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stumpknocker
01-20-2008, 02:14 PM
I have fly fished in Florida lakes and rivers a good bit and snagged a few bass and pan fish this way. Never caught a trout YET up your way but gonna try this spring. Have tied 8-12lb test Stren on my float line with a blood knot all this time. I need some education I am sure after reading some of the threads ya'll are putting out. Please help. How many Lb. test leader on my 4wt float-line for catching those trout in the Smokies. And, can't draw a picture of a tippet tied on a leader. Why not just a leader on the floater fly line. Also why buy and individual leader? Doesn't it just come on a spool? :confused:

tennswede
01-20-2008, 02:49 PM
Leaders in fly fishing comes prepackaged. They are usually tapered from the butt end being the thickest to the tip being the thinnest. This is so the leader can turn over or roll so to speak, in order for the fly to smoothly land on the surface. This is very important when fishing with a dry. If you use just regular mono in a level length you will find that your fly will just collapse in a tangle in front of you. The fish will just get scared and hurry for cover and you will be frustrated and most likely will spend the next thirty minutes trying to untie the mess.

It is all about physics. The tapered leader cut through the air so to speak. You can in some circumstances use a level length of line, mostly when nymphing with very heavy flies. When your leader tip gets worn out you cut it off and tie on a length of fresh monofilament in order to continue using the rest of the leader. This is called a tippet.

For most fishing in the mountains a 7 1/2 ft tapered leader in 4x to 6x would be usable depending on conditions and rod length.

Hope this helps.

Jubal
01-20-2008, 03:03 PM
Leaders in fly fishing comes prepackaged. They are usually tapered from the butt end being the thickest to the tip being the thinnest. This is so the leader can turn over or roll so to speak, in order for the fly to smoothly land on the surface. This is very important when fishing with a dry. If you use just regular mono in a level length you will find that your fly will just collapse in a tangle in front of you. The fish will just get scared and hurry for cover and you will be frustrated and most likely will spend the next thirty minutes trying to untie the mess.

It is all about physics. The tapered leader cut through the air so to speak. You can in some circumstances use a level length of line, mostly when nymphing with very heavy flies. When your leader tip gets worn out you cut it off and tie on a length of fresh monofilament in order to continue using the rest of the leader. This is called a tippet.

For most fishing in the mountains a 7 1/2 ft tapered leader in 4x to 6x would be usable depending on conditions and rod length.

Hope this helps.


well put! you hit the nail on the head.

Rog 1
01-20-2008, 03:56 PM
The other alternative is to fish what is called a furled leader....this is a hand "braided" leader of varying length which can be bought in different sizes. This leader is attached directly to your fly line and you only add a desired lenght of tippet as needed.....the tippet strength can be changed depending on the need.....there have been several discussions about these leaders on this site in the past so go back and look for them.....most of these leaders will last for many trips and all that you need is a couple of spools of different sized tippet material.

Plunker
01-21-2008, 01:07 AM
It's also worth mentioning, that tying extra tippet to your leader gives you the added benefits of :
1. Extending the leader by a foot or two, while being able to take the business end down a size or two when in the presence of "spooky" fish.
2. Tippet also helps you to maintain the original specified length of the leader, thereby maintaing the aforementioned mechanical performance.
3. Unless you have figured out how to tie a not using less than a 1/2 inch or so of line, the addition of tippet saves leader length each time you change flies. (without a foot or two of tippet, my flies would be chinched up to the leader/fly line knot after an hour of fishing:biggrin: )

Just my opinion.... but I'd rather buy 100 feet of tippet than 10 leaders any day, besides it's a lot easier to tie a surgeons knot than a Nail knot:eek:

Brian Griffing
01-21-2008, 11:40 AM
Plunker,
You make some pretty good points, but the flip side of that coin is that by adding tippet material to your leader, you are also introducing one more possible point of failure between you and the fish. I use tippet a lot, but not on a fresh leader.
"There is many a slip 'twix the cup and the lip." Being a bit of a simpleton, I try to keep things simple.

Plunker
01-21-2008, 01:37 PM
It's just that I am so used to extending leaders for the gin clear water of the Sipsey down here, I almost add tippet before I tie the leader on.

Embarassingly; It's amazing how quickly I can turn a full 12' leader into a 4 footer :redface: and that's just tryin to match the hatch, we won't mention wind knots:biggrin:

PeteCz
01-21-2008, 01:40 PM
I've been using a furled leader lately, as well (OK, so I've not used it that much lately...). I like the idea of only having to add tippet and getting a more consistent feel from the line to the tippet, typically I would wear out a new leader after a few uses and have to start patching it with different leader material and hope that I was creating a modified version, somewhat like the original which I managed to do about half the time (using a leader gauge is not an exact science...). Furled leaders do away with this concern.

But there is a trade-off. I'm not sold on the durability yet. However, since the Blue Sky Furled leader is about the price of 3.5 RIO leaders ($11.95?), I need to get about 20 uses out of it for it to be a good purchase (cost-wise). Right now I'm at 2...

Plunker
01-21-2008, 01:49 PM
Been looking at furled myself and have a couple questions:
1. How sneaky are they? seems like they would have a larger "footprint" on the water.

