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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
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NickR wrote:
^^^
Uhhh... wish I knew who that was but that is awesome!

If you fish a lot it might be tough to keep up with tying your own leaders. Also, I tend to like store bought leaders because they don't have knots and have a smooth taper. The knots in tied leaders tend to disturb glassy water and typically I like store bought knotless leaders for calm spring creeks. Hand tied leaders also hold more water and cause more spray while casting. They can also cause a fair amount of drag.


The guy that was tying leaders, and giving them out on this forum went by the forum name of "Maxima".

Nick - I find the rest of your post baffling, for the most part.

Once you get the hang of tying your own leaders, it only takes a couple of minutes to make one. The butt and mid sections tend to last a long time, and since you tied them, you know what each section is, and can rebuild, or modify them easily.

One of the big advantages in tying your own leaders, is that YOU choose the taper, and materials - you don't have to settle for a taper some manufacturer thinks you should have. You can customize the leader for whatever situation you'll be using it for. Just that reason alone means it'll perform better than an extruded knotless leader in almost any situation, by comparison.

If you tie good knots, there's no disturbance, spray, etc when casting. A blood knot is a very thin diameter knot, and I'm really skeptical about the holding more water part - at least what can be discerned with the human eye. Regardless, any water held is pretty much gone after the backcast, and is negligible compared to the amount of water your fly can hold.

As far as drag is concerned, this is where a well designed hand tied leader has it all over an extruded knotless leader - in spades!

George Harvey came up with some leader formulas that excel at reducing drag, compared to a knotless, extruded leader. Frog Hair even tried to copy the performance of Harvey's leaders with a knotless, extruded design (with not so spectacular results).

With the exception of some specialty knotless leaders, you're stuck with a leader that is a "jack of all trades, master of none" design. Once you start modifying it to do what you want, it's not knotless any more.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 8:04
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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2012/5/4 9:12
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^^^^

I certainly don't consider myself an expert and it is only my opinion here.. Maybe I was not clear. FOR ME: Buying store bought leaders because I fish A LOT and guide as well is much easier.

I used to only use hand tied leaders and still really like them and will probably start using them again due to money restraints but I cannot keep up with tying leaders on a regular basis. I will probably have to more oftent than not buy store bought leaders. Even though I do use store bought leaders I always make modifications to the tippet so technically my leaders are not knotless.

Regardless if it only takes a couple of minutes to tie each leader it would really eat into my fishing time and a lot of hand tied leaders would get destroyed by people that I am teaching how to fly fish. It's much easier to buy a handful of leaders and go fish than to take the time to tie a bunch is it not?

I understand the knots are very small in diamater but when you strip line or get drag in the leader the KNOTS do distrub smooth glassy water. For beginning fly fisherman and experienced as well especially if not the greatest caster when picking up the line to make a backcast the knots disturb the water... I have seen it with my own eyes.

Knotted leaders also pick up weeds in spring creeks and there is spray on the forward cast as well. The spray from the leader on the forward cast is one of the best ways to spook wary spring creek trout. Yes, on the back cast most of the water disperses but there is still plenty of spray on the forward cast... this is why I try not to false cast over top of wary fish if I can help it. I do fish George Harvey leaders and have found them to be very good. I just like hand tied leaders better for pure convenience and I do believe that knotless store bought leaders are better in many ways for glassy spring creeks. Again, just my humble opinion.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 8:52
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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Understood. Easy is a good thing - our time has to be worth something, no?

It's all good.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 9:15
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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Eat into fishing time? I make like 4 a year. They of course get adjusted and then "fixed" on stream many times. But each leader usually lasts a full season. I toss em out and replace em each winter in preparation for spring. Here's my lineup:

1. A brookie leader. Usually around 5 ft without tippet, maybe 2 ft of butt and a quick taper. Leave the tippet for on stream decisions. Mostly I'm just changing tippet lengths on these, can go anywhere from 5'6" to 7 or 8' total length depending on situation. Usually 4x tippet, sometimes 5x. Doubles as my streamer leader as well, I just use heavier tippet and keep it short.

2. Dry fly leaader. Based off of George Harvey's early formulas, with the butt section stiff material, transferring sharply to soft material in the middle of a more gradual taper. I usually make it about 9-10 ft tapered to 5x off the bat. But this one gets altered and abused. Remove a mid-section to shorten, add a section to lengthen, changing length and size of tippets, etc. It truly can be anywhere from an 8 ft 3x leader to a 12 ft 6 or 7x leader.

3. Jack of all trades leader - based off of the little FFP book that came with my kit, it's basically 1/3 butt starting at 0.022, 1/3 taper, and 1/3 tippet. Turns over great for distance casting or throwing weight. Also droppers can be added and it is used for swinging wets. Not as good on drag as #2 or #4, though.

