Short leaders for winter steelhead? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Short leaders for winter steelhead?

I had a revelation this summer when casting sink tips for big river smallmouth bass. When I shortened my leader to only 2 feet I started hooking up more often. I think this is because the sink tip could get the fly in the zone quicker and keep it there.

Have any of you tried going short swinging for winter steelhead when there is a little color in the water? I am thinking this may also help with casting and reduce need for weight on flies.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 01:50 AM
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Yes, fly needs to be in their face. Long leaders take time to get the fly down to the zone! On average my leaders for winter are 3ft, some times shorter somtimes longer.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 02:36 AM
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Ive shortened my leaders with great success. Long leaders will tend to ride much higher in the water column. I'm down to 15-18 inches.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 04:07 PM
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Once the fly is down it stays there but initially yes, fly will take much longer to catch up with the tip. Not so much of an issue if fly you are using sinks at the same or faster rate than the tip.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 07:15 PM
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For years I've been keeping my leaders around 2 feet. Clear or off colored water with good success

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 07:19 AM
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I go for 1m ( 40 inches) or less if I am using a sink-tip - single hand or double-hand. I moved between Seaquar Blue Fluorocardon and Maxima Chameleon.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 11:02 AM
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Seaguar STS Salmon Fluorocarbon Leader Fishing Line:

20 lb cost with shipping for 100m ( 110y) is $ 12.50.

FC sinking rate is like intermediate ca. 1.5'/sec


20 lb Seaguar has diameter ( 0.0155") = to the real diameter ( not advertised !!!) of 15 lb Maxima (0.016"), while 17 lb Seaguar diameter ( 0.014") is essentially the same as real ( 0.015") diameter of 12 lb Maxima Ch..

20 lb Seaguar has the same stiffness as 15 lb Maxima Chameleon

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 11:08 AM
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10-16" is the norm around here off a sink tip.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Zonky View Post
10-16" is the norm around here off a sink tip.
I need to get out more often and see it for myself

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 06:56 PM
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3', as someone else said, longer if river is clearer and lower. Shortest I go is 2', and that is very rare.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 09:40 PM
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I also like to be able to break off - if necessary - at 12 to 18 lbs. I really do NOT like going above 15.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolen View Post
Seaguar STS Salmon Fluorocarbon Leader Fishing Line:

20 lb cost with shipping for 100m ( 110y) is $ 12.50.

FC sinking rate is like intermediate ca. 1.5'/sec


20 lb Seaguar has diameter ( 0.0155") = to the real diameter ( not advertised !!!) of 15 lb Maxima (0.016"), while 17 lb Seaguar diameter ( 0.014") is essentially the same as real ( 0.015") diameter of 12 lb Maxima Ch..

20 lb Seaguar has the same stiffness as 15 lb Maxima Chameleon
What do you do when you hang up, just hope the 20# is what breaks?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 10:32 PM
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Its is common to think #15 Maxima is the upper limit you want to run so that line is not stressed when on full blown out snag. Im not sure if anything changed in this department due to manufacturers switching to braid like cores vs dacron times.

Im at 3' for my sinking tip/line.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonT View Post
What do you do when you hang up, just hope the 20# is what breaks?
20 lb tippet , even with Lefty loop, will break around 17 lb.

I would not even try to have 15 lb for a fresh wild Skeena Steelhead when it takes a fly often violently.......

Have yet to see a breakage beyond 20 lb tippet.

In tributaries a 15 lb if fine.
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