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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know what type of leader you use for skating dry flies with a switch rod. I heard something about a short straight leader, whatever that is. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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The Dude abides
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I think there is a ton of wiggle room here. I go between skating and fishing a wet fly in the summer, so to make life easy i skate on the same setup as i fish my wet fly. I have maybe a 12ft leader tapered to 1 or 0x, or maybe they make specific ones. then add 8 or 10lb maxima to make the leader about a rod and a quarter or rod and a half's length. mines about 16to 18ft so i can also sink my wet flies. im shooting a scandi head, then just mono leader, no poly tips or dodads. I assume you could fish any length leader you want, but in all fishing i have ever done, the longest (and lightest) you can successfully do the job with is the best.

but if someone says "short and straight" they mean not tapered, just a piece of 10lb mono 4-6 ft long i'd assume.
 

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because of the wind resistance of the skaters i throw, i like a tapered leader 1.25 x rod for scandi, just rod length or less for short-mid bellys. same 10# maxima i'd throw w/ wets. cant imagine a level leader would be very pretty. i've been trying some skating tubes lately, and i'm completely sold. cant wait to skate them over some steelhead !!
 

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JD
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I'll most likely ruffle some feathers here, but,,,,

I see absolutely no benefit to using poly leaders on a two hand rod. Like said, same tapered mono leader works very well for both skating and wet fly presentations. Try skating a riffle hitched fly on one of those poly leaders and it will be the last time you ever try that! BTDT So, you can stuff your leader wallet with floating, hover & intermediate ply leaders, waste a lot of time (& $$$) switching them out, or just fish all day with the same tapered mono leader.
 

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I don't use poly leaders, just old school, 20#-15#-12#-10# tip or 8# in low clear water conditions. My leaders tend to be 12' on my big rods and 10' on my switch. All depends on water conditions and clarity.
 

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I see absolutely no benefit to using poly leaders on a two hand rod. Like said, same tapered mono leader works very well for both skating and wet fly presentations. Try skating a riffle hitched fly on one of those poly leaders and it will be the last time you ever try that! BTDT So, you can stuff your leader wallet with floating, hover & intermediate ply leaders, waste a lot of time (& $$$) switching them out, or just fish all day with the same tapered mono leader.
What didn't work with the riffle hitch? Personally, I prefer the floating (or even intermediate) polys for skating, but to each their own.
 

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So the intermediate leader does not sink the fly? If that is the case that seems like it would be the perfect leader if you want to be able to go back and forth between wakers and wets.
 

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In my experience, the intermediate poly's work fine for skating. They'll go under the surface here and there but I don't really mind, I've caught fish that way.
 

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JD
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intermediate poly leader vs. the KISS system

I never said it wouldn't sink the fly. What I was getting at was if fishing a surface fly, then a well designed mono leader will do just fine. If you want extra assurance that your fly will stay afloat, you can always grease the mono leader. If you want to fish in the surface film, or just below the surface, you can do that too. Just don't grease the mono leader. If you want to get down a little more, a weighted fly will pull a mono leader under. Add more weight, or go lighter on the mono to sink deeper quicker. Or start with the sink tips.

On the other hand, if you have nothing better to do than waste your time on the river playing around with different poly leaders, then go ahead. I gave up on that when I discovered the KISS system worked just as well.
 

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not fo skating, but i do prefer a slo sink poly to anchor the leader and fly in the wind, after the cast, thanks to more neccessary mending, otherwise, i follow JD's rule with mono. weoghted flies in the rotation, too. for sure mono if i only threw one. i also have skated w/ intermediate, but only for expedience right at dusk ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
David1123

I'm from the Midwest, Most people around here never heard of a spey rod, except me. There's no way I could know what the KISS system is. All the information I get is online.
 

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FUBAR, ASAP, KISS (keep it simple stupid) get spools of maxima ultragreen in 30#down to 10# and you can build alot of leaders. search leader formula and you will see. i start with 25# for light lines. call red shed, one stop shopping. poppy will hook you up. fast, cheap, same day shipping. you will want him on speed dial.
 

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808, could you share the formula you would use for, say, a 13' 7 wt. I've noticed more than a few guys like to use Chamleon for a butt section. Or do you use it for more than just one section? Thanks.
 

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Ok, try the formula below. Not an exact science, but works for me:

Butt/Mid section, #40 to #15, Maxima Chameleon

#40 - 4'
#30 - 3'
#25 - 1'
#20 - 1'
#15 - 1'
Tie perfection loops on each end of this Butt/Mid section

Tippet section (Summer), #12 to #8, Maxima Ultragreen

#12 - 6"
#10 - 6"
#8 - 3'
Tie a perfection loop on the #12 section

Tippet section (winter), #12 to #10, Maxima Ultragree

#12 - 1'
#10- 3'
Tie a perfection loop on #12 section.

With the setup above, you can easily change out your tippet sections by looping them on/off. The Butt/Mid section will last at least a season or two.

Have fun,

Todd
 
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