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By Bearmon
Just wondering what most of you use, hand tied leaders or off the shelf? If hand tied what recipes?
By tom
For trout, I usually go 9 ft. 5x and add tippet as I need it, usually 6x for dries, 5-4x for nymphs, use 3 or 4x for streamers.With bass, I go 9 ft, 0x with 12 pound fluoro for those sunny days. (they don't have a clue!)Stripers is usually a home made setup of either 4-6 feet of straight 20 or 40-30-20 in 2-3 foot increments.
By bigtj
Hand-tied. I use George Harvey formulas mostly with great success. Just do a web search on George Harvey leaders there are tapers all over the web. Usually the butt consists of ~even lengths of butt material, with taper sections about 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the butt sections, and a 2-3 foot tippet. I also make my own indicator leaders. Those are usually 3 1.5' lengths of tapering mono for the butt section with a loop in the end. I loope to a much thinner section, 1 or 2x heavier than the tippet, so that the line below the butt is thin and doesn't drag in the water. I tie a tippet to the end of this section. I use and adjustable indicator so some of the butt will go in the water if I need to go deeper, the ~4.5' long butt gives me a lot of leeway for changing depth.For me, store leaders are just too damned expensive, and many of them are too efficient i.e. they straighten out so well that you get drag instantaneously. I have enough Maxima stored in a dry, dark place where it will last long enough to tie leaders for the rest of my life.Speaking of Maxima, my dry fly leaders are tied with Maxima chameleon butts and either umpqua tapers and tippets (for small creeks and smaller opportunistic fish) or fluoroflex tapers and tippets (selective, larger trout or steelhead). Chameleon is so stiff you can use thinner diameter material in the butt which has less drag and cuts through the wind better.The exception to hand-tying is on spring creeks or weedy tailwaters. On Grey Reef, Henry's fork, etc. when there is a lot of junk in the water I use a store-bought knotless leader. Otherwise I'm pulling moss off my leaders every 5 seconds, which isn't too much fun.If anyone out there is getting going tying their own leaders spend a few bucks on a set of digital calipers. Harbor freight has decent ones for about $30. That way you'll always know what diameter line you're using. It's especially handy for re-building an old leader where you've forgotten the taper you tied.-John

<small>[ December 06, 2005, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: bigtj ]</small>
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By Fishmaster Flex
Rio knotless leaders. Strong, supple enough and reasonably priced.
By caddis
I've always used the store bought ones and never have tried a hand tied one. Recently I've been trying the furled leaders. So far I'm not sure how I like them. The ones from Feathercraft have a tiny metal ring on the end to which the tippet is tied, negating the necessity of constantly shortening the leader as tippet is replaced. The furled leaders cost more but I guess they last longer, I'm just not sure if they cast as well as a tapered leader.
By Kat
I mainly use hand tied leaders. My material of choice is Maxima, I even like the flouro that they offer. As far as formulas, I don't use any "stock" formula it was trial and error for awhile until I got it dialed in. I have to thank my local flyshop into forcing me to make my own leaders because they never carried anything. Thats what I get for living in the Midwest.
By Jed
Holy shit. I agree with fishy. I like the RIO leaders as well. What I don't need is another knot to get my line caught up on, or another project in the evening. For cheap money I'll buy Rio, or actually just about any brand of leader so long as it is not knotted. If I want knots in my leader I just use the special knot cast and I put in a few wind knots in no time flat. For salt I use straight leader, fluro, tapered leader whatever. It doesn't seem to be so critical most of the time (says he who never catches anything big).jed
By Brookwookie
I use Rio knotless as well, and sometimes add tippet as necessary. More often I just fish the damn thing down to a stump and then use it for bass.I hate Orvis knotless leaders. They seem to get brittle very quickly and retain memory like mad. No such problems with Rio in my experience.
By Bearmon
I have not tried the RIO leaders yet, I might have to put them on my Christmas list.n As far as the frog hair goes, I got a huge sample box of them from a friend, from 20lb down to 8x the first year I loved the material, the second year it really seemed to twist up bad. Anyone else have this experience?n Thanks for the responses
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By tim_s
gotta agree with the Rio leaders; i don't mind Orvis super strongs, but Rio knotless are my favei am particular about tippet, and i again prefer Rio, preferably fluoroflex
By coolconman
I use the storebought knotless ones, I haven't found I prefer any particular brand over another, as long as they are clear. I don't like those green or yellow tinted ones. Usually 5x or 6x with some flourocarbon tippet on the end.
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