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leader length??
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Fish Tech
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« on: October 18, 2010, 07:45:36 PM »

Just wondering what everyone is using for a standard leader/tippet length off the front end of a sink-tip or MOW tip??

Presently I am using 1 ft. of 25lb. Maxima brown followed by 3-4 ft. of 10-12lb. Maxima Ultragreen.  Am I in the ball park?

Here in the Great Lakes some folks say the dark colored sink tip will "sweep" fish out of the way of your presentation and therefore advocate a leader of at least 6 feet long with sink tips to avoid spooking fish.

Any thoughts on this theory?

Thanks for any replies!   Smiley
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camosled
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 05:50:24 PM »

I think you run the risk of spooking fish if your leader is short, your tip is short, say less than 6 feet, and you fish super clear water.  Presentation has a lot to do with it. If you present the fly to the fish sideways, under light or no tension, and a belly forms during the swing, I believe fish will see your floating section before they see the fly.   If you present the fly down and across, in a plugging fashion, then they are less likely to see the bright line but the presentation isn't as sexy.  Sweeping the fish with a dark tip or leader? You'd have to have a monster belly in your line to create that radical sweep.  Scott H regularly uses super long leaders on sink tips with heavily weighted flies, but the water he fishes dictates that.  If you made a good presentation and the fish is looking at your line, and not your fly,  he ain't gonna bite anyways.  4-5 feet should be enough.  But I'm sure EW and SH have thoughts on this as well.

JM

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Low Holer
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2010, 01:08:44 AM »

This is one of those topics like so many other in this crazy sport where just about everybody you ask will have their own opinions and reasons for them.  JM's points are right on.  I will just add a few thoughts that are key for me when fishing tips.  For starters, very seldom am I fishing a tip without a fly sporting lead eyes.  Maybe it's the rivers I fish or maybe it's just my style of fishing.  I certainly understand there are certain "tip" situations where an unweighted fly is more effective but those are not scenarios I am presented with very often here in SO.  Most of the time when I go to a tip, I want to get down and get down fast.  For me, getting down fast means lead eyes - and when fishing eyes, I prefer to fish a leader longer than most are accustomed to.  When guiding over the last several weeks, I have been faced with lower temps and fish that haven't been willing to come to the surface.  I am fishing 8ft & 12ft T14 tips and large lead eyes on a 8 ft leader.  Why the longer leader?  The length of my leader in this situation has little to do with the fish seeing the line.  I am fishing for fresh fish in semi-gritty water.  I truly believe many of them would eat my intruder if it was tied directly onto the end of my sink tip!  Doesn't my fly ride higher than my tip thru the swing?  Not if your fly sinks faster than your tip.  With the longer leader, the lead eyes are able to sink my fly unhindered of the slower sink rate of the tip (if you take the tension off the fly at the set-up of your presentation).  With this method, I am able to have my clients drop their fly into 5-10 ft of water and present their offering deep thru the entire length of their swing!  To maintain the little credibility I may have on this sight, I won't even go into the gross stuff I am doing in the winter.
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Hunt-man
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 01:59:09 PM »

Low Holer,

Very interesting.  I find the fish will hit on very short leaders, less than two feet.  I'm swinging flies and had not considered that a longer leader / weighted fly would allow the fly to sink better.  I think I need to try that.  I've been getting skunked on the Deschutes lately with 10' super fast sinking tips and weighted leeches.  I'm thinking longer sink tips, longer leaders and weighted flies are in order.  I know the fish are in there.....

Thanks.

Oh, please tell us the "gross stuff", I bet it involves lead... Smiley)
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Bill_I
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 08:01:09 PM »

Fish Tech

I am also in the Great Lakes.  As with anywhere leader length off the tip depends on many variables.  25# butt seems very heavy.  Not sure the break rate on MOW's but would think your getting close.  For Steelhead I most often run 15# Test Ultragreen to 12# - 10#  depending on the fly.

Most often around 4 1/2' but will go short in pocket water with dredger fly and longer as recently with clear water and pressured fish running 6'-6 1/2' off 7 1/2'  T8  MOW to bead head buggers, E.S.L's etc.

Hope this helps
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