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Katman

Leader material question

37 posts in this topic

I was wondering what you guys used to make your leaders. I'm sorry if this was a repeat..but I could not find anything great with the search. But I'm probably going to start tying my own this weekend and wanted to know if you guys bought the "special" leader materials or just used like regular brand mono. I have plenty of store bought brands like Stren, berkley vanish, yozuri hybrid....to use if they worked? I've looked online but seems like lots of the how to's use the branded leader material. I'm thinking the lets say berkley vanish 6lb would work for a 5X or so? I'm not trying to save more money here....but just...exploring and maybe learn a thing or two about my setup grin.gif. A steer in the right direction would be great!

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I use maxima to tie my leaders. It's pretty stiff and rolls over nicely. If the water gets clear i will tie on maxima or seagar fleurocarbon, but if there is any color i stick will all mono. I tie all my leaders differently depending on what I am doing, such as swinging streamers, indicator nymphing, or fishing drys.

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Quick! You're always so informative! I need to follow you one day and just take notes grin.gif I'll try some maxima out. I'm going to be using the good ol 60-20-20 scale for my first few. Whats knots did you prefer? Seems like the knot of choice was the blood knot. Any thoughts?

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I generally use RIO Powerflex for tying up leaders. Sometimes I'll use Froghair in the sections near the tippet (kind of soft, nice for dries). For Steelhead I've been using Maxima Chameleon for the butt and mid sections and then Ultragreen for the tip or RIO.

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For anything 2x and smaller, I don't think you can beat Rio Flouroflex plus, and that's what I've been using. However, I think there's a little more debate as to what makes the best butt section.

I've really enjoyed my leaders tied with fluorescent green Amnesia butt sections since I've pretty much given up fishing with an indicator (the Amnesia works like an indicator without adding drag to my flies). That's a whole other topic in itself... smile.gif

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for the butt sections i really like the chameleon maxima. I second that RIO fleuroflex is sweet for tippet. It seems to be much stronger then most flouro and nearly invisble when wet.

WXguy: let's start that debate in a friendly manner, it could probally be beneficial for a lot of people.

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For years I used a tapered leader butt from FeatherCraft called a "Lucky Dog" and it worked just fine, but then either the leader changed or my casting changed and I had a hard time turning it over. I now tie my trout leaders with clear Maxima butt sections and Rio transition and tippet sections, all with a leader formula that came from Orvis years ago - a three way hybrid, I guess.

I tie steelhead and bass leaders out of Maxima Chameleon using a very simple formula from a Kreh/Sosin book. It's basically three sections and a tippet. I use Seaguar fluorocarbon for steelhead and clear Maxima for bass.

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I just buy the tapered ones. I get a little frustrated though. I spend a little more for the "knotless" ones and I still get knots? wink.gif

Craig

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Quote:

I spend a little more for the "knotless" ones and I still get knots?


I tried to return them to a shop once using that same rational, they didn't think it was very funny grin.gif

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Thank you guys for all your help! I started tying some but seems like my blood knot isn't holding too well. I'll keep on practicing. grin.gif By the way...where do you guys pick up this Maxima Chameleon...or any Maxima brand? Ebay?

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You can get clear and ultragreen from Fly Angler (they aren't carrying the Cameleon anymore). Cameleon you can order from various places on the net (like Cabelas).

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When working with fairly heavy mono, about four turns of each material are all you need to make a secure blood knot. Make sure you've lubricated the knot. Pull it up slowly at first and make sure you've taken the "slack" out by tugging on the tag ends of the strands. From that point, seat the knot quickly and firmly. You might want to tug on the tag ends with a pliers while holding the knot firmly between finger and thumbnail, too.

Maxima Chameleon is sometimes called "brown", which does a pretty good job of describing it. The Fly Angler in Fridley did have it and may yet. The big, ugly mail order house with all the monstrous retail outlets has it, too.

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Does anyone have a good link to site that shows mono lbs. size to 0X sizes? For example...5x = 6lbs...something like that. I'm still a noobie and I can't seem to figure it out. I'm trying to figure out the sizes for the butt sections and tippets to buy...but I don't know what they measure in lbs sizes. I hope this makes sense. I think I'm making this more difficult then it is. Anything to help me understand would be great! Sorry for the noobie questions. grin.gif I promise I'll get it someday!

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katman, you've got mail.

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Thank you! Great help! grin.gif

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The new GM in EP has Maxima back in Fly fishing & some upfront with the other lines.

Chris

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The more I think about what I said, the more I think it was kind of silly. I don't think there's too much debate over what materials are better in any leader, just personal preference over others.

I've tied leaders using the brown Maxima material for the butt section and leaders using green Amnesia for the butt. I like the Amnesia better because of its brighter color and it hasn't seemed to spook any fish. It's easier to "high stick nymph" (which is what I'm doing more and more of these days) and detect strikes with the amnesia than it is Maxima because I'm keeping a close eye on where my line enters the water.

However, if I were using my pinch on foam indicators as much as I used to, then I wouldn't really care what type of leader material was used in the butt section.

Apparently they're not making Amnesia line anymore, so I'm kind of hosed on that one once I run out... tongue.gif

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There should be more debate about the leader materials! Some people need outside opinions to get the cogs turning. FYI...I found plenty of Maxima ultragreen and chameleon at the Blaine GM. I couldn't figure out why my knots were so weak last night....UNTIL....my dad came by and watched me. He said...I forgot the most important part......WET THE KNOT! I was so into this tying thing, I forgot to wet the knot. blush.gif So...Seems like the knots hold decently well now! I have this Yozuri Hybrid line, which is a floro w/ a polymer mix. Seems pretty stiff. Has anyone tried this before? grin.gif

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Katman,

May also want to try back to back Uni knots that has become my knot of choice for connecting leaders together.

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Katman, did the GM in Blaine have chameleon in the heavier weight butt material (i.e. 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 lb test)? A number of places will have the 0x-7x size tippet spools but don't carry the thicker stuff that's used as butt material when you tie your own leader. The Fly Angler use to have Chameleon in these sizes but now has the Maxima Clear (which is a bit softer). Another stiff butt material is the Rio Hard Saltwater mono which I'm going to try making a few leaders with.

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Hmm....seems to be the same knot but with each tag end on the outside. I'll give it a try. Seems a bit easier to tie. grin.gif

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GM in Blaine had 12 and 15 for sure. I don't remember seeing anything larger. I can drop by on the way home to verify. laugh.gif

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I just want to say that I'm genuinely impressed that a discussion of leader materials can go on for three pages. It shows both the depth of knowledge that contributors have and their willingness to share it with others. It's been three pages of polite conversation, too, and that's something that's sadly missing from many internet boards. Good work, folks!

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Katman, no need to check as I'm planning a trip to Rogers and will probably find it there laugh.gif The point is that a lot of places sell leader material but very few sell the complete range of material you need to make a leader. Mason Hard, Rio Max, Amnesia, Maxima Chameleon, and some others are the classic hard, stiff mono typical of the butt section of leaders used for various steelhead techniques and for larger flies for bass, pike, and muskie. Maxima Clear, Rio Powerlex, and others are a bit softer and make great trout leader butt material as well as mid section material in almost any tapered leader. Of course all of it is good in the tippet section depending on what you want to do. Besides the leader formulas found in various books another good resource is LeaderCalc which is an Excel spreadsheet that will calulate various leader formulas from a variety of sources - cool stuff.

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It is sort of like a Blood knot. Actually it is the same knot I use for Tying Slip Bobber stops out of dacron (only a single uni for that)

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