.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

11/25/09

The Basics: Presentation - Part 17 - Leaders
I have really been putting in some time on leaders. For the past year and a half,
I have tested just about every leader made, both Monofilament Nylon &
Fluorocarbon and as well as combinations of it. I have used them in every type
of water you can conceive of, including all types of streams, still waters and both
the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The reason is that I wanted to try to
improve on what is currently available from the fly fishing industry.

It hasn't turned out to be nearly as easy as I first though it would be. You see,
first of all, I was well aware some of the manufacturers were making far more of
the marketing than it deserved. We all know the length and size of the tippet is
important, but many of you have probably never stopped to consider the
importance of the size of the butt and mid sections of the leader, much less,
where and just how it is tapered down. All of this has to do with how well the
leader cast. That is what most anglers pay attention to. That is what most
leaders are made to do well. They may not be the best leaders for concealing
the connection from the fly line to the fly, and making the fly appear it is drifting
along on its on, but most all of them cast well.

The problem isn't improving the leaders that are currently on the market. I can
do that very easily. I could just make the tippet portion longer and the mid
sections smaller. The problem with that is that the leader would not cast as well
as those currently on the market.
There isn't such a thing as a perfect
leader.
If you had the perfect leader for a certain location in a trout stream, in
theory, if if you cast to were there was just a slight change in the current,
another leader would work better. You could change fly rods and another leader
would cast better. You wouldn't want to carry 1000 leaders of different
configurations in your fly vest and even if you did, you wouldn't want to take the
time to change leaders every times the conditions changed.

When it gets right down to it, everything becomes a compromise. The
compromise is between a leader that cast the best and one that hides or
conceals the connection between the fly line and the fly the best. Big thick butts,
heavier mid sections and shorter tippets cast the best but are more noticeable
to the trout. Light butt sections, short, light mid sections, and long tippets would
conceal everything better, but would cast poorly. Continued............

Copyright 2009 James Marsh