Conejo Valley Fly Fishers 

 Massive List of leader Formulas Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 13:37:58 0500 ReplyTo: "Edward C. Goodwin" Sender: Fly Fishing Digest From: "Edward C. Goodwin" Given the recent requests for leader formulas, I am reposting the monster list of leader formulas gleaned from members of FLYFISH, commercial sources and books. I've used many of these for nymphing, bass bugging and saltwater fishing with success but I haven't really tried any out for classic dry fly fishing. Generally I use a blood knot to join sections while building a leader at home and use the double surgeon's knot to rebuild tippets and the transition taper at streamside. In larger diameter sections, the double surgeon's tends to introduce a kink as the two lines exit the knot at an angle. I use eithor spit or "Knot +" to moisten the knots before pulling tight. I also prefer to dab a bit of aquaseal over the knots to smooth them out (I'm told that pliobond also works well, IMHO though I've tried GOOP I think that it sucks for this purpose).
SHORT GENERAL PURPOSE LEADERS ==================================================
6' panfish for #34 weight lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 25 20 7 7 7 16 6' for sink tip (A) 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0x 14 14 12 12 8 12 1x 12 12 10 10 8 8 12 2x 12 12 10 10 8 8 12 3x 12 12 10 10 8 8 12 6' for sink tip (B) 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0x 18 15 12 9 18 1x 18 15 12 9 18 2x 18 15 12 9 18 3x 18 15 12 9 18 4x 18 15 12 9 18 5x 18 15 12 9 18 LIGHT LINE LEADERS (#34) ====================================================== 7.5' for #34 lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0x 24 16 14 9 9 18 1x 24 16 14 9 9 18 2x 24 16 14 9 9 18 3x 22 18 14 6 6 6 18 4x 22 18 14 6 6 6 18 5x 16 14 14 12 6 6 22 6x 16 14 14 12 6 6 22 9' for #34 lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 4x 36 16 12 6 6 6 26 5x 28 14 12 10 6 6 6 26 6x 28 14 12 10 6 6 6 26 12' for #34 lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 5x 36 24 16 12 8 8 8 32 6x 36 24 16 12 8 8 8 32 7x 36 24 16 12 8 8 8 32 MEDIUM LINE LEADERS (#59) ==================================================== 7.5' for #69 lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0x 12 12 16 14 9 9 18 1x 12 12 16 14 9 9 18 2x 12 12 16 14 9 9 18 3x 12 12 16 14 6 6 6 18 4x 12 12 16 14 6 6 6 18 9' for #69 lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0x 36 16 12 8 8 8 20 1x 36 16 12 8 8 8 20 2x 36 16 12 8 8 8 20 3x 36 16 12 6 6 6 6 20 4x 36 16 12 6 6 6 6 20 5x 28 14 12 10 6 6 6 6 20 12' for #69 lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 3x 36 25 17 14 8 8 8 28 4x 36 24 16 12 7 7 7 7 28 5x 36 24 16 15 7 7 7 7 28 6x 36 24 16 12 7 7 7 7 28 7x 28 18 16 14 12 7 7 7 7 28 Dave Whitlock's Floating Line Nymph and Midge Leader============================= 10' 5x 40/20/40 Formula 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x .023 .021 .018 .016 .014 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 24 12 12 6 6 6 6 12 36 Kaufmanns's Streamborn's Formulas=================================================== 9' Trout Leaders 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 3X 28 22 8 8 8 8 10 25 4X 28 22 8 8 8 8 10 25 5X 27 21 8 8 8 6 6 8 25 6X 27 21 8 8 8 6 6 8 25 10' Steelhead Leaders Floating Lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .024 .022 .020 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 02X 35 26 10 10 10 30 01X 28 22 10 10 10 10 30 1X 28 22 8 8 8 8 10 30 4' Steelhead Leaders for Sinking Lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .024 .022 .020 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 01X 14 10 6 6 12 1X 14 10 6 6 12 Trey Coombs' Steelhead Leader==================================================== The .020 butt section can be 5' or 6' long and the .015 and .013 sections can vary from 12" to 18" 10' Steelhead Leaders 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .024 .022 .020 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 02X 72 12 18 18 1X 60 12 12 12 12 Richard Caccavale's (Hblad124@uconnvm.uconn.edu) Formulas =================== "Here is the foolproof leader formula that I promised to post. This is the best 9' leader I have found. After straightening, it really will turn over by by casting it with your hand (try it!). If you need a longer leader, don't tie on an additional tippet, refigure the formula with like proportions or it will not turn over well. Enjoy" 9'Foolproof Leaders . .018 .016 .014 .012 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 1x 41 35 6 6 20 2x 41 29 6 6 6 20 3x 41 29 6 6 6 20 4x 34 30 6 6 6 6 20 5x 54 12 6 6 6 6 20 6x 48 12 6 6 6 6 6 20 7x 48 12 6 6 6 6 6 20 George Harvey/Joe Humphrey's Slack Line Leaders================================= George Harvey and Joe Humphrey are noted for insisting that dragfree dry fly presentation is the critical ingredient for angling success. With a slack line cast these