A leader majorly impacts casting and fly
By Skip Clement
Over time most experienced fly fishers know that the leader is your friend or enemy. No fly rod, fly line, or reel can make a lousy leader system cast any fly well. No matter how much you spend on a fly rod or how well you can cast, a poorly configured leader can make casting a nightmare. A bad leader system can make casting to and catching a hot fish impossible.
To become a good angler learn how to build leader systems that complement the fly and prey.
We were going after tarpon
The best way to avoid a bad day casting at hot fish is to have a professional guide at your side. They will not let you fish with an ‘effed-up’ leader. For example, on a trip to Belize some years ago, my friend and I arrived at the dock rigged and ready for backwater bonefish, which are usually small 2-pounders that are always willing. Still, our guide, Pedro, said no and replaced our leaders with his preference: a shorter, stronger butt, mid-section, and tippet at +/- 7 feet. It allowed for casting the larger flies. We were going after tarpon.
Leader materials are cheap, and no manufacturer of fly rods, reels, or fly lines will occupy valuable ad space selling low-dollar leader materials versus ad space for $1,000 fly rods. Fly shops are in the same boat.
Mad River Outfitters
There is a series run by Brian Flechsig of Mad River Outfitters in Ohio that does a great job clearing the fly fishing kennel of bull sh*t and brings valuable information to both the newbie and experienced with taking it to the bank videos on the subject of leaders. You should find this interesting and very valuable.
Mad River Outfitters:
Featured Image: Bonefish image from Dr. Aaron Adams, BTT Director of Science & Conservation, paper on Bonefish and Tides (photos: Justin Lewis, BTT Bahamas Initiative Manager).