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Q:
Steelhead leaders. Is this a good recipe: Butt section is 3ft of 25lb mono, middle is 3ft of 17lb mono, and the end, which is also the tippet, it 4ft of 10lb mono. It is a 10ft leader from the butt to the end of the tippet. I tie a surgeons loop on the butt for a loop to loop knot to the fly line and the lines I put together with a surgeons knot. Is this a good leader for steelehead and bass? What are the specs for a good trout and panfish leader???

Question by Panfry101. Uploaded on December 31, 2010

Answers (20)

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Pan,

I like 5 feet of good colorful 20 lb amnesia line for my butt section tied directly to the fly-line with a nail knot. I tie a good quality barrel swivel to the end of the butt and from the barrel swivel I tie 4-6 lb fluorocarbon. Viola! A 10 foot steelhead leader.

Tapering a leader is not necessary when your are chuck'n and duck'n a steelhead rig.

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from Panfry101 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Yeah but I like tying them. I also fish with those leaders for bass even though the bass aren't picky. What lines do you use for trout and panfish tapered leaders? I am just talking for nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. Just a general tapered leader for trout. When I say leader I am also including the tippet.

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from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Panfry101, Sounds like your set up would be great for the Bassin. And I like Buckhunter's set up too. If I could offer any suggestion to your set up it would be to cut the 4 ft. 10lb mono in half and tie on a couple feet of 3X-4X fluorocarbon. Or, do away altogether with the 10lb mono and tie on a 2-3 ft section of 1X fluoro and then if the water is clear possibly another 2 ft. of 2X=3X fluoro.
I too found it better to tie my own leaders from graduated mono ending with fluoro, buying tapered leaders got old quick.

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from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Sorry, meant to say follow the 1X fluoro with a 2 ft section of smaller fluoro.

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from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Ok everybody, I have a question. Where do you get your recipes for your leaders? I have a book with simple leader formulas and a sheet with some leader formulas from Dave Whitlock. They work for me, but I am always curious of what else is out there. As for the leaders I tie, I have one general purpose leader that I use for almost everything. I tie for friends and they each have leaders they prefer from the book and sheet I have.

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from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Don't really have any "recipes". I just follow the rule of thumb that the leader needs to be gradually smaller towards the tippet. As long as the leader doesn't "collapse" in the middle because a section is too limp when casting, I just keep tying on new tippet.
I think Deeter or Cermele had some good tips awhile ago in "fly talk" that addressed this.

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from Alex Pernice th... wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Steelhead don't really require a taper. Now, I fish LARGE flies and double drop rigs, so I just use a 3 step leader. 3 feet of 30 pound maxima, 3 feet of 20, 3 feet of 15, and 2 feet of 12 floro. Works well for me (but I fish for 20# kings and very large steelies on this. Smaller ones I do 20 15 10. 8 tippet)

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from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Hoski, I used to make leaders like yours and they did the job. I saw a leader tying kit at cabela's and decided to buy it. After that I talked to a man at my local fly shop about it. He sold me a book about leaders. Now my casting is a bit more accurate and I don't get that collapse that I would get before. It took the guess work out of making leaders for me.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

There is no one good spec. for a trout, panfish leader...there are lots of different good specs. Can depend on what size fly line you are using, and size tippets. There is no need to have lots of breakdown knots,,decent casting with graphite can turn over a modestly tapered down leader, so make it easy on yourself..no need to have to tie 6" of this, and then 6" of that till ad nausium. And 10 ft. of a steelhead leader? If you use a sink tip that is too long...dry lining, and swinging the fly up top fine, or strike indicator nymphing fine.

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from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Alex Pernice, what is a double drop rig?

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Two flies tied on. Can be a nymphing type system used usually with a strike indicator, but also can be two flies used on a dry line, and wet fly swing near the surface.

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from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Flytieflyfish, Thanks. What is the name of the book you mentioned. Always up for reading flyfishing stuff.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Somethin else about that steelhead leader. 4 ft. of tippet is way too long IMO. No need for that. I never use a 4 ft. tippet on a trout leader, it can just cause a wind knot by being too long. And when you talk about tapering, you need to talk thousands of an inch,not pound test. Somebody's 17 lb can be bigger, or smaller than someone else's 17 lb test. I have a cheap micrometer, and now my diameters as I taper down. But steelheaders generally don't go by exact diameter for their tippet. Maxima Ultra Green is often used out West, and the angler knows what he likes, and doesn't care about the diameter if that makes sense. And then again, if it is a leader used on the end of a sinktip...A butt hunk, a middle hunk, and a tippet totaling about 6ft long, and you are in business, no need for thinking diameter, or exact tapering.

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from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Sayfu, thank you for answering. I had never heard the term before.

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from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Hoski, it is called "Fly Leaders and Knots" by Larry V. Notley. I was amused by his name. I recommend this book. It helped me a lot.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

"Notly on Knots?" Can't be a better author than that.

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from Hoski wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Thanks Flytieflyfish, haven't been back here for awhile, I'll get it through my local library.
Heck of a coincidence huh? Notely?

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from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Sayfu and Hoski, it's an appropriate last name. I wish my last name was "Alwayscatchesmonsterbass" or "Lotterywinner!"

