CaryGreene

Leader Design - Saltwater and Freshwater

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214 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, G8trwood said:

Great post.

Taking a recent lesson to refresh my bad habits… The first thing my instructor said was your butt isn’t big enough. Switched out my 40 big game for 60 in my 8wt. Made a big difference. Now I have to go bigger, lol. He also said they same thing about half, don’t make it complicated, just half it. 6’ butt, 18” mid, 24” tippet.

 

 

 

Great post indeed. But I'm puzzled: why do you conclude with  "6' butt, 18" mid, 24" tippet"  for your leader? Under CaryGreene's formula for a saltwater leader a 6' foot butt would call for a 3' mid section and a 1' tippet.

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1 hour ago, puppet said:

Thank you so much for this Cary!!!

 

Can I ask what knots you use to assemble your leader?

My pleasure puppet. Leaders shoule 100% be assembled with Blood Knots. The reason being, is that Blood Knots allign two pieces of material and this means that instead of being offset - the two pieces are in a straight line. This is crucially important to a cast. 

 

The below pictures are of what common 5-Turn finished Blood Knots, which are perfect for all Leader related knots in both freshwater and saltwater, looks like. This line is from reel case, it is an 8wt Rio Coastal Quickshooter XP Clear-Tip WF-Intermediate line which I use for larger Herring, Bunker, Mullet, Mackerel and Shad Patterns for daytime fishing in clear water, depths of up to 10', moderate to no current situations. 

 

626ebc0c902df_Screenshot2022-05-0112_52_47PM.png.80ed4b0d7e4753ef594cff5ea4bb3e95.png626ebbdb3e292_Screenshot2022-05-0112_52_56PM.png.20c41cc099586533f8149a7a525cd469.png

 

With straight edged Tungston-Carbide tipped snippers, fishing pliers or even nail-clippers, snip those two tag ends once the knot is snug. Leader knots always snug up best when tying with Monofilament but Fluorocarbon will snug up decently as well, once you get good at tying these knots. Always moisten the material being snugged up. Saliva works well - as does Whale Spit (a knot snugging liquid that's kind of hard to find). These photos are of a standard 7 1/2 - foot Leader and the material used is Fluorocarbon. 

 

In the first photo, the Clear Tip of the Fly-Line is connected to the Leader, which has a very small, perfectly tied Perfection-Loop in it. Notice how small both the Loops are - the Loop in the Fly Line and the Perfection-Loop. Small loops virtually eliminate hinging, though for Freshwater leaders, especially with Dry-Fly Leaders, I strongly prefer a Needle-Knot (not a Nail-Knot). However, with Saltwater Leaders, Loop-to-Loop connections are best. 

 

626ebbb5ae1c9_Screenshot2022-05-0112_53_10PM.png.d4b7691121e98ffda386f215bd3b3305.png626ebb84465d2_Screenshot2022-05-0112_53_26PM.png.55ed6483a2b7c86a6e9a09b7a4addede.png

 

Some will use an 8-Turn Nail-Knot here and they usually glue it with a waterproof coating like Pliobond. The DISADVANTAGE to doing that is SNAGS. Pulling out of snags causes Nail-Knots to continually compress. Eventually they can slice through the outer Jacket of the Fly-Line and then, on a big fish, you might lose your entire Leader and Fly when the knot slips right off the Tip of the Fly-Line. If you don't get a lot of Snags and you primarily fish from a boat, this is a non-issue. But - if you fish from shore, Loop-to-Loop is by far the best bet and for anyone who thinks Loop-to-Loop connections hinge, it's probably because they tried it and their loops were too large. Large loops do hinge. Small ones virtually eliminate the hinges. 

 

On to the actual Blood-Knot: Below you can see the Leader Butt connected to the Mid-Section. Notice how both the main-lines lay as one piece of line would lay - perfectly straight and not "Off-Set." This is why we ALWAYS use Blood Knots for the Bodies of our Leaders. The Fluorocarbon material used to construct this Leader is snugged down pretty well and the Knot is very small. This Knot will not slip under pressure and it helps the Leader cast terrific because the main-lines are in allignment and the Knot helps them lay straight during the cast. 

 

626ebb597e5b8_Screenshot2022-05-0112_53_46PM.png.04fbcdf06a37d3649e2ec48e564a7943.png

 

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1 hour ago, puppet said:

I am not sure if it helps because as Cary notes lines vary.  I just measured a 10 wt SA floating line and a 9 wt OBS sink tip both measure .048"  .

In looking at different materials none are exactly  .038" , I suspect we get as close as we can.

