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Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2009/1/22 21:53
From Cogan Station, PA
Posts: 124
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Alright, I have a pretty good supply of tippet in 4x,5x, and 6x at home. I also have a few 3x, 4x, and 5x leaders (7.5ft & 9ft) RIO Powerflex leaders (from theflystop).

I'm still a bit confused about this whole process (maybe I'm over thinking this). The Rio leaders are tapered from butt to tippet. So, in a sense they can be fished "as-is" without attaching any tippet, correct? Eventually, once you clipped back to the butt section, you could tie more tippet on, correct? If that's the case, and you have a 4x leader, and you want to fish 18-20 size flies, could you in theory tie 6x tippet to the 4x leader, or would that be too abrupt of a transition?

I see mention of a lot of anglers building (tying) their leaders from butt to tippet. Would you start with a NON-tapered leader to do this?

Finally, could I take a 7.5 ft tapered leader, tied on end to a tippet ring, and then rig up and size tippet as needed to the end, or would I need to trim the leader back to the butt section first?

Since a lot of people mention that a leader should last a long time, is that to say, you can pick a general size for trout fishing, keep it on, and just swap out tippet sizes/lengths as needed (clear/muddy water, size of stream, size of fly, etc.,)?


Posted on: 2012/12/11 9:46


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2012/1/13 23:36
From Landenberg PA
Posts: 188
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You have it right. 4x to 6x is not an abrupt transition in my book. I usually don't like to tie right on to the leader, even if that means a 6 to 12 inch "terminal" tippet attached to the end. And of course, that depends on how long I want the leader and tippet to be (Personally I am a fan of long leaders and tippet, but it makes roll over difficult and casting into the wind a pain).

For building your own (I'm even newer to this), I make them just out of tippet, but you can make ones starting with 30-40lb mono (or fluro) and go down from there. No need to spend the money on a non tapered leader, thats why I make a few of my own.

Double overhand surgeons knot

For "general" trout fishing, I like to use a 4x or 5x tapered leader. But yes, you are correct that you basically swap out tippet for different presentations. The only time I will do a leader swap is if I am not nymphing or using a streamer....rest assured loop to loop connections are easy for a quick stream swap.

Posted on: 2012/12/11 19:02
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I like my fly rods fast and my women even faster


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2009/1/22 21:53
From Cogan Station, PA
Posts: 124
Offline
Thanks. So, you mention you don't like tying directly to the leader. So you put a filler section of tippet between the leader and actual section of tippet, then? Couldn't a tippet ring be substituted for this transition?

You mention the only time you switch leaders is if you're no nymphing or fishing streamers. I take it, that it's best to go with a heavier leader when streamer fishing and a lighter one when fishing drys?

Posted on: 2012/12/12 9:32


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2012/1/13 23:36
From Landenberg PA
Posts: 188
Offline
By that I mean tying a fly directly to my leader. I'll use a nine foot leader and how ever much tippet I need for the conditions I am fishing (wind). A tippet ring could be substituted for the purpose of connection your leader to tippet, I just don't personally use them. I do: Leader....Tippet...Fly, no need for a piece in between for most situations I have encountered so far. If you are referring to the final taper of the leader to 5x or 4x, yes I tie on tippet to the end of that then the fly. I like to preserve the leader as much as possible, but Im not afraid to hack it away in the rather interesting situations I put myself in.

Yes and no, I have 5x and 4x fluoro tapered leaders, which depends on how delicate I want the presentation to be. I should have clarified that more...I use fluorocarbon leaders and tippet when nymphing or using streamers because its limber, essentially invisible (no transparency), and its abrasion resistance. Gives the fly the most realistic presentation.

For dries, I use a regular tapered leader and tippet, which I believe is nylon. Its more supple and floats better. Fluoro is heavier and can cause slack between the fly and the rod as it sinks....thats what I have been told. However, if fishing a dry dropper rig, I will tie fluoro to the dry to the nymph or midge. Also, I will nymph with a regular leader if I don't want to change it out. You can still catch fish, I just use fluoro when nymphing to get the best presentation possible.

I recommend fluorocarbon for nymphs, midges and streamers, but it is expensive (~$15 for a 30yd spool of tippet, something around $12 for a leader). I still don't understand the price differences in regular tippet...they all seem to perform the same.

Posted on: 2012/12/12 10:07
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I like my fly rods fast and my women even faster


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2012/8/11 18:00
From Southern PA
Posts: 63
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AN OLDER THREAD that helped me fine tune my leaders without reading a book.

Posted on: 2012/12/12 14:31


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 12923
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Quote:
The Rio leaders are tapered from butt to tippet. So, in a sense they can be fished "as-is" without attaching any tippet, correct?


Correct, they likely have tippet built right in. Whatever size the leader is rated for.

Quote:
Eventually, once you clipped back to the butt section, you could tie more tippet on, correct? If that's the case, and you have a 4x leader, and you want to fish 18-20 size flies, could you in theory tie 6x tippet to the 4x leader, or would that be too abrupt of a transition?


Yep. Replace tippet as you lose it. To go to 6x, you could tie it right on the end, though that results in a LONGER 6x leader. If you don't want to lengthen it, you could clip back the 4x a ways and replace it with 6x.

Quote:
I see mention of a lot of anglers building (tying) their leaders from butt to tippet. Would you start with a NON-tapered leader to do this?


Yeah, non-tapered, just sections at different diameters, so you build the taper in with abrupt "steps". The advantage is the ability to adjust to anything you want on stream, rather than being restricted to the leaders you're carrying. Want a steep taper? Do a little leader surgery and you got it.

Some also use furled leaders, which are tapered (essentially a tapered braided line), to a tippet ring. You lose the flexibility to adjust. But furled leaders turn over real well and it's a simple, effective method. The taper part never gets cut into or anything, you just play with the tippet beyond the ring. Can lengthen, shorten, go bigger or smaller on tippet only. Changing anything on the leader itself essentially requires swapping out a new one.

Quote:
Finally, could I take a 7.5 ft tapered leader, tied on end to a tippet ring, and then rig up and size tippet as needed to the end, or would I need to trim the leader back to the butt section first?


That's kind of the furled leader idea, but you could do it with any butt section, whether factory tapered or "built" from sections. The advantage is simplicity, and you never cut a leader, so they last forever. The disadvantage is, again, the inability to adjust. Say, if you're on a small stream and want to throw a 7 ft leader, with tippet included in that length, you're kind of screwed. Same if you want a 12' leader, if a full 5' of that is tippet it's not gonna cast well.

You can carry several different lengths of these tippet-less tapered leaders, and just swap back and forth. They make leader wallets for that. Perfection loop on the butt end, tippet ring on the other. You'd be able to swap them quickly and easily when needed.

Quote:
Since a lot of people mention that a leader should last a long time, is that to say, you can pick a general size for trout fishing, keep it on, and just swap out tippet sizes/lengths as needed.


Yeah, you can do that, again the weakness is that you can only adjust the tippet length, not the leader length. That's how most of us started making our own leaders. We'd cut one of those way back, past the tippet and into the leader, to shorten it. Then to lengthen it again you have to rebuild, starting with larger diameter than the tippet. Soon you have a "built" leader.

Posted on: 2012/12/12 15:00


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2009/1/22 21:53
From Cogan Station, PA
Posts: 124
Offline
Such a huge help, guys. Thanks for taking the time to explain it. It really does make sense.

The reason I was so confused is a buddy of mine whom I fish with occasionally told me to keep it simple and fish a 3x or 4x leader all of the time for our streams around here. I kept forgetting about the tippet "extensions" you can add if fishing flys that demand something other than 3x or 4x.

Posted on: 2012/12/13 13:34


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2010/1/21 17:06
From Southwest, Pa
Posts: 1069
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if i had a dime for every thread to this subject...

F building a complete leader... maxima is junk

rio is tits, but...

walmart sells fairplay leaders in 7.5ft for $1.96

pick up five in 5x and five in 3x

now is when you start to 'build'

buy 1, 3, 5, and 6x spools of rio powerflex for dry leaders
buy 2, 3, 4, and 5x spools of rio flouroflex for subsurface

keep in mind, 4x flouro is basically the same breaking strength of 3x mono and sinks better.

if fishing dries, triple surgeon 4 feet of 5 or 6x rio powerflex to your 5x leader immediately. When you get down to 1.5 feet of that tippet, attach another 2 feet. When that gets down to 1.5 feet, clip the original off and start all over... 1 leader will last you many outings.

do the same w. your 3x tippet, unless you want a hinge effect to nymph.

for this, keep around your old butt sections of used tippet. Wrap them around your hand and re-package and mark it with a sharpie (used)

simply add a long section of whatever diameter you wish.

someone (a mod) should make a megathread about leaders and sticky it in the beginners sections

Posted on: 2012/12/13 21:15
_________________
Sure, we can assiduously three-quarter our wets down stream, mend, and wait out each fly swing, which to my way of thinking, anyway, relegates to the angler to role of butler, rather than nemesis.

-Art Lee


Re: Leader/Tippet Recommendations

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7207
Offline
The only thing is you should not skip more then 2 sizes, so if the leader is 4X then you can go directly to 6X. If the leader is 5X you could go from that to 7X. Though if I were using 5X I'd go to 6X then 7X. Just my preference. I usually use 3X leader, but I believe I'll change to 4X.

Posted on: 2012/12/13 22:40
_________________
It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.






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