Spey leader formula's?

I'm looking for a Spey leader formula. I have been using Lefty Kreh's Basic tapered leader formula but I do not know if it was intended for Spey fishing. I've been playing around with different (my own) formula's but do not seem to come up with a perfect leader. (If there is such a thing.) Any advice would be helpful.
This thread is sure to take off!
If you mean when fishing a dry line, I generally use only a rod length section of 10# Maxima if the fly is unweighted and not too wind resistant.
If using a weighted fly, I only use two sections. The butt section is usually half a rod lenth of 12 or 15# Maxima, surgeon knotted to either a half rod length of either 8 or 10# Maxima.

When using sink tips, I use a 3, 4 or 5 foot piece of 12# Maxima, depending on the fly and water clarity.

Do you still get good turn-over with two sections? Or is it because the line speed is more than a single handed and the fly will turn-over anyway?

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
I use the Lefty formula as well and for those who aren't familiar with it, it goes something like this.

Start off with about 5 feet of 40 lb. followed by 18" of 30 lb., followed by 18" of 20 lb., followed by 18" of 15 lb., followed by 24" of 10 or 8 lb.. I use blood knots for each of the connections. For the larger diameter line, 3 turns or so work better because they'll seat. Use some saliva to lubricate.

I do not believe that you get good energy transfer if you only use two sections. The fly line is quite stiff in relation to the leader and it's important to use a large diameter monofilament to transfer the energy correctly. As a test, take the same fly and cast it with a leader tied from 1 or 2 sections and then from one where the diameter is stepped down. I think it makes a huge difference in the cast.

If I need to make a longer leader, just add a few inches here and there and before long, you've got a really long leader. I generally fish with a 12-14 foot leader on my floating lines and about 3 feet on my sink tips. The one exception is that I treat the type II just like the floating line, I add a very long leader to it.

I have not found a better all-round leader than this one and the other advantage is that one can replace any given section if needed. I never by leaders anymore. I'm a big fan of Maxima hand tied leaders.

One additional item, for this time of year, I use a Rio mid-spey with tips. I remove both of the last two sections and replace them with the sink tip compensator and then use either a type III or type VI tip with an unweighted fly. That's been getting the flies right to the bottom.
I use a level leader for floating work and level for sinktips. Makes it easy and I do not have problems with turnover.

Problems spey casting at times, yes, but turnover is not one of them.

Fishunter said:
Do you still get good turn-over with two sections? Or is it because the line speed is more than a single handed and the fly will turn-over anyway?
No problem at all with turnover. Actually it's possible that the line speed when spey casting is generally slower than with a single hander.
I just try to keep this fly sishing stuff as simple as possible.

Thanks guys. I think Steve just reinforced what I've been working with.
(Lefty Dreh's formula) Although I have not tried the formula in 18" increments. This is a cool Web site. :)
For floating spey lines, I just needle-knot on a permanent 10-foot butt section, usually consisting of six feet of .022" Maxima Ultragreen and four feet of .020" Ultragreen, ending in a Perfection loop knot. To that I simply attach the same 4-5 foot leaders I use with sink tips. They turn over fine.

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