Jump to content

Commercial Leaders - Do You Use Them?


Recommended Posts

I'd love to know who uses commercial leaders, who makes their own, and who just wings it? Me, I've pretty much given up on 9 or 7.5 foot commercial leaders. I can never get them to completely unfurl, especially on smaller bodies of water where nine feet is the majority of the length of the cast. Also, the longer leaders suck in the wind.

Lately, I've just been tying a piece of either 3x, 4x, or 5x (depending on the water) in a 3-4 foot section onto my fly line loop, then tying on a tippet of 6x fluorocarbon. I've tried using 7x tippet, but it's just too thin, or I'm not that gentle.

So guys, how do you rig up?

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small water nymphing, like on wild trout creeks around here -- on my 3 wt I just go with about 5 feet of straight 3 or 4x mono tied directly to fly-line loop and then maybe 18 inches of usually 5x, and less often with 6x fluoro tippet. You are right, 7x is a waste of time.

I still buy leaders for heavier rig ups. Really need the stiff butt sections to help it turn over if you're going to be doing longer casts like with streamers, or heavier nymph rigs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have rarely used 7x on my line. 6x fluro has almost always worked for me in the trout parks. I use 4x or 5x on the other waters. I use the commercial leaders when I am dry fly fishing, but do what is mentioned above for nymphing and streamer fishing. For bass stuff it is just 5 feet of 8-10lb mono....no real taper involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont worry about turnover because I cant cast anyway. I start with 5 feet of 4x tied to 5 feet of 5x tied to 5 feet of 7x. I fish in close and rarely have the fly line touching the water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as I thought....LOL. So all that darn book-learnin' about leaders, twice the depth, etc...ain't helped me a bit with this fishing, :secret-laugh:

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leaders come in many styles and sizes based on what you are fishing and what you are fishing for. The term "turning over" has to do with how a dry fly lands on the water, preferably wings up. Nymphs and streamers do not matter.

A leader tapers the line down in size from the casting line to the terminal tippet, making a smoother cast. It also serves to get the fly away from the highly visible fly line. Longer tippets for shy fish in big water, shorter for nymphs. You can even buy sinking leaders to get streamers and other underwater flies down faster.

I use tapered mono leaders and braided leaders in the 7.5 ft range for the most part. Heavier X sizes for bigger flies, smaller X sizes for the small flies. With any leader, I use a tippet section. Tippet sections are the disposable part of the line system that gets shorter as you change flies. It is cheaper than leaders and keeps you from trimming them down.

Tapered leaders are a length of mono drawn down from one thickness to a smaller thickness. They are smooth and do not catch moss.

Knotted leaders are various lengths of mono of various thickness tied with knots from thick to thin. The knots catch moss, but you can get varied performance from them by tweaking the lengths of the different sections.

Braided leaders or furled leaders are woven lengths of mono that usually taper like the others. The weave seems to take some of the shock of playing and hooking a fish. They don't have a problem with moss.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I use the store bought leaders but I use them for butt sections only by cutting them down and adding a perfection loop. For my bass rods I'll sometimes use the bass leaders and do the same with the loop but a lenght of appropiately sized maxima works just fine. it's just a matter of balancing length and stiffness.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used everything but clothesline over the decades and honestly there are variables, IMO, that dictate what's best. For warm water I think furled, homemade twisted or jig made work real well. The bulk of them helps turn over heavy or wind resistant flies. For pocket water what you're using is probably fine if it works for you. For spooky fish requiring long leaders, 12'-15', I still like the good commercials. Not all commercials are equal however, and at this time I tend to lean toward Rio's.

A big mistake often made is to match the tippet to the water rather than the fly. That is the the biggest key to a good turnover in my opinion.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't try to build my own. Almost all of my fly fishing is for trout using nymphs or dry flies. For basic mono tapered leaders, I typically buy 7.5' 5x leaders and use tippet to turn into more of a 9' leader. As I get tangles and change tippet, I use 5x, 4x and eventually 3x to replace butt section that is lost before I eventually replace with new.

I have also used 5' furled leaders and like them. Another product that I really liked was a 5' airflo light trout polyleader (http://www.rajeffsports.com/polyleaders.php) . To either of these, I add 5x or smaller tippet.

Regarding peoples comments on 7x, I use 7x fluoro tippet quite often to my bottom fly and have good results. As long I am gentle on the hookset, I don't have much issue with breakoffs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.