Leader formulas?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Thomas Williams, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Looking to a couple leader formulas for my setup. I'm fishing a 12'6" 7wt with a 500gr Skagit IFlight. Should I run a normal 9ft tapered lead when fishing weighted flies or should I shorten it up a bit? I know I want a short leader when fishing unweighted flies and sink tips. I'll be fishing a t-11 and t-14 tomoro. This will be my first time out with a spey.

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  2. Just add three feet of your preferred tippet to the end of your sink tip.
  3. either weighted or not you want a short leader. 2.5-4'
    for unweighted, to keep it from riding high above the end of your tip, for weighted flies, to turnover easier. i prefer to tie a heavier butt, at least .015 to my tip, the light thin stuff bites in too deep, and can strip the coating off ypur tip with a nail knot. i recycle the mid section of old tapered leaders for this purpose,but a 3 pc maxima leader works great too. i'd use 20-15-10# @10"-10"-20" also turns over a bit prettier than 3 feet of straight tippet. use an albright or improved nail knot if you want to be xtra sure. a floating tip, i never use with skagit, thats what scandis are for.
    fredaevans likes this.
  4. Approximately 3 feet of 12lb test straight mono should work on the end of either of those sink tips.
  5. no wonder I couldn't turn over my t-8 and a heavy flies...I had a 6 ft leader 8)
  6. Don't be discouraged if you struggle with the T-11 and T-14. Don't be afraid to go to like a type 6. Use whatever you can cast...both tips and flies.
    Wadecalvin and aplTyler like this.
  7. OK so I went out today for the first time with my buddy James. I had low expectations and was just out to learn. I experimented with few setups and found that the 20-15-10 isnt bad. I did however pull out one of my SA 9ft tapered trout leaders in 5x and clipped it short. It was about 6ft long and casts beautifully but I did notice like you said the fly riding a bit above the intermediate tip of my Skagit Iflight. I had a 10ft T-11 Mow tip on but it was above my casting level to deal with so I ditched it. I was struggling to cast my line and noticed my buddies line had a much longer belly and a shorter intermediate section of his head. I was able to easily cast his line across the river. I thinking I need a skagit line that has a larger floating section to learn with and then move on the that line if needed. I was able to bang out few nice ones but I was definitely struggling with the line over anchoring. I had to do more of a touch and go to cast it, which in my opinion defeats the purpose of a skagit style line. Who knows if I am even making sense Im just babbling after using a spey rod once in my life after watching skagit mast 5 times. Someone save me.
  8. What rod and line are you using?...Your buddy?
  9. I'm using an Allen Olympic 12'6" 7wt with a Rio Skagit iFlight 500gr. The rod is awesome and the line was given to me by Evan so I know its matched correctly. I just think I'm not good enough yet. My buddy had a 12'9" CPX with a 450 or 480 skagit. The only difference was his integrated tip was much shorter. His overall head length may have been a bit longer as well. I don't know what brand line he had. I could handle his line much easier.

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  10. How long is your sink tip? Maybe its just digging in deeper than your partner's making it a little tougher to cast. Sometimes with the heavier longer tips or heavier flies if you pause before your forward cast, your tip and fly will sink too deep. You have to keep them moving in the water.
  11. I think part of the problem is the line. That skagit iflight has about a 12ft intermediate section designed for getting down deep with tips. It was just anchoring too much for me. Especially being my first time out. I picked up a normal skagit flight today no intermediate section so we will see how it works out this weekend.

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  12. The intermediate heads aren't the greatest learning tool I would get comfortable with the floating skagit head before making the jump (if you choose to at all).
  13. "Should I run a normal 9ft tapered lead when fishing weighted flies or should I shorten it up a bit?" For a full floating head and just leader/weighted fly 9 foot is fine. Save for very low/clear water OR skating dries, anything beyond that is a 'waste' and can actually be counter productive when it comes to 'feeling the pick up.' If you want to build your own leaders the tried and true 60-20-20 formula works just fine. (60v butt section, 20% half that leader weight and the remainder tippet.
  14. That's the formula that I have used for years. (60, 20, 20) The only difference is that I keep the weights closer because of the Diameter of the line I'm using. I don't usually go half the butt weight in the second section though it is an interesting idea that I have never tried.
  15. Has anyone tried the 36" spey leader from cutthroatleader.com? I have the dry fly leaders and I love them. Just tie on a flouro tippet and you are set. It also has a built in tippet ring.
  16. I've not tried those. I pack a pocket sized spool of 14lb stren mono that I picked up on sale. I go through 3' foot leader sections many times throughout a day of fishing. If they get knots, or if I change flies and the leader gets too short, or the leader gets weak, I replace it. I figured thats what everyone did when fishing tips. I need a new spool and will probably go with 12 lbs Maxima this time around.
  17. don't know what all has been said here.... but for me, i have never used a "tapered leader" I have always nail knotted on a 6 inch section of 25-30lb maxima chameleon to the end of my sink-tip. At the end of the 6" chameleon, I put a perfection loop. To that I add 3-6 ft of straight mono.

    For for scandi and dryline stuff, I just use the tapered airflo polyleaders. the poly leaders have a loop on them, and then I just tie on 2-6ft of seaguar fluoro in 12 or 15lb test.
    Wadecalvin likes this.
  18. If you find yourself changing out your leader tippet frequently put a 3mm tippet ring (same thing you'd usually get on the end of a furled leader) on the end of your leader (or between the '20-20') and just swap out the last bit as needed.
    Wadecalvin likes this.

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