Every Day in May Challenge: Leader Construction

Oh my, these topics really bring out my weaknesses don’t they? The leader, the skinny little ‘tapered’ link to the fly and hopefully the fish. I do care about that nail knot securing the mono butt section to the end of the line. I do try for a taper toward the fly. Sometimes I invest in a pack of 3 tapered leaders, either 7′ or 9′ to a 4# end. I rebuild from there with the tippet piece. I try, I really do, for a 50, 25 25 (%) or 60, 20, 20 (%) ratio of materials.

But it isn’t until the fish trail off, that I notice I’m fishing with a 7′ leader with 10# married to 3.5# by a gnarly surgeons knot. Do you notice I never use the 5x or 6x designations. I flunked math for a reason: part memory, part befuddlement. I stay in the #’s like my old gear days. I do try to pay attention to length, but as you read, I am sometimes behind on that standard.

All of it (precise leader construction) doesn’t make much of a difference for me/to me. Of course, maybe it would if I always fished gin clear spring creeks, but short of the Metolius River or Fall River…I don’t.

The best addition of leader material for me has been fluorocarbon leader. No, I don’t have trouble with knots or joining mono to fluoro. I’ve use it far and wide and it has improved the takes…just my impression. See how non-techno I am? Such randomness would never fly in certain circles, but I’m not building a rocket or a bridge. I am simply fishing. 

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Challenge Topic: Fly

7 Responses to “Every Day in May Challenge: Leader Construction”

  1. May 16, 2012 at 10:40

    A brave admission, I fear however that you could be drummed out of the magic circle for such a cavalier attitude towards your terminal tackle. Best just not to tell anyone, but unfortunately now the cat is out of the bag.. 🙂


  2. May 16, 2012 at 10:25

    Ever use braided or furled leaders? They’re amazing.


    • May 18, 2012 at 08:13

      You know I never have given them a try. People do seem to love them. I will have to study up more on them.


      • May 18, 2012 at 08:36

        I’m not a great fly caster, but the suppleness of furled leaders was really an eye opener for me. It’s like casting with cassette tape, if you can imagine that. They have no stiffness at all. I started using them four or five months ago and they made a big difference at the very end of the cast — they have this way of turning the fly over just the way you think they should. More recently, I started experimenting with Tenkara gear and the “line” on a Tenkara rod is basically a very long furled leader, which also gives really amazing presentation in small-stream situation.


  3. May 16, 2012 at 08:57

    Do you not find that fluorocarbon drags small flies under the water?


    • May 18, 2012 at 07:54

      Yes it does. Fluoro should never be used for top water presentations. It is meant to sink and will drag a dry under as a rule. I stick with the regular mono for floating line presentations.


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