Friday, April 1

Knotted, tapered leaders. An excercise in minuetae.

Amazingly, not all from Stackpole.
When I first started, I used the extruded mono leaders. I mostly made a mess of things, and didn't have a clue. Someone, somewhere, talked about furled leaders and I bought a Blue Sky furled leader.

It was awesome. I was sold. I rocked the piss out of those for quite some time, last year learning how to handfurl my own in a much simpler method. Someday I'll explain that.

However, I wanted to perfect them, and to perfect them I wanted to understand leader design better. To do that, you have to delve into the world of hand tied leaders.

So, after a trip to the store, I was ready to start.

Picked up a set of Maxima Chameleon, a "hard mono" used in leader making. I already had a good selection of tippets, so the soft side wasn't an issue.

The George Harvey Slack Leader is the definitive example. However, you will find that everyone seems to have their own interpertation.

Joe Humphreys uses the Harvey system, but has since modified it over the years. The following charts are reprinted from the excellent Trout Tactics.
 Mike Heck gives several examples of leader formula in his Spring Creek Strategies book, a publication I highly recommend to all trout fly fishermen.

For the oldschool thinkers, Ray Bergman offered up several formulas in the seminal Trout. These were for monofilament lines, which were new at the time. He also offered up gut leader formulas, but chances are if you need those, you already own the book.

Like everyone else, I've already begun to modify the Harvey leaders I've been using some. I've found the Amnesia line I have, sold as a running line but oft bought for a high visibility leader butt, slips into the Chameleon break down quite nicely between the 0.017" 20# and the 0.015"15# strands. I'll probably add a thinner Amnesia to my colleciton at some point, as I'd rather have the indicator line further down towards the handoff from hard to soft mono, as the Amnesia is clearly a hard, or stiff, mono.


  1. Good post G. I should have more info on the Harvey leader sometime next week.
    The place where I bought the reel kit sells material to tie horse hair leaders.
    What to try that?

  2. I wo't deny a desire to try, but I've got limits of just how far I can take it.

    Maybe next year...;)

  3. It looks like that info I sent you id identical to what you have. That info came from an old 70's fishing article.

  4. 15Lb amnesia is the lightest their is right now.

  5. "15Lb amnesia is the lightest their is right now." Not true. Little known fact that could change your fishing life --- Amnesia down to 6lb test here: