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Leader lenght for LM Bass

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2007/3/18 23:33
From Washington County
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I was reading an article online from a Bass Guide in NY. He reccomends a 10lb or 12lb straight mono leader at a lenght of 5 1/2' for largemouth. I think some of my problems can be solved by following this advice. Currently, I use around 8' of straight 10lb mono.

What type leader lenght or tapered formula do you use for largemouth bass fishing?

Posted on: 2010/3/8 22:49


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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That'd work...I use a straight 6 ft leader for salt sometimes. I just grab a 7ft nymphing leader for bass though usually, just cause its there in my vest.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 22:55


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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I think my problem is following specs of packaged leaders(usually 8'). The short leader is explained to turn large flies over easier. I guess I shoud have experimented with shorter leaders instead of assuming the packaged 8' leaders are best.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 23:06


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass
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IMO, a tapered leader performs the best, especially for LMB. A tapered leader turns over a large fly and helps with accuracy of casting. If you are trying to drop a hairbug or popper next the the lilly pads, a tapered leader will do the job best. I make my own leaders, but for LMB in cover an extruded leader in 71/2 - 9' tapered 0x leader should do the job. BTW, for fishing LMB, knotless leaders work best in weedy areas. Good luck.

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Posted on: 2010/3/9 6:53


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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2008/1/21 19:15
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I started using straight leaders for stipers because a lot of the "old salts" claim it was better. It carried over into freshwater uses for me, bass included. I like a shorter than normal leader for warm water...around 6 1/2' to 7', but not quite as short as 5' (although I would use it that short with a sink tip line).
My mileage varies from Afish a little in that a stiff straight leader seemed to turn over bigger flies for me better than a taper. However, it may have been that I just wasn't using a big enough or stiff enough leader. The problem was that I kept getting piles at the fly because the leader was just overpowered by the size/ weight of the fly. (Or maybe the stiffer leader just compensated for a tired casting stroke at the end of the day!)

Posted on: 2010/3/10 14:19


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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Thanks for the replies. I’ll have to try the straight mono leader. I’ve tried the 8’ bass tapers but they don’t roll the big flies over completely. I’m sure my casting abilities are somewhat to blame. My goal is to eliminate the spinning rod for bass fishing this year. I’ve exclusively fished a fly rod for trout the last ten years, but I can’t seem to break the habit with bass.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 23:18


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass
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Quote:

Buggy wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I’ll have to try the straight mono leader. I’ve tried the 8’ bass tapers but they don’t roll the big flies over completely. I’m sure my casting abilities are somewhat to blame. My goal is to eliminate the spinning rod for bass fishing this year. I’ve exclusively fished a fly rod for trout the last ten years, but I can’t seem to break the habit with bass.



If a tapered leader doesn't turn over your flies, I can promise you, straight mono sure won't. The purpose of a tapered leader is to help with fly turnover. The heavy butt turns over the progressively lighter mono in the mid-section down to the tippet. Try a heavy tapered knot-less leader (try 0x)and practice casting with it. It will come.

Try this: on your back cast, stop your rod completely and watch your line straighten out. Make your forward cast and do the same thing (Stop!......straighten). When making your final forward cast, don't put any extra ummmph into it like you would when casting a spinning rod, just Stop!.......straighten while keeping your rod tip up to allow the line and leader to completely unfurl and drop to the water. Give it a try.


Cast>>> STOP!....straighten....

Cast<<< STOP!....straighten....

Posted on: 2010/3/11 8:52


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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afishinado, I appreciate the casting tips. I know there are times when I don't allow my back cast to straighten. That causes the forward cast to be less tight. The perfect cast is more important when casting the heavy flies. When casting a #14 dry fly, casting errors are way more forgiving.

Posted on: 2010/3/11 9:36


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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I mostly agree with what Afish had to say about tapered leaders and their ability to turn a fly and enhance accuracy when you are fishing to a specific spot, as is often the case when bass fishing along and in weed lines.

The only exception I can think of where straight mono might be superior is the use of relatively short sections (say less than 5') of 10-12 lb. test material to fish subsurface. I used to monkey around a lot tying big neutral buoyancy buggers and leech patterns to fish Presque Isle Bay and some of the other lakes around home. I'd tie these flies so they would more or less suspend (so long as I kept them moving a little bit) in the 3-4 foot zone between the water surface and the top of the weed beds and would use straight single diameter mono for that.

It's a fun way to fish for largemouth.

Posted on: 2010/3/11 10:23


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass
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Quote:

RLeep2 wrote:
I mostly agree with what Afish had to say about tapered leaders and their ability to turn a fly and enhance accuracy when you are fishing to a specific spot, as is often the case when bass fishing along and in weed lines.

The only exception I can think of where straight mono might be superior is the use of relatively short sections (say less than 5') of 10-12 lb. test material to fish subsurface. I used to monkey around a lot tying big neutral buoyancy buggers and leech patterns to fish Presque Isle Bay and some of the other lakes around home. I'd tie these flies so they would more or less suspend (so long as I kept them moving a little bit) in the 3-4 foot zone between the water surface and the top of the weed beds and would use straight single diameter mono for that.

