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Leader making

BooBooBooBoo Posts: 263 Deckhand
What is your preferred recipe for making your own leaders for inshore fishing? Or, do you prefer buying your tapered leaders? 


  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 421 Deckhand
    I like World Wide Sportsman 10' mono leaders in 16lb. Fairly inexpensive and work well with my 8 wt go to rod to fish Everglades National Park. I prefer tapered rather than knotted because there is a lot of floating grass. For reds snook and baby tarpon I tie a 6" Bimini Twist (use your toes!)in the end and then tie a perfection loop in the doubled  line and loop to loop my fluoro carbon bite tippet to that because on a good day I'm constantly cutting back tippet. This way the leader lasts until I do something stupid. If I'm fishing stealthy fish like bonefish I skip the Bimini Twist and blood knot 18" of 12-15lb flouro. Perfection loop in butt end as well ,to loop to loop to welded loop in flyline.Some people are bothered by the hinging effect but I'm ok with this set up.
  • BooBooBooBoo Posts: 263 Deckhand
    Good info! Thanks Troutbom!  
  • sunflowersunflower Posts: 745 Officer

    Just throwing this out there.
    99% of the questions I ever had about saltwater fishing are answered in this old book by Vic Dunaway.
    Available for almost nothing on Amazon.
    All forms of tackle, hooks, rigging, bait, tactics for fish, etc.
    It's not even a fly book (it won't tell you anything about flies).
    Excellent stuff on knots and leader.
    Might not have some of the new, super-fancy knots (yeah, I'm looking at you Slim Beauty)


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 421 Deckhand
    My bible in the 60's.

  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 737 Officer
    I use a simple leader system. First a Butt section that will be used mostly all season long, for 8, or 9# 5' of 40 or 50# mono attached to fly line. next 2.5 to 3' of 30# mono. attached with a Blood knot, then at end of this tie a non slip loop of your choice. You can fish this all season long, after a big fish I will retie the loop, or if it gets cut up on oysters or something you might have to rebuild. Then my tippets vary depending time of year, what I may catch. I tie tippet assembles, Tippet and shock and wrap them on old line spools, and mark tippet/shock size with a marker as follows 8-20, 8-30, 14-30, 14-40, 16-60. I use floro for all but the 16-60, that is only used for Tarpon, so it gets 16# Masons hard mono, improved blood knot to 60# floro. With this system it only take a minute to change to a fresh tippet, just un loop old one and loop on new after that Lady fish, or Snook chew it up. You can sit on couch with a beer and tie up the tippet assembles so you are always ready to fish while on water. I fish with some guys now and then that are never ready, they have to rig at the first fishing spot. All I do is laugh at them when I am fishing during the bite while they are rigging. They never learn. Works for me.
  • BooBooBooBoo Posts: 263 Deckhand
    “You can sit on couch with a beer and tie up the tippet assembles so you are always ready to fish while on water. “

    Now thats my my kind of preplanning!  
  • MissedMissed Posts: 747 Officer
    We used to tie leaders for trout fishing - blood knot city.  I'd probably go unit to uni or triple surgeon's now.

    Tapered leaders are a lot easier tho.
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 421 Deckhand
    Super D, you must be fishing with my friends when they are not on my boat!
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 895 Officer
    I keep it very simple - tapered leaders and tie on a tippet (albright knot). Except for my 11 W - typically use a straight shot of 50# florocarbon when going after large tarpon.

    Used to make leaders for FW (trout) doing the blood knot deal before tapered leaders became popular (+40 years ago).
  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 737 Officer
    Troutbom, it just makes no sense to me. Every time I go with someone the the plans are made sometimes weeks in advance. Still no one has ever been ready to fish at the first spot. Not just Fly guys, but conventional anglers. I tell all when Snook, or Lady fish are around to have a bite leader, and then they want me to show them how to tie it on at the first fishing spot. I will catch a few while explaining how to tie back to back Uni knots. And few ever make it to my house on time, that pisses me off. 
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 421 Deckhand
    Taking out newbies or people who should be better but arent makes me want to pull out what little hair I have left. I do it for good karma and old(real old) friendships. Happily, 2 of my good friends are guides and if theyre not rigged when I pole up to fish too bad! Surprisingly  , they are hardly ever rigged ! I suspect that , after having poled and rigged for clients for 5 days in a row, they are too beat to rig up for a 4:30 wake up. The older I get the more I like fishing alone. Hopefully some of the younger guys I taught to fish will pole me around when I get too old and feeble to go by myself. 
  • Icecat21Icecat21 Posts: 642 Officer
    edited July 2021 #13
    After looking into different leaders myself, I decided to try out one of the furled leaders. Looked it up online and made a jig and created a couple of my own. You can buy them premade also. I find they turn over great and last forever.
    I’ve caught pretty much everything using one,  including bonefish in gin clear water.
  • ClamfootClamfoot Posts: 59 Deckhand
    Reviving this old thread.

