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turiprap

Leaders

5 posts in this topic

Since we don't have enough differences of opinion on the board, I thought I'd stir the pot. These are my questions: Do you fish with knotted or knotless leaders? Why? How do you attach the leader to the fly line?

I fish with knotted leaders because I think I stumbled on a formula and a set of materials for trout leaders that helps both my casting accuracy and form. I tie my own bass and steelhead leaders, too. The formula is out of the Kreh/Sosin knot book and the leader is brown Maxima, except for the tippet.

Here's an opinion: I think a loop to loop connection between fly line and leader in freshwater applications is an abomination. The loops hang up in the tiptop and create a casting hinge. I needle nail knot a section of butt material to the fly line and blood knot my leader to that.

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Well any "knotless" leader is going to have a knot where you attach tippet laugh.gif For most applications I like to use knotless leaders, mainly 7.5ft long and 1X or 2X heavier than normal. I then modify the end of the leader and tie on various pieces of tippet to get the leader I need for the conditions I'm in. Works well for me. I also use loop connections and don't find them to be a pain.

Having said that, I do tie some of my own leaders. I have a 6'9" 1wt that I built and use it for casting small flies (say 14-32). I don't like having a 12' long leader on that rod, and the butt section on commercial leaders is too thick, so I've engineered my own (Rio tippet material) with a butt section that more closely matches the diameter of a 1wt line and turns over small flies well in a fairly short length (say 6.5' as a base and with tippet it fishes at 8'). That leader is nail knotted onto the line and terminates in 6x although I will add tippet to get it to 9x on occasion.

I've also made some other leaders for special situations with other rods and it's neat what you can do with leaders when you tie your own. There is some software out that is pretty handy for figuring out leader formulas and it's pretty handy.

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while trout angling, I'll use a tapered leader, most often mono, and usually 4x or 5x with a lighter tippet if necessary. I use a braided loop to loop connection. I agree that the loop to loop connection is cumbersome when using a long leader, banging through the guides. However, I go through leaders a lot when using my 6 weight for warmwater fish. It is a pain to have to keep re-tying nail knots when tying in new butt sections. I use my 6wt for both cold and warm water fish, so it needs to be versatile, and I am often changing leaders of varying lengths.

When using my 7wt or either of my 9 wt rods for warmwater fish, I am often using a sink tip line. I'm usually fishing large streamers for big smallmouth, walleyes, or pike. I'll tie in a short (3-4') length of fluorocarbon, and use it as a non-tapered leader. For pike leaders I'll tie on a foot of 49 strand wire for a bite guard. I just picked up some mason hard mono to tie up some two step mono leaders for a floating line when fishing divers or large poppers. The loop to loop connection is not an issue when fishing this method since the short leaders are never brought back through the guides.

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I fish knotless tapered leaders and I furl my own. I used to buy the tapered leaders, but have been much happier with furled leaders. They are cheaper, last longer, have less (no) memory, cast better, and no knots to collect all of the green stuff.

I finish my leaders with Shorb loops on either end because I tend to switch leaders around depending on conditions and don't like to take time to tie the nail knots. The Shorb loops have no tag end or bulk sticking out catch anything either.

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Differences of opinion? I don't know what you're saying. wink.gif

Last year I started fishing knotted leaders with green amnesia for the butt section of the leader. The leader is about 12 feet on my 3-4 wts and I really like fishing with that setup.

The knot from the flouro to the amnesia works as a great indicator without having the indicator drag. Unless the water is really clear, I'm fishing that leader without an indicator.

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