leaders

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by francis james hunnycut, May 18, 2013.

  1. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,465
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +523 / 0
    You have an airflo 10' poly sink tip meant to attach to your floater, and it is an 8 weight. On the package it suggest what tippet to use and how to tie it to the sink leader. It should say to use 8-24 lb. tippet for best results. You can loop to loop/surgeon/ etc. Do you still have the package? If not you might find information on their web site ??? Anywhoo....I attach it directly to fly line with loop to loop, I use 8-12 lb. tippet most of the time, and I run no more than 6 feet....3-6 feet. The other option is to fish without the poly sinker and lengthen you leader to 12 feet from the typical 8-9 feet and throw some weighted flies....just experiment a little and find what you like.

    Now, regarding Salmo g response. Yeah poly leaders are not the greatest things, I use mine due to certain reason. They compare nowhere close to casting a sink tip line (ST3). And I usually have a butt section of 12-18" and tie 3-6 feet of 8-12 pound tippet...much better for tossing esl's. And no...I do not use furled leaders with any of this!
  2. hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

    Posts: 547
    inland
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    so many gimmicks out there, furled leaders imo are one of them. sinking polys are not a gimmick, but not at all a substitute for sink tips, polys will not get you near the depth. sink tips will still be needed for most winter steelheading.
  3. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,138
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +500 / 1
    The only poly leader worth its pennies is the 10 foot intermediate. Use it for skating dry flies (yes dry flies) and wet swing with traditional type wet flies, nymphs and soft hackles for summer fish. I've used all other poly leaders and the sinking polys are 100% junk. The floater works pretty well but once I realized the intermediate skates dry flies just fine... Why buy 2 polys and hassle with changing them if its not needed?? Simplify! Add 3-4 feet of 8,10 or 12# maxima to the end of your poly for leader. Add fly and water.

    Forget about furled leaders, also junk. I've caught a lot of fish of all shapes and sizes on the fly and never once thought... "Damn I need a furled leader!"

    Sink tips. Contrary to what you may read or hear. You actually don't need many sink tips at all. I have dozens that a cut up and stuffed into my tip wallet when i too read and heard those things, and all they did was handicap me by complicating my approach and giving me another thing to worry about. Go to your local fly shop and have them make you 10' of t8, 10' of t14 and buy a rio 15' type 3 and promptly cut it back to 10' feet. Put braided loops on all ends. Secure with ONE nail knot (i use 8# maxima for that) and a dab of aquaseal. These sink tips will work year round and last many years. Learn how to fish each one well and you will start connecting with more fish.

    If you already own a Spey rod start using it more. Attend all the free casting clinics you can and keep at it. It's worth the time investment it opens up so much for you and makes life easier and more efficient.
    wlai and Andrew Lawrence like this.
  4. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,489
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,678 / 2
    I'm with Sean on this. I have probably 20 sink tips. The ones I use most often are my 10' T-14, 10' T-8, and 6' T-14. I like the short T-14 for fishing more pockety water. I adjust my depth by changing where and how I start my swing, leader (straight mono or fluoro) length, and weighted/unweighted fly.
  5. francis james hunnycut Redneck Hippie

    Posts: 77
    bothell
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Wow. You sure make an awful lot of assumptions about me. Again, thanks for your time, and good luck with your book. I'm not sure why you would think that I am being resistant to the answers provided here, you must not have read my last post. I guess I don't really care what assumptions you have about me. In return for your advice on leaders, please allow me to give you some of my own concerning social skills. You don't need to insult someone to get their attention, it makes you look like an asshole
    Evan Burck and bennysbuddy like this.
  6. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,785
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    Just keep in mind Steve really doesn't care.

    The gist of what he said is true though. I don't know of any steelheaders that use furled leaders for their fishing. In general you would use stiffer materials for leaders such as Maxima Chameleon or UltraGreen to get turn over. While furled leaders do have the appeal of durability, steelhead leaders as a whole (for dry line fishing) don't have to be too complex, unlike trout leaders. You can move to more complex leader recipes, but you can get by with a simple 40% 25lb, 30% 15lb, 30% 10lb for most applications (for something like a 10' to 11' leader). As such, you'll end up with little to no time tying these up. Also, since the leaders are typically very stout, you won't have to worry nearly as much as kinks and bends like you would on more gossamer leaders like 5x.

    Finally, while experience steelheaders don't know everything under the sun, it's probably best to mimic what they do first. After you get some seasoning under your belt, you'll be better able to figure out what may work and what really isn't worth any time.

    Cheers
    James
  7. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,350
    m-ville
    Ratings: +733 / 0
    I use furled leaders because of their ability to turn large flies over and this is usefull for me in the wind. The other reason I like them is because I use the skagit method and they help anchor the line which is important to load the rod for the cast. That said I'm sure there are tons of people that will say I'm full of shit & don't know what I'm talking about.....
  8. francis james hunnycut Redneck Hippie

    Posts: 77
    bothell
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I certainly appreciate all the insight people. It has been most helpful. Stay safe
  9. francis james hunnycut Redneck Hippie

    Posts: 77
    bothell
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    that is the whole reason that I even started looking at them in the first place. It seems to me that they would "stick" to the water a little better and help to load the tip. I just asked about them and you would think by some of the responses on here that I suggested bbqing a native or something.
  10. francis james hunnycut Redneck Hippie

    Posts: 77
    bothell
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I was unaware in the apparent drastic difference between poly coated leaders and employing sections of actual sinking line. A friend that saw this thread was kind enough to give me a call and help to sort me out. Now that I know, you can bet your last JOINT that my leader wallet shall hold the versatility I was looking for when I started this thread. Obviously, something in my gut was telling me that there was a better system out there than the one I was employing... again, thank you all for the wonderful advice and as always, stay safe out there:)
    Porter likes this.
  11. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,551
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,685 / 0
    Francis,

    That's what we're here for, to offer up wonderful advice and have a little entertainment. And in my case, working on my social skills.

    Sg
  12. francis james hunnycut Redneck Hippie

    Posts: 77
    bothell
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    well it"s tough to get too pissed when you were just calling a spade a spade. And I have it on good authority that you are actually a really decent chap. I really do appreciate the help.
  13. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,350
    m-ville
    Ratings: +733 / 0
    Theres more than one way to skin a cat.. you will eventually find a way that works for you & hopefully have a good time doing it..
  14. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,551
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,685 / 0
    Francis,

    Never trust authority!

    Sorta' like I used to go by "don't trust anyone over 30" 35 and more years ago.

    Sg
  15. Builder Member

    Posts: 174
    Missoula, Montana
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    I am considering taking up Steelheading so I'm browsing the old posts and articles. This is my favorite one by far, almost spit out my coffee.
    Thanks Salmo!
    Chris
    Missoula
  16. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,551
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,685 / 0
    Hey Chris,

    No problem! Really, we are here to help. But seriously, why the hell would you want to take up steelheading? You're in Missoula, seriously proximate to much of the best trout fishing this side of Alaska and Kamchatka. Before you take up steelheading, consider a few things. Like the fact that everybody else and his brother has already taken up steelheading before you got here. So you better like crowds. And while they were taking up steelheading, the steelhead populations have collapsed into the shitter. There are 10 steelheaders here for every steelhead, and that is on the uncrowded days! Consequently, without a good guide, mentor, or unbelievable shithouse luck, your odds of catching a steelhead - without using the nymphing technique - are somewhere south of zero. And should you nymph for steelhead, you will be castigated as much less an angler than a real steelheader. It's a cultural attribute, and nothing can or will be done about it.

    Let me just add that if I weren't a steelheader of several decades experience, and therefore semi-OK with going fishing knowing the stream I am about to fish is statistically devoid of steelhead, there is no way in hell I would give up the certainty of quality trout fishing, including challenging trout fishing, to assume and risk the vicissitude and verisimilitude of steelhead fly fishing today.

    Sg
    Nooksack Mac likes this.
  17. Achilles Member

    Posts: 129
    Washington
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Salmo_g is wrong, don't listen to him..... It's more like 5 steelhead fisherman to every steelhead. Or worse...


  18. Tony Polizzi Active Member

    Posts: 152
    PT, OP
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    I think we all learned something.

    Attached Files:

  19. francis james hunnycut Redneck Hippie

    Posts: 77
    bothell
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Why is that anyway, that nymphing is more effective? That seems odd to me. I was swinging by myself today and a couple old friends that were gear fishing cruised by in a sled. I said, "what the hell" and hopped in. These guys wedre side drifting eggs, so I rigged up a thingamabob and a nymph. I don't really enjoy fishing that way very much, but dammit, I've been swingin my ass off, got several different tip sections made up for me, and I've only had one take in probably 20 hours of swinging. I have heard that nymphing can produce more fish, but I just couldn't think of why that is. At any rate, I didn't get any takes nymphing either. But in my defense, the barometric pressure had dropped and the moon phase combined with the upriver wind that created a cross convergence directly affected the fish's hypothalimus, and well, we all know what it's like when that happens...

    On the subject of leader, I threw a t14 on, and was hangin up near the end of my swing. Switched to a 12, much better. So I am definately getting a feel for the different sink rates. Tell ya what, that stuff is mucho heavier than those poly coated jobbies. I'm actually diggin the extra weight, it really loads the tip nicely...again, 'preciate the advice. Stay safe out there...
    Nooksack Mac likes this.
  20. Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

    Posts: 1,469
    Monroe
    Ratings: +645 / 0
    Salmo,

    Stop utilizing the thesaurus so much and quit using such big words. Your giving me a headache. LOL