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Thread: Bass Leader Formula please?

  1. #21
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    My advice is to get a 12lb 15ft tapered mono leader and adjust as you go along these leader formulas makes me wanna slap something....!
    Gerrit Viljoen

  2. Default

    Hi Frogstar,

    What I would suggest, with some explanation.

    I believe accuracy in bass fishing is an important success factor.

    Think of throwing a heavily dressed dry fly (like an Adams) accurately with your hand as far as you can, it will probably travel 1m or so and will likely be off target. Do the same with a weighted nymph and you will throw it much further and more accurately.

    Casting a Popper/Dahlberg Diver/unweighted fly accurately, you need some energy being transferred from the fly line to the fly and this happens via a tapered leader. If you are a seasoned caster then you can shorten a level leader, say 9' and less and "stop" the presentation cast before "fly turnover" to let momentum of the fly line turn over the leader, however, you will struggle when there is some wind around.

    Casting a weighted/subsurface fly the weight/momentum in the fly itself will turnover the leader on a decent cast. You will also get more depth quickly.

    So, I would suggest, for a 6wt., a 9' 1X (10 to 12 lb) tapered leader for general bass fishing, for accuracy and fly turnover.
    Last edited by Winelands Fly Fishing; 22-10-15 at 08:30 PM.


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  3. #23
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    Feb 2008
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    Western Cape
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    Hey Phillip,

    I agree I have caught thousands of bass on conventional tackle and often if you are 5cm off target you can forget it, just because you use a bulky fly that makes a big splash doesn't mean you can sacrifice on accuracy.

    Thanks for all the comments guys, think i have more than enough info to make an informed decision.
    Last edited by frogstar; 22-10-15 at 08:41 PM.

  4. #24
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    Dec 2011
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    Sunningdale, CT, WC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winelands Fly Fishing View Post
    Hi Frogstar,
    What I would suggest, with some explanation.
    I believe accuracy in bass fishing is an important success factor.
    Think of throwing a heavily dressed dry fly (like an Adams) accurately with your hand as far as you can, it will probably travel 1m or so and will likely be off target. Do the same with a weighted nymph and you will throw it much further and more accurately.
    Casting a Popper/Dahlberg Diver/unweighted fly accurately, you need some energy being transferred from the fly line to the fly and this happens via a tapered leader. If you are a seasoned caster then you can shorten a level leader, say 9' and less and "stop" the presentation cast before "fly turnover" to let momentum of the fly line turn over the leader, however, you will struggle when there is some wind around.
    Casting a weighted/subsurface fly the weight/momentum in the fly itself will turnover the leader on a decent cast. You will also get more depth quickly.
    So, I would suggest, for a 6wt., a 9' 1X (10 to 12 lb) tapered leader for general bass fishing, for accuracy and fly turnover.
    Quote Originally Posted by frogstar View Post
    Hey Phillip,
    I agree I have caught thousands of bass on conventional tackle and often if you are 5cm off target you can forget it, just because you use a bulky fly that makes a big splash doesn't mean you can sacrifice on accuracy.
    Thanks for all the comments guys, think i have more than enough info to make an informed decision.
    I will second both of you on the accuracy part.
    I used to practice casting into buckets at various distances when fishing conventional, that 5 cm into the honey hole is important!!!

    With regards to leaders, tapered leaders help a lot, Lately i have been experimenting with double tapered and weight forward leaders after reading an article on them, have not had a chance to use it on a trip but casting in the local park have made me more curious as they turned over bulky flies a bit better. But tapered beats straight any day in my book!
    So tell me.... How Big's yours?