2. How are they about memory? seems they would be harder to straighten

Thanks!

ijsouth
01-21-2008, 03:12 PM
I started using a furled leader late this summer; I gave them a try because I was tired of re-tying tippet to a standard mono leader, only to have the performance of the leader get out of kilter (due to my frequent trips to the trees, etc). I could never seem to get the performance I would get from the first few casts of the day once I had to re-tie. Now, from what I understand, furled leaders were really designed with more open waters in mind than the small streams I like to fish; with that being said, I like them. I find them very easy to cast, and the fly is presented very delicately. I used them in the very low and clear conditions we had in the late summer, and I did pretty well. They do tend to kink up after a while, but they're pretty easy to straighten back out.

The one thing I can't do with them is, when "dapping" a fly with little or no fly line off the tip of the rod, is that I can't really "snap" the fly into a tight spot - I have to be more gentle with it. However, with all the tippet material I go through during a typical day, it's worth it.

PeteCz
01-22-2008, 02:00 PM
The furled leader seems to have little to no memory. I've had it spooled up for a few months now and it shakes loose much easier than a mono leader. Since I fish pretty small, rough and tumble streams in the park, the foot print issue has not been a hindrance to catching fish. However, as IJ points out they really are for more wide open spaces with long tippets. Running them around sharp rocks will no doubt cause them to fray much quicker than their 1 year outlook, which I fear will happen to me this spring. I also found that the extra wind resistance did make the quick flip in tight quarters more difficult, but if I slowed down a bit I could still get the fly where I wanted (approximately), albeit a tad slower.

If you had a 3-4' tippet on it, the footprint shouldn't be an issue.

stumpknocker
01-23-2008, 08:03 PM
thanks all for the info. Interesting, can't get enough. Clear me up on this and I'll leave you alone for the time being. A 4wt fly line will match 4x tippet? Is this the equation before I buy some tippet? The tippet must be smaller than the attaching portion of the leader?? Iam starting to understand the stealth needed on those trout. The bass down here in Fla. are dumb I reckon, they strike at non- tapered material (honestly though tiny top water plugs that have some weight on them):biggrin: . thanks again I am beginning to get it now!!

ijsouth
01-23-2008, 08:51 PM
The tippet size has to be matched up with the size of the fly, and the (rough) formula is to divide the fly size by (I believe) 3, and ignore the remainder. In other words, a #12 fly would equate to a 4x tippet, a #16 fly a 5x, and so on. Now, keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate - there are specific formulas for knotted leaders, and the length of tippet section varies by size and length of leader. Anyway, the divide by 3 trick at least gives you a ballpark idea of the size. You have to have enough tippet size to "turn over" the fly, particularly when you factor in the short length of most casts in the Smokies.

As for the bass being dumb...that isn't it at all - it's all due to visibility, or lack of it compared to a mountain stream. In actuality, I read an article recently that trout in typical clear water can see even the most delicate tippets like they were anchor ropes, anyway - I took a class last Spring, and the emphasis was made, over and over, to keep as much line and tippet out of the water as possible...you couldn't keep your rod tip high enough. The primary reason for this is to avoid drag, but as an added bonus, if you can keep all or most of your leader off the water, the trout will see nothing but your fly. So, the primary purpose of the tippet - indeed of the whole leader - is to present the fly properly when cast.

tennswede
01-23-2008, 09:02 PM
A leader is sold under the old measurement system, 1x, 2x, 3x, etc. The higher the number the thicker the end of the leader is (tippet). We call the last inches up to about a foot or so for the tippet. The tippet is therefore a part of the leader. A tapered leader sold as a 4x will taper from the thick end (but end) to the tippet end where it will be tapered down to 4x. This would be your standard, to go to, leader size in the mountains. It gets' complicated when you get in to different sizes of flies, and even different types of fishing. First you need to determine how long of a leader you need. The basic rule is that you will use a leader which is about as long as the rod you are using or slightly less. There are exceptions to this rule, but we don't need to get in to these here. After you have determined the length of the leader you need to determine the tippet diameter. For medium stream fishing in the mountains with flies in the size range of 12 and 14 a 4x will be fine. If you fish 16 and smaller you will need 5x and then possibly 6x. A 6x will not be needed much in the mountains. On the tailwaters, a 6x or even 7x and 8x may be needed. So you see that this is based on many factors.

If you are just going to do some nymphing with heavy beadheads or weighted nymphs I would use a level lenght of mono. Here the goal is to get the fly deep and fast in to the run. A level leader will cut better in to the water column.

As for you question about a 4wt line. The line diameter really has no bearing on the size of you leader. The two aren't related to each other. You are tying the butt end to the fly line and the butt end is not much different in diameter on a 4 versus 5x or even 6 x.

Hope this helps.

David Knapp
01-23-2008, 10:17 PM
This article (http://flyfisherman.com/skills/ffmleaders/) from Fly Fisherman should help... For fishing in the Smokies, I usually start with a 7.5' 4x tapered leader and usually add an extra 18 inches or so of 5x tippet...

stumpknocker
01-27-2008, 07:49 PM
thanks again. This is really scientific stuff! That makes it all that much more fun. Really a challenge to look forward to. You guys are a wealth of fishin' knowledge. Glad I found this LRO.