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Old 03-28-2004, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 837
Lab- I often buy a tapered leader slightly shorter than what I want, then add a section of tippet (which comes in spools of different tippet diameters) of the same or slightly smaller diameter to the end of the leader (blood knot). This allows one to keep adding tippet as that section gets shortened with successive ty-ons, extending the life of the leader. PVDF fluorocarbon leaders are a little pricy (Orvis Mirage leaders go for $13 per 2 pack, but are stealthy and tough. The diameter of the end section (tippet or end of leader) you use depends on the size of the fly you want to cast, often gauged by hook size of the fly (the larger the number, the smaller the hook). A table correlating tippet diameter to hook size is often (but not always) printed on the back of many leader packets; here's one from an LLBean 2x leader:
0x- hook sizes 2 to 1/0
1x- hook sizes 4 to 8
2x- 5 to 10
3x- 10 to 14
4x- 12 to 16
5x- 16 to 20
6x- 20 to 24
This is just a guide; the best leader tippet diameter for a given fly depends on situation and presentation required for that situation, with thinner/stealthier tippets for more spooky/finicky fish (like trout). For stripers, most use leaders rated at pound test (similar to mono fishing line) in the 6 to 20 pound test range, adjusted again for size of flies and size/spookiness of the fish. Thinner is stealthier, but you can get more break-offs with big fish if the hook set is too aggressive or if the fish is played to hard.
Hope this helps!
Shep
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