View Full Version : Line...Leader...Tippet...Big Flies.....Help!

07-29-2008, 09:58 PM
Do you guys or gals know of an online resource of other source for choosing the best leader and tippet for a particular size fly. Small trout flies (12 to 20+) aren't the problem, it is when I move up to streamers or warmwater with poppers, etc. I am sure the casting stroke is part of the problem as I am sure the bigger the fly the more I try to muscle it, but I want to make sure I am optimizing my set up before I really start messing with my stroke. Any help is appreciated.

07-29-2008, 10:24 PM
7.5 3xfor poppers and streamers

07-30-2008, 01:54 PM
Check out this site. When I first started FFing, I was having a real problem getting my casts to end correctly. I saw the chart on the back of a package of Orvis leaders and, BINGO, my casting improved immediately. Nothing like trying to cast a Dahlberg Diver with a 4X tippet. I find that I can toss smaller hooks with oversized tippets, but tossing large hooks with an undersized tippet just doesn't work.


07-30-2008, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the help guys. BuckeyeRick, that website is exactly what I was looking for. I have an add on questions.... What about leader length and tippet length and the effect on the cast. For example, if I am throwing a popper (size 6), how long should the leader and tippet combination be? For bulky flies, is shorter better? Thanks for your help.

07-30-2008, 03:29 PM
Try this site for some ideas:

07-30-2008, 04:19 PM
Thanks Pete.

07-31-2008, 10:10 AM
You can also use a furled leader and add some 2x tippet. They turn over big poppers pretty good. I grease the furled leader with mucilin dressing.
If your fishing streamers just tie on a straight piece of mono. I have been using 10-12 lb test anywhere from 9-12 ft long. I bought a small spool of the red cajun 12lb test, it has worked pretty well for me. Its pretty much chuck and duck fishing.

07-31-2008, 12:00 PM
The length of the leader is not as important as the stiffness of the leader that will allow the fly to turn over without it hinging. For all my lines that are 5wt or more, I use 60" of 25lb test, 30" of 20lb, and 15" of 15 lb. I use Maxima. I then add 18 to 24" of whatever tippet fits my hook size. On my 3wt I use 20-15-12, but I'm still deciding if I like it.

With the 25-20-15, I can cast both a #14 with a 5X or toss a big popper with 0X with the same ease.

07-31-2008, 02:15 PM
T-Man and BuckeyeRick, thanks for the info. I purchased a furled leader from LRO on-line last night along with some 2x tippet. I will give it a try first. Buckeye Rick I also plan to tie some of my own leaders. It has gotten too hot her in Memphis to effectively fish with a fly rod so I am going to take the month of August to perfect my leader system for fall bass fishing.

This site is a great source of info. Thanks for all the responses.


07-31-2008, 05:57 PM
MickinMS -

Do you ever fish Lakeview? I used to spend a lot of time there, 30+ yrs ago when I was supposed to be in class.


07-31-2008, 07:32 PM
Steve- I have never fished Lakeview. I live down in the Olive Branch area. I have been going down to Wall Doxey in Holly Springs, MS. It is about a 60 acre lake. Perfect for a canoe. But, I am always looking for new water to try.


08-05-2008, 01:44 PM
There's also a free .xls program floating around on the net called "leadercalc" it's basically a spreadsheet with macros for building specialized leader combinations. If I remember correctly, You just type in a length and a tippet size and it returns several taper combinations.

you'll need MS Excel or a similar appplication to run it properly.