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Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby GregM » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:45 pm

ErikO said -
"As far as length of tippet - The length of tippet I use is based on how deep I want the fly to go, or how spooky the fish are. The shorter you go, the easier it is to cast. I use anywhere from 18" or so to around 8'. If you have super spooky fish, then tie on a western leader."

So I have found a knotless 10' 4x tapered leader (Rio I think) and added a 6' piece of 25# mono (to match the 0.020 butt diameter) for a 16' line, to which I added 4' of 5x. The line casts reasonably well, but is obviously a lot stiffer than a 0.013 #4.

I've poked around a bit but probably not in the right places...
Are there longer tapered leaders?
And are there tapered leaders with smaller butt diameters?

Thanks.

[Edited to correct diameters to thousandths]
Last edited by GregM on Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby erik.ostrander » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:12 pm

There are many western leaders out there - different lengths, different tapers, and different tippet sizes. Some of those may have different stiffnesses, but you'll need to talk to your local fly shop to get there experience. However, almost all of them have about the same butt size.

We have had great success using western leaders at the end of a furled fluoro line. Cast beautifully, and is so stealthy you can barely see the thing. So stealthy, that you really can only have success with dry flies, where the take is much more visible. I have used them when the fish are so spooky that the shadow of a line scares them from 10' away and fish were so scared they wouldn't take naturals!

As far as I know, there hasn't been a ton of experimenting with a western leader simply because it disappears. Hehe, too much stealth. I'm sure someone will speak up if they've tried it though.

Is there a reason why you need to go that stealthy? Are the fish just super spooky right now?
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby GregM » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:59 pm

"Is there a reason why you need to go that stealthy? Are the fish just super spooky right now?"

The real driver is going long. The Arkansas here is 50'+ wide. There are bubble lines in the middle and fish on both sides. Water clarity is exceptional. The runs are 8' deep, the pools 12'. So not so much stealth as outright distance. 20' doesn't get you a lot of time at depth, even with a lot of weight. The fish are spooky, but basic stealth in dress, profile, and movement can get the job done.

The interest in the tapered leader comes from dealing with wind. Lately it has been exceptionally calm, but a stiff downriver breeze it typical. It seems that a tapered leader provides better turnover than a #4-to-5x hinge. And I'd still like 20' of line.

And, as you mentioned, these scenarios are at the limits of what tenkara has traditionally done. But this is local water, and I'm not about to "go western".
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby Tenkara Guides » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:21 pm

Greg, what total line length are you after? (rod tip to fly) I can build one of the hybrid lines for you that EriK has mentioned.

Another option is tapered tenkara line. It is basically level line with a taper. It is made by Sunline in Japan.
This is much cheaper ($15-18) than one of my lines so it may be worth trying.

John
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$(KGrHqJHJBIE9tKsvLMYBPll1MFlJw~~60_3.JPG
This line is 8m (26.24 ft long) and tapers from 4.5-1.5
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby GregM » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:08 pm

John,
That's what I'm looking for!
How/Where do I get it?

(Furled lines Are nice, but 1) costly and 2) "fragile" compared to level lines.)

Thanks!
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby Tenkara Guides » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:10 pm

ebay from Plat Japan
Just do ebay search for tenkara and this item will show up

John

Please let us know how this line works for you.
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby caveyeti » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:13 am

I have fished with the Sunline tapered line. It is very nice to fish with and the 1.5 tip is very stealthy. Depending on lighting it can either be easy to see or next to impossible. I have fished it both sub surface with Kebari as well as on the top with small drys. It will turn over even with a size 18 midge and seems perfect for super light/small flies. I last used it on a alpine lake at sun down as a small hatch was coming off and the fish were feeding on the surface. Stepping from 5X down to 6X tippet works pretty well for keeping the momentum in the line moving all the way to the fly.

I will note that the casting stroke and speed is the biggest challenge with 8 meters + tippet of line but it can be done. A softer rod helps a lot in this case.
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Re: Spooky Fish and a Western Leader

Postby GregM » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:44 am

The Sunline Long Cast is ordered. Thank you John.

I suspect 8 meters will be to unwieldy for me. I'll give the 8 a try, and then start cutting back from the butt.

I'm capable with 6 meters now, but if I miss my lift I have to wait until it drifts downstream to get things going again.

Thanks all.
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