly ? No tipped ? Fish were mudding, how deep was the water, and how stired up ?
I can see the reasoning behind it. If it works for the guide. Keeping customers happy.
Have a few times gone to longer leaders. Never thought of going short.
But then never been a fan of straight mono leaders.
Especially for tarpon. Seems it would remove the sense of accomplishment. Maybe my personal problem. You could never say to yourself, wow caught that on 16 lb tippet.
 

trev

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Wow never heard of 3' leaders
I know very little about salt/flats fishing, care less, but 3' of leader can be plenty for trout or bass. A leader should change length with conditions, I've used hand built 18' tapered leaders and I've used 3' level leaders.
The tippet is always the part the hook is attached to so in the case of a level leader, it is both all butt and all tippet.

I had already found that short heavy leaders worked for bass when, in the trout park and going back 20-25 years, I watched an older guy many days one summer take trout after trout with from 30" to 40" of level 4# mono loop connected to his fly line, he told me that when using an indicator and nymphs that only what was below the indicator was actually leader and what was between the "bobber" and the line was there just to make it hard to cast. He said his loop connection at the line was all the indicator needed, hundreds of trout agreed with him.
I've never learned the indy fishing, but I have caught trout on some short leaders as experiments. 2-3 miles of spring run in the trout park has been a nice laboratory over the years,
 

pnc

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Was looking back trough thread. Saw mention of a guide in Tampa. And no fond memories.
Thought this might help. If anyone i looking forva guide in the area. Try contacting the Sun Coast Fly Fishers. They meet in St Pete. Several members are guides. And the club probably could supply a list in the bay area.
 

yellowdog

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I came across an interesting youtube of Flip Pallot discussing his current 2021 leader set up. In it he not only recommends cutting off the loop and tying directly but also advocates using a 15' leader. In some ways both the direct line to leader connection and the 15' leader make good sense to me. The only issue I see is that this method makes a particular fly line a one species only line without cutting off and retying the tippet to change # test if needed. Not a big deal I suppose unless changing often throughout the day.
 
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sweetandsalt

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Unless I missed it I did not note what Pallot does at the end of his 9' butt section. Does he transition to the tippet or go direct? My butt is more like 5 or 6' with short transitional sections terminating in some 3 or 4 feet of tippet, so long butt, steep short mid and longish tippet. Of course he makes the core crucial point of hinge free, efficient transfer of energy in matching butt diameter to line size. What I refer to as the Parabolic Test.
 

yellowdog

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Sort of explained here. The question I still have is how to match the butt leader size / # to a particular fly line

 

thomasw

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....Of course he makes the core crucial point of hinge free, efficient transfer of energy in matching butt diameter to line size. What I refer to as the Parabolic Test.
Exactly Sns! Keeping the line to leader butt hinge free is key with a smooth energy transferring connection. For this I believe in the needle nail knot; no unnecessary added mass at the connection. One can, if desired for convenient leader switching, add a perfection loop at the end of the leader butt. But keep the energy transfer transitioning smoothly by incrementally lowering the mono diameters down to the tippet however it is attached together.

...The question I still have is how to match the butt leader size / # to a particular fly line
Use the Parabolic Test. It is easy for anyone to do. See SnS's treatise on the concept here.
 

fatbillybob

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Who needs a 15ft tapered leader? I have fished with lots of guides and many in Saltwater. Most salty guides I fish are in Florida. 90% of the time I fish with the guide's set-up. Sometimes there is a typical tapered leader. Just as often the leader is less than 5ft. of straight mono or fluro. I always ask and they typical answers are you need the tapered leader to turn the fly over for best presentation. The straight mono/fluro guys say it does not matter and you get better control of the fly with short leader and it's a streamer so "turn over" means nothing...this isn't a dry fly.

The results are I catch just as many fish with the straight short leader as with the long tapered leader. When I'm by myself and no one is looking I use a piece of straight short leader. I do this because it does not seem to reduce my catch and straight leader is cheap. A tapered leader costs around $7 bucks and increasing.

