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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steelhead swinging question: What is the most effective length for a leader? The fly does not know if it is being cast by a spey or single hand rod. The important thing is to turn the fly over and then CONTROL the swimming action of the fly in a swing presentation. My question relates to the length of the leader and the control of the fly as you present. Can you control the fly with a longer leader say 14' or 15' verse a shorter leader around 8'? Maybe the spey community is using to long of leaders and not controlling the the swimming action of the fly effectively? Just a thought.

Klem,.....................................:::::::::::::::::::::::>
(wished all my loops looked this good!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rod length determines leader length?

Rob,
The question is really aimed at controlling the fly by leader length. Who decided that the rod length determines the length of the leader? We use very short leaders when getting the fly to stay down with a sink tip. Why did the long-rodders turn to long leaders and lose control of the fly when swinging? Open for debate is the following statement. A leader over 8' is makes controlling the fly harder. Side note: exception - underhand style casting uses longer leaders as an anchor which was developed out of a particular fishing condition.
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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3,057 Posts
Why did the long-rodders turn to long leaders and lose control of the fly when swinging
I do not think that is true. When swinging you should always be in contact with the fly and I have never found leader length to be a limiting factor. In any swing situation the leader should be tight to the fly. Using 8' over a 15' has never been much of a problem for me. I like 15' foot leaders for the fact it gets my fly line further from the fly which in summer skinny water can provide a little more stealth. I fish 15' leaders on my longer rods because I can control that amount of line with a spey rod which is why I use it in the first place. Long casts and long leaders on 9' rods would be more difficult to control than with a 15 footer.

Functionally it does help provide some stick to have a longer leader. My thinking on sink tips is the heaver dense tip of the sinktip splashing down makes up for the lack of stick provided by a long leader.

And like you said with the scando guys. Some of those leaders are 25' long.


-sean
 

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JD
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fly control

roballen said:
leader the length of the rod for a floating line....
I have to agree with Rob.

A 15ft leader is no more difficult for a 15ft rod to control than a 9ft leader is for a 9ft rod. Since I have not found 15 ft tapered leaders to be real common in the fly shops around here, I build my own.

For the cast, too short a leader tends to pull the anchor. Keep in mind that if you are trying to throw a boat anchor that is more lead than feathers, it ain't gonna' be pretty. And it should also go without saying, you can't expect to throw half an animal from 6 lb tippet.:eek: But you would be surprised how quickly a sparsely dressed fly will sink on a slack line (leader).

Once the fly is on the water, fly control equals line control. And that includes the leader. Mono has less drag than fat fly line. Skater/wakers, greased line/surface film presentations, no problem. For sunk fly presentations, some prefer a floating line/long leader. Others prefer a sink tip/short leader. Depends on the water, what you are trying to do, and a bit of personal preference.
 
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