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

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2007/1/30 10:05
From Jersey Shore, PA
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I confess to throwing tailing loops now and then...just need to get rid of that abrupt application of power. Wind knots, caused by throwing those blasted tailing loops, mess up leaders a bunch.

Posted on: 2012/8/24 21:13


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

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2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
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This thread has me interested in tying my own leaders. I've been looking up leader formulas and I have to wonder if tying them with 8 or 9 sections is overkill? It seems to me, and excuse my ignorance, that the benefits of having less knots and fewer sections, but a more staggered taper would be greater than a more gradual tapper with many knots...example: Instead of tapering down 1x,2x,3x,4x,5x in short sections, why not go twice as long with 1x, 3x, to 5x. Is a more gradual taper with more knots better? I ask because it seems like more knots would cause more spray, be more visible to the fish, create a better chance of knots and hang ups, plus more weak points and a greater chance of breaking. I can recall on one occasion where a fish came up and bit a nail knot that I thought was trimmed nicely and unnoticeable in the water. Just curious of your thoughts on this.

Posted on: 2012/8/27 8:57


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

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2009/6/5 14:47
From SW PA/Tioga
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<< I've been looking up leader formulas and I have to wonder if tying them with 8 or 9 sections is overkill?

I use the George Harvey formula. I suspect you could double up the the middle sections and remove the next section without greatly affecting the performance. But you will only eliminate one knot. Any more and I think the leader would not produce the same slack it was designed for.

<< I ask because it seems like more knots would cause more spray,

I have not noticed any leader spray problem. I would think that if your leader is flying around close enough for spray to be seen by a fish then the fly, leader and line are also flying around close enough to be seen by the fish. That would be the bigger problem.

<< be more visible to the fish,

I am sure knots are more visible to the fish, I am not sure that it matters.

<< create a better chance of knots and hang ups,

Wind knots will happen regardless. Hangups are surprisingly rare.

<< plus more weak points and a greater chance of breaking.

In theory, a blood knot is a weak point. In practice, I have found that only one weak point matters. The weakest point, which in my experience is usually a point somewhere on the tippet that was unknowingly nicked or abraded.

This is with normal "mono" type tippet material if you use floro YMMV.

Posted on: 2012/8/28 12:48


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

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I do have leader spray issues sometimes, either knotted or unknotted. I can't say for sure which is worse but if someone tested it I wouldn't be surprised if knotted leaders are a little worse. But it's not like you can escape the problem.

When dry fly fishing, I just try to make my first false cast or two in a different direction than the fish.

For everything else, shortrod is SPOT on. To repeat.

Yeah, you can probably double up a section here and there, but you can't overdo it, and is one knot really making that much of a difference?

In my experiences, fish are drag shy, not line shy. Sure, they can see the knot. They can see 9x flouro too, don't kid yourself. But if there were no drag, I think they'd hit a fly attached to a freakin rope.

Wind knots, for me, are less of a problem with my own leaders. Fly hangs up on knot, rather than slide the whole way down and knot.

Never had a leader knot break. Tippet knots, yes. Even if a leader knot is a weak point, it's not weaker than the tippet or tippet knots.

Posted on: 2012/8/28 12:56


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

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From Lehigh Valley
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Quote:

bigslackwater wrote:
I've been looking up leader formulas and I have to wonder if tying them with 8 or 9 sections is overkill?


You wouldn't be the first to wonder about this.

In Gary Borger's book "Presentation", he talks about a simple leader formula he came up with to immitate the performance of George Harvey's slack line leader. He calls it the "Uni-Body" leader. It has a butt section of 4' of .020 Maxima Chameleon, and a mid section of 1' of .013 Maxima Chameleon.

While it doesn't perform exactly like Harvey's formulas, it does a pretty good job. It's easy to adapt it to a lot of fishing situations, and IMO, this makes it superior to knotless leaders. With only a few sections, you know exactly what diameters you're dealing with, and where to make the modifications. The materials used, and the knots used to connect them are important to this design.

