CaryGreene

Leader Design - Saltwater and Freshwater

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154 posts in this topic

Cary,

 Great advice. Most of the time with the Exo has been TH overhead casting in high surf. and nasty weather.  There is one popular spot that the water load will be needed to get down deep in fast current and strikes occur beyond the trough. I have a plethora of 10/11 spools for the old school System 2 SA reels. I've never felt a need to go expensive high tech reels, but spent int on fly rods. and lines. Ill get the suffix 131 and try and load a spool with the running lines and heads. Thanks Paul

 

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On 6/26/2022 at 1:24 PM, Mallard1100 said:

I was fishing my 10 weight off the beach this morning with the SA sink 3/5/7 in 10wt as well. Although the fish did not cooperate it did cast great and there was a very noticeable difference. Casts felt great and laid out like ropes! Thank you again for this thread!

Hi Mallard - Quack-Quack!! LOL I had a feeling you were going to give this a try. Not surprised by your resutls but really interesting to hear your thoughts. The Sci-A Sonar Sink 3-5-7 has a very powerful taper and if used in conjunction with a Lightning-Leader, it will turn over even larger flies with ease. You're quite welcome for the insights and we thank you for your feedback and ongoing thoughts as they may occur! Nice work!!

 

On 6/26/2022 at 1:24 PM, Mallard1100 said:

A few observations I would I add that have already been mentioned for the most part. 1. I certainly needed a leader straightener as this stuff. It’s stiff.  I normally only carry that with my trout stuff but will have to pack it with my salt gear now. Knots can be a little tough to tie with the stiffness but I use gloves and pliers like recommended. Very doable! Great system. 

Absolutely true. BTW, a pair of leather gloves will work fine to straighten a leader as well, but the Leader Straightener really helps and it's compact & easy to carry. Again, very stoked to hear you're having markedly better results with the Lightning Leaders!

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On 6/26/2022 at 7:03 PM, yarddog59 said:

Cary,

 Great advice. Most of the time with the Exo has been TH overhead casting in high surf. and nasty weather.  There is one popular spot that the water load will be needed to get down deep in fast current and strikes occur beyond the trough. I have a plethora of 10/11 spools for the old school System 2 SA reels. I've never felt a need to go expensive high tech reels, but spent int on fly rods. and lines. Ill get the suffix 131 and try and load a spool with the running lines and heads. Thanks Paul

 

Absolutely Paul, I neglected to mention that when you connect the White Suffix 131 or the white Cortland Gel Spun Backing, you'll want to use a well tied Double Bimini that is tied off properly. The beautiful Tanya was assisting me the other day as we were setting up her reels for this season, she's a Jamaican Bikini-Clad Paddle Board fly-fishing phenom! LOL

 

Anyways, we made three video shrts on how to easily tie this knot so she could practice it. Your post kind of tags having to do this as a next step becasue once you select your backing of choice -there's really no other way to connect these slippery braided materials to a Fly Line. You'll need to use the Double Bimini (not a Single Bimini). 

 

Video 1: Brief explanation of how we go about gaining extra capacity on a fly reel:

 

Video 2: Simple "Single-Bimini"

 

Video 3: Easy Double Bimini

 

 

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Outstanding.

I'm heading out shortly, with the TH surf fly rod loaded with  ridge running line-FIST- tips-7 1/2 foot lighting leader,  to the proving grounds as the weather is perfect.

Paul

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Hi Cary.  Can you explain the advantage of a double bimini over a single?  Obviously, it's a stronger knot with four stands vice two, and it will take a better bite out of the loop in the fly line.  Anything else?  

 

I have my "big boy" reel on the 10 Wt backed with Jerry Brown Line One 65# braid (not the hollow core) with a single bimini, loop to loop.  It was recommended by Bob Filger when I bought one of his reels.  What are your thoughts on how it compares with the Suffix 131?  West coast offshore guys and long rangers swear by JB Line One, and IMO it is great line.  That doesn't mean it's the best choice for fly reel backing.  Suffix 131 says it's a 12 carrier line woven around a core of Gore Performance Fiber.  Sounds pretty strong.  They claim a diameter of 0.017 for their 65#.  I couldn't find a diameter for the JB 65#.  It is a gel spun braid, 8 strand.   

 

You got me shopping for a D/C line for my 8 Wt.  The S/A Sonar 3/5/7 sounds like it would be the ticket off the boat for false albacore.  Sometimes those schools are on the move and you only get one shot at them before they're gone.  If that fly doesn't get down where they can see it and you're not moving it, you don't get bit.  I've always used a floater for that.  Think it's time to change tactics.  

