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Old 04-24-2004, 12:45 PM
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A fundamental question of leader design

Tapered leaders are quite pricey, leading many fly fisherman to start building their own. The trouble as I see it is that leader material is also pretty expensive for the puny length that comes on a spool. Because of this, I opted to buy bulk spools of mono and fluoro last year to make my leaders with, using the same material in each leader (not mixing mono and fluoro, though I think that when making leaders with double-nail knots it doesn't matter if you mix with regards to the slipperiness) and tying freshwater and saltwater leaders alike, all the way down to the tippet. The thing is, I never asked the question of others as to whether this was a wide-spread practice, particularly in freshwater trout fishing where tippet size is so thin. I've hooked and landed plenty of fish with these leaders (more with fluoro than mono), and never had a failure at a knot, so it's not an issue of landing fish, but perhaps more one of material softness that affects the number of fish that are interested in the fly at the end of the line.

So assuming that regular mono or fluoro can be purchased having the same approximate diameters as the much more expensive spools of tippet material, does it make more sense to
go this route? Comments?
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