Gary uses a 5/7 turn blood knot, to allow the knot to hold with the drastic jump in material sizes - 5 turns of the heavier material, and 7 turns of the lighter material. Once you get down to tippet size material, a double or triple surgeons knot works well, without resulting in a large size knot.

Here's some versions of the Uni-Body leader that have worked well for me:

Nymphing leader-

4' of .020 Maxima Chameleon blood knotted to
1' of .013 Maxima Chameleon blood knotted to
4' of 2X triple surgeons knotted to
1' of 4X

To modify this for fishing dry flies, just add 2' of 5X or 6X.

For fishing streamers, just cut back to the 2X.

You can fish this leader for a long time before you have to replace the 2X, and even longer before the .013 needs to be replaced. It's a simple design, and only requires 2 spools of non-tippet material.

Simple, cheap, and versatile. YMMV...

Posted on: 2012/8/28 15:25
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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I've been doing a little experimenting with pre-tied leaders and one of those Fishpond leader gauges (truly a gadget worth having, by the way.

Whenever I fish limestone spring creeks like the LeTort, I always notice my leader knots collecting little bits of vegetation and adding drag. So I've taken to using pre-tied leaders attached to a length of . 017 leader butt- that way the only knot is at that connection (smoothed out with Pliobond), plus a knot for adding more tippet if necessary.

I never paid much attention to which brand of pre-tied I was picking up, and I've had varying degrees of success with the casting quality.

I think I just figured out why.

The other night, I measured three different brands of 9' 3X leader that I happened to have on hand- Cortland Precision, Orvis Superstrong, and Rio Powerflex.

Only the Rio Powerflex came close to being an acceptable design.

45" of the Cortland leader measured .017 or less. The drop from .017 to .011 was less than 8". 28 inches was 3X tippet.

48" of the Orvis leader measured .017 or less. I only have the leader butt left, I threw the rest away. But the drop from .017 to .011 was also less than one foot.

68" of the Rio leader measured .017 or less. The section between .017 and .011 measured 26". The 3X tippet portion was 16".

All three leaders had butt sections that started with least .021 diameter mono, which is too large to connect to a line weight smaller than 7, as far as I'm concerned.






Posted on: 2012/8/28 18:27


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

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2010/7/6 20:36
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Hand tied is fine 90% of time. A nice smooth knotless store bought sure is nice on the letort and other spring creeks. Just like the way they slide through the grass and junk. Way less hassle IMHO.

Posted on: 2012/8/28 20:58


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

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2012/8/20 23:10
From Southwestern NY
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Thanks guys I've been buying spools of line once in a while when I find free money. Soon enough I'm gonna start tying them together and see how it works out!

Posted on: 2012/8/30 7:37


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

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2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
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Well, I started tying my own leaders, thanks to this thread! I tied up Heritage Anagler's suggested Unibody leader and some of the Harvey leader formulas I found online. I will compare the the unibody to a similar harvey leader. Blood knots on the chameleon line seem huge, but I can see how this line might roll over better than tapered leader. I've only ever used cheap cortland leaders from walmart and some scientific angler leaders so I'm sure that they wont be tough to beat!

I plan to use Loon Knot Sense to coat my knots. Anyone else do this? I've used it on the connection between the line and leader (nail knot) and it works wonders...far less hang ups on the tip top of the rod.

Posted on: 2012/9/4 10:26


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

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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You can use mono meant for spin fishing, but be sure to mic it, don't trust the box. On standard mono's the tolerances are pretty large and the dia. listed should be viewed as a "minimum", most of the time when you measure it will be significantly larger.

