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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, Gents.

Got the Rod. Got the Line. (Thanks Sean... BTW, who do I send it to when I'm done?) Got backing and a reel to put it on.

Now I need a leader. Target is steelhead, standard flies are big weighted stones and #6 - #1 traditionals...

I carry two Loop Tippet Dispensers in my vest, with .017 through 5x in them. Do you have any leader formulas? I figure it will be at least 15' long, so this is what I was thinking:

4 feet of .017
3 feet of .015
3 feet of .013
2 feet of .010
4-6 feet of 2X

or do I just do a straight fifteen feet of 1x or 2x?

Your sage advise and collective wisdom is appreciated!

-Gus

visit me at: http://home.earthlink.net/~piscator
 

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"We" need two bits of info on this:

What line wt are you using as this has a heck of an impact, particularly in the butt section (heavier line=heavier butt section) selection.

Second question is what leader wt (in # test) do you want to end up with? In that same light are you using 'regular' leader material (its sounds like it) that's pretty 'soft' or is the leader material going to be 'stiff stuff' like Maxima main line.

fae
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Fred!

The top stuff is stiff Maxima - the brown line. I use that for the 01X to 03X (.013, 15 and 17) then I usually transition to regular material. As far as # test, 8-10# usually works for me on the single hander... I typically tie a 2x tapered on it, either hand tied or commercial.

-G
 

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Gus, still need the line weight as this can make quite a difference in the # test for

the butt section. Personal here only, and I'm sure there are several different opinions on this, but if the fly line is a 7 or 8 wt (long taper like the XLT) line my butt section will usually be 20# Maxima.

8-9 lines (more wt forward) will be 25# Maxima. 10 and up will be 30# Maxima for the butt section.

(As you've guessed on this many of us use straight maxima main line for our leader material(s). The 'stiffness' of the line is really helpfull in rolling over/out larger/heavier flys. This makes a huge difference if you're using a multi fly set up. Regular leader material is 'too soft' for the trailing fly and will easily allow it to roll up/wrap around the leader material leading down to the top fly. Steelhead don't seem to be too leader adverse (I've proven this to be wrong when the fish are in an area where they're getting pounded or at high sun mid day. There I may change my tippet section to 'regular' leader material as it will have a smaller diameter for a given line test.

Over all I pretty much stick to the old 20-20-60 formula for 'regular leaders' out to about 12 foot. Beyond this I'll go to a 20-20-20-40 so the leader has more of a step down to the tippet material.
fae
 

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Above you've got a 5 step leader going to an

8/9 wt line. So I'd start with a run of 25# to 20# to 15# to 12# to the 8-10# tippet. Again, all this (for me anyway) would be Maxima main line material.

For a 8wt line I'd do 20# to 17# to 15# to 12# to tippet material.

fae
 

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Fred, I'm looking at your leader recipe for a spey rig and a question come to mind based upon a lack of knowledge of things spey. The leaders you are recomending are lighter in the butt and have a longer tippet section than I'm used to for single handed rods. What is the reasoning behind this?
 

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Gad, John almost missed your question.

Speaking for myself only on this one. I've found that unless your fly is a 'feather brick,' very heavy leader 'step-downs' have some disadvantages. The 'fatter' leaders give water pressure a better 'hold' on the leader and tend to push the fly up out of the water colum (keep it from going deep and staying there).

A heavy butt section, after a certain point, doesn't seem to add much to fly turnover and I want to assure that if my leader gets 'stuck' under a rock that it's a lighter "test" than the internal material in the fly line. (That 'stupid pet trick' cost me a $75 fly line once, so I guess I'm gun shy.)

As a lot of our fishing, even in the winter is dry line work, a lighter leader set up (and usually at 15' or more in length) seems to hit the water more gently. More 'delicate presentation' if you will.

May be all wet on the above but that's how the 'old guy' who taught me to fish did it. And as someone said: "Truth is told to you by someone you trust."
fae
 

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Thanks Fred, thats a different way of solving similiar problems. Its worthy of more thought & some experiments. And the pet rock trick :whoa:.
 

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Old reliable formula

After many years, I still subscribe to the old formula of A. J. McLane (I think that was his name), and I find 'em useful for both one and two handed rods. Simple formula -
60% butt
20% tape
20% tippet.

Pick the length you want based on conditions.

Butt should start out at ~ 2/3 the diameter of your line at the "point" - normally somewhere between 0.025 to 0.020 inch.

(Invest in a micrometer, guys!)

I use as few diameters as I can to get by with. Now, my leaders are 3 to 4 "lengths" of varying diameters long, as I don't believe in "perfuming the goat".....

Turns over the casts well, and I don't get break-offs on the leaders - usually on the leader-to-hook connection occasionally when I screw up!

BobK
 

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mjyp, you're right. But...

A level leader would be the best of all possible worlds (with the exception of the chance of losing the whole leader if a fish breaks the wrong knot.)

You would need a leader "point" of some other diameter to accommodate leader shy fish, a certain size hook, etc. Changing a tippet ends up being a lot easier.

Depending on which rod I use, I use leaders tied from 3 sections (occasionally 4, but rarely.) This way, I have minimum knots to break, and tippet change is easy for changing conditions.
It seems to work 99% of the time.

BTW, I have used 2 section leaders when bass bugging, and they work very well, too.

Not perfection, but close. (Of course, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!)

:hehe:

BobK
 
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