Re: Just wondering

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Posted by Bill Blanton on 2013-09-01 12:07:57 in reply to Just wondering posted by Leo Gutterres on 2013-08-31 20:15:46


I've used twisted leaders extensively after bring introduced to them by Lee Haskins several years ago. I ordered a packet from John Quigley and have relied on his designs ever since.

My favorite is John's 6-foot big game leader with shorb loop on the tippet end. The leader is constructed in three sections of varying diameter that promote good turnover, even with long tippets attached. John says the leader will turn over a 4-foot tippet; I've found it effective with tippets up to 6 feet in length.

A typical snook set-up for me will be the 6-foot twisted leader as a butt section, a 3-foot length of 30-pound Triple Fish mono as a transition, an 18-inch segment of 20-pound mono as a class tippet followed by an 18-inch shock tippet of 30- or 40- pound fluorocarbon. All together, that makes a 12-foot leader that turns over very effectivelyl. The Triple Fish works well as a transition since it is a limp material with roughly the same degree of flexibility as the twisted leader. Anything stiffer might disrupt the turnover.

For redfish in clear water, I keep the 12-foot formula but substitute a fluoro tippet that tapers down to 20-, or even 12-pound if that seems necessary.

In discolored water or when I'm casting large topwater flies, I like the 6-foot twisted leader as a butt, then attach a 3-foot tippet. That combination will turn over anything.

That's also my go-to set-up for clients who have trouble straightening out the leader at the end of the cast.

My Amazon trip in 2012 didn't require a long leader, but I needed something strong enough to stop a peacock bass before it charged into the woods. I used a 4-foot twisted leader as a butt section and attached a 3- to 4-foot section of 40-pound mono as a tippet. The shock absorbing capability of the twisted leader allowed me put a lot of pressure on hard-pulling peacocks without having to worry about the leader (or rod) breaking under the strain.

Dan was my partner on the Amazon trip. He relied on a twisted leader with a small swivel on the end. That worked well, too, but I like the shorb loop better. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

The only place I've been reluctant to use twisted segments as a base for a leader system is fishing ultra-clear flats like in the Keys for bonefish, permit and tarpon. I afraid that the bulk of the twisted segments might be too obtrusive under those conditions.

When I first saw twisted leaders, I considered them a novelty. Now, they're essential. The only recommendation I would offer for the future is to make them longer. When Lee Haskin fished with me this past spring, he had some twisted leaders of his own design up to 9.5 feet in length, but I haven't found commercial versions that long.

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