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Whiskey Dick 10-08-2004 02:44 AM

Leader length For Two Handers and Why?
How long a leader do you use with your two handers and why?. I am asking about use with a floating line. I was told a long time ago to use a leader as long as the rod i was casting but i can not remember why? and if there was a reason for it. thanks in advance,tight lines brian

juro 10-08-2004 06:27 AM

Simon Gawesworth explains various leader lengths for various lines in his new book, great coverage of this and all topics Spey (a must read).

My own experience is that leader length affects anchor and fishing presentation which includes turnover of the fly and stealth factor. I find that my anchor (grip/stick) is easier to manage with a longer leader in floating line situations and generally easier with a shorter leader in sinking tip (sinking line / intermediate full) situations with a heavier fly.

With floating lines, I am always trying to keep the d-loop up and big so the cast can cut wind or it's own drag in the air. A plastic string full of tiny air bubbles needs that to get a good surge of energy going. I find a long leader helps manage that like a tail on a kite. Besides, you want the fly to have some separation from the nail knot and drag of the line when skating, or a wet fly to ride as deep as possible - so a long leader is handy.

Sinking lines are high density impregnated with tungsten and whip about without a tail, but put too much gap between the tip and the heavy iron fly and the anchor will hinge. Besides, you want the fly to ride deep so it should be close to the tip.

So rule of thumb; fish long when dry & short when sunk. Adjust the length to suit your own casting stroke and preferences for fishing.

I'd definitely Read Simon's guidelines for specific recommendations.

fredaevans 10-08-2004 10:55 AM

To over simplify an answer my 'dry line' leaders will be a minimum of one rod length to a maximum of 1.5 rod lengths (two fly set up). Sinking heads/tips usually not more than two foot long. Exception to this might be where you're using a weighted fly along with a sink tip/sinking leader.

As to why the short leader with tips, et. al? An unweighted fly will tend to 'ride up' in the water column (dry line or sinking). This rather defeats the whole point of using a sink tip/sink leader.

kush 10-08-2004 12:04 PM

Goran Anderson uses 25' leaders. The long leader acts as his anchor. Having watched him a few times you will note that his line doesn't touch down on the anchor - only his leader.

I think this is longer leader idea is critical with short head dry lines like the Loops. With a 12-15' leader the possibility of pulling the anchor while forming the d-loop would be great, the 25' leader mitigates this problem nicely. With lines that are a little longer the extreme length is probably not as necessary, but the theory remains valid.

With my extreme long belly lines I usually go 2 or 3 feet longer than the rod I am using - as I don't usually have issues with pulling the anchor!

Devronmac 12-28-2004 10:20 AM

Leader Length
In Scotland when fishing two handed for salmon the normal leader length is about 5 feet. Some anglers use a longer leader but 5 feet is adequate.

I use a polyleader as well which is also about 5 feet long attached to the end of the flyline.

Whiskey Dick 12-28-2004 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by Devronmac
In Scotland when fishing two handed for salmon the normal leader length is about 5 feet. Some anglers use a longer leader but 5 feet is adequate.

I use a polyleader as well which is also about 5 feet long attached to the end of the flyline.

Hi Devronmac, are you fishing with a floating line or a sinking/sink tip line?. thanks inadvance,tight lines,brian :)

Devronmac 12-28-2004 01:40 PM

Hi Brian

I seldom vary the length of leader either with floater or intermediate or sink tip.

Willie Gunn 12-28-2004 01:50 PM

I hate to disagree with Mel but when fishing with a floating line I would not dream of using a leader as short as 5ft. I tend to go for the length of the rod tapered leader. I find it helps turn over and keeps the fly away from the line.
On the other hand when fishing a full sinker or tips I fish a short leader of about 3ft, as I want to keep the fly down.

I tend to agree more with what Juro said.

fishingd0 12-28-2004 05:25 PM

Whilst fishing with a floating line, I normally use a leader length of around 14-15ft. Along with all the casting benefits it also allows your fly to fish that little bit deeper (sub-surface).


Cascade 12-29-2004 02:05 AM

Me too !
I`m with Willie Gunn here.
While fishing a floating line I use a tapered leader 12-15ft, (current might affect choice). But if using a sinker 2-3ft is sufficient. No point in getting the line down, and then having the fly on the top.

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