View Full Version : Throwing Wooly Buggers/Streamers

01-31-2008, 12:41 PM
Hey All:

This has probably been discussed on here numerous times, but I'm having trouble throwing tight loops with heavy wooly buggers and other streamers. What's the best combination leader/tippet (length and size) to use when throwing weighted, BH streamers?


01-31-2008, 01:15 PM
Due to the weight and wind resistance of the fly you'll never be ever to throw the picture perfect tight loop. when throwing tandom nymph rig or heavey streamer or even a really big dry fly you got to let that loop open up a tad bit. Its hard to make it look graceful. but the only thing i can think of that will help out is to use a longer/heavier rod. I'm no expert on streamer fishing so i'll be interested to see other post.

01-31-2008, 02:39 PM
I fish a lot of heavily weighted buggers with a floating line and I tend to try to match the rod and line with the flies first. Some of my smallie flies require an 8wt but a 6wt will suffice most of the time. I use straight mono leaders out to about 12 ft and the lightest tippet will be 3X. Leave the 3-4 wts at home if you plan on throwing meaty flies! I would not worry about throwing a tight loop for streamers or tandem rigs, you have a better chance of hitting the rod and damaging it or worse yet a complete breakage. Keep the loops more open.

Lefty talks about this in some of his books but I also found this article he wrote....Hope this is OK to link it
http://www.outdoors.net/site/features/feature.aspx+Forum+FlyFishing+ArticleCode+570+V+N+ SearchTerm++curpage+570

01-31-2008, 06:46 PM
If you're tossing a big meal keep the lunch line short. Generally heavy flies call for shorter heavier leaders. Slow down your cast, open up the loop, and wait a second longer on the back cast. Strike indicators, shots, and barbell eyes turn your cast into more of a sling than a loop. It is not pretty only effective.

01-31-2008, 07:00 PM
I agree with everything Troutman and monktrout said. I'll add that I don't worry at all about tight loops when using big heavy streamers. I just get it out there however I can. And having a beefy rod helps a lot too... I do most of my smallmouth fishing with a fast 7wt. Another thing that I REALLY prefer is to have the streamer weighted to begin with, instead of having to add some weight somewhere else on the line. A nice, heavy, conehead bugger is probably my favorite smallmouth fly. A friend of mine used to tie a really thick bugger, whereby he loaded it up with weighted wire, and then covered that part with chenille and hackle. That was a wonderful fly.

Thinking of him... His name was (is) Randal. Forgot his last name. Big bearded fella with glasses. He was a fishing fool. He worked at the Orvis store in Gatlinburg about 10 years ago. He then fell off the earth. If anyone has seen him, please reply back to this thread. He caught a FAT 25 inch smallmouth on that fly right in Pigeon Forge, and had that picture hanging up in the Orvis shop for a while. Biggest smallie on a fly I've ever seen.

02-01-2008, 01:12 AM
My first thought was....what wt. rod are you using. Others have pretty much answered your question. My train of thought is to use the appropriate wt. rod for the types of flies you will be using. I remember when reading the orvis guide to flyfishing when I was learning to fish it talked about using certain wt. rods to cast certain size flies (as well as conditions to be fished in). I think we get caught up sometimes with using certain wt rods for certain size waters. Nothing wrong with using a 6wt. rod in a small stream situation, espcially if you are casting larger bushy type flies. I've always thought a 8'6" 6 wt would be a great all purpose rod for trout and smallies.


02-01-2008, 08:07 AM
6-7 1/2' 2X leader on a 9 weight, that'll throw a tight loop:biggrin:


02-01-2008, 12:31 PM
I usually only throw streamers with a 9' 6wt. Thanks for all the advice, I'm sure it will be a big help.


appalachian angler
02-06-2008, 01:29 PM
A 9' 6wt ought to be enough rod to turn over weighted buggers up to size 4. Save your trout leader Butts (say the first 4' of a typical 9' 4x trout leader) and tie a piece of 2-3X tippet on to make the total leader length about 6-8'. i agree that you loops may not be 'tight', but with a good double haul, you ought to get 'em out there 70' with alittle practice and a decent medium to fast actioned 906 rod.


02-08-2008, 10:33 AM
Try this formula, it has really helped my casting of bigger bugs on my 5 and 6 weights.

I use Orvis Mirage for my fluoro leaders and Maxima Clear for regular mono. If I want a hi-vis piece, I use Amnesia.

5 feet of 25 lb. + 2-1/2 feet of 20 lb. + 15 inches of 0X + up to 24 inches of whatever tippet you want. For a shorter leader go with 3 feet + 18 " + 9" + your tippet.