I think the bigger the fish the less this matters. Swinging for steelhead (just big trout) and some are using tapered leaders and some just straight piece of mono/fluro.

What are you saltwater fishers using? Too bad we could not do a "poll."
 

sweetandsalt

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fbb, As in all environments technique and the imperatives of the species vary. My salty leader design is a Flats Presentation leader intended to drop a crustacean imitation in front of a feeding bonefish or permit. It is important that when the fly and water meet at the end of a cast, that the fly is "fishing". It is frequent that the fish takes or rejects the offering in the first moments of its drop as the mobile filaments of the fly's design suggest swimmers, antennae or gills on a creature fleeing toward the bottom marle to secret itself. Yes, if there are curls in the leader and the fly is leading the fish enough, there is time for a long slow pull to straighten things out but ideally the leader presents the fly straight so a take can be responded to with a direct strip strike.

So, using a #7, 8 or 9 outfit depending on conditions' and fly size, I want my leader butt to perfectly communicate the energy of the cast seamlessly, the transitional mid sexton of the leader to be short and steep for positive turnover with limited energy scrubbing and I personally like a long tippet, 3 or 4 feet at least ending in a Non-Slip Loop Knot allowing my fly to waft. Trout fishing I use Nylon but here in the salt, 100% Fluorocarbon form butt to tippet. My overall leader lengths span 10 to 16 feet depending and I am convinced the leader is a crucial component in effective presentation...bones were born spooky.
 

yellowdog

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Exactly Sns! Keeping the line to leader butt hinge free is key with a smooth energy transferring connection. For this I believe in the needle nail knot; no unnecessary added mass at the connection. One can, if desired for convenient leader switching, add a perfection loop at the end of the leader butt. But keep the energy transfer transitioning smoothly by incrementally lowering the mono diameters down to the tippet however it is attached together.



Use the Parabolic Test. It is easy for anyone to do. See SnS's treatise on the concept here.
Makes sense but can you test without actually tying the butt section or do you have to tie it, try it and cut it off, including the actual fly line, and try it again until parabolic achieved?
 

sweetandsalt

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I suggest using the loop to loop even if you latter pan on severing it. Hence limited wasted material and effort. Naturally it depends on specific line and butt material but as a rule I find a tropical 8-weight line likes a Fluoro butt of approx. .024 - .026. Pound test tells one nothing as there is significant discrepancy between alleged tested strength and diameter. Diameter is the energy transferrer not # test.

As an aside; I do not disagree that a low mass, small direct connection like a multi turn Nail Knot is a great butt to line interface, however, in these heavier weight outfits I have not found a mechanically reinforced factory loop to leader butt Perfection Loop to result in a problematic transition. And it allows me to exchange leader lengths and tapers easily and quickly should big wind come up or whatever.
 

sweetandsalt

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yellowdog, I just noted the Bruch Chard instructional video you posted earlier under Flats Leaders. Note he too suggests .026 and recommended Loop to Loop interfacing. The only thing he did not elaborate on was testing the diameters via the Parabolic Test.
 

yellowdog

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yellowdog, I just noted the Bruch Chard instructional video you posted earlier under Flats Leaders. Note he too suggests .026 and recommended Loop to Loop interfacing. The only thing he did not elaborate on was testing the diameters via the Parabolic Test.
So are you saying that you have found the factory line loop to leader butt loop acceptable on larger, say 8wt+ but prefer direct connect for lower weight lines? If I get time I may dig out an old line and video my cast with loop to loop and then with direct connect. Not sure if it will show up well enough to see the difference on a cell phone video.
 

sweetandsalt

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Not exactly. A direct and slim connection has obvious advantages. However, a strong and smooth loop-to-loop has its own flexibility of leader change advantages too. I pay a lot of attention to line to leader turnover attributes while casting, particularly in the meadow without any fish around. Smoothness of energy transfer and overall rigging integrity are important to me as to most of us.

Now this is for a dry fly trout set up not salt but there is no hang ups nor stiff spot with this braid to fly line interface. Note the Nail Knot loop reinforcement.

T21 008 Nail Knot Leader Loops.jpg
 
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