when making your leaders, what material do you prefer? Mono or Fluoro.
I largely prefer Maxima in whatever color floats your boat for my leader material. It's much less expensive, is super hardy, and fishes well. That said, it's stiffer than fluoro and as such fluoro does a nicer job of offering a more natural drift with beads, nymphs, drifted flesh flies etc.
So, if I'm swingin or strippin, I stick with maxima....down to eight on the tippet end but ten or twelve if it is getting down and fish aren't bugged. But, will put on a two or three foot fluro tippet on a ten foot leader if things seem shy but rarely go to a full fluro leader.
My .02 is that fluoro just doesn't have the abrasian resitance of maxima or even the tensile strength, it seems maxima is stronger than rated and fluoro is weaker than rated.
Lots of opinions on this but I leave fluoro for more finicky presentations and stick with the ol weed wacker cord if I can. Easier to play and turn fish to get em in quicker....I hate seein guys babying a fish to death because they have a 4x tippet on big bow waters thinking it makes a huge difference...when often it does not.
Depends what the application is.
Most of the time, I use polyleaders and fluoro tippet. The exception is when skating flies, then I use an all-mono leader and tippet...fluoro sinks like a rock, mono doesn't, so your skated fly stays up.
I also use all-fluoro leaders for beading, because the thinner diameter/#test ratio of fluoro, coupled with its higher specific gravity, makes for a lower-drag, faster-sinking setup.
When swinging for kings I generally use mono, for 2 reasons: shock absorption (mono stretches more than fluoro) and abrasion / tooth resistance.
Stealthy days, sunny days, low water days, and clear water days...Fluoro.
Dirty days, big fish days, surface action days, woody debris days...Mono.
Mono, Maxima Chameleon is good stuff, I use 12# for Steelhead, Silvers and Reds. 4# or 6# for Rainbows. For Kings I stick with 30# pre-tied Gamakatsu rigs. Never really needed flouro, most fish up here don't seem to be too line-shy for mono.
Last edited by jay51; 05-05-2010 at 12:24. Reason: stoopid fingers....
Mono works good for leaders, as mentioned before maxima ultragreen is a great line for leader. I usually use either fluoro or a copolymer (gamma) for my tippet, the copolymer is a monofilament with a fluoro coating. The only real advantage you get up here with fluoro it is more abrasian resistant than mono and will usually hold up longer. I like to have the mono leader for shock absorption, don't lose as many fish with a little flex in the line.
Mono leaders and fluoro tippets for rainbows, silvers, and flats fishing. For all the same reasons already mentioned. Mono tippets when fishing w/ dries, which I only fish once or twice a season.
It would be interesting to have a few guys fish mono or fluorocarbon blinded - have rigs tied by a 3rd party so you didn't know what you were fishing. Until then, a friend wisely told me once when we were discussing black leech patterns that "I don't know if it works because I fish it or if I fish it because it works". But FC definitely costs more.
In several Mono v FC discussions before, experienced AK fly fishers argue on either side...making it hard to pick a winner the debate was so even. My experiences took me to Seaguar FC, but I've been outfished by guys fishing mono too. I wouldn't fish FC "just because". Generally, I think knowledge of salmonid behavior, reading the water and skill at detecting the bite matter far, far more than the small differences in gear including leader or tippet. Here are some of the prior discussions. Good luck.
Copolymer has been my go-to for both, it doesnt run the price range of fluro (and doesnt cost much more than mono) and has both the good qualities of mono and fluro. It is abrasian resistant and has less strech than mono. In break tests we found that Gamma had almost double its rated break strengths on their lines which is a bonus.
Fish when you can, work when you have to.
I'm a real fan of P-Line floro, especially for my leader butts. It's stiff like the old Mason line that steelheader fly fishers raved about for the last 50 years, so it turns over leaders really well for casting heavy or bulky flies, especially on windy days. I mate it with Rio for tippet or the first couple of sections when I want something limp for small flies, but for bigger or bulkier stuff, and especially on windy days, I'll carry the P-line right out to the fly.
Down through 7-weight lines the P-Line 40 pound is even better than Mason for butts, in my opinion. I go 40-30-25-20-15 for my butts, making up 8-foot, 6-foot and 4-foot butts ahead of time and just carry them in my vest. Then I can add the tippet sections as conditions dictate. For 6-weight and lighter lines I start the leaders with 30-pound butts.
Once you've tried stiff P-Line or Mason, it's hard to settle for anything else. Trouble is, it's really hard to find Mason any more.
I forgot to add one detail for designing leaders and picking material.
Ideal is to have a butt section that's as close as possible to the diameter and stiffness of the fly line, so casts make a smooth transition from line to leader. The point of tapering toward the tippet is to carry that diameter and stiffness through as smooth a transition downward as possible.
You can adjust the length of the sections to speed up or slow down the turnover, depending on whether you want lots of power in the leader to overcome difficult flies or wind, or gentle for small flies and delicate presentations.
You can even make "weight forward" leaders by carrying the thicker, stiffer butt sections further forward into the total leader length- i.e., longer pieces of stiff butt and shorter sections toward the tippet.
Any sudden transition from stiff to soft, whether between your fly line and the leader or between stiff and soft leader material in the leader, is going to result in hinging.
depends... if you're fishing glacial/turbid rivers then maxima mono is great for most applications. if you're fishing clear water then sometimes it is beneficial to fish fluorocarbon, unless of course you're fishing on top, then stay away from fluoro because it readily sinks. But you have to take everything into account, including price.
fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.
i dont like using flouro, the stuff does not break down so what you loose in the river stays in the river, not good for anybody