Introduction to Fly Fishing by Tony Scott
essence, the leader is a length of either monofilament or
fluorocarbon of a length that is suited to the style of
fishing that you are undertaking on any particular day or
for any particular situation.
lot of people use a leader loop fitted to the end of their
fly line and simply attach a length of monofilament to this
using a clinch knot (see section on knots).
an alternative you can fit a tapered leader using a nail
knot (see section on knots) and if necessary add a shorter
length of monofilament using a four turn water knot (see
section on knots) known as a tippet.
I have found is an excellent material as it is almost invisible
to fish and has the added advantage that for its diameter
it is somewhat stronger than standard monofilament.
lies the paradox that afflicts all flyfishermen and women.
To present a fly with the least chance of the trout seeing
the leader, we need a very thin leader, however if we are
fishing for larger trout we also need the peace of mind
that our leader will take any strains put upon it, thereby
encouraging us to use a stronger and therefore thicker leader…………………………..I’ll
leave that one with you.
Choice of breaking strain will depend on your anticipated
quarry. As a guide 4lb will deal with fish of up to around
6lb as trout can race off at a rate of knots and with some
force. Once again it can be worth spending a few shillings
extra on a good leader line with optimum strength to diameter
length will come with experience and knowledge of the water
that you fish.
If you are fishing a small stillwater, you may get by fishing
the dry fly with a short, 6 foot leader. As your casting
abilities improve you will be able to cast leaders of up
to 14 feet with ease. Equally small brooks do not suggest
long leaders. However if you are fishing, shall we say,
a small lake of 12 foot depth and the fish are feeding predominately
on the bottom, you will need a leader of at least that depth
to reach them, or use an intermediate or sinking line with
a shorter leader.