MC, Is there a simple but good tutorial on tying fly leaders & tippet ?
Got my sons 7wt out, cleaned and ready but the leader is in bad shape. The way it is currently is from the 7wt line there is a fairly heavy piece of mono/fluro about 3 inches long with a loop on the end, looped to that is a length of mono/fluro/tippet, tied to that with what looks like maybe a blood or d-uni knot, then a piece of heavier mono/fluro/tippet maybe 18 inches long to a fly... Its all dried out and the flyline is about to break where that loop is tied to the fly line.
What knots to use where, What size/type line in the setions, How many sections for the normal fly fisherman ? Does that loop need to be there (I don't like that loop-loop connection) or can the first piece simply be tied to the fly line.
Old fugger with a bad heart, who just wants to fish
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Feb 4, 2015 18:53:57 GMT -5
All good questions, unfortunately the answer to all of them is usually "it depends".
Tuesdays nights I teach casting. Thursday nights I have "in shop" classes. Leader construction (knots, tapers, length, which and why) are common topics on Thursdays. How to work a fly, how to set the hook, how to fight the fish, which flies to use... those are all Thursday things.
Its too much to type. Just come by Bass Pro some Thursday night and I'll set your leader up and explain what I'm doing.
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Feb 4, 2015 21:40:58 GMT -5
Yes... BPS in Dania.
There is no set schedule... I'm there from 6 to 10, quit often alone and bored if no one comes in for the class.
I have about a dozen rods for the Tuesday class, and usually, the "students" in the Tuesday class mangle the leaders, so for the first hour i'm remaking some or all of them.
BTW... for anyone curious about flyfishing and gregarious, there are a number of folks interested in rekindling the local flyfishing club, and BPS has agreed that the fly shop on Thursday nights can be used as a meeting place... until we outgrow it and get organized.
I would love to be at one of your classes. It is just impossible during the week to make it to Dania especially at that hour. I was told to buy Rio mono in 30, 20, 12 lb test sizes and make a tapered leader starting with 4' of 30 connect to 3' of 20 connect to 2' of 12 then a flourocarbon bite tippet of 1' of 30. I use a surgeons loop to connect to fly line then surgeons knots to the rest. Is this correct?
This video was helpful for learning and he uses 40lb instead of 30lb which makes me wonder if mine is correct. Although he does not use Rio mono
MC, I'm out for tonite, had a better offer to go see the American Sniper flick.
Gotta go now, stirred up a hornets nest on another site pizzzing off some professional bass fisherman and master angler guide saying something negative about the need, or lack of, to use live bait to catch Peacock bass.
Old fugger with a bad heart, who just wants to fish
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Feb 5, 2015 23:56:04 GMT -5
Vivian, krash, who ever else...
Thanks for the Utube link... Rich has south Florida roots and a past member of the SFFFC. I'll pass his video around... it will make some folks down here chuckle! He is seldom so serious!
OK some simple rules... multiply your line weight by 5 to get an idea on what to use for your butt section (the thickest part of the leader attached to the flyline)... so use 40# for an 8 weight (8 X 5 =40)
Choose whatever you want for your tippet (the thinnest part of the leader). Lets just say you will want to use 12# test... which is a good choice for an 8 weight... but its up to how sporty (or hungry) you are.
What you need now is one section in between the butt and the tippet that is between the two "# tests"... so something between 40 and 12... could be 30 / could be 20... it depends but we can leave that for a later discussion. How about 25#... that is easy to find too?
So... the butt is determined by the fly line, the tippet is your choice, and the "taper" is something between the two. Simple enough?
Now some math... Make your butt section 60% of the leader; make the taper 20% of the leader; and make the tippet another 20% of the leader. To make it easy, make a 10' leader... so 6 feet of butt / 2 feet of taper / 2 feet of tippet. Easy enough?
Want to add a "bite tippet" for those raspy mouthed snook or tarpon? Just add 6 to 8 inches of whatever matches the size of the fish (30# for small snook and tarpon / 40# for larger snook and medium tarpon / 60# for big tarpon. Just add it on, no need to mess up the 60/20/20 proportions.
The only time I use fluoro is for the 60# on big tarpon (maybe more like 10 inches for the big mommas) , and I do not use high end mono either... my preference is Ande, but Stren works good too, so does Trilene XT... the types to avoid are the very supple or very stiff brands.
What is very important is that all three sections are the same brand and make... Stren/Stren/Stren or Ande/Ande/Ande... different brands have different properties so one will almost always be slicker than the other... and the knots will not tighten well. That is one reason to stay away from fluoro... it knots poorly and especially if you try to tie it to mono.
