CaryGreene

Leader Design - Saltwater and Freshwater

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Posted (edited)

I fish Long Beach Island New Jersey

All salt water for me. 

We have two more weeks on the beach with my beach buggy 

After I’m off the beach with my buggy I will have more time to re-read this thread and digest it. 
Cary keep it simple for me please. LOL

Edited by reel em in

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26 mins ago, reel em in said:

I fish Long Beach Island New Jersey

All salt water for me. 

We have two more weeks on the beach with my beach buggy 

After I’m off the beach with my buggy I will have more time to re-read this thread and digest it. 
Cary keep it simple for me please. LOL

Will to reel em in! LBI! Great spot. I have fished a lot at night, in and around Ship Bottom and also further up the coast at IBSP. 

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What about freshwater leader tippet size? I made up a leader for small trout casting a 9 ft 6 wt rod. The leader was 9ft based on formula 70:20:10. I used Berkeley trilene Big Game of 40lb:12ib:6lb and a number 8 streamer. This leader was no good and fostered wind knots and  tangles. I rarely laid out a straight leader. I was casting a 6wt shooting head with floating dry cell shooting line. I can’t cast worth a damn but suggestions for improving this rig would be useful. Was my mid section or tippet too light? How do you rig leaders  for small streamer and dry fly trout fishing?

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1 hour ago, flyrad10 said:

What about freshwater leader tippet size? I made up a leader for small trout casting a 9 ft 6 wt rod. The leader was 9ft based on formula 70:20:10. I used Berkeley trilene Big Game of 40lb:12ib:6lb and a number 8 streamer. This leader was no good and fostered wind knots and  tangles. I rarely laid out a straight leader. I was casting a 6wt shooting head with floating dry cell shooting line. I can’t cast worth a damn but suggestions for improving this rig would be useful. Was my mid section or tippet too light? How do you rig leaders  for small streamer and dry fly trout fishing?

Hi flyrad, a 9' 6wt is actually a very powerful rod. Some of the best casting rods I have ever thrown were 6wt rods and because a 6wt line has a lot of mass, it is terrific for lobbing substantial weight around. Fly lines that help do this are of the Double-Taper or Long Belly varieties. I never thought of a 6wt as a finesse rod for small trout. The Berkeley Trilene Big Game is a bit on the softer side for building streamer leaders but it really should work. If you're having trouble controlling the 9' Leader, try making one that's 7 1/2' long, that may help a bit.   

 

If it doesn't, try a stiffer Hard-Mono like Sci Ang Absolute Hard Mono or Maxima Chameleon (Brown), then use an Tippet material you want. That may do the trick nicely. Or - try making one out of Fluorocarbon (will be a bit more difficult to tie blood knots with Fluorocarbon, but can be done easily if you moisten the knots prior to cinching. 

 

It does sound like you're launching shooting heads with this set up and you're throwing smaller streamers which should be no problem to turn over with a proper streamer leader. 

 

Shooting heads can be very short (20' to maybe 24'?). How long is the head you're using? Short heads can hurt casting characteristics at distance. Longer heads are hard to find, but they really help with longer casts and it all ties into easier turnover at distance. 

 

A shorter head turns over the fly at shorter distances, but when you try to shoot it, characteristics aren't good at distace. It snakes through mid air and results at distance are always fairly messy. 

 

Regarding your basic formula. 6lb test is generally around .007" (4X) which is a bit on the light side for Streamers in the #4/#5/#8 size range. Defenitely bump up to 2X (.009") which is usually around 11.5 to 12lb >> I think if you shorten up the Leader a bit and increase your Tippet to 2X, and also use a slightly stiffer material, you'll get better overall results. 

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Posted (edited)

Ok thanks will try that and will measure the shooting head when I get a chance but Cary can you go over the George Harvey knot you demonstrated in the crease fly leader thread again If you had a 12 in tippet and were putting on a new one would you not  lose 12 in of mid section if the tipes are aligned  and the same length as shown in the photo using yarn I just can’t wrap my head around that knot?

Edited by flyrad10

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Circling back to how a fly line flies, I'd pose this question: What does it mean to fly? 

 

In simple terms, Birds Fly - as long as they're physically able to. They propell themselves. Some glide on thermals, but not after extensive effort is expended to gain altitude. Planes Fly - as long as the engines are working and the plane is able to stay aloft. They propell themselves.

