Leader Formulas

  MAXIMA/RIO LEADER TIE FORMULAS    (PART 1)
©   Table Rock Angler 2009 –   “Bo” Cash


The following leader formulas have proven to turn over, out cast, and outlast any tapered leaders I’ve ever used. They were developed while experimenting with different length/diameter sections over a period of 38 years.  The formulas may be varied slightly without loss of performance.  On smaller streams, the shorter leaders tied with Maxima leader material are the most accurate for getting under overhanging limbs and rock structures.  On long, flat pools and tailwaters, I use the longer formulas.  The Maxima sections help to turn over the longer leaders well.  I have changed to Rio for all the tippet sections.  Rio has the breaking and knot strength, suppleness, and low visibility that I desire.


Unlike many leader formulas  that have such short middle sections, tippets can be replaced several times on these leaders without having to replace the sections immediately next to the tippet.  Some substitutions can be made.  Damaged sections can be easily replaced without having to discard the whole leader.  Try not to vary the sections more than .003” difference between leader sections to get proper turnover.  If your leader is to be attached to a 7 weight line or larger, consider using a short 30 pound section of Maxima between the line and the 25 pound section.  If your leader is to be tied to a 2 weight or less, you may want to start out with a longer 20 pound butt section instead of using 25 pound.


*Maxima leader material given in POUND TEST and unlabeled below.  Rio tippet is labeled with name and “X” rating.


Tie your own leaders for performance and economy.  You can tie a better leader, cheaper.  Let’s go fishing !


1.  7’ – 4 X


14”   25 #

14”   20

14”   15

12”   10

12”    6

18”   4x Rio


2.  7 1/2’ – 6 X


14”   25 #

14”   20

14”   15

10”   10

10”    6

10” 4x Rio

18” 6x Rio


3.  7 1/2’ 5 X


14”  25 #

14”  20

14”  15

10”   10

10”    6

10” 4x Rio

18” 5x Rio


4.  6’ 1 X


14”   25 #

14”   20

14”   15

10”   10

10”    8

10”    6


5.  8 1/2’ – 5/6 X


14”  25 #

14”  20

14”  15

10”  10

10”    8

10”    6

12”  4x Rio

18” 5/6x Rio


6.  8 1/2’ – 4 X


16”  25 #

16”  20

16”  15

12”  10

12”   8

12”   6

18” 4x Rio


7.  9’ – 4 X


18”   25 #

18”   20

18”   15

12”   10

12”    8

12”    6

18”  4x Rio

add 5x Rio  dropper tippet to dry fly



8. 9’ – 5/6 X


14”   25 #

14”   20

14”   15

12”   10

12”    8

12”    6

12”  4x Rio

18” 5/6x Rio

…………….hand tied leader formulas,  PART 2:

9. 10’ – 5/6X


18”    25 #

16”    20

16”    15

14”    10

12”     8

12”     6

12”  4x Rio

20” 5/6x Rio


10.11 1/2’ – 5/6 X


20”   25 #

19”   20

19”   15

16”   10

14”    8

14”    6

14”  4x Rio

22” 5/6x Rio


11. 12’ – 6/7 X


18”    25 #

18”    20

18”    15

16”    10

14”     8

14”     6

12”  4x Rio

12”  5x Rio

22” 6/7x Rio


12. 13’ – 6/7 X


22”    25 #

20”    20

20”    15

16”    10

14”     8

14”     6

14” 4x Rio

14” 5x Rio

22” 6/7x Rio


13. 15’ – 5/6 X


20”   25 #

20”   20

20”   15

16”   10

16”    8

20”    6

20”  4x Rio

48” 5/6x Rio


14. 3’ – HEAVY FLY


9”     30 #

9”     25

9”     20

9”     15



# 4              =     Streamer leader for # 10 – 4  size streamers

# 6 & # 7     =     My favorite small stream leaders.

# 7              =     Small steam leader for use with droppers tied to dry fly.

# 12            =     My favorite tailwater leader for small flies over clear, still water.

# 13            =     A leader designed for fishing dry flies “across and down” to drag
conscious fish in tailwater rivers.

# 14            =     A special leader for # 6, 7, and 8 weights for jerking big, heavy
streamers on sink tip lines. 

One thought on “Leader Formulas

  1. what maxima material are you using for your leaders? I’m assuming chameleon would be too stiff for the leaders to turn over well?

    Like

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