tying your own leaders
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  1. #1
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    tying your own leaders

    Any advice for reddish leaders. Pre mades are expensive.length,test ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lemaymiami's Avatar
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    For reds I use a very simple "poor boy" leader. All of my fly lines have butt section permanently attached to the fly line, about four feet of 40lb Ande for an 8wt, 3.5' of 30lb for a 7wt, 4 to 4.5 feet of 40lb for a 9wt, and so forth (when I get up to a 10wt it's 50lb and 5ft, the 60lb and 6 ft for an 11 or 12 wt. With that butt section already in place I use a surgeon's loop on the bitter end so that every leader is a quick change proposition. For reds it's usually just a four or five foot piece of 20lb fluorocarbon tied directly to the fly. If we're working up into heavy mangrove cover I'll occasionally go up to 30lb fluoro, for really shallow clear water with very spooky fish I'll drop down to 15lb fluoro....

    The "poor boy" is as simple as it gets. If you need a shock tippet you have two choices - the first is just to add a short piece of slightly heavier fluoro (I like a Slim Beauty knot for that purpose but a blood or double surgeon's knot will also work - although they're not as strong...). The second choice is just to un-loop your section of fluoro leader and replace it with whatever quick change leader you want (this is just what we do if we encounter big tarpon (big is relative, a 30 to 40lb tarpon is a monster on an 8wt.... for a 10wt that same fish is easy pickings....).

    Hope this helps, call me if you have questions.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666

  3. #3
    Senior Member Permit Rat's Avatar
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    I do almost exactly the same as Bob, except that for my 7-9 wt. rods, I carry my leader butts one step further and blood knot in the first step-down taper.....then make my surgeon's loop. (40 > 30 lb.; 30 > 25 lb., etc.) For me the big advantage is a savings in time, as I have less to do when making the rest of the leader. Especially with the 7 and 8 wts., there is no way the class tippet will ever come close to the breaking strength of my 30 or 25 lb. second sections, so I am not worried about fatigue.....I check my leader butts often, but even after 2 years, since I do not use a 7 wt. for snook or reds near mangroves and so chafing is not a problem.

    I change my permanent leader butts after 2 seasons, regardless. If you fish in and around docks and mangroves, you might have to do it sooner.

  4. #4
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    So I can just go from the 4 feet of 40lb strait to the 20lb fluoro then the fly.do I use a loop knot to attach the actual fly?does it matter what color/brand of mono? I'm guessing clear.thanks Rob

  5. #5
    Senior Member acesover's Avatar
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    I use the Rio saltwater leader material or Mason, it's stiffer than regular mono and turns the fly over easier for me, but that's just me. My casting stroke has been described as looking like an old lady trying to kill a bee with a broomhandle.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dogman's Avatar
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    I tie up my own but I use instructions I found at http://www.medflycom.org/foto/LG_TwistedLeader.pdf they work pretty well
    2013 Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 (Sand) - His
    2010 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 (Mango) - Hers
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  7. #7
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    Rookiemistake,

    yes 40, then 20 then a non slip loop knot or what ever loop knot you want, now if you want to get a tapered leader that goes from thick to skinny diameter, then I think this video is helpful:



    Good luck,

    Felipe

  8. #8
    Senior Member lemaymiami's Avatar
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    For Rookie... I'd say that Ande mono in clear is pretty much the standard for leader butts, and these days most that I know just use fluoro for straight leaders. If you're building tapered leaders then, once again stick to Ande. The one thing you don't want to do if you're building a tapered leader (bonefish, permit leaders come to mind...) is to use different brands of mono since none of them have the same stiffness (or flexibility, depending on how you look at it). By the way, I was taught to select leader butt material by comparing it to the end portion of your fly line itself... What you're looking for is butt material that flexes as close as possible to the fly line....

    Now to really confuse you.... if you build tarpon leaders you'll quickly begin using Mason hard mono for tippets. The mason has a bit larger diameter for a given size and is a bit stiffer than ordinary mono.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666

  9. #9
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    My standard leader for floating 8wt lines is 4 feet of 30# Hard Mason mono butt section, 3 feet 20# Hard Mason mono mid section and 2+ feet of 10# fluorocarbon tippet. Bite tippets are added if needed. I use Albright knots for connecting the sections. I use a loop to loop connection for fly line to leader with a perfection loop in the leader and a double nail knot loop in the fly line.

    For sink tip lines, I use 6 feet of 20# fluorocarbon with a 2 foot 12# tippet.

  10. #10
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    Rookie,

    About the only time I used bought leaders is for bones. For them, I buy the longest tapered leader I can find which is usually labeled for Permit and is 9'.

    The tippet end is strong enough and thick enough that I can add another length of fluoro tippet. The reason I use them is because I then have only one knot to pick up grass - especially that super annoying bay grass.

    Aside from that, I am not very picky about leaders.

    Cheers,
    Jim
    Last edited by clampman; 07-25-2012 at 10:07 PM.

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