 

Planes and Birds can stop propelling themselves and thus glide, but evenaully they must come down. Just like bullets or baseballs, niehter of which propell themselves. Eventually, they are overcome by drag and gravity.

 

As long as a bird or a plane has fuel and the means to propell iteself as needed, it doesn't have to come come down unless it's forced down by high winds or weather or it wants to come down. 

 

Bullets don't propell themselves. They are propelled. They do fly though, for as long as they can until drag and gravity overcome them. Baseballs and Footballs do the same. If we have a game of catch, each of us propells the baseball to the other's glove, some 60 feet away. 

 

Fly lines are more like birds and planes than bullets becasue they are propelled by momentum which turns into waves of energy that the fly line carries. They are propelled repeatedly in both directions and they are able to travel back and forth, similarly to a baseball in the game of catch. (in simple terms), yet very different. The fly caster is source of the fly line's flight. He imparts smooth bursts of momentum into the fly line as he casts back and forth. One end of the tapered line is fixed, the other isn't!

 

Bullets and Baseballs, when operated by a single person, recieve only one, single burst of momentum. They spin as they travel freely and untethered and they "fly" until drag and gravity overcome them. They do not receive continual bursts of energy, like fly lines do, or birds, or planes. There is no tension on the rear of either a bullet or a baseball. But, there is tension on one end of a fly line. 

 

When we shoot line, we see this to be true. Fly Casting works because of repeatedly applied momentum. The bullwhip analogy is very true. Fly lines carry energy and while one end remains fixed, the other end moves. Line tapers assist in this process, but without the momentum generated by the cast, fly lines cannot fly. 

 

Bullets do not continually gain speed as they fly. The tip of a bullet does not move faser than it's mid section or it's butt. 

 

The reason I bring this up at this juncture of the thread is because Newtons laws apply to flight and fly-lines do fly, much like a bird does thanks to the fly fisherman, who can move a line back and forth for as long as he wants. As long as he continues to impart significant momentum into the line, he can hold the line in the air as loops unfurl and straghten out, then he can repeat to his heart's content. Just like a bird flies, so too does a fly line remain in the air. 

 

As the wave pulse (energy) travels through the tapered fly-line, the mass per unit length is decreasing, so the pulse travels faster and faster. The physics of fly casting is based this concept. It's not complicated either. While both bullets and baseballs do fly, they certainly don't fly becuase of a continually increase wave pulse of energy. Instead, THEY fly because they are imparted with a single burst of momentum. They remain aloft as long as they can and then they come down. 

 

Meanwhile, the front section of the fly line travels faster and faster and even faster still as it nears the end of a cast and then, the line's Tip, whose mass per unit length is much less than the Head of the line, transmits the wave pulse into the Leader and "Turnover" occurs.

 

With this in mind, the fly cast is designed to take advantage of the relationship between the speed of a wave in a fly line, and the mass per unit length of the line. 

 

Without a proper leader, turnover is made much more difficult becasue the speed of the wave in the line is lost and drag overcomes the fly as it attempts to keep moving for as long as it can. 

 

In saltwater applications, we want a leader to turn a fly over and lay out straight in front of the tip of the line. The simple formulas presented earlier in the thread are all that is needed to maximize the transmission of energy from the loop, which travels to the Tip of the tapered line and then, into the Leader. 

 

The job of a proper saltwater leader is to receive as much of this wave energy as possible, hold it for a split second, then transmit it to the fly while loosing as little of that energy as possible. 

 

This thread was created to help casters of all skill levels learn that properly made leader greatly enhances successful fly fishing. I've observed countless good fly-casters who don't pay attention to their leaders suffer less than optimal results. To some, it doesn't matter in the least. But many would make a few changes if it were helpful towards producing better results. Change is an individual decision after all and it's not for everyone. 

 

As John Wilmont, "the Earl of Rochester" wrote -

I cannot change, as others do,
Though you unjustly scorn;
Since that poor swain that sighs for you,
For you alone was born …

 

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I use Maxima Chameleon for my saltwater leaders. 
 

For the butt section, I find the weight that has the same bend profile as my fly line. Then I taper down from there. I usually use 42” of butt and 30” for mid section. I add a loop and then make multiple 36” tippet sections with an end loop for loop to loop connections. Makes rigging and changing quick and simple. 

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17 mins ago, VeeRay56 said:

I use Maxima Chameleon for my saltwater leaders. 
 

For the butt section, I find the weight that has the same bend profile as my fly line. Then I taper down from there. I usually use 42” of butt and 30” for mid section. I add a loop and then make multiple 36” tippet sections with an end loop for loop to loop connections. Makes rigging and changing quick and simple. 

