Tying a Leader-Fly Fishing
Tying a Leader-Fly Fishing
Making rods and tying flies are attempted by only a few anglers, comparatively speaking, and success in these things only crowns the efforts of those who have considerable mechanical skill. But tying a leader is another thing. It is so simple and, moreover, saves so much expense and has so many advantages in other ways, that every angler not only can, but by all means should, tie his own leaders. A very great advantage of the homemade leader is that you can tie in the dropper loops just where you want them. And you should know how to tie a leader, anyway, because then you can make over a " tailor made" leader to suit yourself; or, if you accidentally break a leader when fishing, or break one in testing it, you can make the necessary repairs.
Briefly — and the following is incorporated here because I know of no place where the story is told briefly — the first thing to do is to get a hank of gut from the dealer. They come generally 100 strands to the hank, and, as above stated, from 10 to 15 inches in length. The 12-inch is a good length. Select six or seven strands according to the length of leader desired,— a five-foot leader will do for two flies, six feet for three,— cut away the waste at each end of the strands and soak them for an hour or so in tepid water. The method of connecting the single strands is as follows: When the strands have been rendered sufficiently pliable by soaking, tie a half-hitch, loosely, at the end of a strand, put the end of another strand through the loop in first, and then, again loosely, tie a half-hitch around the first strand. Then, separately, draw each knot tight and, finally, pull the two knots together good and hard. This is known as the single water knot. To make the loops at each end of the leader, bend over for about two inches the end of the gut so that it lies along the rest of-the strand and tie a half-hitch, an ordinary knot.
The end loops as well as the dropper loops should be made as you go along and before the gut dries. The dropper loops are best made at the end of the strand, the junction of two strands. For the dropper loop tie loosely, without pulling tight, at the end of a strand, an ordinary half-hitch as for an end loop; put the end of the next strand through the small knot loop (the small knot at base of half-hitch loop) in the first, and then proceed as when tying two strands together. It sounds very much harder than it really is. The leader should be tested, and suspended with a small weight to straighten it.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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