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Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

Joined:
2012/8/20 23:10
From Southwestern NY
Posts: 453
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So after listening to Tom rosenburg's orvis podcast yesterday, he was talking about leaders, tippet and the size of flys properly being used. I my self am new to fly fishing, and am totally hooked.

My next three goals are:

Presentation, how to make leaders and proper size tippet to fly ratio for better presentation. And fly tying...

I have just gone n bought leaders and tippet by weight and never put any thought to tippet/end of leader in perspective to fly size...

So I have read hand built leaders deliver flies nicer than store bought leaders.

The species I am going after are: bass, carp(for the challenge), trout of all sizes brook to Steele head, and salmon from the niagra river.

Any help, or thoughts would be greatly apreshiated.

Thanks DJ

Posted on: 2012/8/22 7:58


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

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
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IMO. tying your own leaders is like tying your own flys.
You're gonna have to spend more money at the get go to do it. But in the long run, it's well worth doing.
If you're serious about fly fishing - do it

Posted on: 2012/8/22 8:14


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

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I make my own and I think you'll find many of the experienced guys do. I wouldn't say that hand tied leaders deliver flies BETTER than store bought leaders. Because it's hard to say that, everyone ties different tapers and store bought one's are different tapers too. I think a better way to say it is that hand tied leaders give you more versatility. I'm constantly changing leaders to fit conditions.

From what I've seen, there are generally two schools of thought on this board. Some guys build various leaders using materials like Maxima Chameleon for the stiff butt sections, and knot together the sections. Others make furled (braided) leaders, usually ending in a tippet ring or something similar, then just tippet from there.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 8:14


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

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2009/9/14 12:48
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I wouldn't expect any magic results as far as presentation is concerned. That has a lot more to do with casting than it does with your leader formula.

IMHO, you don't need a fancy leader for smallmouth, or for any other fish where you're casting bigger flies. As long as you let you're letting your line straighten out to load the rod you'll be fine. For bass I usually just use 3-4 feet of 20 lb + 3 feet of 1x.

A lot of thought does go into trout leaders, but at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. If you tie your own leaders for a while, you'll figure out what you like and what you don't. Invariably some people will tell you your leader formulas are wrong, but somehow you'll catch fish anyway...

Posted on: 2012/8/22 9:22


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

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2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
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I tie my own - haven't bought a store bought leader in about 2 years. Just google "leader formula" and you will get a lot of good info, try some of them and document your results, then stick with what works.

"So I have read hand built leaders deliver flies nicer than store bought leaders."

If you found those comments on this board, I am one that has had similar experience. I don't know the physics of casting with knotted leaders vs. one-piece tapered leaders, it just feels better and I would swear that they turn over better.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 9:29


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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I typically fish once a day maybe skipping a day here n there but for now it's pretty ridiculous... Just trying to get asynchronous practice as I can. But I'm looking into a 7-7.5" 4wt for the brush sided streams we have around me, for brooks n browns. And I want to make my 8wt a versatile pole for bigger streams/rivers/ open water. I think the custom leaders will be the most studied there, if ya know what I mean... Ranging 7-12' depending on what I am fishing and the size of the flies... So it looks like I'm off to buy a bunch of line n tippet n just start building n casting. I am luck to have the world of forums and just met a fishing guide for advice and he seems to like to set people up with his flies that he ties to see if the work...

But all n all looks like more research and a lot of trial n error, lucky heavy weight lines come in large spools!

And yeah I definitely need more casting practice. Like I said I just want the best presentation I can have for when the fishing gets good. And leaders are freakin expensive!!

Posted on: 2012/8/22 9:47


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

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Theoretically, at least, from a physics perspective, a knotless leader is more efficient at transferring energy.

That said, most of us who tie our own knotted leaders are using very stiff materials, like chameleon, for the butt and part of the taper. And then we use softer materials on the tippet end to get us our drag free drift. Those stiff materials do indeed transfer energy better. And a knotless leader doesn't have the flexibility to use different materials for different sections, and most of them use softer materials throughout.

