No Matter what you fish for, its the Leader!

This weekend I will be at the Scottish Fly Fair in Stirling, yes, we are bringing tackle over for you to try, but I really look forward to the education side of shows. Getting the chance to break down some of the old persistent myths and ideas that are associated with salmon fishing. One thing I know we will talk about is the leader, yes, I talk about it a lot but its alarming to see the amount of money anglers are investing into their rods and lines without understanding this one component of their tackle.

The first blog on this site I spoke about the leader and how important it was but I cant stress enough how much time you should be investing in this area compared to the rest, without the leader balanced properly I am afraid you are wasting your time. Turn up for any casting session and this should be the very first aspect of your tackle inspected or even taught, yet its missing from most lessons and missing from the exams themselves.


It’s either or, choose which leader type suits the conditions you are facing.  I love to fish the long leaders on sinking lines, providing I have the luxury of space on the river. If fishing narrow spate rivers where the fly must be fishing immediately then I will opt for the polyleader and tippet.

Whilst I highly recommend the Salmologic coated leaders and use them myself, I understand not everyone may wish to do so, perhaps you are loyal to another brand or have already invested in another leader system. You can make those leaders work, it just takes some trial and error and learning how much tippet each density of Polyleader requires to provide adequate resistance. Please note that the tippet lengths are not getting shorter to make the fly fish deeper, they are shorter to accommodate the cast. Ever find casting the 10’ intermediate is a pleasure yet casting the 10’ fast sink is a pain. Its just because your leader isn’t right.


A major aspect you must consider is the fly size. Your fly also provides resistance, this must be taken into account when adjusting your tackle. It might sound obvious but its amazing the amount of anglers using the same length of leader for every fly in their box. Don’t be lazy and just keep fishing, adjust the leader!


There is no doubt there will be another blog in the future about the leader, every time I speak to an angler I learn a new way of breaking it down and conveying the message so I am always trying to fine tune and get the message across as clearly and simply as possible. There are so many more variables to take into consideration and I look forward to sharing them with you. if you are thinking about coming along to the Scottish fly fair, come on ahead, it will be worth it for the leader alone!

To put it simply, Invest your time in the leader, it will transform your time fishing.

Check out that first blog when I broke down the effects of the leader on the cast by clicking the button below.