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OldredbarnMay 15th, 2011, 1:24 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2587
Does anyone out there still use a "permanent butt" section in their leader setup? I have always placed a section of Maxima between the end of my flyline and the start of my leader...It is a couple feet long to start off and I attach my leader to this and as time passes and my leader is shot I re-attach a new leader until my permanent butt section becomes too short and I then have to re-do it.

I use a needle/tube like knot and actually poke a bodkin needle in to the end of the flyline a bit and pull the butt material through and do a nail like knot over the small opening...

I'm just curious what others may be doing out there. I know that there are many "newer" setups including the one that Whitlock takes credit for where the butt section is glued to the end of the flyline...Also, some folks are fond of just doing a loop set uo and using loop ended leaders etc.

Just curious...Is it possible to teach a really old dog a new trick?

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
JOHNWMay 15th, 2011, 2:32 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Spence,
I like the loop set up. That being said I do vary the construction of the loop. I have found on my lighter weight rods I like the finger trap type woven devices. On the heavier rods I just nail knot a section of stiff mono and tie the "handshake loop" in the opposite end of the mono but this never any longer than say 6".

As of late I have been trying a furled leader with a "tiny" split ring tied in the end that I then attach my tippet to. In terms of casting and turning over dry flies this works exceptionally well. The caveat is I am pretty lazy when it comes to changing leaders for nymphs to dries. This particular rig requires a little more work to complete the change over so the jury is still out for me.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
AdirmanMay 15th, 2011, 2:48 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 488
Instead of changing over my entire leader setup, I usually bring 2 reels w/ me when i'm fishing; 1 is a floating and the other a sink-tip for my nymphing. Problem is, I get lazy sometimes and don't feel like even changing the reel over and will nymph w/ my floating line w/ some weight!!
PaulRobertsMay 15th, 2011, 4:44 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I tie my own bc they are cheap and customizable -based on the Harvey formula. The butt is basically permanent, matched to the fly-line and nail-knotted on. The modifiable sections are the transition and tippet. They get altered, and/or whittled down with use. Barrel and Surgeon's knots are quick to tie.

Where I use a loop-to-loop is for my leadcore outfit, and have a reel spool dedicated to it -for an old Medalist 1495. To the level floater is nail-knotted a permanent butt of .015 Maxima, with a loop at the end. My leadcore leaders are stowed in a wallet. They consist of a section of leadcore with a loop at one end (lead removed there) and a short two part tapered leader nail-knotted to the other end.
OldredbarnMay 16th, 2011, 10:18 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2587
As of late I have been trying a furled leader with a "tiny" split ring tied in the end that I then attach my tippet to. In terms of casting and turning over dry flies this works exceptionally well.


This is interesting John. I need to find someone who's using something similar and cast it. Does this set-up change anything in terms of drag etc?

Paul...Your first set up is like mine except for the part where I have the Permanent butt actually coming right out of the center of the flyline. I am getting ready for my annual trip north and was going over my stuff to see what condition my condition was in when I thought to ask the folks on this forum what they all do...

I actually had a permanent butt, that I replaced just the other night, that was tied on by Rusty Gates when he sold me a new flyline a couple years back...He did just like you and nail knotted the Maxima to the flyline and basically told me and my fishing buddy Bill to get over ourselves when I told him the way I do it..."Do you really think Spence that there is a difference in casting between the two or do you do it cause Willy does it!?" Ouch!

Old traditions and basically the way you were taught die hard I guess.

We have been getting rained on big time around here and I expect the river to be up when I leave later this week...It's suppose to clear up a bit and maybe it will come down a bit before the end of my trip. It can't be worse than it was for opening day!

Paul, I have thought about tying my own but have worried about the shelf life of the material...I guess if you keep it away from sunlight etc it should last...What has been your experience with this...You get out on the stream more hours than I do per year no-doubt and it makes sense to make your own...Plus once you find something that seems to work for you you can just dublicate it and are not limited to the manufactures wims.

