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Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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The thread I made asking about the worthwhile of making your own leaders got me interested enough to tie one up...and it held up pretty damned well. I took it out on the East Fork of the Sevier River, a 4-mile Utah "Blue Ribbon" fishery that runs through Kingston Canyon.

The rod I used was my 6' Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Signature Series II in 2wt. and the line was 2wt. Scientific Anglers VPT. The leader recipe - derived from LeaderCalc 2007 - started with 20lb. test mono and ended in 4x tippet with a few standard size reductions along the way. Stayed at 4x all day. The net result was 2 rainbow and 5 browns, one of which was a very nice, mature fish (my largest brown to date) that had me pinned to the bottom for bit until I worked it loose (had me nervous to pull, despite the fact that I usually run 5x).

All in all, I was very satisfied with the result: no breakage and the fish didn't seem the least bit deterred by it. The winning fly for the day was a black humpy that caught my largest brown and several others.

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Posted on: 2013/10/3 0:59

Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/10/3 1:20:01
Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/10/3 1:36:53


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2547
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Well done, congratulations with your own leader. You'll soon gain the confidence that your knots are not going to part you from your fish ( for the most part) that you'll be yanking them out soon. Nice days fishing there, you're really giving that 2 wt a work out. Good for you.

Posted on: 2013/10/3 6:10
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Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 736
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Nice fish. Here is another leader tip; add a tippet ring before the smallest tippet. Attach the leader and tippet to the tippet ring with an improved clinch knot. The tippet ring will keep you from eating into your leader as you add new tippet. Everything above the tippet ring will remain in tact as you tie in a new tippet as needed. The tippet ring will float without issue. This will extend the life of your leader. I found this to be especially helpful for hand tied leaders, but the tippet rings work with store bought knotless leaders too.

Posted on: 2013/10/3 7:27


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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Thanks, guys. While it is time consuming (and I really do see myself buying the blood knot tool if I continue down this path), it is also very rewarding to make and fish your own leader. Does the cost/time ratio balance out? Probably not. Was it just cool to keep a fish on with the confidence that you tied knots well to enough to land him? You bet.

lv2nymph - I did all manner of pull testing when I first tied a blood knot in some scrap fluro line to make sure that tiny knot I had never tied before would hold. I wasn't terribly confident in my tying skill at that point, nor that tiny knot. However, the more I looked at the knot, the more I realized its the same one that a pro shop put in my braid/mono connection point on my deep sea baitcaster. If it can hold a bluefin tuna tugging on it, it can hold a trout on appropriately weighted line. As for the rod, I had actually been putting the 3wt. St. Croix 7' rod through it's paces for a good while. This is the first time in a bit that I got the 2wt. back out, but boy is it a joy to carry all day.

boychick - you mention tippet rings. Ironically enough, I actually have some, but I forget that fact until I have already tied the tippet to my leader with a surgeon's knot. So, net time I have to tie on a tippet, I'll make it a point to use the tippet ring.

Oh, and here's a little clip of the leader in action on a nymphing rig to catch a brown:

http://youtu.be/9ECCc0ll8dk




Posted on: 2013/10/3 12:09


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13547
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Quote:
Does the cost/time ratio balance out?


When you get good at it, you'll be tying blood knots streamside in about a minute. Adjusting that leader, putting new tippets on, etc.

When at that point, making a leader takes about 10 minutes. The materials used will last years. And the back half of the leader will pretty much last you a whole season, but you'll monkey with the front half streamside so much that it occasionally needs "repaired". In a half hour each winter, I can be ready to go for the spring, and then muddle through.

I pretty much carry 4 homemade leaders for the fishing I do.

1. I carry a "jack of all trades" leader. With tippet, it's about 9 ft. It's based on a pamphlet that came with the leader tying kit from a fly shop (fly fisherrs paradise). But it's pretty much the rule of 3rds. 1/3 butt. 1/3 taper. 1/3 tippet. I actually don't use it much anymore, in favor of the more specific ones below.

2. I carry a "brookie" leader, which is a short butt, short taper that comes out at about 4 1/2 feet (without tippet). With tippet, it makes from a 5 1/2 to 9 ft leader. Most monkeying is with the tippet length/strength only, which I do A LOT based on the physical surroundings of the stream I'm fishing. I lengthen and lighten it for that long slow pool where they're spooky and you can cast distance. I shorten and strengthen it to cast tight up under overhanging objects. The leader itself (butt and taper), though, typically lasts me a whole season.