 

Thanks.  

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2 hours ago, yarddog59 said:

Outstanding.

I'm heading out shortly, with the TH surf fly rod loaded with  ridge running line-FIST- tips-7 1/2 foot lighting leader,  to the proving grounds as the weather is perfect.

Paul

Looking forward to a full report!

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1 hour ago, bmac said:

Hi Cary.  Can you explain the advantage of a double bimini over a single?  Obviously, it's a stronger knot with four stands vice two, and it will take a better bite out of the loop in the fly line.  Anything else?  

Hi bmac! Another day in the life, here on SOL! Happy to give my thoughts on this. Many of you probably might have guessed but I've never directly said it, so I should say that I've fished all over the world for a wide range of "big-game" species. Years ago (25 years maybe?) the bimini twist became necessary to help me hang onto my expensive Fly-Line, but I had a couple of instances that caused me move to a Double-Bimini. 

 

I lost a big Tarpon after about an hour long fight. My single Bimini came back, but fly line was comprimised. The Gel Spun backing had apparently cut through my bombproof Whipped Loop. I took out a spare reel, stripped off the line and went to Double-Bimini and proceeded to land 4 more big fish (all 150# range), with no issues and no signof wear on the Whipped-Loop. 

 

Piror to that experience, I lost a fly line on a Permit that was tailing (eating crabs) over a Coral-Bed. The fish ran and I got tight, and then, <blip> the line went limp. I reeled it in and found the single Bimini intact but the loop was cut open - an obvious case of abrasion failure. 

 

The Bimini is as close as we're ever going to get to a 100% strength connection from a knot standpoint. With Dacron (Micron) backing, a Single Bimini is fine. But, with braids and with Gel spun, the Double Bimini seems to not cut into the fly line, where as the single can on very large, hard pulling fish. 

 

By creating two loops, not only is the knot tougher against abrasion, but the extra loop also helps to distribute the stress on the loop of the fly line over a greater area. This helps prolong the life of your fly line by preventing the backing from cutting into the coating of the welded loop.

 

When fighting big fish, the last thing you want to think about is the strength of your knots. Give the double bimini twist a try and never worry about your backing connection again! 

 

1 hour ago, bmac said:

I have my "big boy" reel on the 10 Wt backed with Jerry Brown Line One 65# braid (not the hollow core) with a single bimini, loop to loop.  It was recommended by Bob Filger when I bought one of his reels.  What are your thoughts on how it compares with the Suffix 131?  West coast offshore guys and long rangers swear by JB Line One, and IMO it is great line.  That doesn't mean it's the best choice for fly reel backing.  Suffix 131 says it's a 12 carrier line woven around a core of Gore Performance Fiber.  Sounds pretty strong.  They claim a diameter of 0.017 for their 65#.  I couldn't find a diameter for the JB 65#.  It is a gel spun braid, 8 strand. 

Another good question. We have to keep in mind the cost of solving the need for increased capacity - which is often done to fit fly lines on spools and to give us extra protection against big-game, which might take off on us and go on some staggering runs. Braids that are more "round" or "RADIAL" in design are less likely to cut into themselves when packed on a spool than braids that are square (the worst choice) and flat (spectra braids like Jerry Brown or Cortland or Sci-A). 

 

As long as a spectra braid is packed on the spool with tension, you won't have any problems. Too much tension will bend the spool. Too little or too insonsistent will cause a massive potential problem. Round braids don't have this issue. They're much like monofilament on a conventional reel. They go on and off endlessly without any issue. 

 

Gel Spun backing is what we've used for years. It's not the most advanced material out there, but it works if you spool it properly. Is white 131 even better. yup! It's also EVEN MORE expensive. So you have to consider that and also, lenghts >150 yards are often not available so you have to have a fly shop access their 1500 yard spools to fill multiple reels to 250 or 300 yard capacities. (something to keep in mind)

1 hour ago, bmac said:

You got me shopping for a D/C line for my 8 Wt.  The S/A Sonar 3/5/7 sounds like it would be the ticket off the boat for false albacore.  Sometimes those schools are on the move and you only get one shot at them before they're gone.  If that fly doesn't get down where they can see it and you're not moving it, you don't get bit.  I've always used a floater for that.  Think it's time to change tactics.  

