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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
low long would you recomend my leader should be when fly fishing for bass?

had my first bass on the fly on the weekend but should i have gone longer with the leader,i was useing around 7ft max of 8lb florocarbon.
pics in my photo bucket of a very happy chapie..
thanks for any replies.
roamer.
 

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For unweighted lures I generaly go for a rod length (that would be 9ft); for heavier flies you may want to shorten it to make them turn over better. See how you get on and modify accordingly, a shorter leader is just a pair of snips away.
 

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It will be interesting to hear what other people have to say about this. As far as spooking fish go (dare I say) I usualy use a clear line so fish seeing the line is less of an issue -so you don't want to listen to me. I have noticed fish shying away when using floating line, and then changing to a clear inter and getting takes straight away, but its difficult to come up with any patterns with so many parameters involved. During feeding frenzies sometimes slapping the lure down hard seems to get their attention - maybe seeing a line may stimulate their curiosity too -things could work either way. I suppose the best idea is to be flexible and be prepared to lengthen the leader -how pressured the fish are will be a factor along with lots of other stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for your thoughts.
was hopeing for a bit more interest on this.
would be nice to go out for a fish knowing that what you are doing is praps the best way that might maximise your catch rate.
dont get me wrong ,dont want all the hard work done for me but want to be on the right road.
(will be asking lots of questions on fly fishing for sea fish )lol.
always learning.roamer.
 

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A leader equal to the rod length (mostly 9ft) is a general rule of thumb that seems to work but in very calm, shallow, clear conditions i've known SWFFers go up to 12ft and scale down the BS of the tippet accordingly.

I've also known situations where because of windy, turbulent, dirty water, you can get away with (or need to use) leaders of 3 to 4 feet and 30lb BS straight through.

Some use commercially produced tapered leaders which are mostly between 9 and 12ft. These have a butt diameter equal to 25 - 30lb running down to anywhere from 6lb to 16lb tippet. In the main, these are bonefish or permit / striper leaders and they work well imo.

Others make up their own leaders from two or three different braking strains of line, tapering down to the tippet with loop to loop connections.

Some use 25lb straight through in all but the clearest conditions, especially when using a sub-surface line.

The heavy butt section assists in fly turn-over, so most bass flies will require using a fly line to leader connection of 25lb or so and tapering down to the thinner tippet is often a personal decision, based on prevailing conditions.

Bearing in mind that you should strip-strike when SWFFing, rather than striking with the rod like you would when trout fishing, I'd suggest that you don't drop below a 12lb BS tippet initially or you could be cracking off fish on the strip-strike.

Just a few thoughts that I hope help

Cheers
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A leader equal to the rod length (mostly 9ft) is a general rule of thumb that seems to work but in very calm, shallow, clear conditions i've known SWFFers go up to 12ft and scale down the BS of the tippet accordingly.

I've also known situations where because of windy, turbulent, dirty water, you can get away with (or need to use) leaders of 3 to 4 feet and 30lb BS straight through.

Some use commercially produced tapered leaders which are mostly between 9 and 12ft. These have a butt diameter equal to 25 - 30lb running down to anywhere from 6lb to 16lb tippet. In the main, these are bonefish or permit / striper leaders and they work well imo.

Others make up their own leaders from two or three different braking strains of line, tapering down to the tippet with loop to loop connections.

Some use 25lb straight through in all but the clearest conditions, especially when using a sub-surface line.

The heavy butt section assists in fly turn-over, so most bass flies will require using a fly line to leader connection of 25lb or so and tapering down to the thinner tippet is often a personal decision, based on prevailing conditions.

Bearing in mind that you should strip-strike when SWFFing, rather than striking with the rod like you would when trout fishing, I'd suggest that you don't drop below a 12lb BS tippet initially or you could be cracking off fish on the strip-strike.

Just a few thoughts that I hope help

Cheers
Steve
thanks very much for your reply somthing to think on,but i dont think i could ever change the way i strike as it is in my blood, i have been a trout angler for over thirty years.
 

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I normally fish a floating flyline and I usually use an Airflo Saltwater Clear Intermediate Polyleader as a butt. This steeply tapered leader is 5ft long and has a tippet breaking strain of about 20lb. Then I add about 6ft of 10lb fluorocarbon and this outfit turns a heavy fly over really well, assists lighter flies in getting deeper and can still be used effectively if you switch to a popper.

Don't worry too much about long leaders and presentation, as we do in trout fishing. Everything is much more relaxed in the sea!
 

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i use a leader as long as the rod, sometimes longer. was fishing yest in almost perfect conditions and noticed small bass shying away from the fly. wrong fly of course, but i was also unhappy with the flouro green floating line. perhaps i should have increased the length of the leader but it's quite hard when wading up to your chest. will keep chopping and changing until i find the balance. i suspect bass are more alert than trout (well, the stocked rainbow trout variety!) but this could be because i havent caught on the fly yet!
 

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i dont think i could ever change the way i strike as it is in my blood, i have been a trout angler for over thirty years.
Many trout anglers move into saltwater fly fishing and find that they miss lots of bites because they lift the rod in the traditional way that they and other freshwater anglers strike.

Bear in mind that you are often using hook sizes of 1/0 and bigger (heavier gauge wire) and line weights of #7 and above, so lifting the rod, even a full-bloodied strike, doesn't transmit the energy to the hook enough to set it - Hence the missed bites.

Fish such as bass also have harder mouthparts than trout, because they eat crabs and other spikey things, so using a bigger hook (even a chemically sharpened one), a line that takes more inertia to transmit the strike through to a tough mouth at the other end all means that a strip-strike is so much more efficient.

All that is needed is for you to practice clamping the line between your thumb and fore-finger and middle finger when you get a tug and pull the line backwards with a jerk. No need to rip the fishes' mouth off - just a quick pull of a foot or so should tighten the line and set the hook, but it does take a bit of practice. Once mastered it comes as second nature.
 
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