In the long run, using standard mono for the tippet sections may save you money. These are sections that get used and abused, replaced, etc. But that's no different than changing tippet on store bought tapered leaders. For the main body of the leader, the part that's replacing the store bought stuff, it's really cheap and it lasts a long time. Just get the good stuff, on the small spools meant for fly fishing. I use Maxima Chameleon. I bought 7 or 8 spools in different diameters for like $30. That was over 10 years ago, and this year, I finally had to replace 1 of those spools.

Posted on: 2012/9/4 10:34


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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bigslackwater - Just some things I forgot to mention....

Before you start fishing with that Uni-Body leader, ya gotta give it a real good stretching - especially the Maxima. Hold as much as you can between your outstretched arms, and stretch it hard, while counting to ten. You should do this every time you string up your rod to fish.

The formula I posted is good for 4 to 7wt lines. Anything lighter, and you might want to sub .017 Maxima for the .020 in the butt section. For 8wt and above, use 3 1/2' of .024, 6" of .017, and 1' of .013 to make the leader body.

On the UV Knot Sense on the knots - yeah, it works, but it isn't all that durable. Over time, it gets cloudy looking, and eventually breaks off. Simple enough to re-apply though....

One of the good things about this leader is it's versatility. You really don't need to ever remove the leader from your line, so you can just nail knot the butt right to your fly line. This eliminates that nasty big perfection loop knot that can get hung up in the guides.

Another thing some folks do is to nail knot the butt to your fly line, and if you want to change leaders, just cut it off a foot or two from the nail knot, and blood knot another leader to it. This also gets rid of that perfection loop "lump", and you can change leaders quite a bit before you use up the nail knotted section.

If you have a loop in the end of your fly line, you can attach leaders by tying a 3 turn clinch knot with the butt section right to the line loop. This works surprisingly well, as long as you're careful when you clip it off when you change leaders. This connection slides through the guides much easier than the loop to loop connections...

Good luck with your "experiment".

H.A.

Posted on: 2012/9/4 11:21
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

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2011/7/7 20:06
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Good info H.A... I'm not a big fan of perfection loops or loop to loop. I like my lines to be as "Seamless" as possible. I figure that if I use a nail knot tool, I can tie it just as fast as making a loop to loop connection or perfection loop connection.... Blood knots are the most time consuming for me.

Posted on: 2012/9/4 12:48


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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While you're experimenting, wanna try something really cool?

Take your unattached leader and coil it up like a store bought one - pinch the tippet, and wrap it around your fingers, and then spiral wrap the very end around the hoop 4 or 5 times.

Drop this coil in a pan of boiling water and boil it for 5 minutes. Take it out with a fork, uncoil it, and immediately give it a good stretching. This takes all the memory out of the stiffer material - it feels almost rubbery at first. Then attach to your fly line, and reel it in.

This little trick brings old leader butts back to life, and doesn't harm them at all. This works on any mono or fluorocarbon leader. The effect lasts for a week or so, and the leaders really cast great! I commonly do this before a long fishing trip, and I don't have to fight the memory in the leaders much at all.

This trick really makes Harvey style leaders work fantastic - they're nice and supple after doing this.

Posted on: 2012/9/4 13:40
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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 would be surprised if it wasn't mentioned already but part of tying leaders that I hate is tying a nail knot to my fly line. I usually use a a loop to loop connection. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I end up just stripping the tip of my fly line and the knot slips.

Posted on: 2012/9/5 12:38
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13456
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Nail knot slips? Wow, I can say I've never had that happen. Nor have I slipped the cover off of a fly line if that's what you were referring to.

They are a pain in the rear end to tie, I agree. My trouble is simply holding the loops in place when you try to fish the tag through. Stiff maxima, so they want to spring out and make you start over. Once that tag end is through, through, and I start to tighten, I'm golden.

I'd not want to do it on stream. But I typically just do it once per year for each outfit. Nail knot a nice long butt section on. When I change leaders, I do it at the first knot down, not at the nail knot. So all of my leaders share a common "butt".

As long as it's just the one knot per year, I like it better than loop to loop.


Posted on: 2012/9/5 13:06



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