David Lloyd of New York, New York, has three questions:

What is the appropriate leader length for mixed striped bass and mixed striped bass in the Northeast on a 9-weight? Is it OK to just replace the last 3 or 4 feet of tippet with stiff mono? What type of wire or heavy mono should I use when I encounter blues?

Q.David Lloyd of New York, New York, has three questions:"What is the appropriate leader length for mixed striped bassand bluefish in the Northeast on a 9-weight? Is it OK to justreplace the last 3 or 4 feet of tippet with stiff mono? What typeof wire or heavy mono should I use when I encounterblues?"

The answer to your first question is that unless the water isextremely clear, a leader of 9 or 10 feet is fine.

There are two answers to your tippet question. If you correctlytie a Non-Slip Loop in the leader before the tippet and the sameknot in the rear of the tippet, you can loop-to-loop the tippet tothe leader, and you will lose little leader strength. If you haveto change tippets, you need only unloop the bad tippet and loop onanother. The other answer is that when I encounter both bass andblues, I generally attach a small black swivel to the leader beforethe tippet. Then, I attach thin wire to the swivel and the fly.When the wire becomes too kinked, I simply clip it off and attachanother wire to the swivel.

As for question three, I highly recommend that in clear wateryou use the new microfilament wire (Tyger Wire is one brand), whichis thinner and less visible, resists kinking better and seems moredurable than the standard plastic-coated braided wire.

-Lefty