tapered leader?

Joined
Jun 28, 2020
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Rutland
Hi guys,
ive been fly fishing for about a couple of months now, and keep reading about tapered leaders. what is the real deal and can i just keep using normal line. Im using 8lb straight through and i seem to be doing ok as im catching.
What would be the benefit? Thanks for the tips
 

speytime

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Feb 27, 2009
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West Lothian Scotland
Basically a taper transfers energy better than a level leader, imo a taper comes into it's own fishing a dry fly for turn over and accuracy compared to level, if you're fishing a team of wets or stripping lures then the benifits might be less obvious.
Imo it's worth the £2/3 gamble.

Al
 

tangled

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Dec 28, 2015
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4,234
The theory - and practice in some circumstances - is that the casting energy that you put into the line is tranfered better if the line is a continual taper. As the line gets thinner there is less mass to move so the line continues to accelerate until it finally drpps gracefully onto the water.

If you have a long leader, a fine tippet and maybe the wind in your face, it all helps.

With a short leader and a stiffish, fairly high diameter connection and wind behind, it's not so important. If you're turning your fly over consistently with what you're using, and catching fish, there's no need to change.

But you might find a use for it occasionally.
 

Paul_B

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Nov 14, 2008
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South Yorkshire
You get a better turnover and better presentation with a tapered leader, I make mine by nail knotting amnesia line to the fly line then work down in sizes using fluorocarbon and water knot joins, 3 turn with the thicker line and four turn for anything under 8lb
 

PaulD

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Feb 11, 2020
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South Northants
Hi guys,
ive been fly fishing for about a couple of months now, and keep reading about tapered leaders. what is the real deal and can i just keep using normal line. Im using 8lb straight through and i seem to be doing ok as im catching.
What would be the benefit? Thanks for the tips
If you're casting a fairly short line, with a 'shortish' leader - 9 or 10ft or so- with a beneficial breeze behind you, then using a level leader as you do of some 8lb breaking strain material won't be a problem. However, as your fishing experience develops you may well want to try longer leaders with 3 widely spaced droppers and it's then that you will probably find that the sharp drop down from fly line tip to 8lb nylon will make extending the leader, turning it over in a straight line to present the flies more challenging and some element of taper from fly line to tippet will help.

Similarly, if you find yourself attempting to cast across or into the wind, generating sufficient line speed to turn over a straight through leader will be difficult and casting accurately to rising fish will be a 'hit & miss' adventure.

You may come across some anglers who successfully use very long level leaders - 25ft or more - for slowly fishing buzzers at depth - but these guys have been fishing for more than a couple of months, they know how to distribute / organise the weight of flies along their leader to effectively mimic a taper and also be able to cast, holding a lot of line in the air while maintaining an open loop.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Rutland
Thanks guys, that’s has really helped. I think that info coming straight from the horses mouth is sometimes better than reading about it. I‘ll get a packet and keep them in my waistcoat and give it a try when I happen to have to wind in my face. Thanks again
 

BobP

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Oct 28, 2007
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Wiltshire
I'm one of those who uses long leaders to fish buzzers on reservoirs and it is as PaulD says it's a matter of experience and of distributing the weight of the flies along the leader. Heaviest/slimmest on the point and work back from there. For example, in early season it is important to achieve depth and therefore the point fly is weighted usually with a 2.5, 2.8 or even a 3mm tungsten bead. However, while I will cast across a breeze as long as it is not too strong which is a matter of judgement at the time, I will not attempt to cast this sort of set-up into a breeze. I prefer fishing to knitting which is the inevitable result of such actions.

Bear in mind that when I use this set-up I have a wool indicator set between line and leader, and oddly enough this tends to help the turn-over by slowing the line allowing the leader to overtake. This is assisted by the weighted point fly which, due to its weight, is going to be travelling faster than the other flies.

Once the fish come up higher in the water, the point fly becomes lighter and the indicator is dispensed with as takes are usually easier to identify.

If you are going to fish into the wind then I'd advise using a single fly to start with to minimise the risk of tangles.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
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Rutland
Thanks bob, that info will be taken on board, especially about the weighted point flies. Also the indicator sounds good. Thanks for advice
 
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