Let's Talk Tapered Leaders

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

Chris has done two reports with tapered leaders. I've been experimenting with them for the last two weeks. The problem with a fishing report from Chris is there is no blog discussion.

I've been making my leaders with blood knots. In the 70's and 80's I made all of my own tapered leaders for fly fishing. If you have read the last two fishing reports, you can see the possibilities are endless!

On my last adventure on the Boise River I was fishing the Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 330 with a 17 foot line. I fished a size 12 Royal Coachman Kebari. I used a level size 3 line the length of the rod and a leader made a little different than the ones Chris made. I used one foot of YGK Ultra Sight size 2, then one foot of 1x clear tippet, followed by a one foot of Ultra Sight 1.5, then a foot of 3x clear, a foot of 4x clear then 18 inches of Fujino Fluoro 6.5x tippet, my favorite tippet.

Having a foot of "sighter" material in my leader didn't seem to scare the fish. I had a "many" fish session. Having the sighter seems to help me not only see my line better but detect subtle strikes easier. I'm looking forward to Chris sharing a basic formula in the future.

That said, don't shy away from experimenting and sharing. This isn't rocket science, so even though it sounds complicated, it really isn't. PLUS a tapered leader really has improved my fishing. It is worth it!

When the wind came up the other day, I could cast into the wind much easier. The fly really turns over nicely, and one gets a much gentler landing. Several fish nailed the fly within seconds of it landing on the water! Last, I did use a tippet ring at the end of the leader so I could easily replace the tippet as it naturally gets shorter as you change flies.

Would love to hear from others who give this a try!

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