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chrome-magnon man
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I've used tapered leaders for years with floating line speys, but I have noticed that level leaders seem popular in the UK. A good friend recently explained that level leaders work better for spey casts as they promote a better anchor, whereas tapered leaders are superior for overhead casting where turnover at distance is the objective (I dont think it matters much on sinking or sink tip lines since the leaders are so short). I've been experimenting with level leaders, and I'm not sure if I notice a big difference when it comes to both anchor and turnover quality, although a spool of good leader material will last you a lot longer than a tapered leader setup. I'd be interested to hear what others think of level vs tapered leaders when it comes to spey casting.
 

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Dana, When it comes to fishing I like to make it as simple as possible so the idea of a level leader has a lot of appeal to me however in the summer when I am fishing a floating line my leader is the length of my rod, so we are talking at least 13 feet. I also know that if my tippet is too long ( 8lb maxima) flies fail to turn over so I have a hard time believing that a 13 foot piece of 8lb maxima would turn over at all. So i'll stick with a tapered leader..
Also while fishng tips i have found that using a tapered leader makes leader material last much much longer!. If you use just a straight piece of mono then throw it down into the rocks you are very likely to lose the whole leader instead of just the tippet, My winter leaders are 3-4 feet long consisting of a 30lb butt 20lb and 15lb mid and 12 inches of 12lb.. All maxima. believe me it saves it saves a lot of tippet material..
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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KISS

I buy the Rio 15' Steelhead/Salmon leaders by the dozens...they are incredibly strong (hold up to wind knots!), turnover very well and are pretty inexpensive.

IMHO the best route to go for floating line leaders for Spey work.
 

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When i started spey casting i used straight leaders after reading Hugh Falkus "Salmon Fishing" but now i am with Ryan and buy the Rio 15' tapered leaders. The tapered leaders turn over great and if my memory serves me right the straight leader was a little tough to turn over, but then i am not the best spey caster on the river and i was just learning how to spey cast.
roballen you make a good point about fishing 3-4' leaders and you are right, if you do foul up in the rocks the leader will break at the weakest point which should be your knot to the fly line and you lose all the leader, your tapered leader makes a lot of good sense. tight lines,brian
 

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leaders

i have switched to the airflo polyleaders when i use a floating line .i use the 10ft floating and tie on 2ft of level tippet at the end. seems to turn over fine. i must have liked it because i did not switch back and finished the season with it. beau
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Dana -

I recently worked my butt off for a grab on a deep-frozen early winter steelie trip and after a heart-pounding tussle stripped in half my leader. I was using a straight length of maxima #15, and have to assume that I had a wind knot in my leader at the point of failure based on the tell-tale "j" shape at the end of my shortened leader.

I believe the knot was introduced while trying left-sided, reversed, and other casts the day before. I hooked the fish first thing in the morning at the first pool, and had not inspected the leader through it's full length.

While casting, I could not tell a difference between a 60/20/20 leader and the straight shot, so I believe spey casts are not impaired - but I am beginning to wonder if the 40#-30#-25#-20#-15#-etc progression would have provided a bit more meat in that windknot and thus allowed me to land that brawling steelhead?

Of course if I had no windknot... :rolleyes:
 

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I too....

I too live in the Great Lakes region, and our rivers tend to be smaller, with deeper pockets and pools in most areas. Most wouldn't think of using a spey rod, but I prefer using one because I can cover water and increase my drifts. I tie all of my own leaders, which allow me to customize it to my liking. I use alot of floating line and sink tip methods, but usually resort to indicator nymphing methods since our streams/rivers are set up for it. Below are some of my favorite setups that turn over very well on the mid to fast action speys I use. My leaders are usually 12' - 15' when using floating lines and 3' - 6' when using sink tip methods. A friend has suggested another indicator that works great on rivers here in the Great Lakes, but it is made specifically for indicators/splitshot and turns over well...I will leave that one out!:D Currently, I use these setups on aTrident TL 12'6" 7wt, Trident TL 12' 8wt, and on a Trident 14' 9wt(tip flex 12.0)....