Albies and Bonito also have excellent eyesight are easily spooked. They can see a D/C Head. You can try a 9' or 10' Lighting Leader, but being stealthy matters when Albie fishing on days when the water isn't broken by strong wind. Therefore, try an Intermediate Quick Loading compact line with a Clear Tip for Albies. They afford a whole lot more stealth. In broken water, this matters a whole lot less. 

 

There are some excellent Clear Tips out there. 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

SH Proving Ground Report:

 

Looked to be a great calm day at the beach today to experiment  casting into a waist high surf, but as it is said "If you want to see God laugh, just tell him your plans"

 

Flyrod today was an T&T Exocet Surf 10 weight 11'2"

 

At 430PM I walked a mile South on a bike trail to make a hard left to the beach and flycast my way back to the parking lot.

 i was greeted with a strong south wind which hampered my casting two handed with my strong right side.  After a few near miss nose and ear piercings with a BTD, I decided to give the left side casting a try as this is a two handed rod. I currently stink single hand lefty soI didn't think this was going to be a worthwhile exercise of the fly line setup. After a few messy water load attempts, the reel coming loose landing in the water and getting soaked by a wave ,I didn't see while untangling the fly line around my feet, I began to launch the fly line further lefty than I have ever done before!

 

After many casts I became more and more consistent launching this set up almost into the backing.

 

The formula I tested was an Airflow Ridge Running line to an Airflow FIST Head, to an Airflow 7IPS 10 foot sink tip and an 7 1/2 foot lighting leader.

 

Before exiting the beach I turned North with the wind at my back and performed a TH cast parallel to the beach and emptied the running line from the basket. The Ridge running line behaved in the fly basket perfectly.

 

I have to match the leader butt better to the sink tip which was narrower than the  leader butt I used.

 

Thanks to CG for matching this rod with the right line combination and essentially performing like the US Supreme Court and giving the Exocet a "Cary Permit"

 

Edited by yarddog59

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14 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

Hi bmac! Another day in the life, here on SOL!

 

Thanks Cary.  Very helpful.  

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5 hours ago, bmac said:

Thanks Cary.  Very helpful.  

Another thing you can actually do with that Airflo system is connect a Lightning Leader directly to the tip of the Head, making the set up only a 2-piece system, Running-Line to Head. If water depths are 3 to 10', this would work fine. The Sink Tips are mainly for deeper rips and areas where you have significant water depth - they also add castable grain weight to the Head. 

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Hi Cary,

Roger your advice on Flouro sinking (vs. Mono "sinking" more slowly) but for times when faster sinking leader is desireable, do you have a brand reommendation that offers best stiffness for butt, mid-section and tippet?

Many thanks in advance,

Jake

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 6/28/2022 at 10:44 PM, yarddog59 said:

SH Proving Ground Report:

 

Looked to be a great calm day at the beach today to experiment  casting into a waist high surf, but as it is said "If you want to see God laugh, just tell him your plans"

 

Flyrod today was an T&T Exocet Surf 10 weight 11'2"

 

At 430PM I walked a mile South on a bike trail to make a hard left to the beach and flycast my way back to the parking lot.

 i was greeted with a strong south wind which hampered my casting two handed with my strong right side.  After a few near miss nose and ear piercings with a BTD, I decided to give the left side casting a try as this is a two handed rod. I currently stink single hand lefty soI didn't think this was going to be a worthwhile exercise of the fly line setup. After a few messy water load attempts, the reel coming loose landing in the water and getting soaked by a wave ,I didn't see while untangling the fly line around my feet, I began to launch the fly line further lefty than I have ever done before!

 

After many casts I became more and more consistent launching this set up almost into the backing.

 

The formula I tested was an Airflow Ridge Running line to an Airflow FIST Head, to an Airflow 7IPS 10 foot sink tip and an 7 1/2 foot lighting leader.

 

Before exiting the beach I turned North with the wind at my back and performed a TH cast parallel to the beach and emptied the running line from the basket. The Ridge running line behaved in the fly basket perfectly.

 

I have to match the leader butt better to the sink tip which was narrower than the  leader butt I used.

 

Thanks to CG for matching this rod with the right line combination and essentially performing like the US Supreme Court and giving the Exocet a "Cary Permit"

 

You just lost my interest in this thread with the U.S. Supreme Court comment!

Herb

Edited by HL

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18 hours ago, KennebecJake said:

Hi Cary,

Roger your advice on Flouro sinking (vs. Mono "sinking" more slowly) but for times when faster sinking leader is desireable, do you have a brand reommendation that offers best stiffness for butt, mid-section and tippet?

