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A_Wallace
03-04-2008, 12:42 AM
I was wondering if anyone could give me some input on leader and tippet lengths when fishing smaller streams. Most the time when I fish the Clinch and South Holston i start with a 12 foot leader and maybe 12 to 18 inches of tippet. I think that maybe a bit much for smaller streams, but I am still learning and always willing to try it a different way.

Thanks

Andy

limbsnagger
03-04-2008, 01:10 AM
Different schools of thought on this one. I use 9 ft 6x fluro tapered leaders on freestone mountain streams. I'm usually fishing a droper rig so my dry fly goes right at the end of my leader and my dropper fly is anywhere from 12-24 inches off the bend. I know a guide who uses nothing but 4X 7.5 ft mono leaders in the smokies reasoning that he can save more flies from the trees, logs and rock snags and he doesn't seem to have any trouble catching fish. I probably give a few more flies up then he does but I still go for best presentation possible, even if my cast are going to be short. Plus if your like me some days it doesn't take long for my 9ft leader to become 7.5-8ft. My board name isn't limbsnagger for no reason!:biggrin:

monktrout
03-04-2008, 08:20 AM
Awallace, I think limbsnagger gave you some good advice. Lots of ideas about leader length out there. I have been late in the game in using floro. No doubt it can save the day, however good fly fishers have caught fish for centuries with all matter of crude leaders. Also try lengthening your tippet to make it more supple. On tight streams try a 6ft leader and add 24" of 5x on wary fish. On the Clinch try 8ft leader and add 24" of 6x tippet(floro if you've got it). Possibly most important is a leader you feel confident with. A 18ft 7x leader might catch me more fish but I can't handle it. Monk

Grumpy
03-04-2008, 08:47 AM
For me, the smaller the stream, the shorter the leader, heading to NE TN this weekend, got some new 6' leaders to try on a couple of ditches if the weather holds.

Grumpy

ccmmcc
03-04-2008, 09:29 AM
I usually use 7.5 foot 4x. If the water is low or I am fishing a slow pool I may lengthen that out with 5x tippet. I use mono because the flouro seems to sink for me.

A_Wallace
03-04-2008, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the advice. I think I will give 7.5 floro a try. I,ve had pretty good luck with floro tippet, maybe the leaders will work too.


Thanks again

Andy

gg1262
03-04-2008, 07:05 PM
Anybody have an opinion on the braided flourocarbon leaders? Last year I used one and I had success, but I always wonder if there is something better. I also was using florou tippet, but like Chris, I feel like I have problems with it sinking. Some would say this is better as there is no shadows. Like I said,l I definitely caught fish, but I was thinking about going back to the Orvis braided floating leader and chameleon tippet because of the sinking issue. Just curious what others are doing / thinking.

Thanks!

psnapp
03-04-2008, 07:13 PM
Grumpy -- I haven't found a place up there where I can cast a 6' leader! You guys be careful playing in the ditches!

Phil

limbsnagger
03-04-2008, 09:28 PM
I don't use them on my small stream rigs but I love them on tailwaters when wade fishing. I, in my opinion, think they do a better job casting 12+ft. leader & tippet combinations. But thats the only time I use them though I think I cast a little better with them. One disadvantage is spray created when picking line up off water which may spook fish. Don't use them from drift boats because I usually don't have to make as long of cast. However, been tinkering with the idea of trying a poly leader! There supossed to float realy high & and slide off the top of water realy well.

In my opinion,
Chad

gg1262
03-05-2008, 12:22 AM
Hey Limbsnagger (aren't we all sometimes!),

I don't know much of anything about poly leaders........where do you get those?

Chuckwalla
03-05-2008, 08:54 AM
For small streams, I use a 3' furled leader with ~2'- 3' of tippet.

Grumpy
03-05-2008, 08:57 AM
Grumpy -- I haven't found a place up there where I can cast a 6' leader! You guys be careful playing in the ditches!

Phil

didn't say i was casting:biggrin: have you been up there lately, you know where:rolleyes:

Grumpy

psnapp
03-05-2008, 01:10 PM
Grumpy -- I was there last fall. Nuthin' spectacular but fun anyway. Be careful!

Phil

limbsnagger
03-06-2008, 10:02 PM
Sorry, this is so belated my comp. went on frits.
Poly leaders are made by coating a mono core with clear, flexible polyethylene. You'll notice that they are slightly bigger in diameter then plain mono leaders. They're supppossed to have a lower specific gravity. Ones that are pure polyethylene float. According to Tom Rosenbauer poly leaders can realy punch a fly with short tippet section and can straighten a tippet section of 8 feet long for spooky fish. I'm thinking about trying this for fishing streamers and lrg. nymphs. Then a floating poly for possibly my small stream rig. Advantage of poly over braided is that they can't hold H2O so there's no spray and you don't have to dress the leader. I think the first people to make these was Airflo out of UK which is available in U.S. & I'm not sure if LRO carries these or not. Hope this helps.:smile:

Chad