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Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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crs2006 - I'm glad you noted the difference between the more delicate dry fly leaders and the stouter streamer/bass/warmwater leaders you tie. So far, I've only made the more delicate variety up, but I will keep what you said in mind when it comes time to get back out for smallmouth/largemouth bass.

Posted on: 2013/10/4 13:21


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2013/9/6 11:40
From Hunker
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I too fished for 2 years with only Orvis leaders before my pap past away and handed me down all his fly fishing stuff, including every diameter of Orvis and Mason leader making material. I did alot of research on the best of the best formulas and constructed my own. And it really is amazing how much better a fly turns over with a hand made leader. I always! Use Mason Hard Type Nylon/Maxima Chameleon for the butt section of the leader for it is stiff and truly helps accuracy and presentation IMO. The last couple segments of leader and the tippet is soft mono and it important that it is. I rarely ever use flouro cause it sinks 3 times faster than mono and is sorta a nightmare for me when I change to a dry fly.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 15:16
_________________
"Ours is the grandest sport. It is an intriguing battle of wits between an angler and a trout; and in addition to appreciating the tradition and grace of the game, we play it in the magnificent out-of-doors."
~ Ernest G. Schwiebert, Jr.


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Amen.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 15:27


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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Thanks Letort/pcray for the info into why certain types of leader build are done the way they are. At the end of the day, I think you guys have convinced me to build or buy a proper leader kit. It's convenient to use the spare mono and fluoro line I have laying about, but there are definitely major differences in suppleness and sink rate going on that could easily be cleared up by using stuff made for the job. I'll have to make due for next week's trip back to PA with what I've already made for now, but when I get back, I'm going to do this right.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 16:15


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Pure mono - not many of these, but they are very stiff, and stretch a lot. I like this in my butt sections. Maxima Chameleon is one example.

Flouro - They market "invisibility", but IMO it's B.S. That said, it has some advantages. It does sink better, which is good for using nymphs. It also has far superior abrasion resistance, which means you don't muck it all up rubbing against rocks and sand, or fish's teeth! It doesn't degrade, you can keep it for years, wet and dry cycles, expose it to UV, etc., and it won't go bad, whereas mono will. On stiffness, it's stiffer than most copolymers and more supple than a straight mono. It's often slick, so if I use shot when nymphing it tends to slide on me.

Copolymer - most of what we call "mono" is actually a copolymer. It is the most supple of materials, giving you your best drag free drifts for dry flies. It has some stretch, which is good for fighting fish, you can get away with slightly smaller tippets because there is some "shock absorption". It tends to float, which is good for dry flies. It does do poorly in abrasion resistance, so not good for especially toothy critters, or rubbing against rocks all day long.

Of course, in any of those categories, there's a "range" between different brands. Tippets made for fly fishing will outperform most lines meant for spinning gear. Same stuff, same processes. Yes. But tighter tolerances. You pay more too. In the end, it's not that expensive. I spend less than $20/year on tippet and leader materials. Fluoro will cost considerably more per spool. But I use a low enough amount of it, and it lasts long enough, that a spool will last me years.

With the exception of a leader designed solely for nymphing, I go with a stiff mono butt, then about halfway through the taper, I switch to as supple a copolymer as I can find. That's what I like. It turns over well, and you can adjust the drag/accuracy trade-off with changing tippet size and length.

My dedicated nymphing rig is a short mono butt followed by a long distance of flat fluoro. No real taper.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 16:38


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:34
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 466
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Just to update...I hooked into some good size fish on the Upper D last week. I was lazy/busy rowing and didn't swap out the old knotted leader and the knots definitely got stuck in the guides when trying to bring the fish in the boat. Luckily they didn't decide to go on any last minutes runs or they would've defintely broke off

Posted on: 2013/10/7 16:38


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2013/9/6 11:40
From Hunker
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I've read before that an epoxy splice on the knots will help your line go out smoother. I haven't tried but I know a few who do

Posted on: 2013/10/7 18:38
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"Ours is the grandest sport. It is an intriguing battle of wits between an angler and a trout; and in addition to appreciating the tradition and grace of the game, we play it in the magnificent out-of-doors."
~ Ernest G. Schwiebert, Jr.


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1465
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what soft mono or co-polymer would you recommend ?