Many thanks in advance,

Jake

Hi Jake, Seaguar makes very consistent Fluorocarbon and that's been a long time. Favorite of mine along with Yozuri HD Pink. I would classify the Yozui as more of a medium and the Seaguar as more of medium-stiff. 

 

Any of the major brands are pretty decent and it really comes down to getting a good price on the stuff because it's not cheap! 

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ACA Tournament Leader Formulas


Please also see the rules for each event to understand the limititation for lengths and diameters of leaders.

A table for converting typical line diameters to their lb-test rating, see the end of this page.

Trout Fly leader by Steve Rajeffleader6.jpg
45 inches
0.024"
18 inches
0.021"
12 inches
0.018"
9 inches
0.014"
6 inches
0.011"
20-22 inches
0.008"
Total length: 9'2" - 9'4", Material: Maxima
Trout Fly leader by John Napolileader6.jpg
48 inches
0.027"
24 inches
0.019"
13 inches
0.017"
7 inches
0.015"
2 3/4 inches
0.013"
18 inches
0.008"
Total length: 9'4 3/4", For 6 weight line
Dry Fly leader by Steve Rajeffleader6.jpg
24 inches
0.024"
18 inches
0.021"
15 inches
0.018"
12 inches
0.014"
6 inches
0.011"
15-18 inches
0.009"
Total length: 7'6" - 7'9", Material: Maxima
Dry Fly leader by John Napolileader6.jpg
35 inches
0.022"
17 inches
0.018"
7.5 inches
0.016"
3.5 inches
0.015"
3 inches
0.014"
20 inches
0.009"
Total length: 7'2", For 7 weight line
Bass Bug leader by Steve RajeffLeader6.jpg
30 inches
0.028"
18 inches
0.024"
9 inches
0.021"
6 inches
0.018"
15-18 inches
0.014"
Total length: 6'6" - 6'9", Material: Maxima
Bass Bug leader by John Napolileader6.jpg
43 inches
0.030"
13 inches
0.028"
9 inches
0.022"
7 inches
0.019"
3 inches
0.017"
12 inches
0.014"
Total length: 7'4", For 8 or 9 weight lines
Angler's Fly Distance leader by Steve Rajeffleader4.jpg
48 inches
0.022"
24 inches
0.018"
12 inches
0.016"
24-60 inches
0.014"
Total length: 9' - 12' (*), Material: Maxima
Angler's Fly Distance leader by Chris Korichleader4.jpg
48 inches
0.022"
24(36) inches
0.018"
12(24) inches
0.016"
24-30(30-36) inches
0.014"
Total length: 9' - 9'6"(11'6" - 12') (*), Material: Maxima, tippet is Golden Stren
Single-Hand Fly Distance leader by Steve Rajeffleader4.jpg
36-48 inches
0.022"
24-36 inches
0.018"
12-24 inches
0.016"
24-36 inches
0.014"
Total length: 8' - 12' (*), Material: Maxima
Single-Hand Fly Distance leader by Chris Korichleader4.jpg
36(48) inches
0.025"
18(24) inches
0.022"
6(12) inches
0.018"
24 inches
0.017"
Total length: 7'(9') (*), Material: Maxima, Tippet is Golden Stren
Two-Handed Fly Distance leader by Steve Rajeffleader4.jpg
60 inches
0.028"
36-48 inches
0.024"
36 inches
0.022"
36-60 inches
0.018"
Total length: 14' - 17' (*), Material: Maxima
Two-Handed Fly Distance leader by Chris Korichleader5.jpg

 

60 inches
0.033"
36(48) inches
0.028"
24(36) inches
0.025"
12(24) inches
0.022"
24(36) inches
0.018"
Total length: 13'(17') (*), Material: Maxima, tippet is Golden Stren
Skish Fly leader by Steve Rajeff leader4.jpg
30 inches
0.025"
18 inches
0.022"
12 inches
0.018"
15-18 inches
0.016"
Total length: 6'3" - 6'6", for 8 to 10 weight lines
* Distance leaders should be adjusted for the conditions of the day. Generally, favorable conditions like back wind and low humidity allow long leaders. Use shorter leaders for no or unpredictable wind and high humidity.
Maxima line diameters and labeled lb-test (revised 1/06)
.028" .024" .022" .020" .018" .015" .0145" .0135" .0115" .0095" .008"
50 lb 40 lb 30 lb 25 lb 20 lb 15 lb 12 lb 10 lb 8 lb 6 lb 5 lb

 

I thought this might be of interest to those participating in this thread.

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