It is currently 06/03/20 07:38

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




  Page 1 of 1   [ 13 posts ] New Topic Add Reply
Author Message
 Offline
 Post subject: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 00:42 • # 1 
User avatar
Member

Joined: 01/03/20
Posts: 1
I have just joined this forum and would appreciate some help.
Having just assembled and tried out my John McGinn 6'6" wt 4/5 bamboo rod (made in Australia some 30 years ago but only just assembled for the first time), I find difficulty in straightening out my leader on short casts, The rod is loaded with Rio 'Spring Creek' WF4F line and my usual New Zealand 18' tapered leader. I am a reasonably proficient caster and though I have no problem when this rod is loaded with a few feet of fly line out of the guides or when roll-casting, I find it difficult to straighten the leader on SHORT casts.
Do you think I need to 1) change the fly line that I am using for this rod, or 2) alter my leader construction?
Thank you, Sol.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 00:56 • # 2 
User avatar
Guide

Joined: 02/16/13
Posts: 312
An 18' leader on 6'6" rod sounds awful long to me. Call me crazy, but I typically use a 7-9' leader, sometimes a little sorter or longer depending on the situation. To be fair though, the fish around me aren't exactly shy.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 10:26 • # 3 
User avatar
Bamboo Fanatic

Joined: 12/23/10
Posts: 2217
Location: Northern Virginia
I also suspect that the "4/5" wt rod likely would cast a 5 wt line better for shorter casts and a 4 wt line for longer casts.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 11:36 • # 4 
User avatar
Bamboo Fanatic

Joined: 07/12/07
Posts: 4771
Location: Eastern Washington State
I usually use 9' leaders except on spring creeks and then I might go to 14' if the fish are really spooky. Having said that, I've never cast a rod shorter than 7' (on very small/brushy streams) and much prefer 7 1/2 to 8' rods for easier mending on the streams I fish. If it were me, I'd definitely try either shortening the leader or going to a heavier line (as recommended above), or both, and see if that helps.

Best of luck! :)

Pat


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 15:10 • # 5 
User avatar
Guide

Joined: 08/24/19
Posts: 117
Location: Mich. U.P.
I'd use a shorter leader, around 7 to 9 foot.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 15:34 • # 6 
User avatar
Bamboo Fanatic

Joined: 12/20/04
Posts: 2402
If you knot your own leaders (a recommended practice) then tie up an 18 footer with a 70/30 ratio of 70% butt and mid and 20% heavy tippet (i.e. 2x or 3x) then 10% running tippet to tie the fly on to (5x or 6x). Normal leaders are usually around a 60/40 ratio but don't do as well as a 70/30 at long lengths.

All of my leaders over 10 feet are 70/30's and turn over fine. I also tie them with the softest mono I can find to reduce hinging at the line/leader connection. Yes, I buy into George Harvey's theory of soft versus hard mono for leaders.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 01/04/20 16:21 • # 7 
User avatar
Bamboo Fanatic

Joined: 12/21/11
Posts: 2147
Location: California
I fish 6’6 rods but I fish them where needed, the small stream. (I dont fish rods over 8’, by the way.) My short rod leaders are usually 1’ longer than rod; with shorter sections for turnover, tippets about 2’.

Short rods are specialty sticks, you gotta adjust to them.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 02/13/20 21:00 • # 8 
User avatar
Guide

Joined: 05/04/06
Posts: 225
I would put a 5wt on the rod and use a ferruled leader on it no more then 5 to 6 ft with 12 to 18 inches of tippet. I think you will find a significant difference. Ferruled leaders in short casting situations are the bomb


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 02/14/20 01:23 • # 9 
User avatar
Bamboo Fanatic

Joined: 07/17/05
Posts: 1775
From fishing NZ, I understand the need for a 16' leader - ultra clear water, spooky fish and upstream casts over the fish's back - but don't understand the difference between what you call a short cast and one with only a few feet of line outside the guides. Aren't they the same? In any event, with a very short line, you're probably not loading and bending the rod sufficiently to get a narrow loop. With an open loop, caused by a rod that's not loaded, a long leader isn't likely to turn over. Using a heavier line or one tapered to put more weight forward would likely help. Cutting a few feet off the front end of the line will also cause a harder, more pronounced turnover as well as load the rod a bit more at very short distances and help turn the leader over. That will especially help into the wind or when using a typical NZ rig of tungsten beadhead under yarn indicator.


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 02/14/20 10:30 • # 10 
User avatar
Sport

Joined: 08/18/15
Posts: 83
Location: the coastal flatlands
I have a 6' Farlow and a 6'6" Rocky Mountain for use on small streams. They both cast beautifully as long as, like 16pmd said, they are allowed to load properly. In order to load the rod as I understand it, you must transfer energy to the rod during the false cast via the weight of the line. Whether that comes from heavier or shorter leaders sounds like an interesting problem to work out. I've never used a leader longer than 9' on either of my short rods that I remember. I'll be curious to see what solution you come up with from the excellent suggestions above!


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 02/14/20 11:27 • # 11 
User avatar
Guide

Joined: 08/17/15
Posts: 202
Location: Southeastern PA
Some good advice already, but one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the characteristic of the rod itself. Is it a fuller flexing rod or a faster action?

I have a couple of shorter rods, one a full flex and another much faster and I find the full flex rod loads better for short casts even though I use the same line on both (a DT 4). I use them on small streams where long casts are the exception... so, you might need to weigh the rod’s flex characteristics in addition to your leader and line choices.

Best of luck,

Don

There are times, I think, when a trout angler must prize what he catches with his eyes as much as what he firmly hooks. - H. Middleton


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 02/14/20 20:20 • # 12 
User avatar
Master Guide

Joined: 05/11/18
Posts: 504
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
I think the length of leader is dictated by the conditions in which you're fishing. I have fished the Fall River in northern California using a 15' leader. It demands it because the only practical way to fish Fall river in in a boat (with an electric motor), with the fly drifting downstream to the fish. It was a lot of fun trying to get all of the slack out of the leader and set the hook when you got a rise! If you were lucky and pulled the line away with your left hand at the same time raising the rod tip as far back as you could, you might get a hook up 3 out of 10 tries!

I don't think there are too many guys trying to fish a long leader on a 6'6" fly rod though!


Top
  
 
 Offline
 Post subject: Re: Leader length?
PostPosted: 02/16/20 07:37 • # 13 
User avatar
Master Guide

Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 437
I build a lot of leaders for sale each year. The taper formula I use allows me to cast a full length leader up to 16 feet off my hand from my elbow, which is maybe 16-20 inches. I do not believe leader length is the problem with a proper tapered leader. Beginning fly casters are sometimes taught with a 3 foot stick and a 6-8 foot piece of yarn, which you learn to lay out straight. For grins I taped a leader to a 3 foot dowel and laid a nice cast out . I also have noticed the modern hollow built rods by the known notables easily can cast just the leader off their tip without any line out at all. Something else is at play here which might be remedied with developing further familiarity with ones equipment.

Carl


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

  Page 1 of 1   [ 13 posts ] New Topic Add Reply

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: J1973s and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group