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Old 05-18-2012, 07:38 AM
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bigger leader for bigger bugs - duh?

Not just bigger, like 3x instead of 5x - but much bigger! For the first few years of FF I would get frustrated when throwing bigger bugs. On occasion, I fish Rosie with a buddy and always tried pulling out the 5wt. (only so much tolerance during a day on the boat for 35 feet of fly line swinging by my non-FF boat partner's head!) and the results were rarely pretty. "But I'm using a bigger leader, why isn't this working?"

I bought an 8wt to manage bigger bugs and - hopefully - bigger fish. This helped. But, at the same time I also employed advice gleaned from a number of threads from AZFAT and tied my own basic leaders. 40lb - 30lb - 20lb is how it started and now if I'm throwing big top water I'll use a little 14lb as "tippet". Wow, this makes all the difference. In a recent thread I read all of the different formulas everyone uses and I'm sure I start to hone my own formula... but I started simply with 3ft-2ft-3ft.

So, while the above worked well the bigger custom leader really made sense the other day when I wanted to primarily fish my 5wt. and then found myself in a position to throw some bigger bugs. I used the big custom leader and it made my early issues with big bugs on the 5wt seem silly. Sure the 8wt handles them more easily but the 5wt with a beefy leader all was very manageable.

I am a much better fisherman - in much shorter time - with all the help and info I've received from this site. Thanks.

Happy fishing.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:12 AM
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True dat. Last night I was throwing a big fly with a trailer on a 5 weight thanks to my 15 pound leader. I like the light rods in open water and heavy rods when there's cover.
I'm bad in that I don't measure. I just use a length that looks good as long as it ends up around 8 or 10 feet. 3 peices of line, about the same length.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddthefrog View Post
True dat. Last night I was throwing a big fly with a trailer on a 5 weight thanks to my 15 pound leader. I like the light rods in open water and heavy rods when there's cover.
I'm bad in that I don't measure. I just use a length that looks good as long as it ends up around 8 or 10 feet. 3 peices of line, about the same length.
So.... Would you say to tie on a 3 ft 15 pound floro to flyline, then say a 2-3 ft 10 pound floro line, then a final 3-4 ft of 8 pound floro to make up a 9-10 ft custom leader would work on my 7wt to toss the bigger bass flys I have?
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:10 PM
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I'm using 40, 30, 20 on a 7wt. If the fish seem leader shy, I use lighter tippet.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:11 PM
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I use a perfection loop instead of tying directly to the fly line. Missed that part of your query.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:51 PM
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Not sure what brand of leader material you guys are using, but from my experience it is as important as the actual leader formula.
Soft mono does not turn over very well, IMO.
One leader formula that I like for both fresh water and cold saltwater is made from Maxima; 36" 40 lb, 24" 30 lb, 24" 20 lb. Tippett 30" 15lb to 18lb super fluoro. Works for me on 7 and 8 wt rods.
Most of the time it is more important to get the big, heavy to turn over than it is to be stealthy so I lean to the heavy side.
For warm saltwater like in Florida, Mexico, and the tropics I really like hard Mason. A good Bonefish leader formula with Mason is 60" 30 lb, 36" 25lb, 18" 20lb, and a 36" tippett of 12-16 lb fluoro.
My hard Mason Tarpon leader is 60" 40lb, 24" 30lb, 18" 12-20lb, 24-30" 60-80 lb fluoro shock.
Takes a while to get the hard Mason leaders to straighten out after being coiled up on a reel for a while so just leave the rod strung up.
I think it gets warm enough in AZ for the Mason leaders to work for you. Dub and some others on this forum would probably know.
I prefer perfection loops to attach tippett sections.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:56 PM
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Just a thought- Look at the size of the eye in the hook you're using as a guideline for what size line. When you tie an itty bitty 6 pound leader on a fly with a 4/0 hook and an eye the size of a puppy's bellybutton, it just doesn't look right. If the line won't go through the eye, time to use lighter line.
Again, I am so not a rocket surgeon regarding measurements. I fly by the seat of my pants throughout life.
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