Thanks guys...
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsMay 16th, 2011, 11:56 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Spence,

I avoid extra stuff on my leaders like loops, connectors, and kinks, to reduce the potential for drag. I grease continuously. I make do with the knots (clipped close -call me anal) bc the amount of reconfiguring I may do eliminates store bought extruded leaders.

As to shelf life -the only stuff I worry about is the finer end. For the butt and much of the transition it's moot. I buy "filler spools" of say Maxima Chameleon, Trilene XT, Stren XT, ... for butt and transition. I used to use Trilene XT for tippets but it's no longer offered in the 2lb and 1lb. So I've gone to Trilene Sensation in 4lb (.008) and 2lb (.006). For the fine stuff (.005>) I use "tippet material" from a fly shop on those little spools. I replace the heavier stuff when it becomes "frosted" (a couple years), and the fine stuff annually. Steelheading I was more anal about keeping fresh transition materials. They will find any weakness. Maintenance becomes huge.

I have also used tiny split rings for a light 3-way rig for hanging shot for deep nymphing. But I went to tiny barrel swivels bc big trout could bend out a cheap ring. It's amazing the torque that a straining fish can create on tackle. I don't do this for most stream trout fishing bc I need to be able to adjust the shot location.

High water can be a blessing (unless it's associated with a big temperature drop, like immediate snowmelt). I've actually been dying to get out --but can't :( --bc spring runoff brings earthworms up and many end up in the streams in the right stretches. When I hit it right (and it's not a real short term thing) the trout can be so stuffed with worms they look like they swallowed tennis balls! A simple yarn worm fly is just what they are looking for and that's really obvious. I call it the "worm hatch" and look forward to it. Right now conditions are great with all the precip we've had lately. I'm dyin' here!
OldredbarnMay 16th, 2011, 4:33 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2587
High water can be a blessing


A friend and I were talking about how high the water was at the end of April up in Grayling...We both seem to believe that a good "flushing" is helpful over-all to the streams health. Silt etc can be blown away from places where the regular current conditions never reach.

The fat worm fed fish senario seemed to be the consensus up there at that time as well...There was just so much rolling by the fish and two out of the three days I tried to fish I didn't see a single fish rise though there were bugs...The Saturday of opening day we caught a few fish after the Hennies really got going. As I said before, it was a wonderful hatch if it hadn't been for dangerous wading.

As we rode towards home my friend asked me how high the gas prices would have to go to stop me from driving up to Grayling...All things considered, if I'm willing to put my life in danger for a few hours of fishing, screw the price of gas...:)

A few years back when everything was going to hell in the economy an up north local environmental newspaper ran an article about opening day...The editor, now passed, was trying to show the economic impact angler's have on the local economy and therefore we should be supported when it comes to special fishing regs and the stream improvments we want...He ran a picture on the editorial page showing a public access site filled with angler's autos...The caption said something like, "Even with sky-high gas prices angler's appear in droves for opening day!" My car was in the center of the picture...:) Oops! Busted!

I feel your pain! Things should be settling down a bit here and we are early in the season yet...We don't normally get the run-off issues you get out your way...It is rare actually to have the river rise as much as it did. In normal rainfall years the ground up there is mostly sand and the water enters the stream from springs more than run-off...It was just too much moisture for the system to cope with.

The upper half of the lower penninsula is like a big fish tank filter. The glaciers deposited deep piles of sand and it filters everything before it hits the stream...It is unique in the world and if folks were smarter than they are it would be protected in a very serious way...We humans don't last very long without fresh water to drink...The Great Lakes could be fought over like oil is now one day...All the bottled water companies have already snuck in to the state with their straws...Then they sell it to the world under some exotic sounding name like "Aquafina".

Tightlines mister...The river will be there when we get there and it will be there after we can no longer wade it.