Tying a blood knot is just as easy as tying a perfection loop IMO so I don't see an advantage in looping tippet material because now you've got a potential snag point close to the fly not that it really matters. I can slap a blood knot together in about 30 seconds, on the boat and in chop, providing I'm not barfing. 

 

That said, I'm not sure that bend profile matters in distance casting but, I'll take your word for it! Bend profile aside, a proper saltwater leader is more about diameter, no?

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More efficient energy transfer. If flyline is softer than butt section, then you lose energy. Conversely, if butt section is too soft as compared to fly line end, the leader crumbles. 

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On 4/30/2022 at 10:38 PM, CaryGreene said:

I bet it's sloppy being gummed by a toothless tiger! LOL Yes Ande is solid for Spin/Conventional applications. I tend to use Berkely Trilene Big Game for Spin/Conventional Mono needs but Ande is excellent as well and they have a very loyal customer base. 

 

Sounds like you will very much enjoy the S-A for your Saltwater Fly-Fishing Leaders. Be sure to give your feedback here okay! Should be interesting!

Wow, picked a few spools of the SA Hard mono when I was down in Florida two weeks ago (can't find it locally on Long Island). A shop, literally around the corner from my dad's house, had it in stock. Along with a few other goodies, that wouldn't fit in the suitcase, that they graciously shipped for me, for free!! Got the 60, 50, 40. 30 & 25 for the butt & mid sections for the 8wt & 10wt (still using the Orvis Super Strong for the tippet). What difference in casting & presentation. Even my wife commented to me, while on a few outings down there, that the casts were more "natural" looking. No more collapsing casts or bunched up leader landing at once. Thanks for the input & advice on NOT using the garage full Ande material, I'll keep that for soaking bait & plugging. Only draw back to the SA-AHM is tying knots in the larger diameter 60 (.040) & 50 (.036). This stuff is thick and really stiff, even perfection loops in the 60 was a challenge, let alone a blood knot. Wetting the knot made it more difficult. I decided to rub chapstick on each end before tying, that made a big difference in tying & snugging them down. I also dropped down from a standard 9' leader to a 7' leader, going 4' butt, 2' mid & 1' tippet. While using the SA Sonar line, casting to reds, trout & jacks. Was scoping for snook in the early AM, but no takers from the beach, only from the boat. 

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Posted (edited)

On 4/30/2022 at 10:38 PM, CaryGreene said:

 

Double post, stupid computer. 

Edited by Fishtale7

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On 5/23/2022 at 3:54 PM, VeeRay56 said:

More efficient energy transfer. If flyline is softer than butt section, then you lose energy. Conversely, if butt section is too soft as compared to fly line end, the leader crumbles. 

Saltwater fly lines aren't soft and supple. They're actually very stiff and we need Leaders to match them. Manufacturers deliberately make them slick (hard) and stiff. They often use braided monofilament cores (like Sci A, Rio, Airflo and Cortland...etc) and coatings that impregnate deep into the cores of the lines and add to the stiffness. Sometimes a picture is woth a thousand words. The reason saltwater lines are stiff is so they lay out straight. 

 

Here's a picture of one of Florida's best distance cassters and licensed guides, Captain Bruce Chard, launching a weighted crab pattern, fishing for Permit. He's been guiding in the keys for 25 years. 

 

A soft, supple line doesn't aid in doing this. It does the opposite. It detracts - mainly because the leader can't support the mass of the larger, weighted saltwater fly and so it won't turn it over. 

 

628d701c9c4ee_Screenshot2022-05-247_53_45PM.png.c0d3d5fd7d8692e951018c4ebf16d314.png

 

Notice how the stiff fly line and leader look in the picture. They move in very straight unison. Stiffness is key to this and the goal is to lay the fly out straight in front of the line's Tip, so that you're in immediate cotact with the fly as it hits the water. Medium Stiff leader material matches up extremely well with Saltwater fly lines and the ones i use, from Sci A, Airflo, Rio, Cortland and Royal Wulff are all very stiff. 

 

The only advantage to a softer leader is for slack casts - which is great for river fishing when absorbing drag is the goal. Captain Bruce says, "The leader is important not just for its strength and durability in landing fish. Remember that first you have to hook that tarpon, permit, or bonefish. If you can't deliver the fly correctly, it doesn't matter how strong the leader is."

