Tapered Leaders

Tapered leaders are a must for fly anglers, especially for dry fly fishing. They make casting a single dry fly much easier than using a level length of tippet, helping the fly turn over and be presented the best it can! With the many different brands, lengths and breaking strains, for beginners, choosing the one for their needs can be a difficult task!

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A tapered leader is a leader usually 9 - 12ft in length which starts off thicker at the end you attach to your fly line. It then tapers down and becomes thinner to the end where you either knot on your fly or, when needed attach some tippet to make a longer leader! The taper means that when you’ve made a cast it will aid the turn over of your fly.

Leaders & Tippet Here!

The Essential Fly Tapered Leaders The Essential Fly Tapered Leaders are 12ft in length and come in various tippet diameters. Where a longer leader is needed, it’s simply a matter of knotting on a level length of mono as an extended tippet. This is best done by loop-to-loop connection. To prolong the life of your tapered leaders we reccommend using a tippet ring at the end of the tapered leader which then when desired you can extend the length of the leader without worrying about shortening the leader when swapping and changing flies. It acts as a permanent attachment!



Choosing The Right One

Hill tarns / lakes / stillwaters

For anglers fishing upland hill tarns where trout are wild and not huge we recommend a tapered leader of around 4X which as you can see from our chart below has a breaking strain of around 5.2lb. You can then, as discussed above add a few extra ft of tippet should you want too! If you find yourself fishing large stillwaters or fisheries where you can typically find much larger fish. You will need something that can cope with these fish! It’s worth taking some 1X leaders which are around 9lb to which you can attach some level tippet to the end of around 7lb to get the fish in the net!


On rivers we recommend acquiring yourself some tapered leaders in the 5-7X range. Which one you will use will depend on the typical size of fish you’re likely to encounter. A good starting point is a 5X leader which tapers down to around 3.9lb. From there as discussed you can attach some level tippet of around 3lb can be attached! Should you be fishing a small stream you might want to scale things down to a 7X which will enable tiny flies to be cast at willing trout!


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