leaders are designed to leave a series of gentle waves in your tippet allowing a microdragfree float for the most finicky trout. The tippet section is adjusted for each and every fly tied on to compensate for differences in weight and air resistance. The leader and fly should turn over and leave "S" waves on the surface; if the tippet turns over straight it is too short while if it piles up then it is too long. Use "hard" nylon for the .017 to .009" sections in 5X and 6X ( .011 in 4X leaders). Maxima is a good, hard nylon though there are reports of inconsistent diameters. Note that recently the consensus is that a supple but section is fine so long as there is a smooth transition of energy (bend) from flyline to leader 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 4X 10 20 20 20 12 18 22 (to 30" at most) 5X 10 20 20 20 12 12 18 22 6X 10 20 20 20 12 12 18 22 Harry Murray's Smallmouth Bass Leaders========================================== 9' Leaders for Normal Conditions 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0X 40 20 8 8 8 24 1X 36 16 8 8 8 8 24 2X 36 16 8 8 8 8 24 3X 36 18 6 6 6 6 6 24 4X 36 18 6 6 6 6 6 24 12' Leaders for Low Water Conditions 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0X 48 36 20 8 8 24 1X 48 36 18 6 6 6 24 2X 48 36 18 6 6 6 24 3X 48 36 12 6 6 6 6 24 4X 48 36 12 6 6 6 6 24 6' Leaders for Sinking Lines 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 0X 36 12 6 6 12 1X 30 12 6 6 6 12 2X 30 12 6 6 6 12 BASS BUG LEADERS Rather than 'x' ratings like the other leaders, these are classed as Extra Heavy (XH), Heavy (HV), Medium (MD), Light (LT), and Extra Light (XL). 7.5' bass bug leader 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 EH 36 34 20 HV 36 34 20 MD 26 23 21 20 LT 26 22 12 10 20 XL 18 16 14 12 10 20 9' bass bug leader 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 EH 46 42 20 HV 46 42 20 MD 40 26 22 20 LT 32 28 16 12 20 XL 22 20 18 16 12 20 12' bass bug leader 0x 1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .019 .017 .015 .013 .012 .011 .010 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 EH 61 56 27 HV 61 56 27 MD 53 34 30 27 LT 43 37 21 16 27 XL 29 27 24 21 16 27 Here's the match up between leader and hook size. Leader Size Hook Size Extra Heavy  5/0  4/0  3/0 Heavy  3/0  2/0  1/0 Medium  1/0  1  2  4 Light  4  6  8 Extra Light  8  10  12 Dave Whitlock's Bass and Salmon Fly Leader=================================== 10' 70/10/20 formula (0X) 0x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x 7x .023 .021 .020 .019 .018 .016 .014 .012 .011 .009 .008 .007 .006 .005 .004 36 24 18 4 4 4 12 24 SALTWATER LEADERS: 30 # Ande tournament butt section 36" (Some people prefer Mason) 16 # Ande tournament 36" Most folks that would fish 16  20 lb. class will use bimini twist, spider hitch, other "shock" or wire tooth leader. This goes on the 16 mono. Otherwise: Tippet (any class) 18" only Lou Tabory's Inshore Leaders================================================== He likes a long, heavy butt section to turn over even large flies (as a tapered leader may collapse). The butt is joined to the .019 section with a 4 turn surgeon knot and a surgeon's loop is tied to the end. For a straight tippet without a shock leader, a Bimini twist or spider hitch is formed and a surgeon's loop is tied in the doubled line which is then connected loop to loop with your leader. For a shock leader, tie a Bimini twist or spider hitch into both ends of the tippet and form a surgeon's loop for connection to your leader. Use a surgeon's knot or double blood knot for monos of 20 to 50# test or coated wire to join the tippet with the shock tippet. For 80120# test or solid wire use an Albright or Huffnagle knot to connect the shock section with the tippet. .024 .022 .019 tippet for 810 weight 48 36 24 for 1113 weight 48 36 24 Dave Whitlock's "Simple, Three Section, Large Flyline, Large Fly for Bass Bugs, Large Swimming Flies and Saltwater I've used these formulas a lot lately and have been very happy. I've used something called "leader control material" an inexpensive, tough and stretchy nylon (I think) for the butt and transition (available from Feathercraft). The diameters of this stuff is really .024 (30#) and .019 (25#) but I haven't lost any sleep over the differences. I really like these leaders when I'm using droppers to fish 3 flies... on a shooting head...into the wind. It also seems to work fine for big poppers. I tie a perfection loop or double surgeons loop at the end of the middle section and use a loop to loop to attach the tippet (anything from .009 to .015 depending on the situation. .021 .018 .012 3.0 19 7 10 6.0 39 14 19 7.5' 48 18 24 9' 58 22 28
Enjoy! Ed.
+ Edward C. Goodwin Ph.D. ecg@po.cwru.edu Department of Genetics, SHM I166 ecg@po.cwru.edu@cunynm (bitnet) Yale University School of Medicine "Facts do not cease to exist 333 Cedar Street because they are ignored."

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