All sorts of leaders - Global FlyFisher

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All sorts of leaders


By Martin Joergensen

See also the
Hyper-Compleat Principles of Leader Design
Leaders fall in several categories. These all serve the same purpose: transmitting the energy fra the fly line to the fly in a gentle, yet firm way. The different types each have their advantages and disadvantages, and selecting one is often a question of compromises.

  • Tapered
    The tapered leader is probably the most common. It consists of one piece of monofile line, that has been drawn to a taper from a thick base to a thin tip, that are made the normal range of tippet weights.
  • Knotted
    The knotted leader has been tied together by several peices of monofile line to form a similar taper. It's inexpensive and can be made to any taper, thickness, stiffness and hence purpose.
  • Braided
    The braided leader is made from thin braided monofile strands. It's normally tapered by leaving out moreand more threads towards the tip. The braided leaders are generally expensive, but also offer a supple presentation and high knot resistance
  • Twined
    The furled or twined leader is a home made leader that has the advantage of the braided leader (it's even better actually) and the price of the knotted one. There's a detalied description on how to make such leaders.

Leader and tippet sizes
'X-size'
0X 1X 2X 3X 4X 5X 6X 7X 8X
Tip dia. (mm) 0.28
0.26
0.23
0.20
0.18
0.15
0.13
0.10
0.07
Tip dia. (inches)
0.011
0.010
0.009
0.008
0.007
0.006
0.005
0.004
0.003
Test (kg) 6.8
5.5
4.5
3.2
2.3
1.8
1.4
0.9
0.6
Test (lb.)
15 12 10 7 5 4 3 2 1
The test weights are examples from Sunline (Siglon and other brands) and may vary quite a bit from brand to

User comments
GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·globalflyfisher.com  Link
Submitted March 10th 2009

Todd,

You usually use either the same tippet size as the leader or slightly thinner. The 4X will probably refer to the thickness of your leader in the thin end, and by adding a 5X tippet, your taper it further down, while a 4X tippet will continue the same thickness as the tip of the leader.

Hope this helps.

Martin


From: Todd Weeks · todd_037·at·excite.com  Link
Submitted March 9th 2009

I need to know what size tippet to use with a leader size of 4X ..



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Part of the theme:
Fly fishing knots
The best knots for fly fishing, backing to fly line, fly mine to leader, leader to tippet and tippet to fly. The strongest knots. The easiest knots.