Spence


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsMay 16th, 2011, 8:47 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Oh, my being kept off stream has nothing to do with water level and everything to do with fishing falling behind my job and home-life. Fishing just hasn't been able to break to the top of the priority list.
JesseMay 16th, 2011, 10:49 pm
Posts: 378
For my 6wt i use a loop connection so i can easily slip different sink tips and regular tapereds on and off more easily. And for my lower weight rods i use a nail knot direct connection between fly line and tapered leader that i make.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
GooseMay 17th, 2011, 9:49 am
Posts: 77
Spence,
I like the loop set up. That being said I do vary the construction of the loop. I have found on my lighter weight rods I like the finger trap type woven devices. On the heavier rods I just nail knot a section of stiff mono and tie the "handshake loop" in the opposite end of the mono but this never any longer than say 6".

As of late I have been trying a furled leader with a "tiny" split ring tied in the end that I then attach my tippet to. In terms of casting and turning over dry flies this works exceptionally well. The caveat is I am pretty lazy when it comes to changing leaders for nymphs to dries. This particular rig requires a little more work to complete the change over so the jury is still out for me.
JW




Hi JohnW. What is the finger trap style woven connection to which you refer?
Bruce
Flatstick96May 17th, 2011, 5:24 pm
Posts: 127
I think John is referring to these, but I'm not sure:

http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=410124&pdesc=Rio_Braided_Loops_4_Pack

I'm another guy who just nail knots a 6-8" length of stiff Maxima to the fly line, puts a perfection loop in it, and calls it a day.

Has anyone tried this?

http://www.graysofkilsyth.com/fishing-knots-gray%27s-loop.htm
JOHNWMay 17th, 2011, 7:21 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Spence,
I like the loop set up. That being said I do vary the construction of the loop. I have found on my lighter weight rods I like the finger trap type woven devices. On the heavier rods I just nail knot a section of stiff mono and tie the "handshake loop" in the opposite end of the mono but this never any longer than say 6".

As of late I have been trying a furled leader with a "tiny" split ring tied in the end that I then attach my tippet to. In terms of casting and turning over dry flies this works exceptionally well. The caveat is I am pretty lazy when it comes to changing leaders for nymphs to dries. This particular rig requires a little more work to complete the change over so the jury is still out for me.
JW




Hi JohnW. What is the finger trap style woven connection to which you refer?
Bruce


Bruce,
It is the braided things that all of the fly lines used to come with before they figured out how to do welded loops. Basically they worked like the Chinese Finger traps you can buy in a novelty store. YOU create slack in the weave and slide the line in. When you pull the sleeve tight it constricts around the end of the fly line. Usually they would put a 1/2" section of heat shrink tube over the ends of the woven tube to prevent from fraying.



Spence,
I think JAD turned me on to this technique (it was either he or Louis). I have found it takes all the guess work out of what you need to tie on. When you get back to say 9" of the ring snip off and tie in more tippet. As for drift I have not noticed any detriment but I do need to treat it with a little floatant prior to starting the day to keep it from getting water worked into the braid and sending a spray over rising fish.
As for turn over power these are the thing and when trying to throw slack into a cast they also excell with just a slight check, very similar to a harvey leader in that regard but more manageable at a distance.
The down side is the pretied furled leaders are alittle expensive but in exchange they are not nibbled down like a traditional tapered leader so with some care they last a very long time.

JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
PaulRobertsMay 18th, 2011, 12:28 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Here's another for you:

No knot Krazy Glue "splice".

Melt off the vinyl coating from the very last inch of fly line tip with acetone/nail polish remover. You are left with the braided core.

Prepare the first inch of leader butt by cutting it at an angle to make a sharp point, then roughing it up with coarse sandpaper.

Apply Krazy Glue (best brand apparently) to prepared butt tip and insert into the exposed braid as far as you can.

Now, this sounds nuts -like bad things waiting to happen. But it came from some saltwater guys who used it on stripers and blues (pound for pound nothing in fw pulls like a bluefish). I tried it and it worked, but ... I didn't trust it for "permament". What it offers is a super slim connection. I may just try it again on my light trout rigs for the heck of it.