It's a fun way to fish for largemouth.



Yup. In general, if you need/want to turn over a fly, a tapered leader is best. For a deeper presentation, straight mono will work better because the thinner diameter line sinks quicker. Actually when fishing steamers or nymphs, a cast that dumps the fly in a pile like straight mono tends to do, helps the fly to sink quicker because it eliminates any tension on the line when the fly hits the water.

But, for a beginner, I would concentrate on proper casting and laying out a fly with a tapered leader and gaining accuracy with your casting. Good stuff.

Posted on: 2010/3/11 10:59


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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Afish's post made me laugh. I spent years learning to turn flies over. Just last summer, I spent a few hours outside learning to pile cast for better drift and faster sinkrate. Maybe I was more advanced than I thought in the beginning?

Posted on: 2010/3/11 11:14


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass
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Jay, your proficiency became a deficiency!

Posted on: 2010/3/11 11:50


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:

If a tapered leader doesn't turn over your flies, I can promise you, straight mono sure won't. The purpose of a tapered leader is to help with fly turnover. The heavy butt turns over the progressively lighter mono in the mid-section down to the tippet. Try a heavy tapered knot-less leader (try 0x)and practice casting with it. It will come.



Under almost all trout circumstances I agree with this...I use tapers exclusively for trout where the flies are relatively close in size and weight. The taper certainly is designed to (and does) transfer the energy through the loop effectively, but within parameters of its size. However, with the size of my bass bug varying from #12 buggers to 7" 2/0 streamers and deer hair poppers, I still think a shorter straight leader works best for me. With tapers large enough for my big poppers, they will overpower the small bugger and diminish it's action and effectiveness. If you select a leader that is light enough for a smaller bugger, I promise you it will be too limp for the largest flies. Unless I'm going to change leaders several times in a day, the straight leader gives a compromise that will handle both, whereas the taper has deficiencies when on either extreme of fly size.
If you are using flies with comparable size and weight during the day, I would agree with afish that the appropriate size taper is the way to go. I also concur that casting form is the most critical element. The leader, whichever you choose, is still controlled by your rod movement. However, if you are changing fly size during the day to determine what the bass are taking, I would tell you to experiment and see which works best for you.

Posted on: 2010/3/13 9:58


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass
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Quote:

David wrote:
Quote:

afishinado wrote:

If a tapered leader doesn't turn over your flies, I can promise you, straight mono sure won't. The purpose of a tapered leader is to help with fly turnover. The heavy butt turns over the progressively lighter mono in the mid-section down to the tippet. Try a heavy tapered knot-less leader (try 0x)and practice casting with it. It will come.



Under almost all trout circumstances I agree with this...I use tapers exclusively for trout where the flies are relatively close in size and weight. The taper certainly is designed to (and does) transfer the energy through the loop effectively, but within parameters of its size. However, with the size of my bass bug varying from #12 buggers to 7" 2/0 streamers and deer hair poppers, I still think a shorter straight leader works best for me. With tapers large enough for my big poppers, they will overpower the small bugger and diminish it's action and effectiveness. If you select a leader that is light enough for a smaller bugger, I promise you it will be too limp for the largest flies. Unless I'm going to change leaders several times in a day, the straight leader gives a compromise that will handle both, whereas the taper has deficiencies when on either extreme of fly size.
If you are using flies with comparable size and weight during the day, I would agree with afish that the appropriate size taper is the way to go. I also concur that casting form is the most critical element. The leader, whichever you choose, is still controlled by your rod movement. However, if you are changing fly size during the day to determine what the bass are taking, I would tell you to experiment and see which works best for you.



Interesting. I'm a popper / floating bug fanatic when fishing for SMBs or LMBs and usually try them first and switch back and forth from top to bottom them all day. I too hate to cahnge leaders. What I generally use as my leader is a fairly heavy leader tapered down to 0x or 1x (I tie my own tapered furled leaders). When I switch to a good sized bugger or clouser, and want some depth I often add 3' of tippet say 2x or so to the tapered leader. I find that 4 or 5' of straight mono followed by the floating fly line tends to lift up my flies off the bottom. The longer length of mono (leader + tippet) tends to run deeper. If I really want to dredge the bottom in a deep and/or fast run, I'll add a sink tip at the end of my fly line with 4'+/- of mono as the tippet.

Posted on: 2010/3/13 15:32


Re: Leader lenght for LM Bass

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2007/3/18 23:33
From Washington County
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My main problem has been lack of persistence overcoming the learning curve. Warm water fishing is my only local option after May. I’ll have to get outside and practice casting with different leader types and lengths. Man, too bad those 4” plus bass bugs on an 8wt don’t cast like dry flies on the 4wt.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and comments as it gives me valuable info to build on. David, RLeep2, and afishinado your info on the short leader with a sinking tip will be helpful in my quest to fish subsurface.

Posted on: 2010/3/13 21:19



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