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from abmcp13 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

For those asking abou leader recipies I use a program called LeaderCalc, you can google search it. It's an excel program that lets you input your rod wt., type of fish, and tippet section, and it spits out leader formulas, awesome program!

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from backcast wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I believe LeaderCalc is available on www.globalflyfisher.com

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from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Panfry101, Sounds like your set up would be great for the Bassin. And I like Buckhunter's set up too. If I could offer any suggestion to your set up it would be to cut the 4 ft. 10lb mono in half and tie on a couple feet of 3X-4X fluorocarbon. Or, do away altogether with the 10lb mono and tie on a 2-3 ft section of 1X fluoro and then if the water is clear possibly another 2 ft. of 2X=3X fluoro.
I too found it better to tie my own leaders from graduated mono ending with fluoro, buying tapered leaders got old quick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Sorry, meant to say follow the 1X fluoro with a 2 ft section of smaller fluoro.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Don't really have any "recipes". I just follow the rule of thumb that the leader needs to be gradually smaller towards the tippet. As long as the leader doesn't "collapse" in the middle because a section is too limp when casting, I just keep tying on new tippet.
I think Deeter or Cermele had some good tips awhile ago in "fly talk" that addressed this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Steelhead don't really require a taper. Now, I fish LARGE flies and double drop rigs, so I just use a 3 step leader. 3 feet of 30 pound maxima, 3 feet of 20, 3 feet of 15, and 2 feet of 12 floro. Works well for me (but I fish for 20# kings and very large steelies on this. Smaller ones I do 20 15 10. 8 tippet)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Hoski, I used to make leaders like yours and they did the job. I saw a leader tying kit at cabela's and decided to buy it. After that I talked to a man at my local fly shop about it. He sold me a book about leaders. Now my casting is a bit more accurate and I don't get that collapse that I would get before. It took the guess work out of making leaders for me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Two flies tied on. Can be a nymphing type system used usually with a strike indicator, but also can be two flies used on a dry line, and wet fly swing near the surface.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Flytieflyfish, Thanks. What is the name of the book you mentioned. Always up for reading flyfishing stuff.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Hoski, it is called "Fly Leaders and Knots" by Larry V. Notley. I was amused by his name. I recommend this book. It helped me a lot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

"Notly on Knots?" Can't be a better author than that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Thanks Flytieflyfish, haven't been back here for awhile, I'll get it through my local library.
Heck of a coincidence huh? Notely?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Pan,

I like 5 feet of good colorful 20 lb amnesia line for my butt section tied directly to the fly-line with a nail knot. I tie a good quality barrel swivel to the end of the butt and from the barrel swivel I tie 4-6 lb fluorocarbon. Viola! A 10 foot steelhead leader.

Tapering a leader is not necessary when your are chuck'n and duck'n a steelhead rig.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Panfry101 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Yeah but I like tying them. I also fish with those leaders for bass even though the bass aren't picky. What lines do you use for trout and panfish tapered leaders? I am just talking for nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. Just a general tapered leader for trout. When I say leader I am also including the tippet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Ok everybody, I have a question. Where do you get your recipes for your leaders? I have a book with simple leader formulas and a sheet with some leader formulas from Dave Whitlock. They work for me, but I am always curious of what else is out there. As for the leaders I tie, I have one general purpose leader that I use for almost everything. I tie for friends and they each have leaders they prefer from the book and sheet I have.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

There is no one good spec. for a trout, panfish leader...there are lots of different good specs. Can depend on what size fly line you are using, and size tippets. There is no need to have lots of breakdown knots,,decent casting with graphite can turn over a modestly tapered down leader, so make it easy on yourself..no need to have to tie 6" of this, and then 6" of that till ad nausium. And 10 ft. of a steelhead leader? If you use a sink tip that is too long...dry lining, and swinging the fly up top fine, or strike indicator nymphing fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Alex Pernice, what is a double drop rig?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Somethin else about that steelhead leader. 4 ft. of tippet is way too long IMO. No need for that. I never use a 4 ft. tippet on a trout leader, it can just cause a wind knot by being too long. And when you talk about tapering, you need to talk thousands of an inch,not pound test. Somebody's 17 lb can be bigger, or smaller than someone else's 17 lb test. I have a cheap micrometer, and now my diameters as I taper down. But steelheaders generally don't go by exact diameter for their tippet. Maxima Ultra Green is often used out West, and the angler knows what he likes, and doesn't care about the diameter if that makes sense. And then again, if it is a leader used on the end of a sinktip...A butt hunk, a middle hunk, and a tippet totaling about 6ft long, and you are in business, no need for thinking diameter, or exact tapering.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Sayfu, thank you for answering. I had never heard the term before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flytieflyfish wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Sayfu and Hoski, it's an appropriate last name. I wish my last name was "Alwayscatchesmonsterbass" or "Lotterywinner!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from abmcp13 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

For those asking abou leader recipies I use a program called LeaderCalc, you can google search it. It's an excel program that lets you input your rod wt., type of fish, and tippet section, and it spits out leader formulas, awesome program!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from backcast wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I believe LeaderCalc is available on www.globalflyfisher.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer