Custom Leaders - My next adventure

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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by letumgo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:33 am

This morning I made up a set of Dana Reed's dropper loop leaders.

Image

Next on my list was a copy of the Oliver Kite leaders that Bob (joaniebo) mentioned earlier.

Oliver Kite's Leader Formula (10 Feet/4X):
54" (20 lbs / 0.017" Maxima Chameleon)
10" (12 lbs / 0.013" Maxima Chameleon)
10" (6 lbs / 0.009" Maxima Chameleon)
O <----- Insert 2 mm Tippet Ring Here
10" (5 lbs / 0.008" Maxima Chameleon)
O <----- Insert 2 mm Tippet Ring Here
36" (5 lbs / 0.007"/4X Cabela's Prestige Co-Polymer tippet)

Image

Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to testing out the Kite leader and will let you know how I like it (eventually).
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by joaniebo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:09 pm

Ray

The only Maxim Chameleon mono I ever used has been the 4 lb and I always thought the Chameleon felt softer / more flexible that Maxima Ultragreen. Thus, I wonder how your Oliver Kite leaders will perform, well, hopefully.

Bob
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by letumgo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:02 pm

Bob,

One of the things that surprised me by this Kite leader formula is how dramatically the taper changes. I will be interested in seeing how the leader compares with other more gradual tapers.

On a side note, I changed up the last 36" (4x) section to nylon tippet from Cabela's. The material is very supple (limp), yet has good strength and a bit of stretch providing a bit of protection from break-offs.

I like the flexibility the two tippet rings provides. Great idea guys.
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by tjd » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi Ray,

I think I've given you some of my hand tied leaders in the past.
Here are a couple of things that I've learned along the way, feel free to experiment:

I tie my blood knots with 3 turns, then wet them in a small plastic dish before drawing them tight. Lubrication, good...fiction, bad. Eliminates some twists and curls.

After I trim the excess "stems" from the blood knots, I dress the knots with Loc-Tite super glue. I've never had a knot that was dressed like this (even when tied with 3 turns) fail.

Dressing the knots with Loc-Tite is also helpful when joining two different brands of leader/tippet material, especially fluorocarbon.

Best,

Tim
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by letumgo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:45 pm

Thanks for the pointers Tim. Much appreciated. I used four turn blood knots on these leaders. The next ones I try will have three turns, as you suggest. And a treatment with Loc-Tite. ;)
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by DOUGSDEN » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:49 pm

Ray,
Your custom leader thread and all the great pictures are fantastic! I did not realize there were so many formula's out there and you have mastered them quite well! I have a sheet in my "technicals" box that has some very crude but effective leader formulas. None can compare with the dandies you have presented! I too use Maxima leader material in both chameleon and ultragreen! I am beginning to like the ultragreen much better!
Thank you for posting this! It's great!
Dougsden
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by hankaye » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:33 am

Ray, Howdy;

Ok, when I was first "getting into" all that is fly fishing I stumbled across this
on Global FlyFisher, apparently, since I was last there they updated it with a
web-based version as well (box on Home page. Some pretty neat "stuff" there.
https://globalflyfisher.com/fish-better/qwikcalc

hank
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by ronr » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 am

Guys... I'm curious whether you experience your knotted leaders gathering debris as they are fished. One river I fish in particular, has a fair amount of floating vegetation and other debris that collects on any knots. I normally use triple surgeon's knots to connect tippet to leaders and at droppers...would blood knots collect less?
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by letumgo » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:59 am

Ron (ronr) - In my experience, hand knotted leaders are prone to picking up drifting debris from the stream. At certain times of the year (spring and fall) this can be a problem on my local streams. Some of the trees drop those white fussy floaters during pollination cycle, and they often lay in the surface film of the stream. Knotted leaders can grab hold of this debris and needs to be periodically cleaned off your line. Heavy leaf debris, during fall, can also be troublesome.

During these times, it is probably better to use a pre-made tapered leader rig, to minimize places that the debris can snag onto.

However, I am still interested in the hand made leaders, as another thing to learn and do myself. One of the best aspects of fly fishing, is the many faceted opportunity to learn. I make my own rods, and flies. Custom leaders are just another element to explore.

Hank - Thanks for the link. Much appreciated. ;)

Doug - Do you have any leader formulas to share? I'd be interested in soft hackle or bass leaders.
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Re: Custom Leaders - My next adventure

Post by Bazzer69 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:02 pm

Over the many years I’ve fished I’ve seen many “expert” formulas for knotted leaders. Some of those claimed that a weight forward leader was the way to go. First of all if you insist on knotting your own leaders then the five turn blood knot is the only way to go. A Surgeons knot is weaker and leaves the tag end, if it’s going to be used as a dropper, at a odd angle whereas the blood knot leaves the tag end standing out at a ninety degree angle which is much better for a dropper if it’s length is kept less than a few inches. A dropper that longer than a few inches inevitably will twist around the leader either when casting or even fishing. These days my preferred method of fishing two or more Flies is to use a short factory made tapered leader with a tippet ring, or two tied in tandem the desired width apart and a short piece of tippet knotted to each of the tippet ring(s) to which the dropper fly or point fly is tied. The big advantage to this meathod is that if the dropper length becomes to short then the piece of tippet is easily replaced whilst fishing. When using knotted leader to replace the fly several times will mean using a new leader.
As for the three turn blood knot, there is now way this is as strong as a five turn, if you don’t believe me check out the Knots section of Rio’s website. Sounds good, but using super glue whilst fishing? Recipe for disaster if you ask me.
When casting a multi fly leader you need to be careful and cast with nice open loops, avoid shooting line and you should be ok. In the UK Loch and Lake fishing from a boat often uses a leader with several flies commonly called a “Team” and can be extremely effective but not so easy when fishing from a brushy river bank. In this case I limit myself to just a point fly and one dropper.
Love both fly fishing and fly tying, been doing it for a while
But not much good at either
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