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Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:31 pm
by blackdirtfly
I've been thinking about tying my own leaders. Does anyone here make their own and what is their favorite formula for Dry fly fishing? Thanks John

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:53 pm
by ted patlen
what size river? type of river? size of fly? length of rod?

for example I have used ties with rods 6' long with 5 foot tippets and 11 ft long with 18' leaders...and just about everything in between..

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:41 pm
by Eperous
Well, far be it from me to question Mr. Patlen... duly noted, I've been flyfishing for trout over half-a-century now... and making my own leaders for close to 80% of that time... one of the best reads I had on this topic was Al McClane's book, The Practical Fly Fisherman--- Chapter IV... I believe McClane recommended something along the lines of a 60-20-20 formula for trout leaders... 60% butt, 20% step-down, and 20% tippet....

I've also embraced Left Kreh's concept about a loop-to-loop connection between the tippet, and leader step-down section... I tie all my tippets at home, before ever going anywhere near any trout water...

That said, for many long years I've used Maxima leader material for my butt and step-down section... in freestone streams, while nymphing, I also utilize Maxima, or sometimes fluorocarbon, while fishing submerged flies...

Maxima also works fine for me for dry flies, down to 4X and 5X on freestone, rough and tumble waters... in Catskill tailwaters, when offering trout flies 18 to 24, I drop down to a more subtle soft, other than Maxima, 6X or 7X tippet, that allows the tiny dry "to swim" about freely...

Great topic, not a not-size-fits-all answer... I'm sure their are lots of opinions.... during warm summer months, my dry-fly leader is probably 12 feet, or much longer... while nymphing cold water in early spring and late autumn, my leader is nine feet, or less...

Start constructing a few trout leaders, now is the time... ;)

Ed

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:50 pm
by ted patlen
hey ed...you and anyone else can question me...I'm used to it being married for 45 years...

You did say that you like the 60 - 20 - 20 formula and I kinda think of that. I don't make my own leaders because I dislike all the knots but still carry 0 through 8 x tippets to rebuild.

I guess my tippet section for dries will be much more than 20%. ...so too guess lets say 60-10-30. I like lllooonnnggg tippets. like you said it makes the fly float more like the natural

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:28 pm
by Eperous
ted patlen wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:50 pm
hey ed...you and anyone else can question me...I'm used to it being married for 45 years...

You did say that you like the 60 - 20 - 20 formula and I kinda think of that. I don't make my own leaders because I dislike all the knots but still carry 0 through 8 x tippets to rebuild.

I guess my tippet section for dries will be much more than 20%. ...so too guess lets say 60-10-30. I like lllooonnnggg tippets. like you said it makes the fly float more like the natural
So Ted... I've been married for 49 years and my wife is a true SAINT, going directly to heaven after she passes, having put up with me all these years...

Yes, 60-20-20 is a GENERAL guideline that I go by, but modify often especially on either end of the general spectrum of fishing.... shorter leaders for colder water angling very early and very late (post-October) angling.... plus longer leaders for thin low water, summer angling...

Typically knotted leaders are NOT an issue for me, EXCEPT when I fish the West Branch of the Delaware below Cannonsville during late summer months, when green moss is being released from the dam outlet... then, I curse my knotted leader and the moss....

As I tried to imply, not a one-size-fits-all question/answer... almost like asking what one trout pattern would one use all year long? :?

Ed

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:20 pm
by squish67
I have used the 60-20 part of the equation for, I hate to admit it, 50 years, but the tippet has always been a function of the water I'm fishing. In fast water, riffles or pockets where I am looking for accuracy, it might be 10%, on a spring creek it might be 40% or more. So for a 12' foot leader I may actually be fishing one that works out to 10' or to 16'. I find the tippet length is not that critical.

I have several pages of leader dimensions I developed years ago, casting from a diving board onto a swimming pool, and watching how they unfurled. I would start with a 60-20-20 leader and then change the tippet length. So on a 12' leader the tippet would be about 29" long. If I wanted it to straighten out quickly, I might shorten it to 15" or a foot. If I wanted it to curl back I might go to 6' of tippet. So, in the end, all dependant on the water I was fishing or the type of fly. For streamers, just tie on 5 or 6 feet or 3x or 4x.

I too use Maxima for the 60-20 part of my leader, but as it is notorious for measuring one ot two thousands over the listed value, I run it through a dial micrometer to get the real diameter. For the tippet I used to use Orvis material, but now am using frog something or other. :D :D :D :D :D :D

For some reason I waste way to much time on leaders!

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:24 pm
by blackdirtfly
ok 9.5 ft rod West Branch Delaware and fast current and a size 14 Adams. Always bought store bought leaders. Wondering if its worth it to start making my own.

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:38 pm
by squish67
OK, if you promise not to tell anyone, I stock up with a couple of 9' to 4x store bought leaders, and a couple of 12' to 5x leaders, cut them back a foot or two and just play with tippet. But don't tell anyone!!!!!!!! ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:25 pm
by ted patlen
blackdirtfly wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:24 pm
ok 9.5 ft rod West Branch Delaware and fast current and a size 14 Adams. Always bought store bought leaders. Wondering if its worth it to start making my own.
it is still up to you but many of my friends as well as myself say that the longest and finest you can handle...I also , like rich (squish) start with a 12 footer in a 4x then add to the end. about 4' to 5' of 5x for that #14 is a good starting point. the Battenkill and the West are similar.

it's ALL about presentation. and confidence in your ability to present he fly.

Re: Leaders

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:40 pm
by blackdirtfly
Thanks Ted.