Hence, I think that's the observed effect of hand tied leaders turning over better. I've observed it too.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 10:27


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

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From Bel Air, MD
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pcray,

Your explanation reflects my experiences very well...as always, well stated.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 13:11


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

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2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
Posts: 1795
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I have tied my own leaders since I began flyfishing. I tried a tapered extruded storebought leader once and only once. It was horrible. The leaders I build can be modified and adjusted for any condition. IMO handtied leaders are ALOT better.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 15:09
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"Even the thousandth trip to the same familiar stream begins with renewed hope and unfailing faith." ZANE GREY


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

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2011/4/12 17:23
From Lancaster Co.
Posts: 1129
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To the OP - many of the species you're pursuing require the simplest of leaders especially when you are chuckin' and duckin' egg patterns for steelhead and salmon. I tied my own for trout for awhile and then got lazy. Usually start the season with a fresh 7.5' leader tipped out at 4x. Tie on additional 4x or 5x depending on what fly I'm using and/or water clarity. keep replacing this piece of tippet as it gets shorter. If fishing smaller dries in clear water may add some 6x. IMO - some of these guys overcomplicate things with all different lengths and sizes of hand tied leaders but to each his own.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 15:56
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"You might be a big fish, in a little pond. Doesn't mean you've won, cause a long may come, a bigger one."


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: 13402
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For me, leaders are very important in fly fishing success. Not as important as things like the where and when. But far more important than having a good rod, or even using the right fly.

It's all about presentation. Getting a fly to exactly where you need it and getting the right drift when you get it there, etc. That's all in the leader.

If you can't get rid of drag (dries or nymphs), there's a leader adjustment for that. If you can't get far enough up under that tree limb, there's a leader adjustment for that. If the fish are a little out of reach, there's a leader adjustment for that. If you keep snapping them off on the hookset, theres a leader adjustment for that. If on nymphs, you think you're missing takes, there's a leader adjustment for that too.

It's hard to understate how important it is. That said, yes, for a beginner, start simple. Learn to be a decent caster first. After you are a reasonably good caster, then start experimenting with leaders.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 16:24


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

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2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2698
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There was a leader maker who gave away a number of leaders on this site to anyone who asked. I found them to be of high quality, but cannot recall who it was...anyone recall?

Posted on: 2012/8/22 21:20


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

Joined:
2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2698
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There was a leader maker who gave away a number of leaders on this site to anyone who asked. I found them to be of high quality, but cannot recall who it was...anyone recall?

Posted on: 2012/8/22 21:20


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

Joined:
2012/5/4 9:12
From Parkesburg
Posts: 544
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^^^
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.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 22:41
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Re: Leaders, whos making them vs just buying tapered?

Joined:
2012/8/20 23:10
From Southwestern NY
Posts: 453
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Yeah I fish way too much, but that's all in getting my fly experience up. And now that the water temps are coming back down n the fish are going to be more active, I just want to be as prepared as I can be. Ya know. So far the only draw backs are of drag and the knots holding water? Not too bad... Thinking I'm gonna start picking up different monos and try my hand at it. Pretty much gonna work off that link with the leader setups they have there and fine tune the rest as I go... There might be a day when I spend a whole afternoon just casting leaders.... With different size flies...

I want to try to make my 8wt rig as versatile as possible. Cast larger flies on what ever I can make work and smaller flies for trout in bigger streams/rivers on longer leaders for hopefully good presentations with a bigger pole.

I'm plannin on a 4wt rig also but like a 7.5' rod for local small streams. And still thinking maybe going lighter on that rod yet.... I have to go up and play with a friends rod collection and see if I want to go lighter or stay in a safe 4wt...

Those are my thoughts and reasons thus far....

Thanks agian for all the responses. DJ

Posted on: 2012/8/23 8:03



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