SETUP:

Floating Line:

*6' 20lb maxima chameleon
*4'- 4.5' 12lb maxima ultra green
*3' 8lb maxima ultra green
*2.5' 6lb maxima ultra green(optional, I prefer to go straight to my tippet from 8lb maxima therfore keeping it simpler and is one less pivot point on my line)

***Make sure that when doing this leader you keep your tippet incruments short(less than 4') or it will be very hard to turnover in the wind.:D

Sink Tip:

* 2.5' 12lb maxima ultra green(with loop)
* 2'-4' 8lb maxima ultra green/flouro

The simplier, the better....on our Great Lakes rivers this works great. Turnsover well, yet sinks quickly since the diamters of the leader setup are smaller!:D:D

Hope this helps, I cannot do much due to the fact that I never have left the Great Lakes steelhead madness!
 

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Peter,

While I find little need to get a quick sink of a fly while steelheading as I don't dead-drift, I do think you will notice a significant improvement of your ability to "get down" with a level leader.

I do a lot of chironomid fishing for trout in lakes, sometimes in water as deep as 25-30'. I use floating lines, long leaders and lightly weighted flies, so sink rates are important. After much experimentation we have found that 25' of level 5lb fluoro will hit bottom in about 1/2 the time it takes a leader with the traditional 16' tapered section with 2 extended tippet sections to do the same. In addition to this, the tapered leader will require at least 30' of length to hit bottom (due to increased water resistance).

Sure, the 25' leader does not turn over well and the line tends to land in a pile, but this in fact aids the quick and more vertical sink. I think the same principle will work for your application in the GL type rivers. For me, I still want my floating steelhead lines to turn the fly over so I can start the fishing part of the swing ASAP - so I am still sticking with tapered leaders for my summer/fall dryline fishing.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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For floating line work, I use the RIO 15' tapered leaders and carry extra RIO steelhead tippet with me in 8.8 lb and 6.6 lb. I like the way they turn over so that I can have the fly working ASAP, just like Kush also said.

For sink tip work, I use short section (about 5 inches) of 40 lb Maxima nail knotted to the line tip that has a loop on the front of it. Then I loop a 6 inch piece of 25 lb Maxima to it, followed by an 18 inch seciton of 15 lb Maxima tied to the 25 lb. To this I add a 12 inch tippet of either RIO steelhead 13.2 lb, 10.5 lb, or 8.8 lb dependening on the time of year and the size of the fly I am using. During the winter I invariable use the 13.2 lb tippet with sunk line. And I don't change the tippet until I can no longer tie a fly to it. I use this slightly tapered leader with sunk line simply because when I hang up, I only lose the tippet instead of the whole leader.
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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My sinktip leader setups are simple as well...I played around with straight mono for a little bit but when hanging up, I would lose everything from just a few inches to all the section...I hate tying nail knots on the water...besides, a nailknot with 30# holds much better then a nailknot with 15#.

1.5' of 30# UG that ends in a perfection loop
1.5' of 20# UG that begins with a perfetion loop
1-3' of 8-12' UG depending upon condtions
 

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The floating Poly Leader with 4' of tippet has worked well for me all year--it turns over quite nicely.
 

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Most everyone seems to be fishing with 6-8lb tippet. Anyone out there fishing with stronger stuff? My homewaters are the Deschutes, Sandy, and Clack, and after breaking off several over the years, I've been fishing with 12-15 lb. tippet, summer and winter, and have never looked back. Am I missing something?

