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Morrowboarder

DIY Leaders

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Been using a clear maxima leader kit for years for making my leaders. Getting low on some of my spools so I'm going to order another kit soon. My only complaint with the clear mono kit is the memory of the line. Looking for something with a little less. Any suggestions?

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Try looking at other brands of mono. Copolymer is usually softer than nylon, so less memory. You don't need to buy it in kits. Just get spools of what you run out of.

 

I have never understood putting rings in the tip of furled leaders. The rings are hard but the leader soft. You end up with a soft hard soft joint that is a recipe for wear. A Shorb loop in both ends is about the best connection I've found. Easy to use, doesn't wear, and you don't have to buy the rings.

A correctly formed loop to loop joint for leader to tippet turns the pulling force on the fly into a compressive force at the joint. Mono (and thread) are much stronger in compression. Knotting a tippet to a ring means the force is a shear force. Not as strong, as you have shear force acting on a joint that is prone to wear.

 

Cheers,

C.

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I too use loops on both ends of my home made furled leaders.

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I think I'm going to go with Rio Powerflex and give the copolymer a try. The guide I go by says to use stiff leader material for the heavy end. The Maxima clear is stiff mono, but I hate how it stays curled and lays on the water.

 

This site has always been my standard guide for tying leaders and has never been an issue. A single leader for each of my reels will last me the entire season, with the necessary repairs. The point in which I replace them is when the line becomes brittle after storing away for winter.

 

http://www.onlinefishinglog.com/blog/20/Hand-Tying-Fly-Leaders

 

As far as loops go, just on the heavy end for me. Surgeons knot for the tippet works great. I always thought the energy transfer is more efficient this way, if that makes any sense.

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Heavynets, The line to hook connection is always a week spot in a leader set up. Why have it 3 times?

 

Cheers,

C.

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I know you said tapered but this is more about the material. I've never had any trouble making or using knotted leaders made from Maxima Chameleon ( this is not the clear or green stuff but brown looking) leader and tippet material. It fishes well for me. To me it's the ultimate compromise between hard and soft material. It' been my material of choice for decades. unless they discontinue it I intend to keep using that. I make leaders and or add on to existing leader, or repair existing leaders from spools of this using surgeons knots. Never an issue tying them in with two turns through the loop. Pull it down cut the tags off, done deal.

 

For the record, I prefer knotted leaders over tapered by quite a bit, especially made out of Chameleon. To me and with my marginal little mind, it just way seems to coil less and turn over better. Then to tie up your own, you have options in customized performance that you can taylor to your personal casting style.

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Chameleon for the butt sections, Ultra Green for mid sections, soft tippet section (Powerflex, Frog Hair, Super Strong).

The best tied leaders will have stiff mono for the butt sections to turn over the leader. The stiff mono will "take a set" from being coiled. All you have to do is give it a good pull and it will straighten out and stay that way all day long if it is not coiled back up on the reel for any extended time.

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The complicated leader formulas are unnecessary.

For hand tied leaders, I use a very simple leader formula that I got from Gary Borger. He has modified his Uni-body leader formula a bit from the original. I have the latest formula. You can google "Gary Borger Uni-body Leader" to read about it but the following directions will allow you to make your own. You must use Maxima Chameleon for this leader to work. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE.

For the 4-6 wt rods that most of us use we need Maxima Chameleon (brown color) 0.020" (25 lb test) for the butt and 0.013 (12 lb test) for the transition. If you have 7 and 8 wt rods, buy some 0.024" (40 lb test) and 0.015" (15 lb test) Maxima Chameleon for the butt and transition respectively.

Each "base leader" without the tippet will have a butt section and a transition section made of the thicker and thinner Maxima Chameleon respectively. The transition section is ALWAYS 1 ft. long when finished. The transition section ends in a tippet ring and we will use a 3mm ring for the 4-6 wt rods. The tippet is added to the tippet ring. You can either tie the tippet to the ring or use a loop to loop connection.

The tippet ring allows you to change the tippet length and diameter easily without shortening the 1 foot long transition section. You can eliminate the tippet ring and tie the tippet directly to the transition but you will lose the ability to quickly change the leader for nymphing vs dry fly fishing as explained below.

The butt section length varies with the total leader length. I include a perfection loop on my butt section which I use to connect the leader to the fly line with a loop to loop connection.

For a 9 ft leader the butt is 5 feet long (including the perfection loop) and the transition is 1 ft. long for a base leader length of 6 feet. Then add a 3 ft long supple tippet section and you have a Uni-body George Harvey style dry fly leader. For longer leaders, lengthen the .020" Maxima Chameleon.

For nymphing, Gary uses the following formula. Butt section is 4 ft long and transition is 1 ft long for base of 4 feet. There are two tippet sections. The top tippet section is 4 feet long. The tippet diameter depends on the nymph size. Use 0X for size 2-8, 1X for size 10-14 and 2X for size 16 and smaller.

Tie a 2 mm tippet ring to the end of the upper tippet section and then tie a second 12" section of tippet to this tippet ring. For the diameter of this lower tippet section, divide the hook size by 3. So for a size 16 fly you would use 16/3 = 5X tippet. Place your spit shot above this tippet ring. You can also place a dropper with a second fly on this tippet ring if you want to use dropper rather than tying a second nymph in-line with the first.

nymphing-leader.jpg

You can convert from a nymphing to a George Harvey dry fly leader by changing the terminal tippet design between dry fly and nymphing set up. I keep the various nymphing sections with the second tippet ring coiled and held with a bread wrapper wire tie in separate small zip lock bags. I do the same with the various dry fly tippet sections.

