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Leader Construction Tips from Lefty

May 2, 2007
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“I’m so old, I remember when sex was dirty and the air was safe,” said Lefty Kreh, getting things rolling with a laugh at Steve Kantner’s Three For the Money fly-fishing seminar in Fort Lauderdale this past weekend. Anglers were treated to several hours of in-depth discussion on saltwater fly-fishing with Kreh, Kantner and top tarpon angler Andy Mill. The 82-year-old fishing icon (who is as sharp – and funny – as ever) gave one of the best presentations on leader construction I’ve ever heard. Here are some of his tips: [list] [*]You are not casting a fly line but rather unrolling it. For that reason, the butt section should be made of supple, flexible material. [*]Regular nylon line such as Sufix, Maxima or Ande is ideal. [*]Fluorocarbon should be avoided for butt sections because it is too stiff and will hinge rather than unrolling. [*]The butt should account for 50 percent of the leader length; for example, a 16-foot bonefish leader should have 8 feet of heavy material to turn it over. [*]Below 8-weight, use 40-pound monofilament. On 8-weight outfits, use 50-pound. For anything larger than a 9-weight, use 60-pound test. [*]Keep the class-tippet portion to no more than 18 inches. This will reduce casting knots (aka wind knots). [*]If using a pre-made, tapered leader, cut off the first 24 inches and tie a Surgeon’s or non-slip loop in the terminal end. Then just cut your class tippet, tie a loop in it and attach it to the butt section. Using that method, it is possible to fish a season with one leader. [/list]

Lefty Kreh gives lessons to angler Juliana Kuhnke at Steve Kantner’s Three for the Money fishing seminar in Fort Lauderdale.

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