-debarb
 

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debard
As far as I'm concerned, your're missing nothing. My standard tippets are 10 to 12 lbs (sometimes 14). I've even gone to 18lb in Russia. It might be different in GL fishing, but I really don't think anadromous fish coming from salt are tippet shy. And to stick to the original post, my leaders are tapered.
bill
 

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deschutes

nothing. i used 10# maxima last 3 yrs. tried some new stufff the other day on an ore river with late summer runs. umpqua's new superflouro flourocarbon with green right side of label.only.012 ,same as10# maxima but 17# instead.did not need it that heavy but wanted to see if it would fool the fish and i will use it on rivers with big fish.dont need it that heavy there either, except for those rare times when a big fish may rub rock or something. any way it worked fine.hooked 4fish and had a couple other nudges in fairly clear water. will try it aqain. i like too experiment a lot. i usually try to keep it to leaders, flys, and hooks-not $700 rods and reels like the rest of you!!!!!
beau
 

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I use a standard tapered leader with the floating line, either assembled from Maxima or a off the shelf version. My favorite off the shelf brand was the Climax steelhead leaders which were available in a 15' version but haven't see them for a few years. Rio is alos good and I bought a couple Loop versions in BC this year.. I like their longer (17' I believe) length.

In low cold water conditions I'll sometimes use a flourcarbon leader and a floating line. I only use this material to acheive a greater sink rate for a sparse fly. This makes a difference in some of the slower runs that can kinda tank up in low water conditions. I use a standard 9 or 10' 0X leader and lengthen it by adding additional butt section material of about 4-6' to get a 14-15' leader. I've seen many extend standard-length leaders for use with two handed rods by extending the tippet end, which I think will collapse too easy... much better to extend the butt section methinks.

With sinktips I don't think there's too much difference. I typically tie in a few sections of Maxima tapering down to 8 to 12lb depending on conditions though wonder if it matters much.

Regarding losing tippet to snags... This is indeed is a consideration. Lost tippet means lost fishing time... the less re-rigging the better. My method is to simply make sure that the weakest knot in my leader is the knot that connects my fly to tippet. This way the leader breaks at the fly leaving a sufficient amount of material left to simply tie on another bug. Pull out the fly box and tie on another sacrificial offering... No fumbling with leader material and only one know to clip. A double turle knot on an up or down-eye hook ensures that the breaking point will be at the fly as it is weaker than the blood knot(s) further up the leader.... not to mention the facts that it is a much more elegant connection than any clinch or palomar knot and I can tie it with a minimum amount of tippet to conserve leader material.

pescaphile
 

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Dana, Simon, Jim Vincent

I would like to see Rio come out with a floating tip that is clear with a fixed loop on both ends to attach to the floating tip one or to replace the current floating tip one with.

With the loop at the business end we could attach tippet of whatever strength and length to fish the dry or intermediate fly that we are using.

I would pay $12 to $15 for this clear floating tip if it lasted for a season or two. It would make our life a lot easier.

In the meantime I mixed some advice from Bob Meiser. For dry flies, I add two feet of Maxima fourty pound to the thick end of the Rio 10' Bone Fish leader with a 13.2 pound tip. I put a perfection loop in the fishing end of the leader. Then I attach 2' to 6' of tippet for the fly. This works very well, and I have the same two leaders that I bought in October. At the end of the day, I just clip off the added tippet and roll the leader back up with the Maxima clipped off at the end of the tip one. This combo works well with all my spey rods and two of Bob's two handed rods.

It would be easier if Rio made interchangeable floating tips for our lines. ;)
 

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Gramps... floating tip?

How is your request different from the existing poly leaders currently offered by several manufactures? Seems you could add tippet to a floating polt leader and have what you're wishing for.

pescaphile
 

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pescaphile

RE Poly Leaders.

I haven't tried any in the past 2-3 years ago. However, I was very disappointed in the ones that I bought about 4 years ago. They just didn't hold up for me, and that was with single handed rods. I have some that are unused because of the problems and lost fish and flies.

Have they improved the quality or are they the same?

Also, do they make a 12 to 15' one?

Also, why doesn't Delta offer a perma loop on the fishing end, that would help in some of the problems I faced with them.
 
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