Leaders for Mid-Belly Floater and Smallish Flies - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Leaders for Mid-Belly Floater and Smallish Flies

Folks,

I'd appreciate comments and suggestions on leaders for smallish (< #4), unweighted (Atlantic salmon) flies for use with longer lines.

The rods will mostly be Loomis Greasers (15' 7/8, 14' and 15' 8/9s, and 17' 10/11) and tippets from 15# to 8# (start heavy and go lighter with smaller flies.

Lines are Vector XLs, SA Distance Speys, and SA XLTs. I have a few longer heads (e.g., NC FF70s, Gaelforce Clearwaters Specials, but they land like a Beaver and aren't coming to the river).

The typical leader is 1/3 butt, 1/3 taper, and 1/3 tippet; call 'em 4 ft each. The trick on the taper is no sections shorter than 2 ft. Bloodknots (and turtles) all the way down the line...

Suggestions?

Tight Lines, Gonzos'

PS: I am pretty much married to knotting Maxima Chameleon starting at 40# and running down to 12# - 8#, but Ard Stetts' post got me thinking (danger Will Robinson) and figure that there is a lot of knowledge out there...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 09:17 PM
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I use 9ft 40#butt, then 3ft 25#, then 4ft 15# with my midbellies. Longer butt section helps me with turnover on windy days.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 09:24 PM
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For years I’ve lived and died with a 60%-20%-20% formula with total leader equal to rod length. For 4-6# fish I would likely have 6# tippet, 12# mid and 20# butt sections. For fish to the low teens then tippet is 10#, mid of 15# and butt of 30#. For fish high teens and above I use 15# tippet, 30# butt and 25# mid. All above is Maxima.

Not saying there isn’t anything better out there but Back in the day I played around with other formulas and have since settling on this one, have never been tempted to switch.

Hardy-Davidson

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 07:04 AM
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How come no love for the factory tapered leaders? Reading Toepher Browns book he uses straight Maxima leaders and didn't trust the factory tapered leaders. Just curious as I have tried all three ways and haven't found any real difference just that one has more knots to fail. Talked to Poppy on this subject he uses straight mono if it's not broke don't fix it. Just like rods it is a personal choice I guess.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 07:47 AM
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I've played around with leaders for a while and settled on 50-30-20 ... I find it to be just the right touch.
I often wondered about just the straight section of mono that some guys profess about, but have never tried it. Maybe one day ...


Mike

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hello Folks - thank you for the responses.

Sinktip makes a good point on fish size - I'm looking at fish (Atlantics) that routinely 16 to 20# and a river with rough rocks and tanic-stained water, so 12# tippet is typical.

As for knots, I'm comfortable with surgeon's knots holding tight between leader sections and a turle to the fly. The trick is not having short sections of leader on the thin end.

As for straight leaders, my experience is that they are OK for singly handers but marginal at longer lengths (15+') and are prone to wind knots that can be difficult to pull out. A wind knot in 20#+ Maxi' can be pulled apart but is difficult in finer stuff. A single overhand knot in any leader will break easily and proper care therefore requires throwing out the section when a wind knot gets snugged.

Factor tapered leaders are scary, typically made of soft material, and require adding tippet to material that is already (IMHO) suspect.

A 65' head on a 15' rod with a 15' leader and a short shoot (5 - 15') has you fishing at 100+'. Having a leader that turns over at that distance means you are fishing at distance and not from a puddle of leader at the end of the line - the goal is to have the fly fishing at the moment it lands at distance - I think tapered leaders are superior at that.

Thank you for you responses!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stosiak View Post
How come no love for the factory tapered leaders? Reading Toepher Browns book he uses straight Maxima leaders and didn't trust the factory tapered leaders. Just curious as I have tried all three ways and haven't found any real difference just that one has more knots to fail. Talked to Poppy on this subject he uses straight mono if it's not broke don't fix it. Just like rods it is a personal choice I guess.
I can't find factory tapered leaders that are long enough and heavy enough at the tip for my needs any more. It's just easier for me to build my own.

Just recently I had a blood knot fail on a giant trevally which came within 40 feet of me to snatch my Deceiver, pulled the knot in 20# Mason and 20# fluorocarbon tippet apart in a blink of an eye. So - yes that does happen.
With Steelhead and salmon though???
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2018, 10:35 PM
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Much easier/quicker to replace a tapered leader. I can carry a few plus a tippet spool in very little space. But, to each his own .
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzosPerch View Post
Hello Folks - thank you for the responses.

Sinktip makes a good point on fish size - I'm looking at fish (Atlantics) that routinely 16 to 20# and a river with rough rocks and tanic-stained water, so 12# tippet is typical.

As for knots, I'm comfortable with surgeon's knots holding tight between leader sections and a turle to the fly. The trick is not having short sections of leader on the thin end.

As for straight leaders, my experience is that they are OK for singly handers but marginal at longer lengths (15+') and are prone to wind knots that can be difficult to pull out. A wind knot in 20#+ Maxi' can be pulled apart but is difficult in finer stuff. A single overhand knot in any leader will break easily and proper care therefore requires throwing out the section when a wind knot gets snugged.

Factor tapered leaders are scary, typically made of soft material, and require adding tippet to material that is already (IMHO) suspect.

A 65' head on a 15' rod with a 15' leader and a short shoot (5 - 15') has you fishing at 100+'. Having a leader that turns over at that distance means you are fishing at distance and not from a puddle of leader at the end of the line - the goal is to have the fly fishing at the moment it lands at distance - I think tapered leaders are superior at that.

Thank you for you responses!


15 foot, tapered or hand built leader is fairly easy to turn-over, good length for sinking sparse flies on heavy hooks, and a comfortable length for repositioning anchor/fly.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 12:38 PM
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I build three-step leaders with a perfection loop a the butt and carry three small spools with me for that. It's too easy to swap the leader for a tip and it's only one spool that I actually need/use regularly while fishing.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 10:32 AM
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I don't have any problems with factory tapered leaders, from 9ft 11lb up to 20ft and 25lb.(length and strength of the leader depending on rod length and what I'm trying to achieve).
One thing I will say is,I'll always-or probably 90% of the time-go for mono or co polymer leaders.Now,they all have a Riverge 2 or 3 mm leader ring knotted and glued to the end.This is for two reasons, one-it increases the longevity of the leader, one can swap and change tippet at will as much as one likes and 2ndly,mono and fluro don't take kindly to being knotted together,fluro being harder can "slice" through the softer mono's very easily indeed.The leader ring alleviates this nicely and has no impact whatsoever on the leaders effectiveness.
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