Posted on: 2013/10/7 19:57
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Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13424
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Quote:
I hooked into some good size fish on the Upper D last week. I was lazy/busy rowing and didn't swap out the old knotted leader and the knots definitely got stuck in the guides when trying to bring the fish in the boat. Luckily they didn't decide to go on any last minutes runs or they would've defintely broke off.


I've never had a problem wading, but yeah, boats could be a different story. When wading, you can grab the line on a small fish, or back up and beach a big one. Big fish in a boat I could understand this. I've NEVER fly fished from a boat in my life.

Quote:
what soft mono or co-polymer would you recommend ?


I'm a fan of Rio Powerflex. It is as supple a tippet material as is commonly available (meaning, just about EVERY fly shop carries it). There are a few special materials out there that might be a touch better, but hard to find. Rio Suppleflex, Trout Hunter, and Dai Riki Dynamic come to mind, I liked them when I tried them, but you aren't gonna find them in the majority of fly shops.

But Climax, Umpqua, Frog Hair, Dai Riki GTS, etc. are all very commonly available but too stiff for my tastes. Not to put them down, it just depends what you value. For instance, they might be better on breaking strength, or abrasion resistance. I just value suppleness over all other factors on a copolymer tippet material.

In fluoro, I've settled on Seaguar Grand Max FX as my hands-down favorite (note the FX, as without it it's a totally different product, which is still good stuff, but much stiffer). It's more supple than even some of the stiffer copolymers, proving that there's overlap in these categories.

Posted on: 2013/10/8 9:27


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1465
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thanks - i'll give the rio a try, i usually use their tippets for nymphing (fluoroflex) but i've found that on frog water it lies in curls in the film. i'm guessing its too stiff, so i'll give the copo a try.


Posted on: 2013/10/8 18:41
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nowhere is so sweet, as the bosom of the vale where the bright waters meet.


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2013/9/7 15:53
From Phoenixville PA
Posts: 14
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When buying line to make a lead how do you know the pound of line you need if they say .021 what would that be in pounds?


Posted on: 2013/10/10 18:58


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
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It'll say on the spool, a 20lb spool of tippet material is.013" You can find leader charts online for different lengths & styles of leaders.

Posted on: 2013/10/10 19:35
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Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3317
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Quote:

lv2nymph wrote:
It'll say on the spool, a 20lb spool of tippet material is.013"


My 20lb spool says .017"

I got ripped off!

Next time I go shopping for leader material, I'm goin' with you.

Seriously, there is no correlation between material diameter and pound test rating between different manufacturers and even different materials by the same manufacturer.

It's more important to go by diameter and material stiffness than it is to go by pound test rating when you build your leaders. YMMV - and it should. Once you get down to the lighter tippet sections, then it's time to consider pound test rating.

Posted on: 2013/10/10 19:48
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Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Yep, it'll say on the spool. Per HE's comment, there is SOME correlation, lol. A pretty good one, actually. But it's correlation, not direct conversion. Given the same diameters, different brands will vary in lb test.

For instance:

Rio Powerflex 2x - diameter 0.230 mm. Test rating = 10 lb
Orvis SuperStrong 2x - diameter 0.230 mm. Test rating 11.5 lb
Maxima Clear 2x - diameter 0.230 mm. Test rating 6 lb

To show the correlation thing, on any of the above, if you go down in diameter, well, the test rating gets lower, and if you go up in diameter the test rating goes up too. Pretty predictable and obvious.

But, you should also keep in mind, that neither the advertised diameter nor lb test are 100% reproducible. If you measure the above, you'll very often get a different diameter than .230, and a different breaking strength too. An example in the spin fishing world is Berkely Trilene. At a given lb test, the advertised diameter looks pretty dang good in comparison with other brands. Weird for a "supposedly" cheap line. But they vastly understate their diameter, moreso than other brands. When you actually measure it, it's much thicker than stated. So it's not really thinner than those other brands, often, it's actually thicker. But they count on us not measuring it, and instead trusting the label.

Tippet manufacturers do the same to a lesser degree.

But diameters, not strength, is what we typically go by. The diameter/stiffness is what we judge, not the breaking strength. Cause it's about how it casts a fly.

In some cases if you're chasing really big fish, like steelhead, then breaking strength can become more important, but even then, usually only on the tippet material, not on the leader material.

Posted on: 2013/10/11 10:54


Re: Is making your own leaders worth the trouble?

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1465
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thats also the breaking strain of the line - not the knot which is less - 25% for some knots.


Posted on: 2013/10/11 13:48
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