Each front end of the tippets have a perfection loops so I can swap them out with a loop to tippet ring connection. With this system I can quickly to go from a nymphing rig with the proper tippet size to a dry fly rig with the proper tippet size and back again.

You will notice that the 9 foot leader has a 5 ft butt section and Gary's nymphing leader has a 4 ft butt section. I use the 5 ft butt section leader for both dry fly fishing and nymphing. I find the 5 ft works fine for nymphing, and I want a longer leader for my dry flies so I have less change of spooking the fish.

For the technically minded, you can read an explanation of why this formula works. Others stop reading here....................

Most fly fishing texts will tell you not to change the diameter by more than .002" or 2X sizes from leader section to section.

This makes no sense since going from the butt section of .020" to .018" is a lot smaller % change (10%) than going from .007" to .005" (28% change). If there is to be any rule of thumb is should be a % diameter change.

Both a smooth transition of energy and an undetectable delivery require a tapered leader. The reason is that energy, in the form of both the mass and velocity of the leader, is what delivers the fly. Tapering creates a system where a greater mass and therefore greater energy turns over lesser mass. An abrupt change in diameter (mass) from fly line to leader creates a hinge effect in which a low mass leader segment cannot accept the energy transfer at the end of the fly line/leader. So we need a % maximum change that provides a smooth transition without a hinge effect.

The Borger Uni-body leader is based on the concept that what changes at any any transition point is the linear mass density of the monofilament. When we go from a thicker (greater mass) section of leader material to a thinner (lesser mass) section, we are decreasing (changing) the mass; and there is maximum limit to how much that mass can change and still get a smooth transmission of energy from one section to the next.

Experimentally that turns out to be about 30% or 1/3 as determined by Gary Borger during development of his Uni-body leader system. A 30% change in diameter = a 50% change in mass. The linear mass density of a leader varies with the cross sectional area, and this varies with the square of the diameter. So if we go from a 0.010" to a 0.007" the ratio of the masses is (7/10) squared or 49/100. The linear mass density of the 4X mono is about 50% of the 1X mono. Any greater change and Gary discovered that you will not get a leader that casts smoothly. 1/3 seems to be the greatest diameter change at a knot that will still provide an acceptable transition of energy from leader section to leader section. (see the separate velocity and material stiffness discussion below)

Gary provides a simple method to calculate the 1/3 change, "To make the math simple enough for mental on-the-water work, eliminate the decimals. In other words, a diameter like .009" would be thought of simply as "9." Then, take that number, multiply it by 2, and then divide it by 3 to get the next smaller size you can use. For example, 9 * 2 = 18. Then, 18 / 3 = 6. The number "6" corresponds to .006". Once you get "multiply by two, divide by three" going in your head, you can do one third step-down calculations with speed and ease."

Of course you can use a smaller difference since the 1/3 change is the maximum. So if the broken section is 4X but you want a 5X leader, you can tie on 5X to the 4X.

Although we didn't mention velocity specifically in the 1/3 formula, velocity is an inherent component of energy that is transmitted. When we said that 1/3 is the maximum change that the allows for as smooth transmission of energy, we were saying that the velocity cannot change enough to compensate for a diameter change of greater than 1/3. The two components of kinetic energy are always interrelated. For kinetic energy to be transmitted down a fly line or leader, a change in mass results in a change in velocity.

For a smooth transition of energy, the velocity in the thinner section of mono must increase to compensate for the decreased mass, UNLESS the drag of the fly overcomes the increased velocity. This velocity increase is what causes the "crack" of a bull whip as the end of a bull whip breaks the sound barrier. Even though our arm is not moving as the speed of sound, the ever increasing velocity as the whip taper causes the snap.

We also ignored the stiffness of the monofilament which is why a limp section of mono cannot transmit as much energy forward. This is the principle on which the George Harvey leader is built. A limp section of mono is less efficient at transmitting kinetic energy than a stiff section of mono.

We must assume that the monofilament sections have the same stiffness for a 1/3 ratio. That is why Gary specifies Maxima Chameleon for his Uni-body leader.

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LOL Silver says, "The complicated leader formulas are unnecessary."

 

Then follows with one of the longest posts I've seen on this site. My eyes are plumb worn out !!

 

LOL

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LOL Silver says, "The complicated leader formulas are unnecessary."

 

Then follows with one of the longest posts I've seen on this site. My eyes are plumb worn out !!

 

LOL

 

 

If you don't want to know why the Unibody leader works or how to customize it for nymphing, tie the length of tippet you want to a tippet ring. To the other side of the tippet ring is 1 ft of 0.013" Maxima Chameleon which is tied to 0.020" Chameleon butt section of a length to make the leader as long as you want.

 

For various lengths of leader, carry the basic set up of 1 ft of 0.013" Maxima Chameleon tied to varyiing lengths of 0.020" Chameleon to make the base leader. Then add tippet of the diameter and length you want.

 

So for a 15 foot 5 X leader with a 4 feet of tippet, tie the tippet to a base 11 foot leader that is 1 foot 0.013" to 10 feet of 0.020" butt. With just 4 base leaders of 6 ft, 7 ft, 9 ft, and 11 ft, you can make a 9 ft leader with 3 feet of tippet of any size up to a 15 foot leader with 4 feet of tippet of any size.

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