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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:22 am • # 1 
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Location: Michigan
This fly rod is new to us and the lightest fly rod we own. It is a Winston WT. We are taking a short vacation next month and intend to use this for some dry fly trout fishing. I think the Rio Suppleflex, Powerflex, and Powerflex Plus leaders should be fine but I am concerned about buying the correct type, size, and length for this shorter fly rod in addition to the correct length of tippet to tie onto the leader. In general, it seems conventional wisdom would suggest the 9'leader but I prefer to get the perspective of more experienced people. I have also realized we may simply need to experiment but I do not want to go into this without meaningful input from others. A 6x leader seems too much for a rod of this capacity but this simple fact is I do not know.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:11 pm • # 2 
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If you have an 8' 3-weight a 6X tippet wouldn't be too heavy for it; actually it seems just right. If you'll be fishing for trout in Michigan or thereabouts in August, that's the time for some small dries that suggest white-wing blacks (tricos) in sizes 22-26, micro-caddis like size 18, ant patterns of size 16 or smaller, etc. And a 9' leader sounds about right.

I don't worry about having a heavier tippet than what would seem to match the line weight perfectly. You're not likely to put so much pressure on a fish as to break your rod any way. But it might also be a good idea to have some 7X tippet material to add on to your leader if conditions, or really small flies, indicate.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:00 pm • # 3 
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A few things from my instructor days:

Flycasting and fly presentation depends on energy transfer and turnover, nothing else. More mass and speed = better turnover and delivery. At some point though you want it to collapse so you get a limp line for a good drift. A light and thin line will collapse when it's too long to support itself with the energy left in it (pushing a fine line through the air is actually really hard for such a low-mass object). It's like sending a wave down a hose when you were a kid - it's a level taper fighting gravity; at some point it won't have the energy left to lift another section of hose in front of the wave and so it will collapse. But if that hose were tapered, the wave would have less and less to lift as it loses energy to gravity and so the wave could go further. Same idea with fly casting and a light leader/ tippet fighting air resistance.

So having said that:

If you will be fishing tight quarters you will likely want a shorter leader (7.5ft) and a 2-3ft tippet section. Unless you're comfortable casting just your leader, anyway. The short leader will give you a quicker turnover for "dart throwing" type casts.

Bigger flies need more energy to turn them over, so if you are fishing grasshoppers (on a 3wt, nothing bigger than probably a #10) you will probably find yourself needing something like a relatively short 3x or 4x leader with similar diameter tippet. Tiny flies, just the opposite - long and fine leaders.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:45 pm • # 4 
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I think Pete has details well but what about the length of the tippet to attach to the 9' leader? I'm just surprised a 6x leader is appropriate for such a small fly rod. This is how we configure the 6 wt rods. I posted this because I was concerned the 8' length might be problematic for a 9' leader. The Rio rep told me he wished more manufacturers made rods in this length. Personally, I do not know.

Toothybugs, I do not currently think we will be fishing in an area so tight that we will need to be concerned about this potential issue but your point regarding the 7.5' leader under these circumstances is well put.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:18 pm • # 5 
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RVan wrote:
I think Pete has details well but what about the length of the tippet to attach to the 9' leader? I'm just surprised a 6x leader is appropriate for such a small fly rod. This is how we configure the 6 wt rods. I posted this because I was concerned the 8' length might be problematic for a 9' leader.


Let's think about this a bit. A 3-weight rod provides more flex to protect a 6X tippet than a 6-weight, and you will probably find that the 3-weight will allow you to put just as much pressure on a fish as a 6-weight will. You can use a double surgeon's knot to add about 24" of 7X, which will give you an 11' leader. Before moving south in 1995, most of my fishing was in Michigan. I would often use, for instance, a 12' leader on a 7' rod. Part of the trick is to pass the leader around your reel foot and use one of the guides to keep your fly on rather than the hook keeper, for which a better name would be dry fly hackle crusher. It also keeps the line-leader connection out of the guides and the leader straighter. That kind of set-up is appropriate for stillwater or flat water fishing out in the open. If you get into the brush ToothyBugs has it right about using a shorter leader.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:39 pm • # 6 
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This is why I read/post here.


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