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Max Online: 36273 @ 01/23/13 02:34 PM
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#12032963 - 01/10/17 09:46 PM Saltwater leaders?
Brendan H Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 195
Loc: Allen, TX
Hopefully around springtime I'll be heading down to Aransas for reds and other inshore species. I know that there are many different leader setups out there but I was wondering what the general consensus on leaders for the coast is. Do any of y'all use shock tippet?
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#12033389 - 01/11/17 08:13 AM Re: Saltwater leaders? [Re: Brendan H]
karstopo Online   content
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 286
Loc: Brazoria County
Consensus in fly fishing? There's a concept! I like fluorocarbon all the way. Yes, it costs more, but has a reported better abrasion resistance, less visibility, and doesn't absorb water and weaken like mono, It sinks and since I don't use topwater flies very much, I'm good with the sinking.

I've tried so many build "formulas". I don't think I can tell all that much difference in casting each. Something like 5-7 feet of 40# fluorocarbon butt, Seaguar blue, perfection looped to the fly line. Do a nail knot if you like. I haven't had the loop ever fail on a fish. Put in a mid section of 25# or not, your call. You can go with 30# butt. You can do 50# butt. Tippet, I usually use Seaguar Grand max, reported higher break strength to diameter versus many others out there. But, I've used Vanish or a variety of other tippets. I've broken off fish, but its been my fault, not the line.

Monofilament is fine too. Use whatever. Ordinarily, I like my finished leaders to be around 11-12.5 feet. I don't think I've done any much longer than that. You can go a whole lot shorter going off the jetties with sinking lines. You might need some heavy fluorocarbon bite tippet if you run into some Spanish mackerel. Or some wire looped in.

So a normal flats leader for me might be 6-7 feet of 40# butt blood knotted to 4-5 feet of 20# tippet. Or 6-7 feet of 30# butt blood knotted to 15# tippet. Or 5 feet of 40# butt, blood knotted to 25# mid section 3 feet or so, blood knotted to 4 feet of 15# tippet.

I use a 4 twist blood knot, lubricate with saliva, and cinch down tight. Trim the tag ends close and put a little uv cure on the knot to have a smooth knot that won't catch grass, if you like.

The thing about leaders is you can alter them in any way to fit your cast, the conditions, the fly, the fish. The leaders I mentioned have worked great for me on a number of inshore, shallow water salt water fish. I generally rapala loop knot the fly to the tippet. I've had leaders fail by popping the tippet, but that's on me and my line management. Thin fluorocarbon with get torn up on shell and bluefish and Spanish mackerel will tear it up. So will lady fish eventually. It usually hangs in there well with flounder, reds, sheepshead, and specks.

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#12033407 - 01/11/17 08:24 AM Re: Saltwater leaders? [Re: Brendan H]
karstopo Online   content
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 286
Loc: Brazoria County
One thing you can do is build a couple of leaders with different specs and go out on the lawn and cast with a normal flats fly, hook pinched off, and see what you like and fits your cast. I cast at the tree in my yard and get back 50-60 feet and fire away. See how it performs. Then tie a few leaders like the one you like the best.

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#12033432 - 01/11/17 08:33 AM Re: Saltwater leaders? [Re: Brendan H]
FishyB Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/29/14
Posts: 423
Loc: Keller, TX
Great information Karstopo smile Going to put this one in my back pocket!
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#12039858 - 01/14/17 07:33 PM Re: Saltwater leaders? [Re: Brendan H]
texasflycaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 1562
Loc: Texas Water
I'll second, "Consensus in fly fishing"! No such thing exists. I have gone several years now (I write the dates on the spools) with Seaguar Invis-X, solid fluorocarbon. Tie your own. I do a 20# butt and an 8# 10# 12# tip. It is a radical transition for sure. If you spit those leader knots though, they will hold. Ten is a good medium. I also run straight 20# in certain situations.
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#12044998 - 01/17/17 11:14 AM Re: Saltwater leaders? [Re: Brendan H]
Brendan H Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 195
Loc: Allen, TX
Nobody uses shock tippet for tarpon on the jetties?
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#12048679 - 01/19/17 08:35 AM Re: Saltwater leaders? [Re: Brendan H]
Salt396 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 1615
Loc: Corpus Christi, Tx
Hey Brendan -

Yes, we definitely use shock for tarpon down here. It's a bummer sometimes, because it feels like you get more bites without the shock at times, but when you finally do hook that silver king it's essential to have a bit of extra insurance down there for them to chew on.

I wrote up a brief overview of how I rig for flats and jetty on my blog, but here's an excerpt -

'I tend to construct jetty leaders in a 50-30-20 progression. This setup works well when targeting species such as Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and redfish. The extra-heavy butt section helps turn over the big flies you may be throwing, especially if fishing poppers. However, there are situations when I’ll just go with a straight 30lb leader. This is a very useful tactic when I break off a leader on a rock (or fish), and need to quickly get back into fishing, or I am fishing a shooting-head system and need the leader to be thinner diameter so that it sinks well. If tarpon are the target species or if I just think I have a good chance of hooking one incidentally, I will put 10-12” of 50lb fluro on as a bite tippet. This can come in handy for Spanish macks as well – keeps them from slicing through your tippet as easily.'

Hope that helps smile
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