4. Nymph leader: Usually 6 ft or so of 1x or 2x. Flat. Then another foot or 2 tapering quickly to 3x-5x, with droppers. My go to high stickin rig, also often used for indicator fishin if I'm not throwing big distances. But loaded up with weight, as it often is, it's more of a "lob" cast and you're not going to be pinpoint accurate or throwing it very far.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 9:29


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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I don't know how you only use four leaders a year PCRAY. Maybe I am just too particular about my leaders and once they get altered too much I just throw them away including the butt section. It is getting expensive for me. I recently started using tippet rings so I only need to tie on tippet materials and can reuse the leaders for longer periods of time without altering the actual taper of the leader.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 9:46
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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That's the beauty of tying leaders. You don't have to throw them away when they've been altered, cause you can alter them right back.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 10:00


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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I am with pcray on this. I often have the butt section of my leaders live as long as the line. And I had one line last for over 10 years.

Also I only use 2 leaders types: Pcray's #1 and #2.
My #1 brookie leader is just a scaled down version of the #2 dry fly leader.

One way I make this system work is I have two spools for each line wt , one spool has the short leader and another has the long leader.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 10:34


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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My wasteful rear end is being brought to the realization that I should probably stop throwing leaders away! Just think of the money I could save with a little extra time to care for my leaders! Lol!


Posted on: 2012/8/23 12:13
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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What I do is when my dry hand tied leaders gets abused i make it into a wet fly leader. Then to a nymphing leader then to a streamer leader. Recycling.
its quick, simple and little thought.

Posted on: 2012/8/23 20:15
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Steve T


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?
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I've posted at length about the furled mono leaders I make. Like Pcray. Shortrod and Steve said, leaders last a long time - a season or even seasons.

I also have 3 or 4 different versions I make for different rods and fishing situations. Making your own leaders takes very little time, and tinkering with them is fun.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 6:46


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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I've been tying my own leaders since...it's been soo long I forgot

I use both hand-tied leaders and store-bought knotless leaders.

I always alter the store-bought leaders before I use them. Many folks don't know that the length of tippet on a knotless leader varies depending on length of leader. If I buy a 7.5' leader the tippet may be only 12" long. I'll cut the leadeer back about 6" and then add a tippet 1 to 2 X numbers smaller than the tippet listed on the leader when purchased. For example, if I purchase a 3X 7.5' leader I cut back to 7.0' and add a 4X or 5X tippet of approximately 3' in length. For a store-bought knotless leader of 9' length the tippet on this leader may be only 18". I alter these leaders because I want a much longer tippet. Sometimes I may use a 4' or longer tippet to allow for more slack (squigglies) from the fly back a ways.

As for hand-tied leaders, I still use the 60-20-20 formula which I may vary at times. This formula has 60% butt section, 20% mid-section and 20% tip section.

A rule of thumb is to begin the butt section with a diameter roughly 2/3 that of the fly line. Based on my experience, most trout lines are .031 to.033 diameter. A butt section beginning with .021, give or take a few thousands, would be appropriate. This provides good transfer of energy from fly line to leader.

For matching tippet size to fly, I use the rule of 3. Take the size of fly and divide by 3 to arrive at an acceptable tippet size. For example, size 16 divided by 3 gives 5 plus. 5X or 6X would be acceptable here.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 9:56


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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One more point I'd like to add. George Harvey shocked the fly fishing (and leader tying) world when he announced he had also used soft material for butt sections in his leaders. If I recall correctly, he broke this news in an article in FLY FISHERMAN magazine several years back.

I use soft material for my butt sections. Large diameter mono may be softer or stiffer, depending on the make-up of the material; however, it is never really soft.

Just my .02 cents.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 10:02


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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I guess I kind of lied earlier... I always alter my store bought leaders. I usually buy 3x leaders and cut them back and add in tippet sections.

I also found a leader that I like to tie in George Daniel's Dynamic nymphing that I like to use. I like a built in sighter with a long tippet for deep and fast water.

I guess I feel like once the leader is altered beyond me actually knowing the diameter of the line I am fishing with I usually just toss it. Don't some guys use micrometers to assess line diameter?

I am by no means the greatest caster but I have been fly fishing for 25 years and can hold my own. I do from time to time when trying to make too tight of casts with hand tied leaders end up getting my fly caught on the leader knots regardless of how small they are. This happens much less for me with knotless tapered leaders.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 20:22
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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Tailing loop. I think we all do that on occasion. Except maybe Old Lefty....

Posted on: 2012/8/24 20:30


Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3364
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Quote:

NickR wrote:
Don't some guys use micrometers to assess line diameter?


Guilty as charged, but only when tying leaders at my bench. I carry one of these things in my vest, and one in my gear bag. With as many modifications as I do to my leaders when fishing, it's really nice to know exactly what size tippet I'm dealing with.

Definitely not a necessity, but it's my second favorite FF gadget.

Attach file:



jpg  leader gauge.jpg (10.27 KB)
72_503823886696c.jpg 250X250 px

Posted on: 2012/8/24 21:00
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