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turbineblade 07-16-2012 06:34 PM

Beginner question about leaders/tippets
Hello, I'm new to fly fishing and am confused about several things, but at present I'm looking at what size leader to use based upon fly size. I have a 6 weight, 8' rod and know most of the knots I need to use. I tore the old backing and fly line off and bought new, good quality stuff and spooled it myself. I used the arbor knot, good backing, albright knot to fly line (took a few tries), and I nail knotted a mono loop to the other end of the fly line, which is a 6 weight, weight-forward, floating line. I will be fishing mostly for bluegill, yellow perch, bass, sunfish, etc. From what I gather, flies around #10 are good for multiple species? Here's my confusion:

Leaders like "4x" are listed for use on fly sizes 12-16 on one website, but then 6-12 on another. What is the deal with this? That seems like quite a big difference, but maybe it doesn't matter that much? A friend of mine ties his own leaders using 20 pound >> 12 pound >> 8 pound test monofilament. He mostly fishes for striped bass and LMB, and likes this weight of leader for his flies, which I think are around #2-6.

Can I tie a leader myself with lengths of mono like this for #10-12 flies? What would you do? The premade leaders like "2X" say "9.5" lb test on the package, so is that like having a 10lb piece of mono for the tippet? Sorry, I'm all over the place -- I know. :eek:

Thanks for your help!

Liphookedau 07-16-2012 07:27 PM

Re: Beginner question about leaders/tippets
Hi & welcome,I used to tie all my own Leaders to many different system,formulas then I went onto Tapered Leaders which come in all sizes which I still use with my lighter Rods,now on #5,#6,#7 etc Rods I use either a Shock Leader with a Tipit or a Furled Leader also with a Tipit.
I found The ones I tied,even though they were beaut to Cast became a real pain as they were real sus to knots & tangles.
Give Furled Leaders a try,they are really good even though are not for all applications,especially if you are new to FlyFishing.

raindogt 07-16-2012 10:25 PM

Re: Beginner question about leaders/tippets
I second the furled leader suggestion--- then you can just replace 'tippets' based on the size of fly you are heaving. A general rule is to take the size of fly and divide by 3 (give or take a size or two)-- size 12 fly-- use a 4Xtippet. Size 6 fly-- use a 2X tippet. Of course, in the last example: size 6 fly, 2X tippet-- you could reliably use the same 2X for sizes 4 and 8 flies as well. This 'formula' will turn the sizes of flies over nicely in the cast and give them a realistic appearance in/on the water.

I fish mainly warmwater (like you sound like you are going to) and I use a furled leader and either 4# or 6# mono 'tippets'-- usually 4#. It is good to know the tippet sizes, but don't worry about sticking strictly to them too much....

mbphotos54 07-16-2012 10:50 PM

Re: Beginner question about leaders/tippets
i use one of the slip on loops on the end of my fly line, from that the only time I use tapered leaders is for tiny drys, but for most panfish flys, a length of 6lbs monofiloment off a spool with loop knot will do most things you need, and its alot cheaper then tapered leaders. good luck.

MoscaPescador 07-16-2012 11:05 PM

Re: Beginner question about leaders/tippets
The "x" designation was designed to denote diameter. The thought is that diameter is more important than break strength. Smaller diameter tippets are used for smaller flies. Larger diameter tippets are used for larger flies. The confusing part that break strengths and diameters are not consistent between brands and in some cases within brands.

As a warm species fisherman, don't overthink the topic. The reality is that your fish are not leader shy. Taper your leaders to the lengths and tippet sizes that you think will work best for you.


turbineblade 07-17-2012 05:41 AM

Re: Beginner question about leaders/tippets
Wow, lots of good advice here! Thank you much!

So, diameter >> pound test rating. That's easy enough, I'll have to get used to that. I may just buy a stack of tapered leaders instead of tying my own. All I need is one wrap "crossed" on a blood knot and my entire leader is useless. It looks like with the premade jobs I can just "surgeon" a piece of tippet when the premade one wears out and keep going. Could I tie a perfection loop in the end of the tapered leader and loop-loop a piece of tippet for easy changing?

Thanks again folks! What a great forum. :)

mbphotos54 07-17-2012 08:26 AM

Re: Beginner question about leaders/tippets
indeed great forum, the x rated has been a pain for me,, i use 0x and 1x alot, even those have tiny tip ends that will work on some tiny flys. but for what your doing I think your over thinking it a bit, save those store bought loop ended tapered leaders for trout or just tiny flys. everything else, poppers and bass bugs you dont need a tapered leader.

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