 

 

Indeed. We don't really need to be "exactly" .010" thinner. Though it is irrefutably true that we begin to loose energy if we are a bit thinner, the cast will still work pretty close to the same if the variance is .005" or less. This means that we can easily make a Leader Butt that is .015" thinner than the Fly-Line Tip work well enough. Therefore, use up what you've got layiing around before running out and buying material that is exactly .010" thinner. 

 

This is why many say you don't have to be "exact" about all of this stuff. That said, I would wager people who say that are pretty excellent casters. High line speed can overcome some turnover issues. Ironically, many of these people would probably benefit by being more exact. It's a double-edged sword my friends!

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Posted (edited)

Cary, 

Quite a treatise!

Back to the old leader butt size discussion and back in history a bit, Wulff used to include suggested butt diameters and also have a little diagram of how the connection should look when you bend it into a loop. Here is a picture, SA 7wt bonefish line attached to .028 big game, I think it looks just right, the tip diameter is .040, so we’re right in there with your recommendations, it also works in real world casting, amazing. The point being is this is a good way to double check your choice and adjust accordingly.

JC

 

 

 

02788122-EDC9-4EF4-95DA-E8583D77276C.jpeg

Edited by JonC

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44 mins ago, reel em in said:

Will go up to 60 lb or 80 lb Big Game

I have been using 40 lb. 


Thanks for a reply. 
You must be an awful busy guy with all this posting. 
I don’t know how you do it. Lol

 

Voice typing. Mostly done from cell phone. Planting some herbs right now that I've been growing as seedlings. 

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29 mins ago, Suave said:

Great post indeed. But I'm puzzled: why do you conclude with  "6' butt, 18" mid, 24" tippet"  for your leader? Under CaryGreene's formula for a saltwater leader a 6' foot butt would call for a 3' mid section and a 1' tippet.

Correct-a-mundo! Will 6' - 18" -24" work? Yup. But my formula will work better, especially into the wind with a beefy fly. 

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3 mins ago, JonC said:

Cary, 

Quite a treatise!

Back to the old leader butt size discussion and back in history a bit, Wulff used to include suggested butt diameters and also have a little diagram of how the connection should look when you bend it into a loop. Here is a picture, SA 7wt bonefish line attached to .028 big game, I think it looks just right, the tip diameter is .040, so we’re right in there with your recommendations, it also works in real world casting, amazing. The point being is this is a good way to double check your choice and adjust accordingly.

JC

 

302B0800-DB6B-496B-9409-6138EB00A4A8.jpeg

Passes the eyeball-test and the flex-test and becasue it's right there within acceptable Tip-to-Butt range, it absolutely will work great!

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1 hour ago, JonC said:

Cary, 

Quite a treatise!

Back to the old leader butt size discussion and back in history a bit, Wulff used to include suggested butt diameters and also have a little diagram of how the connection should look when you bend it into a loop. Here is a picture, SA 7wt bonefish line attached to .028 big game, I think it looks just right, the tip diameter is .040, so we’re right in there with your recommendations, it also works in real world casting, amazing. The point being is this is a good way to double check your choice and adjust accordingly.

JC

 

 

 

02788122-EDC9-4EF4-95DA-E8583D77276C.jpeg

Jon,

I assume that I am looking at the butt/leader connection.

Nail knot??
Herb

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The butt seems to come out of the line, so maybe a needle knot?

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Posted (edited)

Herb, nail knot covered with UV resin. I hold it straight under tension while applying the resin, keeps everything in line.

JC

Edited by JonC

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2 hours ago, Suave said:

The butt seems to come out of the line, so maybe a needle knot?

With a needle knot the nail knot is positioned about an eighth of an inch behind the tip of the fly line and the leader comes out the middle of it so you will normally see a little bit of exposed fly line.

 

It's definitely a great idea to use a little glue to seal the knot for a number of reasons. If it's a floating line you'll prevent water from seeping in through the tip and up into the line which causes the tip of your line to sink. That doesn't matter in saltwater much but in freshwater it could drag a little fly under. 

 

Obviously it gives not a little bit of extra security and it also makes the knot a little more easy to move through the guides when you're stringing your rod up. 

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When I was heavily into Atlantic salmon fishing,  I always tied the butts of my leaders to the fly line with a needle knot and of course the knot was tied a little bit above the tip of the fly line. And it's only after I wrote that post that I realized that the knot was flush with the tip of the line. My bad! I guess I was focusing too much on the butt seeming to come out of the center of the line in the picture when it looks a little bit off center when tied with a blood knot.

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