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how long a leader should one use with a spey rod . should it be as long as the rod, or dose it really matter.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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For my floating line I like the leader as long as the rod or a little longer. For sinktips type 3 and heavier about 3' or 4'.
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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For floating lines I like to use 14'- 20' for spey lines and above 20' for scandinavian shooting heads. The advantage on long leaders on the shooting heads was something I was not aware of before I met Gøran Andersson and tried his equipment with a 11,6 m shooting head and a 7 m leader. This give much smoother tournover on delicate fishing with floating lines, but the flyline has to be constructed to allow such a long leader, which many of my earlier lines was not.

Does it really matter? I had some shooting heads that was not very good on my rod with a 15' leader. Putting a 23' leader on the line and it was absolutely lovely to cast with. If a shooting head is adjusted to fit with a long leader it might not be very good with a shorter one on the same rod. The reason is that with a long leader more of the line weight will be able to load the road, because the leader is the only thing that anchors in the water. With a shorter leader it's nearly impossible to only anchor the leader.

For sinking lines I use from 2' - 10' leaders.
 

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I had the good fortune to take one of Simon's Workshop Classes.

I was having problems with a furled leader and a 14' rod and the GS 7/8. Simon had me take off the furled leader. Simon then tied a Rio 15' Steelhead Leader on the line. Then, we put a loop in the fishing end of the leader to loop the tippet on. The whole leader and tipper was about 17' long.

The difference was so positive and dramatic, I have never used anything but the Rio 15' Steelhead Leaders for dries, intemediate flies and skaters with all of my two handed rods. With my Sage 5120, I have a little problem getting the fishing end of the floating tip and the leader loop in past the rod tip. The rod is shorter and the eye at the end is small than my other rods.

If I use a furled leader for deeper water, I try to make it and the tippet about 15' long.

With sinking tips, I use the shortest tippet I can get by with. Years ago, I called Jim Teeny to ask him about the length of leader to use with his T series lines. The local fly shop had recommend 9' leaders. In clear water a standard non weighted steelhead fly sometimes could be seen floating up 5' to 9' above the tip the T line. :mad:

Fortunately, Lefty Krehl was visiting Jim and got on the speaker phone. Lefty advised me to use as short of a piece of tippet as I could get by with from 12" to 18" with any sinking tip. In clearer water 18" to 36". That was probably some of the shortest and best advise I have gotten in my recent fly fishing journey re fishing deep.

Lefty's advise works in our rivers for shad, trout, steelhead and salmon and also in the local Delta when fishing for Stripers with sinking tips or T14.
 

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My leaders would match MJC's. Rod length (13-16') for floating lines and 2-4' for sinking tips.

I use 6-10' leaders on the intermediate and Type 2 tips.

McIntyre has now piqued my interest in tryng leaders of the 20' mark and more :smokin:
 

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For you guys fishing long leaders, what kind (+ size, weight) of flies are you fishing? All summer I'm fishing mostly somewhat wind-resistant dry flies, and have some turnover problems if I'm shooting line. Yet the guys fishing shooting lines (underhand style fishing) are using the longest leaders.

So are you fishing flies that are weighted and not wind-resistant, and so turnover well even with a very long leader?

I guess the general question for the board is do you think leader length can depend on the type of fly being fished, as well as whether the line is floating or sinking?

--Bill
 

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McIntyre said:
For floating lines I like to use 14'- 20' for spey lines and above 20' for scandinavian shooting heads. The advantage on long leaders on the shooting heads was something I was not aware of before I met Gøran Andersson and tried his equipment with a 11,6 m shooting head and a 7 m leader. This give much smoother tournover on delicate fishing with floating lines, but the flyline has to be constructed to allow such a long leader, which many of my earlier lines was not..
Are your shooting head leaders made of mono , or are they a combination of a poly-leader and long mono tippet ?
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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197 Posts
foamyboatman said:
Are your shooting head leaders made of mono , or are they a combination of a poly-leader and long mono tippet ?
Mono only. But a good long butt section is necessary to allow tournover on bigger flies.

For the biggest tubeflies (10-15 cm) I have to reduce the length a little.
 
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