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Matt Henderson

Leader material
« on: March 01, 2010, 19:36:28 PM »
So nylon, copolymer and fluorocarbon.  I'm really lost by all of this stuff.  For salmon/sea-trout I use a mixture of 15lb and 25lb and its all fine.  With trout fishing I'm at a total loss.  Can somebody recommend me some that will do for still waters, and rivers mostly wet flies, and has a decent knot strength.



Jay Scott

Re: Leader material
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 20:19:13 PM »

Everyone has their own preferences like all aspects of fishing, i like fulling mill 6lb fluorocarbon it is a little bit stiffer and good for fishing a team of flies, thats my opinion anyway   :z7



Re: Leader material
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 20:20:36 PM »
I stick with normal mono, my preferred brands being Drennan Sub Surface for windy lochs, and Maxima for eslewhere.  I find the Drennan slightly stiffer, hence for windier / rougher conditions.  Some people like fluoro because it sinks and I've heard it's refractive index apparently makes it more difficult for the fish to see (?).  The downside is it can be expensive, it takes an eternity to bio degrade, and it's knot strength / lack of it leads to lots of debate.  Co-polymer - only used one spool in my lifetime - and if I remember correctly it was very fine and limp compared to normal mono which made me conclude (rightly or wrongly) that it would be best for dries ?  I got into lots of tangles with it, probably not the material to blame just my casting style.

I'm afraid factoring in different knots for each material became too much of a chav for me, hence that's why I stick with mono.  Whether or not this has maintained my naff catch rate is a different story  :z4 :z4  

Matt Henderson

Re: Leader material
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 20:26:16 PM »
what about ones that are labelled as 3x, 5x etc etc?


Re: Leader material
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 20:34:16 PM »
I think that's the diameter of the material from the era before fractions of millimetres were given ? :z8


Re: Leader material
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 20:59:01 PM »
Hi Matt,

The X system is a convenient way of expressing the diameter of a material in thousandths of an inch.

The rule is 11 minus the X number gives you the diameter. 

So, in the case of 3x

11-3 =7 

diameter of 3x will be 0.07".  I tend to use the X system but if I ever need to explicitly express the diameter of tippet I will quote in mm.

Forget breaking strain,  diameter is far more important.  For example, you will find that 15lb Maxima Chameleon turns over 1.5" tubes O.K but 15lb Orvis Super Strong will not.  That is because 15lb Maxima has a diameter of 0.37mm and 15lb Super Strong has a diameter of 0.28mm.  If using Super Strong and buying by breaking strain, you would need to buy 25lb, this is 0.38mm and will handle tubes just fine. 

Is that making sense?

Ideally, the size / mass / bulk of the fly will dictate tippet diameter, a size 20 dry will be fished on 6 or 7x if it is to fish well.  Don't expect that tippet to hold a 6lb Don trout if you are fishing it on a fast 10' #7 rod, on a 4wt it should hold just fine.

Personal preference when trout fishing is for copolymer tapered leaders and then tippet of fluorocarbon, I am using Mirage Max knot Strength and have found it to be excellent but, as with all fluoro, you need to knot it very carefully.  I have found that no fluorocarbon material likes 4 turn water knots or surgeons loops.



Richard Tong

Re: Leader material
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 21:48:36 PM »

A formula that may help you is the "Rule of Four" as mentioned in Darryl Martins Micropatterns. Though this is specifically aimed at small floating flies it is a useful rule of thumb to determine the tippet that will have "the power,rigidity,to push the pattern out ,yet be soft enough for a natural float".

So,a size 20 fly divided by 4 = a 5X tippet. Or a 4X tippet x 4 = a size 16 fly etc. I use this in general and on the Don fish 4X Frog Hair Copolymer in Spring on flies from a size 12 through to 16 with no problems. Last year we hit quite a few Black Gnat falls and then when we went down to an 18 I changed to 5X. I frequently fish a 20 fly on a 5X tippet with no problems adn occasionally a 22 though below this would change to 6X.This brand of nylon suits me well ,being limp,knots well and is very strong for its diameter.

Ben is spot on,breaking strain is of course very important but of even more importance is to get the diameter right for the fly


Matt Henderson

Re: Leader material
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 22:01:29 PM »
thanks guys.  makes a bit more sense now.  so it appears that you choose the diameter to suit the fly and then the breaking strain secondary to that based on the fish you're targeting.


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