 

"Tight loops in combination with the correct leader system allow you to transfer valuable energy smoothly, efficiently, and aggressively all the way to the fly. This is vital to lay out the fly line and leader straight with a slackless presentation. Trout anglers often build leaders to create slack. In the salt, we want exactly the oppositea ruler-straight presentation without slack, and right on target so when you start stripping line, you immediately also start moving the fly the way you intend."

 

Major Saltwater Leader Manufactuers, like Hatch, Sci A, Yozuri, Seaguar offer Medium Hard Copolymer Nylons and Fluorocarbons for this reason. Soft leaders have no benefit in Saltwater Fly fishing, since lines are the opposite of limp or soft - to ensure straight line presentations. 

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30 mins ago, Fishtale7 said:

Wow, picked a few spools of the SA Hard mono when I was down in Florida two weeks ago (can't find it locally on Long Island). A shop, literally around the corner from my dad's house, had it in stock. Along with a few other goodies, that wouldn't fit in the suitcase, that they graciously shipped for me, for free!! 

>> That's amazing and awesome to hear Fishtale. I love it. Sounds like a great shop. Give them a mention here because a lot of us frequent Florida! (or live there :)

 

Got the 60, 50, 40. 30 & 25 for the butt & mid sections for the 8wt & 10wt (still using the Orvis Super Strong for the tippet). What difference in casting & presentation. Even my wife commented to me, while on a few outings down there, that the casts were more "natural" looking. No more collapsing casts or bunched up leader landing at once.

>> Mark Twain wrote in A Double-Barrelled Detective Story, "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." I always felt that it's especially nice to to right when they are looking & it sounds like you're now doing just that!

 

Thanks for the input & advice on NOT using the garage full Ande material, I'll keep that for soaking bait & plugging.

>> My pleasure Fishtale, we're here to help each other and enjoy each other's company. Some Codge-Nibblers (a term invented in a Fly-Fishing retail store over 30 years ago) (describes old guys who think they know it all) never get this but a few of us actually do take the time to learn a new trick or two (on occasion). SOME of us are even old guys!! heh-heh

 

30 mins ago, Fishtale7 said:

Only draw back to the SA-AHM is tying knots in the larger diameter 60 (.040) & 50 (.036). This stuff is thick and really stiff, even perfection loops in the 60 was a challenge, let alone a blood knot. Wetting the knot made it more difficult. I decided to rub chapstick on each end before tying, that made a big difference in tying & snugging them down.

>> Excellent advice! I'll have to try it. Great idea!

 

I also dropped down from a standard 9' leader to a 7' leader, going 4' butt, 2' mid & 1' tippet. While using the SA Sonar line, casting to reds, trout & jacks. Was scoping for snook in the early AM, but no takers from the beach, only from the boat. 

>> Sounds like a ball! Glad to hear you had fun and looked good doing it!!

 

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24 mins ago, CaryGreene said:

>> That's amazing and awesome to hear Fishtale. I love it. Sounds like a great shop. Give them a mention here because a lot of us frequent Florida! (or live there :)

 

Tailwater Outfitters, on Route 19 in Palm Harbor. Nicest bunch of helpful people. Actually made you feel like a local, and not digging for your stranger/tourist money. Nor look down at you for being a newbie at the fly sport. They tried to sway me toward the more inexpensive leader, but I had my mind set on the SA. What a pleasurable difference from being in NY, lol. Not too mention just having a discussion, without trying to make a sale. Told them my dad lives around the corner, and that I would send him there. Although at 75, all his exercise is mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes and vacuuming the pool. Doesn't get in much fishing or golf anymore :banghd: I need to get there more often. Two more years until I retire, and I can be there permanently to help. :beers:

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8 mins ago, Fishtale7 said:

Tailwater Outfitters, on Route 19 in Palm Harbor. Nicest bunch of helpful people. Actually made you feel like a local, and not digging for your stranger/tourist money. Nor look down at you for being a newbie at the fly sport. They tried to sway me toward the more inexpensive leader, but I had my mind set on the SA. What a pleasurable difference from being in NY, lol. Not too mention just having a discussion, without trying to make a sale. Told them my dad lives around the corner, and that I would send him there. Although at 75, all his exercise is mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes and vacuuming the pool. Doesn't get in much fishing or golf anymore :banghd: I need to get there more often. Two more years until I retire, and I can be there permanently to help. :beers:

I hope you have an awesome retirement!! In the meantime get your nose back to the grindstone kiddo!!

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