3. "Dry fly" leader, based on George Harvey's slack line formula. With tippet, this one's usually pretty long, 9-12 ft depending on tippet length. But I monkey with this one quite a bit streamside depending on whether I think I need tighter loops and more accuracy or get a better drift. If I want it shorter, I remove a segment up in the taper somewhere, usually leaving a reasonably long tippet. Only later to have to add a segment, etc. Most of my hatch matching, big stream fishing involves an overnight trip with several days of fishing. The type you plan for and get excited about. In my preparations for such a trip, I construct a new leader. Over the several days of the trip, it gets monkeyed with. Then I leave it in the box, it may get used once or twice again. But for the next "big" trip, I construct a new one.

4. Nymphing leader. I like flat nymph leaders, generally. Gets a better drift. Well, I have a butt and tippet, just no taper really. Might be something like 2 ft of butt section. Then 5-8 ft of 2x or 3x tippet. At the end, I'll add <1 ft of 4 or 5x, while leaving a long tag of the thicker stuff from the knot. Dual nymph rig. Indicator up the line somewhere. Any monkeying typically involves replacing that bit at the end (which shortens the rest a bit). Because I snag a lot and lose length this way, this one needs replaced often. But you never lose the butt. So it's real easy to just construct a new one streamside!

As far as switching, I use the same diameter of butt section for all of them, a section of which is permanently nail knotted to my fly line. Then I take that into account when constructing the leaders. So the butt has a knot with no size change. When switching leaders, I just cut at that knot, and blood knot the new one on. It's quick. No loops or anything. A few times a year I shorten that nail knotted piece too much and have to make a new nail knot, which is my biggest hassle.

Posted on: 2013/10/3 14:32


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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I should probably ask this in my other thread, but since we're on the topic already: in general, what are the parameters of the leader you can change to achieve different effects? In other words, if I want a leader that's better for softly landing dries vs. turning over heavy nymphs, what would I want to change?

Posted on: 2013/10/3 15:33


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
From United States
Posts: 263
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Length and material of tippet. I'm not sure if it is Rio, but Suppleflex for examle is a tippet material designed to be softer, which is what you want for the dry presentation. Remember dry flies can be difficult to turn over as well. A bushy dry fly drags with air resistance and may take a 3x shorter tippet if it's soft or a stiffer mono. The beauty of building your own leaders is playing with this and discovering what you prefer for particular presentations. Good luck and have fun with it. You are definatley on the right track. Lot of good advice here.

Posted on: 2013/10/3 19:35
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Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 736
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Love the video, looks beautiful there.

Posted on: 2013/10/3 20:53


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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It really is a beautiful area and I only scratched the surface of this stretch. I still have about 3.5 miles to explore. The reason I couldn't fish it sooner was that the last time I drove all the way up there - 4 hours from home - heavy rains hit the area and blew the water out to a cocoa-brown tint that was all but un-fishable. It would've made for a very slow day, so I retreated to a different place back closer to home. Thankfully, it's finally back to its normal, medium-stained, irrigation season color. Almost perfect in that it is light enough to fish pale-colored dries on the surface and do some sight casting but still dark enough to give you a little bit of stealth to get closer to the fish.

Posted on: 2013/10/3 21:54


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2013/9/6 11:40
From Hunker
Posts: 193
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www.algonkinflyfishers.com. This website has a list of leader recipes for nymphing, dries, streamers, and recipes from the pros and big names such as Orvis. I use it all the time and it works well, by the way, great job on the first leader.

Posted on: 2013/10/13 7:14
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Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
Offline
VERY NICE!!!!! and isn't it more of a blast catching them on something YOU made with your own hands , An extra thrill.

Posted on: 2013/10/14 10:59


Re: Got to use my first hand-tied leader

Joined:
2011/9/27 20:41
From Central PA
Posts: 222
Offline
+1 on the tippet ring.

keep trying different configurations and you will find you like a longer leader for this scenario and a shorter one for that scenario.

ultimately catching more fish.


Posted on: 2013/10/14 23:09






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