GooseMay 18th, 2011, 2:07 pm
Posts: 77Right now I nail knot a piece of butt material (about a foot) to the fly line and make a perfection knot in the end. To that I make another perfection knot at the butt end of my leader and attach the two. It's kind of bulky, but it works okay as long as you don't reel the knots in beyond the rod tip. If that happens the knots stick in the guides.
Bruce
AdirmanMay 18th, 2011, 5:15 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 488
Goose;

Yeah, I use pretty much the same setup as you but I have a question:how long do you keep your butt section to flyline piece w/o changing? i've kept mine on one of my lines for like 3-4 seasons now. You think it should be changed?
JOHNWMay 18th, 2011, 7:47 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Goose;

Yeah, I use pretty much the same setup as you but I have a question:how long do you keep your butt section to flyline piece w/o changing? i've kept mine on one of my lines for like 3-4 seasons now. You think it should be changed?


Adirman,
I don't get 4 seasons out of a fly line so I can't say if you should be changing the permanent loop piece after that time.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
TNEALMay 18th, 2011, 8:51 pm
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 275
Spence,

I use the same set up you do... have been using it for years... efficient, inexpensive, and lasts for a long time.

The fish are fatter this year; however, don't expect to find as many of them as usual.

Tim
GooseMay 19th, 2011, 9:07 am
Posts: 77I don't change my nymphing lines very often. As a matter of fact, I have some lines that have been on my rods for 5 and 6 years with no sign of gross wear. I check my butt/loop sections periodically and I have yet to change them, unless they get too short from retying the perfection loops. I figure, heck, if the loop breaks I'm only going to lose one fish, so then I'll put on a new one. I'm not cheap, but I can't see changing anything unless I have a problem.
Bruce
EntomanMay 19th, 2011, 8:25 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Spence & Paul -
Just curious...Is it possible to teach a really old dog a new trick?

Sure, but you already know the best one.:) I've tried just about every leader set up there is over the years and keep coming back to the tried and true, just as you described... And with Maxima.

The old leader formulas designed for good turnover aren't as important as they were in the days before modern rods that now develop such high line speeds, but I stick to 'em anyway. Measure out a section of butt material, make the next stepdown half that length, the next one half that, and the rest six inches or so untill you get to the tippet. Starting out with a piece equal to your wing span you end up with about twelve feet or so, sans tippet. Starting with a piece nose to finger tip, you end up around 8 ft. To insure proper lengths, bend back against the previous knot and clip allowing an extra inch or so (depending on how much you use in tying a knot). No measuring, no muss, no fuss.

I prefer the blood knot for all but the tippet. Much neater, especially in the larger diameters. When tied properly, the tags can be trimmed flush with the knot. What about slippage? It's my experience that if a knot slips it's gonna fail anyway, little tag or not. So why leave on the weed catchers and tippet snaggers? Some guys don't like all those knots, but I believe they help the leader to lay straighter and turn over better. Besides, I wouldn't want to miss out on those midging fish that seem to like my knots better than my flys on occasion.:)

Last thought - the line tends to crack around the nail knot fairly quickly. If the connecter is left in place too long without replacing, it will allow water to easily penetrate the core of the line causing it to sink, no matter how much you "gink" it up.

Regards,

Kurt

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SofthackleMay 19th, 2011, 10:12 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi Spence,
Yes, I still use a butt on my line, but shorter than you do. The loop to loop connection does not seem to hinder presentation or casting. I too use Maxima and like it a lot.

Also, I've been trying leader rings between the the body of the leader and the tippet. This enables adding a completely new tippet without clipping back on the the leader section above the tippet. It also helps so you don't have to change the entire leader as often, and it's easy to change the tippet size as well if need be. The rings are quite small adding little weight to the leader. It's hard getting it tied to the end of the leader body cause it is small, but once there, it's easy to attach the tippet because you've got the previous section to hold onto.

Also store your leader rings on a safety pin to keep control over them.

http://www.jsflyfishing.com/cgi-bin/item/LL-295020-0000/search/Niche-Products-Mini-Tippet-Rings.html

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
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