Fly Fishing Leader
What you need to know about leaders:
Leaders are our relatively invisible link between the thick fly line and our fly. We can't fly fish without them and they are often misunderstood. The typical leader is made up of 3 sections: the butt section, the tapered section and the tippet. Leaders can be purchased easily by buying a trout leader for trout, bass leader for bass and bonefish leader for bonefish.
It is important to match the butt section diameter to the fly line tip diameter. The leader manufacturers do this by developing leaders with butt sections in the size to match lines generally used for those species.
The taper section, like the taper in a fly line, allows the leader to cast out more efficiently and layout straight on the water. We are often asked why can't we just use some straight monofilament leader. You can but it won't work very well. The leader tends to just ball up when cast without a proper taper.
The tippet section is where things get confusing for most folks. The tippet is the final section, and usually the thinnest, of the leader that attaches to your fly. The confusing part is you can also purchase spools of tippet material. You can fish the fly leader right out of the package it came in. However, as you shorten the original portion of the leader by changing flies, breaking off fish, etc., instead of throwing away the leader you can add tippet material from a separate spool to get back to your normal leader length and keep fishing. This will be a lot more economical than just putting a new leader on the fly line. So, while the tippet is part of the leader, you can add more tippet material to it.
In trout fishing, an easy way to decide on leader length is to use a leader about the length of your fly rod. That's why most trout leaders are 9 to 10 feet in length. You can use a shorter or longer one depending on the water conditions where you're fishing. This is pretty much the same for panfish. With fish that are less leader shy like brass or muskies, shorter leads are usually used. We will be happy to help you pick the right leaders for your fishing.