I suggest you learn the Perfection loop and blood knot... but use whatever knots you are most comfortable... don't believe the hype about some knots having more % of line strength... the most important thing is how consistent you can tie any knot. If you tie a knot and its is always around 80% of line strength, you are way ahead by using it rather than the latest "best" knot if sometimes you get 90% out of it but other times you get 60%.
Now, tie up a few leaders, then take them out and tie 'em to something solid... like a tree or fence post. Then step back about 20 feet and pull slowly on it until it breaks. DO NOT PULL ON IT WITH YOUR ROD BENT OR YOU MAY BREAK YOUR ROD! That is why you went with 12# on your 8 weight... so the leader (if stressed to the max) will break before your rod. If your knots are good you will be surprised how strong it will be. If it breaks before you say "Holy bleep!"... your knots need work.
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Feb 6, 2015 23:05:20 GMT -5
The leader is the most easily adjusted part of your set up. The rod, line, reel, and conditions are usually a constant on any given trip... but you can make the leader anything you want. Think of it kinda like adjusting the load in your canoe. Depending on the conditions, you might want the aft or bow to rise or squat just a bit, right... but you almost always balance the load at first to float horizontal.
So... starting with a 9' leader is fine, but most commonly a "rod length" leader is the default starting point (the balanced load in your canoe). I chose to discuss a 10' leader simply to make the math easy, but since most fly rods are 9', most folks start with or suggest a 9' leader. But you have a specialty rod, right? So your default leader is probably less.
Here's the scoop... there is no standard length leader... you modify it to do what you need. A short leader is best when accuracy is more important than delicacy, like when casting to shorelines. A longer leader will present a fly much quieter... you might want that on the flats when sight fishing spooky fish. Bonefish and "out front" tarpon leaders are commonly 12' or more.
You can tell if the leader is about right by watching how it behaves. A too short leader will hook the fly around on every cast, while a too long leader will fail to turn over and just fall in mess with the fly somewhere behind the collapsed leader. If you see either of those things happening, make an adjustment.
Switching from a big popper to a small streamer, or vice versa, will most likely require a modification to your leader... just like you load different for a day trip versus an extended foray. Thankfully, leader mods are just a few snips and a knot or two.
Want more? Just like flylines have different profiles, you can mod the profile of the leader too, and should... but thats only to get you to think, not for now.
Was at BPS today, after a volunteer gig at IGFA.. wandered the fly shop, pretty quiet part of the store.
Checking out the fly leaders and tipit's display.. using your math for a 7wt (7 x 5 = 35) I was looking for leader sizes and materials, did not see any 35# or 17#, so I picked up some 40# & 20# for the butt & mid sections of that "Mason" hard type nylon mono leader stuff. I assume 40/20 is an ok choice for a 7wt to be used mainly for Redfish in Tampa Bay.
Whats the deal, or difference, in the Mason Hard vs say standard Ande mono ?
Old fugger with a bad heart, who just wants to fish
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Feb 15, 2015 9:56:29 GMT -5
Mason is very different than standard fishing line. Using a common term for something very stiff... "it will stand up by itself in a corner". Try it... it probably will. I have heard of some folks using or recommending it for leaders, but I do not. It is most commonly used for weed guards when folks tie their own flies... that is why it is in the shop.
You were thinking right though, on the formula for leader butt size. When the fly line number multiplied by five gives an number where there is no common mono size, like 7 X 5 = 35, round up, as they say in math... go up to the next common mono size. In this case it is 40, which you chose... but will not work with Mason. 40# Mason is much too stiff for a 7 weight line.
As to all those little spools of tippet material in the fly shop... I would not recommend any of them for inshore or saltwater fly fishing. Those materials are made specifically for the freshwater crowd, to match all the freshwater packaged leaders on the wall next to them. Almost all of them fall into the "too supple" category, just as Mason is "too stiff".
If, or when, I explain this stuff with spoken words, not ones I have to type, I usually explain this by using those two types of materials (Mason and freshwater tippet material) as the examples of too stiff and too limp.
Ande, Stren, Trilene XT, even Bass Pro Tightline... all common monofilaments not specifically marketed as "super supple" work just fine, and much better.
And they are quite inexpensive. I think you can get Tightline (which is a relabeled common import like Suffix... but you did not hear that from me) for like $6 a quarter pound spool. At which point you will have enough leader material for eternity.
Ok, picked up some plain clear Ande mono in 40# & 20# to play around with... been using Ande pink pr blue for many years for most boat rod/reels 12# and above good stuff.
Played with some knots for joining the 40# butt section and the 20# mid-taper section.. Tied sevral each with either double surgeons, blood, and uni-uni knots. The blood & uni connections seem to be the ones I like better, the surgeons knot want's to kink up/out one way or the other when cinched down and not lay flat.
Next will be to master the nail knot for connecting the butt section to the fly line.