    So after reading this thread I looked up on the YouTube how to make furled leaders and found a vid that showed how to twist one up without a jig

    Sat down to watch the Field of Dreams game with a nice cocktail and spool of 30#, 20#, and 12# mono. the cheap stuff. 

    Last Friday, I thought I'd cast some flies at the dock lights at night on the North Indian River. So I looped on one of the 2x20 (twist), 1x20, blood knot to 12# and a short 20# bite tippet. 

    To my surprise that leader rolled out nicer than almost any other heavy leader I normally fish. OK, you've got my attention. 

    Later that night I hooked into Mr. Lineside Bigmouth and giggled as he wrapped that 2x20 twist around a barnacle studded dock pole. I sat there and waited 2-3 minutes until he ran out of leader to wrap around the pole and decided to swim in the other direction and unwind himself. Exhausted and confused, he happily swam to the boat to be unhooked. 

    I may be crazy, but I think the look on his face when I released him said what the heck? That busting off the leader on the dock pole trick always works. What are you using for a leader man? 

    I beat the heck out of that leader all night, bouncing it off docks, tossing it past poles and stripping back up current rubbing against them with fish on. Not one bust off come Saturday morning. It may be overkill for East Central mud fishing but I may be a mono furled leader guy now......

    The good Lord came to save liars and sinners, that’s why he started with 4 fishermen
  • Barney FifeBarney Fife Posts: 18 Deckhand
    So is there a general guideline you guys use for the butt to the flyline?   I've always just used 30 lb Ande mono on a 7wt, 40 on an 8 wt and 9 wt, and 50 above that (10 - 12).   Am I on the right track? I just always use Ande Mono for the butt. Is that OK?  Thanks. 
  • ClamfootClamfoot Posts: 59 Deckhand
    You are on the right track but I guess it depends on how happy you are with how the fly is turning over and landing? If it's working for you, use it

    Regular Ande fishing mono or Ande leader mono?

    If you don't like your like your loop or things are hinging and splashing down hard you can get progressively stiffer mono

    Fishing line = soft
    Ande Mono leader = a little stiffer
    Cortland leader = a little more stiff
    Masons hard mono = self explanatory

    Look at dia not just test.
    The dia of butt section should be 75% of the fly line tip dia. 
    Once you know dia of the tip of fly line pick the correct line from the above menu to taste. 
    Pick your tippet and once you know your tippet dia then split the difference to find the mid section dia.

    You can make this much more scientific but that's the general idea.

    FYI. For furled leaders I use regular fishing mono as noted.
    The good Lord came to save liars and sinners, that’s why he started with 4 fishermen
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,906 Captain

    Booboo - you're definitely on the right track... I've written about the way I set up my gear on more than one occasion -but I'll go through it again... I rig all of my fly lines the same way - with a permanently attached butt section as follows:

    7wt - 30lb mono (Ande Premium my usual choice) 3-4' long with a surgeon's loop at the bitter             end.

    8 and 9wts, 40lb mono - 4- 4 1/2' long

    10wt-  50lb mono, 5' long

    11 and 12wts, 60lb mono, 5 1/2 - 6' long

    These are all the first step in building a reasonable, rational quick change leader system.  The rest of the leader always has a surgeon's loop for a loop to loop connection - whether it's a simple "poor boy" leader (straight 20lb fluoro, about four feet for an 8 or 9wt setup and no bite tippet, mostly...), or a full bore IGFA legal class tippet with a bite tippet at the bitter end.  All of my class tippets are made out of Mason Hard mono (usually 20lb unless my angler is required by club rules to use something lighter - and each one with a fluoro bite tippet (some call them shock tippets...) as light as 30lb - but might range all the way up to 80lb if needed...

    NOTE:  I haven't fished bonefish in more than 10 years now - and day or night we're either in the Everglades or working around docklights or bridge shadows at night... Bonefish leaders setup differently since you're tossing small flies and need a very subtle presentation.... but that's a topic for another day... 

    Hope this helps...

    "Be a hero... take a kid fishing"

    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Barney FifeBarney Fife Posts: 18 Deckhand
    Thanks for that Captain LeMay.  That's what I've always used....Ande Premium for the butt section.  I'm an old man and just worry that I'm not "keeping up with the times" and that there are new and better things out there. might not remember this...but I live over in Alabama (Fairhope) and you were kind enough to call me about catching the migratory tarpon along the beach on fly.  I really appreciated that!  I still haven't cracked that nut but we have found resident, baby tarpon is our local creeks and that's a blast.  Thanks again for your input Bob. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,906 Captain
    Glad to belp
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Barney FifeBarney Fife Posts: 18 Deckhand
    You're the man! 

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