View Full Version : What leader?

12-09-2007, 12:20 AM
What size, and length leader are you using for the smaller streams, like treemont?

12-09-2007, 12:26 AM
Considers the amount of water, If the water is low and the fish are real spooky 9' #6, if there is more current I will go to a 9' #5.

12-09-2007, 01:20 AM
I almost always use a 7.5 ft 6x in the park.

12-09-2007, 10:54 AM
Generally, I use a 7.5 foot leader in either 4x or 5x depending on water conditions. Tailwaters I use a 9 or 10 foot 5x or 6x.

12-09-2007, 02:00 PM
I use a furled leader, and usually 6x tippet (about 3ft), although lately I've gone as light as 8x.

12-09-2007, 07:31 PM
7.5 foot 6X

12-09-2007, 10:06 PM
7.5 ft 6x in the park (except East Prong LR or Deep Creek)

9 ft 5x on tailwaters

David Knapp
12-09-2007, 10:27 PM
I've gotta say, I'm really surprised at how many of you are using 6x...I might have to try it out and see if I catch more fish...:cool: I mainly fish a 7.5' to 9' leader tapered to 4x or 5x tippet. The 6x is left for the dropper...

12-09-2007, 10:53 PM
I probably use the heaviest tippets of anyone on here (that is fishing the Smokies). I despise having to go to 5x. I do probably 20% 3x, 75% 4x, and 5% 5x and 6x. The smaller the stream, the less it matters. And usually my tippet is around 9', although I'll go all the way to about 6' in micro-waters.

12-09-2007, 11:39 PM
I use about a 8-10' pc of blue Stren. You can find it in tangled up in the rhodo bushes in just about any good hole along Little River Rd:biggrin: . Hard to get it untagled some times, but the price is right and I catch plenty of fish with it;)

12-10-2007, 12:22 AM

I think, in my case, it's partly a function of where I fish (smaller streams, smaller fish), and partly my desire to maximize the number of strikes I get. I know you like to go for those big browns at times, and you probably need far heavier tippet to have a chance to land them; I know I wish I had on heavier tippet when I hooked those two stockers a few weeks ago. Anyway, there's always a tradeoff, no matter which way you look at it.

Rog 1
12-10-2007, 10:14 AM
My go to tippet is a 6x and when they are really spooky will tie on the 7x...most of my fishing is done with shorter rods so rarely use leaders over 7.5 feet.....recently I have started using furled leaders in the 5.5 ft. range with about a yard of tippet.

12-10-2007, 11:08 AM
Does anyone else consider the correlation of fly size to tippet size when choosing the X size of their leader?


12-10-2007, 12:14 PM
There are so many people using 7.5' leaders, I use 9' tapperd or 6' furled with 3' of tippit. I have never used 7.5' leader what is the advantage of using the shorter leader?

David Knapp
12-10-2007, 12:53 PM
Ijsouth, I'm actually more likely to use larger tippet on the smaller streams because normally the fish in smaller streams are less pressured. I've never used anything smaller than 6x on small streams and most of the time use 5x.

Flyman, I roughly follow fly size to tippet diameter rules... I probably use 5x tippet in the park around 75% of the time but that is largely because of the fact that the fly sizes I use match well with that tippet size...

Rog 1
12-10-2007, 03:04 PM
Just from experience nad personal preference I like the shorter leaders...I generally fish the smaller streams and do not cast long distances....if my leader is too long I have trouble keeping the line out enough to cast without forever tugging and pulling to get enough line out to cast.....

12-10-2007, 03:38 PM
For dries and dry/dropper rigs, I use a light line furled leader with various tippet lengths for 8-12ft leaders usually on 4x with a 5x dropper. 6x is the smallest I have ever used in the mtn streams.
High stickin nymphs is usually an 8ft leader to the top fly in 4x with a dropper on 5x. No tapers needed just straight 2x dia. mono with tippet added.
Streamers in the lower elevations are on 3x and vary from 8-12ft according to the depths I want and the weight of the fly.

12-10-2007, 06:16 PM
In the smokies I use 9' - 5x most of the time, 6x for the dropper. If fishing larger heavier nymphs, then I will go to 4x, maybe even 3x in high water (its been so long, I hardly remember) This summer and fall in the low clear water, I did find 6x to be better. For small streams in the back country never lighter than 5x, and more likely 9' 5x. Used to use braided leaders, don't anymore. Never tried the furled leaders, probably won't either. This is for the Smokies, tailwaters would be different.


12-10-2007, 08:21 PM
I've read in many places that the tendency is to go to a heavier leader on the smaller, overgrown streams - if for no other reason that it is easier to get a fly out of the rhododendrons, etc. I can understand that, and indeed, this Spring, I was using 5x or 6x, on a compound knotted leader - 7.5 ft. Someone mentioned the tippet size and matching it to the fly size, and with that sort of leader, that's very important; you have to get a "match" to turn the fly over. What I found was, I would start off the day ok, but as I retied, etc, the dimensions of my leader would change, and I would have a hard time matching the ideal, even with the formula in my backpack. In July, I started experimenting with furled leaders. When I came up to buy my land in August, I wasn't sure if I would be fishing at all - it was so hot and dry. I was fortunate that the Cosby area received a good soaking the day before, and the stream was fishable. It was still low and clear, however, so I used 7x and 8x, not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised - I got over 30 brookies and bows in about 4 hours of fishing, and I'm convinced that it was the combination of the furled leader, light tippet, and small flies that did the trick. We came up in October, and I stuck with the light stuff, and this last trip over Thanksgiving. Even though I like the small streams that don't see as much pressure as, say, Little River, when the water is low and clear, they can be just as picky. I had one little rainbow eyeball my fly for about 10 seconds before refusing it - that's when I switched from a #18 to #20 and started getting more strikes.

Next Spring, if we have a normal Winter (let's hope), and the water is up, I'll probably go back to 5x or 6x.