  5. #25
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    Nov 2006
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    Hate to break this to you, but taper has nothing to do with accuracy, its in your imagination. Accuracy is more a function of the rod and the person using it, although the line and leader does play a roll, but not a roll critical to accuracy. The taper of the leader only serves to concentrate the kinetic energy down the leader, so it keeps moving, and doesn't collapse, there by effecting presentation. Remember that this effect only works when the energy moves along the fly line, and not from the momentum of the fly pulling the line along with it.. if the fly has some weight, it will have momentum of its own, and a tapered leader will have no influencing effect. If you are casting more than a distance of several meters (depending on your skill), your accuracy certainly isn't going to be influenced by a tapered or level leader. It cant prevent you from casting short or overshooting, that's experience. I have seen bass anglers fish with incredible accuracy, and bass anglers use level mono... no tapers for them.
    I have fished for largemouth yellows extensively, and I can tell you, that there's very little difference to fishing for bass... you still have to get the fly into tight spots, use large "noisy" flies, play the fish hard, have to jerk the fly out of hook-ups to structure. My opinion is that you don't need a tapered leader for any applications that don't require the energy to be dissipated at the point where the fly is attached...In simple terms, if delicate presentation is not important.
    Others might have different opinions, and that's ok.
    Last edited by Andre; 23-10-15 at 10:40 AM.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  6. #26
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    Andre
    I differ from you.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  7. #27
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    Ya, I know Korrie, most people probably would. I just don't see that accuracy can be a function of the leader when the taper is intended to be for the purposes of speeding up the leader, by focussing the kinetic energy. To me, accuracy comes from a different source. Im quite happy being disagreed with, in fact I wouldn't make a post like that without being prepared for it. Some forms of nymphing are done with level leaders, and accuracy isn't a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    Andre
    I differ from you.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    I've done a load of flyfishing for bass, and have generally stuck to a heavy butt section with a 'tippet' section if you like. Something like 5 ft of 30-35lbs with another 3-4 ft of 10-25lbs depending on the structure I'm fishing. If the butt section is nice and stiff it will transfer the power from the flyline. Only on floating lines, sinking 4ft of whatever breaking strain you want is fine. I don't see any point in going longer than 8-9 ft for bass on a floating line. Shorter leader seem easier for me when trying to get a cast into or under some structure.

    Another interesting approach for heavily weeded dams is to replace the 'tippet' section with 4 ft of Superline. Use something stiff like fused 30lbs fireline, braid is limp and prone to causing tangles at the fly. Superlines cut thru the weed under the tension of a fish and don't hang up like mono/floro. Helps getting the fish out as opposed to having to go fetch it as flyrods have zero pulling power compared to heavy bass rods!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Ya, I know Korrie, most people probably would. I just don't see that accuracy can be a function of the leader when the taper is intended to be for the purposes of speeding up the leader, by focussing the kinetic energy. To me, accuracy comes from a different source. Im quite happy being disagreed with, in fact I wouldn't make a post like that without being prepared for it. Some forms of nymphing are done with level leaders, and accuracy isn't a problem.
    I used to think the same why, until I discovered the the secret of the "Sprayer/nozzle" concept.
    on a 9' leader it probably does not make a difference, but longer leader and with a big fly, Turnover of the leader and getting the fly to land where you want, then it makes a difference
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  10. #30
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    Dec 2011
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    Sunningdale, CT, WC
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombosis View Post
    I've done a load of flyfishing for bass, and have generally stuck to a heavy butt section with a 'tippet' section if you like. Something like 5 ft of 30-35lbs with another 3-4 ft of 10-25lbs depending on the structure I'm fishing. If the butt section is nice and stiff it will transfer the power from the flyline. Only on floating lines, sinking 4ft of whatever breaking strain you want is fine. I don't see any point in going longer than 8-9 ft for bass on a floating line. Shorter leader seem easier for me when trying to get a cast into or under some structure.

    Another interesting approach for heavily weeded dams is to replace the 'tippet' section with 4 ft of Superline. Use something stiff like fused 30lbs fireline, braid is limp and prone to causing tangles at the fly. Superlines cut thru the weed under the tension of a fish and don't hang up like mono/floro. Helps getting the fish out as opposed to having to go fetch it as flyrods have zero pulling power compared to heavy bass rods!
    I have heard of super line, but never tried it.
    I do slightly disagree with you about fly rods having zero pulling power. I think you need to match the Rod characteristics to the dam and its structure.
    For example, Bivane dam (Northern KZN) has thick Timber and rock structures so would resort to a 9 weight with at least 20lbs tippet. You fish between the timber and rocks and once hooked into Mr Bass there you have to keep him high up to land else you kiss the fish and your fly goodbye. (Sorry about the off topic OP)
    Last edited by MR.GT; 23-10-15 at 12:06 PM.
    So tell me.... How Big's yours?

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