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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 21st, 2019, 9:16 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 4th, 2007, 12:00 am
Posts: 131
Looking at the original question, it's hard to imagine going too wrong with a 9 ft leader tapered to 5x.


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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 21st, 2019, 10:40 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2232
Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
KISS - I deal with tedious minutiae for a living 40 hrs a week, so the last thing I care to do is take it into the woods with me - my approach is to fish a knotless, FC leader, tapered to 5x, about as long as my rod, nail knotted to my line - on relatively small, shallow streams with lots of broken & pocket water, that will serve you as well as a fancy rig - if you're dead set on complicating your fishing, concentrate on your presentations & where & when you fish...and...the amount of time and effort you save by not doing all the switching, fussing, snagging and de-trashing your nymphs will allow you to fish productively for more of the day - but, I'd say the most important thing is to figure out an approach that makes you happy and stick with it - Tight Lines!

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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2019, 9:20 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5359
Location: Manchester, ME
I (mostly) pre-tie my own leaders, in three basic varieties. When I buy leaders, I really like the hand tied leaders at Two Rivers in Medway. They are cheap, too.

(1) Short, heavy butt, quick tapered leader, 5' 2x. Use these on the rare occasions when I decide I'll be exclusively nymphing. Rig by adding a long tippet--as long as 6 feet or more, depending on water depth--and a right angle indicator rig. I tie 3 of these for the season, and think I only put one on last year.
(2) Medium butt, medium length. Base leader is 7-8' 4x, with about a 1 foot tippet. This is fine for fishing streamers or larger wets as is. If I am fishing smaller wets, dries, or nymphs, I'll add lighter tippet to extend the tippet section to 2' or more, depending.
(3) Medium butt, 10 feet, Harvey dry fly taper. Exclusive leader for dry fly fishing on larger rivers. Can be adapted to wets or nymphs, but really isn't right for them. Great leader for pond fishing with either dries or wets on floating line. Tie them at 4X and 5x, with 24-36" tippets, and will add lighter tippet and length as necessary. If I go down to 5x, cut the tippet at 12" and add 2 feet of 5X. if that is not light enough, I cut the 5x at a foot and add 2 feet of 6X. At that point I'm fishing 11-12 foot leaders. Not for small streams or short/light rods.


And I do not pre-tie leaders for sinking or sink tip lines for streamer fishing. Just use 2-4 feet of 2X-4X depending on fly and fish size. I have never observed fish to be leader shy about streamers on sinking line, and the short leaders are far easier to control with heavy weighted flies, and better to keep the fly at the depth/zone you want it.


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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2019, 12:06 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4172
Location: Ellsworth
This has been a very interesting thread. I suppose whatever works for you is what you should use. Everything from a 10’ piece of 4X tied to the line.......which for the life of me I can’t imagine you’d get any leader turnover whatsoever......but if it works for you, go for it.

I will say, however, that a friend of mine saw me tying up my hand tied knotted leaders and asked me why I did that.........what with knotless extruded leaders so available.

I tied him up a couple........and he was so impressed that he now asks me every trip West to tie him up a few. The performance gain is that big. Another friend of mine re-ties his hand tied knottedleader every day........he feels he gets that big an advantage by doing that........and, let me tell you, he catches an absolute ####load of trout, fwiw.

As I wrote above........whatever works for you, go for it.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2019, 12:13 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2357
Location: Lyons, CO
On my primary 5 wt reel, I fish a pretty crummy leader and I don't worry about it too much, as long as it's long enough and light enough for conditions. This is the same way I cook -- I have a general plan and proportions in mind, but I'm not usually following a recipe very exactly and the results are usually pretty good. I use the same reel on a 7.5 ft cane rod and an 8.5 foot graphite rod. You should understand that I'm not one of these guys who has the nymphing game truly dialed in and I change between stuff approaches a bunch without changing leaders, so my leader choice is similarly generic, which it sounds like you want to do as well.

I usually start with a new 7.5' 3X or 9' 4X leader, but with fly changes and such, I'm really just using the back 4 or 5 feet of a tapered leader, then 2 feet of 1X or 0X, then 2-3 feet of 3x out to about 8 or 9 feet. If I'm fishing a streamer or hopper, I end right there. If I'm nymphing, I'd tie my big heavy weighted fly (like a size 8 stone) right there sometimes, and then add 4x fluoro down to my bottom fly. Or if not fishing the big fly, I'd add 2 feet of 4x down to my first fly (say a size 16 heavily weighted stonefly). I'm at about 10-11 feet total to the first fly, which could be a big dry for dry-dropper or a nymph. I'm just retipping this leader all season long, fishing dries, nymphs, whatever. If fishing some teeny tiny dry to picky fish, maybe I go another 2 feet of 5X or 6X out to 12 or 13 feet total. Yes, that's a lot of leader and tippet to cast, but I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point trying to eke out a fish or two. I buy a new leader about once a year, when the spirit moves me. I try not to change more than 2 sizes at a time, e.g. 3X to 4X to 6X.

I'm most commonly working about 10 feet total length to the first fly, ending in 4X.

On my 7wt streamer rod, I'm usually just fishing 4-6 feet of 1X on a sink tip with lightly weighted streamers. Occasionally, I'll lengthen out a little or fish double streamer (but no more than 2 hooks at a time). I've seen pretty rare conditions where that longer leader made a difference, usually when the streamer bite is slow and fishing smaller streamers seems to be the ticket.


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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2019, 2:12 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 1st, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 675
all very good stuff guys ..very useful !!

thanks !


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 Post subject: Re: generic leader ??
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2019, 10:07 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 1st, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 675
so I decided on a set of maxima leaders one 7-1/2 ft to 4x and 0ne 9-1/2 ft to 4x they start out commelien (brown) ?? and end with the tippet being green and then i got what equates to 4,5,6,7 X spools in the green.

again thanks for all the input guys


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