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Dom
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I am eager to try fishing floating line all year round. After having a blast with skagit and scandinavian lines, its time to lighten and simplify everything up. When temperatures drops one needs to get his flies down asap and keep it there and using a combination of floating line, long, thin, and stiff flourocarbon leader paired up with a sparse heavy fly sounds very appealing to me. Most dry line fans tie their winter flies on huge iron hooks because they dont favor dumbell eyes on classical patterns. Im with you on that. After giving some thought on it I found tungsten tying thread made by Spirit River. This thread means smaller gaps and small fast sinking flies. Cant wait to try it out.

Now to my question.

As all of you know, long thin leaders and heavy flies dont complement each other in terms of casting especialy with longer belly lines. From fishing point of view long, thin leader will let the fly sink and stay deep under tention. Its a trade of any way you look at it so I wonder what is your take when it comes to line and leader choice for deep swing of the floating line and its ability to cast a weighted fly? How about level flourocarbon leader? Furled?
 

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For my dry line winter swinging, I've used either a tapered leader tied with Maxima, tapering from #40 to #10, about 12'-13'. I've also used bacially a straight piece of #10 of about 12'. I've had success with both systems. With heavy irons or lightly weighted patterns on a dry line, you usually aren't concerned about a delicate presentation. Your flyline basically catapults your fly with either leader type. I think the thin/untapered mono leader fishes the fly deeper with less water resistance on the swing. I've used both types of leaders on both longer lines like the Delta/Deltal Long, CND DT and shorter lines like the Ambush without problems.

In fact, just so happens that I've been thinking about this very subject as I prepare for my winter steelhead season to start up. I'm feeling like going back to the straight peice of #10 ultra green and see what happens.

Best,
Todd
 

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seaterspey
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That's basically what I use for my winter fishing is just 10# maxima and it seems to work out just fine. The thought of creating a tapered leader for winter fishing just seems pointless!?

KC
 

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bow river ninja
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I've bin loving the Scandi with leaders 14-17' (15' 20-15lb mono leaders) and fairly sparse flies! havnt teally gotten iti the classic fly thing.. mostly marabou comets, thin strip leeches (squirrel/mink zonker strips) or mostly synthetic flies. lots of tungsten beads mainly and have bin surprised with the size of flies I can cast! definely not the same boundaries as a skagit but with good mending and controlling your swing speed you can get flies to sink fast and hold deep!!!

love how easy it is to just swap to a dry or unweighted fly :p slowly shifting to mi bellies bed like you mentioned domantas. done be afraid to weight your flies with beads or dumbells... there is also lead tape you can track down or tungsten sheep material if you prefer to have a little weight under a heavy shanks hooks body
 

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That's basically what I use for my winter fishing is just 10# maxima and it seems to work out just fine. The thought of creating a tapered leader for winter fishing just seems pointless!?

KC
I do use the tapered leader during times when I may go back and forth between wet patterns and surface flies, say during mild conditions and later in the season.

Todd
 

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i think the first thing to recognize is that with a floating line you are not going to keep your fly deep unless you fish a lot of lead or pick your water very carefully. If you choose a floating line don't concentrate on depth concentrate on slowing your presentation...
 

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you want your fly to come across stream as slow as possible you can manipulate your line in order to facilitate that.. the reason that it is important is that in winter water temps are low and the fish will not move far to take a fly the slower it is presented the deeper it will be and presumably more exciting to the fish. Also the waters tend to have less visibility in winter and therefore the slower if comes across the river the more likely a fish is to see it.
 

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I am eager to try fishing floating line all year round. After having a blast with skagit and scandinavian lines, its time to lighten and simplify everything up. When temperatures drops one needs to get his flies down asap and keep it there and using a combination of floating line, long, thin, and stiff flourocarbon leader paired up with a sparse heavy fly sounds very appealing to me. Most dry line fans tie their winter flies on huge iron hooks because they dont favor dumbell eyes on classical patterns. Im with you on that. After giving some thought on it I found tungsten tying thread made by Spirit River. This thread means smaller gaps and small fast sinking flies. Cant wait to try it out.

Now to my question.

As all of you know, long thin leaders and heavy flies dont complement each other in terms of casting especialy with longer belly lines. From fishing point of view long, thin leader will let the fly sink and stay deep under tention. Its a trade of any way you look at it so I wonder what is your take when it comes to line and leader choice for deep swing of the floating line and its ability to cast a weighted fly? How about level flourocarbon leader? Furled?
Those are all good reasons for switching to the full-floating line sunken wet-fly swing. I'm not completely dedicated to this method of angling; however, some points you are likely to encounter moving forward with the dry line, and that I'd like to discuss are the type of water and tippet gauge as related to depth.

When I fish a full-floater in spring, summer, winter or fall I'm fishing much the same type of water. I cast in currents that lend themselves well to the technique. Depth becomes nearly irrelevant. I consider a long leader to be a length of the rod, or at least 12 feet since I may be casting lines like the Ambush nearly as often as an extended belly. Also, my specialized gear may be a large dark pattern on a 2/0 long-shank for extreme low-light or diminished water clarity.

With that in mind - a long leader is best and gains more depth in well organized currents, self-menders if you will, where minimum manipulation is required to maintain control of belly and speed. Narrow-chutes and conflicting currents are not very conducive to good line control casting long leaders.

Consider what the majority of anglers are using when casting to steelhead: As light as #10 mono (.012 in the case of Maxima Ultragreen) - I always use #16 (.012 GrandMax flourocarbon) for tippet. Same gauge as Maxima #10. Unless you are doing something entirely out of the norm - the thickness of your tippet is irrelevant to depth when you put positive turnover and max control as paramount. Where do you find the trade-off in that? Your fly will be swimming as soon as it hits the water with little or no need for mending to straighten the leader. You will know more precisely where your fly is swimming and you can lead the fly or let it lead the rod through the swing to control depth and tension to adjust the speed.

Compared to casting sink tips and heavy flies, casting full floaters is easier of me to do, therefore more pleasurable: My reason for doing it this way. The further from small and unweighted, the more I take from that.
 

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loco alto!
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or Alex Jackson Heavy Spey (2061) size 1.5, a little heavier and slightly smaller gape at same overall length as the TMC 7999 2/0
 
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