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· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody,
I was woundering how one whould go about tying one's own leaders?
I know there are kits on the market that will give you all the material to do so. But is there a way to do it with out buying the kits? I have some formulas for leaders but they are confusing. Well that is all I wanted to know. Oh wait. Another thing could a guy catch steelhead on a 5 weigth? If so what leader should one use? Thanks for the help.

· Registered
116 Posts
I think we are talking Steelhead leaders so I will proceed in that vein. I have been tying my own leaders for years as I fish big flies, especially big bushy dries, and it takes a well built leader to turn one over.

The first rule is there are no rules. Your experience will guide you as to what materials and how much where. trust yourself. Build one and try it. FIsgure out what is working and what is not and make a change and try it again.

I personally use Maxima. It is stiff enough to get the job done as far as turnover but noy soo stiff, like Mason, that it is hard to tie knots in. Also unlike Mason it is very abrasion resistant. I have also used Rio but I find it a bit too limp to turn over the big flies. Again, experiment.

Connect the pieces of leader material together with blood knots. This knoe will add more stuiffness to the leader and is easy to learn and tie. I have never had a well tied nail not fail on a fish either.

The butt section does not have to be 50# or 40# material. You need to use whatever material matches the stiffness of that end of your fly line which it will be attached to. The butt is an EXTENSION of the fly line. In my case I always remove 2 or three feet from the end of the flyline before I start. All lines have a 2 or 3 foot level section at the end which needs to be removed. Most of the time 25# Maxima will be about right for the butt section so nail knot a piece on. Use one of the spiffy nail knot tools and it will be easy. FOllowing are a couple of leader formulas. Make the changes you want to get the length and action you desire. You can also contact me at www.steelheadanglers.com if you have any questions, I am here to help.

For sink tips the leader formula is quite simple. Use 4-5' of 12# Maxima. This should be nail knotted to the end of the fly line. I prefer to use 2 nail knots pretty close to each other. Again the knot adds stiffness to the junction and helps things turn over. When the leader gets down to 3 feet or so you can add some more 12# using a blood knot. These leaders are so short and the energy in the sink tip is great and they turn over very well.

Single Handed Rod, 10' 10# 25# 42", 20# 30", 15# 9", 12# 9", 10# 30"
Single Handed Rod, 10' 8# 25# 42", 20# 30", 15# 9", 12# 9", 10# 9", 8# 24"
Two Handed Rod, 14' 10# 25# 60", 20# 48", 15# 12", 12# 12", 10# 36"
Two Handed Rod, 14' 10# 25# 60", 20# 48", 15# 12", 12# 12", 10# 12", 8# 24"

You may fine tune the formula to suit your rods tapers, lines, casting style, and fly choice.

Here's hoping your new leaders are tested a lot this year by big Ironheads!


· Formerly Tight Loops
1,347 Posts
Typically, I tie my short leaders, and I do three part leaders, not a straight length of mono. I don't build longer leaders, but I am always modifing my purchased ones to meet my needs. A 9' easily can become a 12', and a trout leader can become a steelie leader. No big deal.

The kits are really a pretty good deal, as you will get 10 or 12 of the most important diameters in them, and a set of leaders that you can tie with those.

The web spot on leader making is http://globalflyfisher.com/fishbetter/leadercalc/index.php, if there is better I either don't need it, or haven't found it, cause this one is great!

· Registered
53 Posts
They can be pretty nifty depending on what you're doing. They turn over really well and usually all you have to do is add about 2-3 feet of tippet to the end and your good to go. The other nice thing is that for bigger fish they absorb shock pretty well. I really liked having one while Chum fishing on the Canal.

The Fly Fisher in Lacey WA makes their own. One thing to ask them (if you go there) is the actual size of the leader. They package them as the size of the leader plus tippet (which you need to add). This confused me the last time I got one. It was 5 feet long and I expected 8. Their number if anyone wants it is 360-491-0181.

I also looked into building my own and found this web site. http://www.peninsulaflyfishers.org/Tackle/furled_leader/furled_leader.html

This doesn't look too tough and I bet you could have a lot of fun messing with different materials and formulas for construction.

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