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Old 04-19-2017, 02:15 PM
xvigauge xvigauge is offline
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Default Leader Question

What length leader is usually recommended for fishing the small streams of the GSMNP? I have a bunch of Orvis 9 foot leaders, but I would think a shorter leader would be better, especially when fishing nymphs. I could easily shorten these leaders, but to what length?
Joe
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

50 or so years ago, I remember my father telling me that your leader should be the same length as your rod.
While there's so many exceptions to that "rule of thumb" it's still good advice to this day.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

There is a hard to solve tension here: fish are spooky in small streams in the Smokies, so longer leaders and skulking in the bushes can be important. On the other hand there are a lot of bushes, often overhead, except in the very largest streams, which make longer leaders harder to manage. For myself on all but the tiniest streams and biggest rivers i would want to try a 9' leader or maybe 9 plus some tippet assuming a dry or dry / dropper to be attached. (Ordinarily when i pull a 9' store bought leader out of the package i tie on a foot or tippet to avoid eating up teh leader.)

Actually, i have lately been experimenting some with a 7.5' 3X Rio nylon leader with a tippet ring with appropriate tippet added to get to the lengths mentioned above. I THINK i like this as it seemingly makes it easier to change rigs, but i am not completely sold yet. At a minimum i htink the tippet ring helps to save the end of the store bought leader. I am sold that the tippet ring does not interfere with casting which surprised me a bit. With that 7.5' 3X leader as a base i can convert to most any kind of rig i will throw fairly quickly. (Or, so i am telling myself.)

Sorry if that turns out to be a long non-answer to a good question!?
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:38 PM
rbbonner34 rbbonner34 is offline
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Default Re: Leader Question

I've used a 9' Orvis leader and had success on a 9' rod, but on my last trip, I experimented with a 7 1/2' furled leader with about 12" of 5X or 6X for my 7 1/2 foot rod.... and I've decided that I won't ever go back to a mono leader. The presentation I got from the furled leader was beautiful because it has no memory.

I also like a shorter rod and shorter leader because I can cast and keep some line out of the last guide. Some people like the longer rod and using a high sticking technique, but that's not my thing. I like the dry/dropper approach rather than the "thingamabobber" and two sub-surface flies.

So, if you like nymphing, I would recommend going with the mono leader at the same length of your rod with tippet.... this will give you a more dynamic setup with a bobber and allow you to adapt to each stretch of water you are fishing by adjusting the distance of the bobber from the fly or adding weight.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Leader Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by xvigauge View Post
What length leader is usually recommended for fishing the small streams of the GSMNP? I have a bunch of Orvis 9 foot leaders, but I would think a shorter leader would be better, especially when fishing nymphs. I could easily shorten these leaders, but to what length?
Joe
I fish the GSMNP quite a bit. IMHO, short leaders are a must to be able to get a good drift on a dry or dry/dropper. Most of my fishing is on the smaller streams and I try to keep my overall leader (furled plus tippet) 7'6", sometimes a bit shorter. What happens is, the current will catch a longer leader and drag under the fly.

Nymphing I use a dedicated indicator furled leader with tippet ring. I usually keep that all under about 9' or so. One thing to remember about nymphing is that's there are so many different styles and techniques.
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