- May 7, 2010
You need to cut a bit off when adding to a 15' leader after a few fly changes, you get a good 4 - 5' of tippet without too big a step in diameter.I get where you're coming from but isn't it all down to personal confidence? A tapered leader on a river I get as the fish have to make pretty quick decisions, are spooky as hell and the turn over advantage is arguable, but for still waters I see what you described as a disadvantage.
If I have a 15' tapered leader and I've changed flies a few times and I now have to put on some tippet. No matter how much I put on I now have a knot that distance away from my fly - put on two foot I have a knot two foot away from my fly etc. Not such an issue with wets and lures etc but for dries and emergers I don't want anything near my fly that could potentially give the game away.
Now if I make up the same leader length with a 9' leader and 6' for tippet the knot is now 6' away from the fly giving me more confidence that the fish are not being spooked by the knot which may or may not cause flare in the sun. This goes for wind knots too.
Personal choice for stillwaters is a 7ft furled leader with 9-12ft of straight 4X tippet to the fly. This immediately puts any knot a minimum of 9ft away from the fly.