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Thread: streamer leaders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    maryville
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    Default streamer leaders

    So I see a lot of leader talk, on this forum and others, but never see much on streamer leaders... I dabble with streamers a few times a year but not terribly often...I usually use a 9 foot standard tapered 4x leader. I was wondering if others would share what they use...? Also they make a sinking tip leader but section. Anyone try these? Are they worth using? I do not have a sink tip line and I did not know if that sinking butt section would make a big difference or not?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    5

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    For a streamer leader, keep it short and simple. I like 3 ft of 20# maxima chameleon for butt section, then 3 ft of 12-15# maxima super green. Even 2 ft/2 ft is not a bad way to go.

    Regarding the sink tip leader, I leave the sinking work to the line and prefer at least a 25-30 ft sinking tip if not full sinking. Adding a sink tip leader can lead to a nasty hinge effect with casting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    1,351

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    I use a 7.5' Ox that I cut back about three feet, I then tie on 3 feet of straight 20 lb flouro, fly onto that. I fish an intermediate line as well.

    I've learned years ago that messing around will cost you the fish of a lifetime. I'm not worried about leaders being seen as the majority of the fish hit so fast they never get a chance to see the leader.

    Sink tips etc cast like poop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
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    Default

    I read Tim Holschlag's book Smallmouth Fly Fishing last year and he pretty much advocated using a straight flourocarbon leader somewhere between 6-lb and 10-lb test for all sub-surface fishing. And if you think about it, it makes some sense. The purpose of a tapered leader is to smoothly transfer the energy from the fly line to the fly, causing the fly to "turn over" and land gently on the water's surface. If you are casting weighted flies, or nymph rigs with added weight, you don't need the taper of the leader to make the flies turn over because they have enough mass to carry the energy of the cast themselves.

    So for the past year or so I've been playing with that concept for both bass and trout. When throwing heavy crawfish patterns, clousers, or other weighted streamers for bass, I'll use about 9' of 8- or 10-lb test flourocarbon for the leader. For throwing soft-hackles, wooly buggers and other such (lighter) wet flies for trout, I'll use a hand-tied leader with about a 4' butt section of 10-lb flouro, about 2' of 6-lb flouro in the middle, followed with 2' or 3' of 4-lb flouro for the tippet section. And it's been working pretty well for me so far.

    I like that the flouro helps sink the flies, is more abrasion resistant when scraping the bottom, and since it practically disappears in the water you can usually use a little heavier tippet size that you could with a mono or nylon leader. And it also doesn't hurt anything that you can buy that size flouro in 100-yard (or larger) spools at your local Walmart or other retailer for a very reasonable price.

    Of course, I prefer to fish top-water as much as possible. Dries for trout and popping bugs and such-like for bass, but I'm trying to spend more time using streamers and other wets since that seems to be the best bet for catching the big boys. So I'll shut up now and let the folks who do more streamer fishing than I do tell you how they do it.
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  5. #5
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    Default

    Great info!! I truly appreciate it.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
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    If I'm fishing a heavier rod and sinking line, I use straight 12 pound test fluoro for fishing streamers. If I'm fishing streamers on a 4 or 5 weight, then I'll normally use a 9' 0x or 1x leader. I'm with waterwolf on cutting off the tippet section and retying with fluoro. When you have a big fish run you around a rock, you don't want to be worrying about abrasion resistance. For me, it is either full sink or a floating line.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  7. #7
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    Sep 2007
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    maryville
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    I fish mostly heavy streamers when I fish. I really like the new fish skulls and sculpin heads. They weigh alot and look great! For how seldom I really fish streamers I just can't justify buying a sinking line....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
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    If you are only fishing them in the Park then it is definitely not a requirement. I love throwing streamers out of a boat which is where I use the sinking line the most. Lots of weight on a stout leader works in the Park on a floating line just fine.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Seymour, TN
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    I also fish either a floating or full sink line for streamers. I do not like sinktips. I like a straight 12 lb flouro leader for streamers. I always cut off the welded loops that come on the new fly lines and tie on a 30-40lb butt section with an albright knot and then a perfection loop on my 6 wt. and up fly lines. I can then loop to loop a leader or straight flouro tippet leader without worry that it will cut into the loop of a fly line.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    944

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    All my 4x & 5x leaders eventually become streamer leaders after they've been bastardized to the point they can no longer be tied to a piece of 6x or 7x tippet.

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