How to Make a Fly Fishing Leader

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In order to make a fly fishing leader after a pre-made leader has broken, try tying a double surgeon's knot to the butt end. Discover how a leader should get lighter as it moves away from the butt end with help from a fly fishing guide in this free video on making a fly fishing leader.

Part of the Video Series: Fly Fishing Tips
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Video Transcript

How to make a fly fishing leader. First the easiest way is to purchase your tapered leader all as one but there's times on the river when this tapered leader may break, fray and you need to make adjustments and you may not have any more. So the butt section which is the heaviest part going to your fly line would break off and then you would take another section of tippet material. You see I'll carry various sizes, 3x, 4x, 5x and 6x. With these different sizes you know the 3x is going to be heavier then the 4x is a little bit lighter, the 5x is lighter and the 6x is lighter. So what I would do with a premade leader that had broken off halfway through is I would take approximately 18 inches or to 24 inches of the 3x, double surgeon's knot to the butt section that's broken and then from that section there I would go to another tippet material that I would want to attach the fly to which would again be somewhere between 18 and oh, 20 inches or so. The way that you need to choose which tippet material you would want to add to your broken butt section is it definitely wants to be a lighter section. You don't want to have the butt section being heavier leader or heavier material and then trying to put on a heavier material on to that end. Remember from the fly line it starts heavy butt and as it works its way towards the fly the materials become lighter and thinner diameter. That's how you can create your leader on the water without having another package of new tapered leaders. If you prefer to make your own knotted leaders which have a tendency to turn over even better than the tapered there are formulas available on the web that are critical and if you follow those they will be anywhere from five foot leaders all the way up to fifteen foot leaders from two pound tippet all the way up to twenty two pound or thirty pound tippet. It is all about the leader is very important to turn over the appropriate fly so again on the web you can find these formulas on how you can make your own knotted leaders.


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